Sunday, 22nd July 2018. 2:52:50am ET
Band: Morgueazm
Interviewer: JULIE JOHNSON
Date: 11/4/04

Morgueazm was born out of Blood Money, a British Thrash Metal band that found success during the 1980's. They released two albums on NWoBHM label Ebony Records; 'Red Raw And Bleeding' and 'Battlescarred', achieving a huge underground following. Now, in response to many requests from their fans, two ex members of Blood Money; Gramie Dee and Brett Avok have formed Morgueazm, a band who's music combines elements of Death metal with their roots of Thrash and traditional metal, and along with classically trained bass and keyboard player 'Dark Mark', the result is a monstrously heavy and sinister band with more than a twisted sense of humour.

GC: What is the name of your band and who are the current members?

GD: We are Morgueazm and we consist of Brett Avok on drums and vocals, Dark Mark on bass and keyboards and Gramie Dee (hey that’s me) on guitars and vocals.

GC: How did you become connected to make music?

GD: Brett and I were together in another band; Blood Money during the 80’s. It was when I created a web site for Blood Money a few years back that Brett got in touch and invited me to go and play with his knobs in his studio. ;)

BA: Once Gramie had finished playing with my knobs, we did some serious work and made a fantastic album (Fun With Formaldehyde). I then told asked Mark to add some bass. Now, we have made a new MorrgueazM Album which is out now!

DM: I had been doing some session work for Brett (in his studio, next to his bathroom) and he begged asked me to add some bass to the album. Once I had heard it, I thought it was screaming out for some keyboards and so added a load of them too!

GC: What are your musical influences?

GD: Alice Cooper, Sabbath, Slayer, Opeth, Orff, and generally anything heavy, dark, brutal or nasty.

BA: Sabbath and the like!

DM: Michael Jackson, Boyz 2 Men, Justin Timberlake… Doh, wrong interview!

BA: Pratt!

GC: What is your live show like?

GD: I’m pretty sure it will be rather awesome. But we haven’t done one yet. So far we are a recording only band but hopefully we’ll get round to doing our all singing-all dancing mega spectacular gore-horror-nudity filled show as soon as some rich bastard backs us or signs us up.

BA: As Gramie says, it will be pretty spectacular… I am planning to do a live Heart attack on stage.

DM: As Brett says, it will be pretty spectacular, I’m planning to sit back, roll a cigarette and watch the twat die! PMSL.

BA: Cheers, mate?

GC: Tell us about your own unique style of music?

GD: Basically old school metal, tinged with thrash, death, industrial and even techno. We don’t stick within the confines of any particular genre, we let the song speak before the music. We even have a jazz/metal song on our new album.

BA: Ditto

DM: Same for me too!

GC: What separates your band from all the other bands out there?

GD: Our ability to combine musicianship with brutality, drama, terror, sex and humour with our tongues firmly skewering our cheeks? Maybe Brett or Mark know a better answer.

BA: They gig and we don’t!

DM: I think because we don’t take it seriously… we do it for the love of it and just to watch peoples reactions when they realise what the lyrics say!

GC: How do you go about writing songs?

GD: I initially start off with either a lyric, a riff or a whole hook line that I roll around in my head for a few weeks. If I still remember it after sleeping, then it’s probably worth building on. Next I record the songs in demo format using Cakewalk, guitars, a keyboard and some drum loops which I then give to the guys on a CD. Then they listen, do their own analysis and we go in the studio to record the songs properly. At that point my little tunes are “Morgueazmized”.

BA: Me being the Morgueazmizer, I add my own technique of arranging and producing the music, which adds to the overall Morgueazmic originality.

DM: I only tend to get involved with the remixes, which the other guys give me total free reign over. I love the Rob Zombie remixes that were done a few years back for the ‘Made in America’ album and find heavy influence within them.

GC: Pick one of your latest songs and talk about everything from writing it, meanings, the challenges of recording it?

GD: Hmmmmm….. Rotting Angel. Big challenge for me because I wanted a lot of piano, but I don’t play piano. I cobbled together a demo as best as I could, incorporating all the ideas in my original vision. I wanted a heart rending piece because the song is about how we feel when a loved one dies. Well the guys did a great job, Mark’s beautiful piano, Brett’s awesome mix, and some absolutely stunning backing vocals from Genevieve, a highly talented singer. Brett and Mark can tell you more about the recording process, I just stand there and sing/play guitar, hoping I’m in tune.

BA: As I knew that this song was very important to Gramie following a personal tragedy, I wanted it to be true to his original idea and a beautiful song that still sat well within the other tracks of the album. Obviously with Mark’s great piano playing, it was easy for me to put a very balladic (is there such a word?) vocal line to the start of the track.

DM: Obviously, being a great piano player (apparently!) it was a piece of cake! Seriously, when I heard Gramie’s demo, I knew I could do him proud and build upon his original ideas to create the track you hear today. I tried my hardest to give the track a melodic, yet very sad feel.

GC: What is your latest news with the band?

GD: Our latest album; Multiple Morgueazms is now available at www.morgueazm.com plus we go into production of our video very soon.

BA: Very well said Gramie.

DM: Very well said about Gramie, Brett!

GC: Where do you hope to be in 5 years with your band?

GD: I don’t want to tempt fate. It’d be nice to be earning lots of cash from CD sales, touring the world etc but, I’ll be happy if we are still together creating music. That will be an achievement to me.

BA: Lazing on a beach in Barbados, cocktail in one hand, and a TV remote in the other, living off royalties.

DM: Gigging?

GC: How are people currently reacting to your music?

GD: Very favourably. People love our dark humour and melodies with a brutal edge. We tend to appeal to the ladies quite a bit, I think it’s the hot steamy dollop of sex that Brett injects into the mix with his love pump… um I mean engineering skills.

BA: No no Gramie… it ‘IS’ my love pump darling!

DM: I always try to get true metal heads to listen to the album… they love it and that is good enough for me.

GC: What would be the top 3 reasons for listening to your music?

GD: #1 We are addictive

BA: #2 You can sing along to our lyrics - its great for a family karaoke!

DM: #3 It’s easy to pull with a MorgueazM album in your car!

GC: What is your best experience as a band?

GD: To me the best experience is just being a part of Morgueazm. Working with two highly talented musicians who make me sound good. But, they do fart a lot!

BA: When they both go home and I can get my flat back to a liveable state - and, open the windows!

DM: Being able to violently fart out loud whilst Gramie is recording his vocals!

GD: GAG!!!!!

GC: What is your worst experience as a band?

GD: Possibly Brett’s little run-in with the cardiology dept last year. I’m sure he’ll elaborate on that.

BA: Having a heart attack right in the middle of the album production. It put us back a few months and has changed my life forever - now I have to be careful how loudly I fart! ;)

DM: I go with Gramie on this one… it was worrying times for us all (including Brett!)

GC: What is most important to you in your band?

GD: For me, just being able to create music, get ideas off my chest and have the ability to get it all down somewhere so it can be heard. I’m a tortured artist.

BA: Working with people who make the whole process fun - without any use of formaldehyde!

DM: Having the guys just let me do my stuff… they trust me to get on with it and never find fault or criticise.

GC: Do you have a personal favorite song, could be your own or another artist?

GD: Morgueazm song; I love Rotting Angel, because that is the most serious song I’ve written for this band and it has a lot of heart felt meaning - except for the part at the end about digging up corpses. Other band’s songs; That’s a tough one, I like so much music of different genres, but if I have to choose just one song, aaagh I can’t. Anything by Alice always goes down a treat.

BA: Succubus, by us, as I really enjoyed drumming to this one (and was probably the bastard which pushed my heart over the edge!) and I also enjoyed singing the first part of the song. This song was a great achievement for me personally, as the production was one of my best too! As for other, it is too hard to pick one out.

DM: One of ours.. Succubus. Starts like a 60s groove and by the end, well, you’ll have to listen to the album to know! But, needless to say, it will rock your soul into the ground! Any one else?.. I think Thunder Kiss ’65, White Zombie, a great year, as I popped into the world then!

GC: What was the hardest song to write and why?

GD: I don’t have a problem writing songs. I only start writing if I have a good idea for one. I never start with a blank sheet or anything, if a song is going to be difficult to write, then I won’t touch it. I don’t need the arse ache. ;)

BA: As I don’t write, the hardest one to produce was Succubus.

DM: As I do neither, it gives me time to do nothing!

GC: What do you think of the current gothic/ EBM/ Industrial/ noise/ synthpop etc scene today?

GD: I can’t offer an opinion on a lot of stuff, I’m into the more brutal sounding music in the field so I’d say I like some industrial, and some of the darker gothic but synthpop does nothing for me.

BA: Ditto, sorry to be boring, but the kettle has just boiled and DK is mashing for a brew!

DM: Just to translate Brett‘s answer, I am spitting feathers!

GC: What music do you currently listen to?

GD: I listen to anything from Opeth, Deicide, CoF to Carl Orff, Planxty and Kate Bush. I have a huge amount of CD’s from unsigned metal bands too that I have sent to me for my web radio show; The Autopsy Report http://theautopsyreport.heavymetalradio.net . Broadcasting from several stations to help the scene along and give some great bands a little exposure. Okay plug over with. In conclusion I have a varied taste in music, I just prefer face ripping brutal death at the moment.

BA: Radio 2 as the CD player in my car is fucked! (And, they always play Paranoid at least once a month!)

DM: I listen to many different genres every day - but at present have ‘The Darkness’ album, permission to land, throwing out in the car.

GD: The Darkness????? *steps carefully away from DM*

GC: How do you keep changing your music from album to album or plan to change it?

GD: The main change with the new album compared to the first one; Fun With Formaldehyde is, I think Multiple Morgueazms is far heavier. FWF was originally a one-off project incorporating experimental drum loops etc and has a techno flavour throughout. Multiple Morgueazms is a full on metal album with Brett knackering himself up on drums (lots of blastbeats) so there is a marked difference between the two albums. My next creative deluge might even cross boundaries again, I’m thinking of a concept album that’ll have lots of different genres on it. Yes I’m even considering a disco/metal song. There’s method in my madness, the genres are all relevant to the storyline of the concept album. Anyway I’m self-indulging a bit here. ;)

BA: The production changes for each album as the influence of Gramie changes for each. However, If you listen to the albums side-by-side, you will easily know that both are ours! - If you don’t understand that, Mark will explain more!

DM: Errr… yep… right. Any chance of another cuppa?

GC: If you have released a CD and after listening to it or making it would you change anything and why?

GD: I always hear things I wish I could change but I never would do it. Once a song or project is complete, then that’s it, better or worse. It’s time to move on after that and create something fresh. Unless it’s a case of Brett turning down my guitar volume. The bastard.

BA: It is always difficult deciding when to ‘Stop’ in the production, but, I think I always get it right and the boys are always happy with my work - Apart from Gramie’s guitars being too quiet… deaf git!

GD: Pardon?

DM: I often hear things I would have done differently, but its ‘tough’ when it’s finished. Not only that, ‘fiddling about’ always buggers it up anyway!

GC: How do you go about making decisions with your music?

GD: I decide how a song will sound, then Brett tells me how it’s really going to sound. He’s such a Nazi but he’s never let me down yet. He made me dumb down my guitar solos on the new album and I was getting pissed about cutting out all of my twiddly bits, but it was all for the good of the song. Now the solos compliment the song rather than take over from it. If only his drumming wasn’t so loud. ;)

BA: I say, I do, It stays, My studio, “bollocks!” ;) (I love you Gramie and your guitars are awesome)

DM: Ooh, ‘Gay’ alert!

GD: *sits with arse against the wall*

GC: What kind of recording environment do you have?

GD: Over to Brett

BA: Smelly for one! Loads of coffee! The studio is next to my bathroom (which is handy!), full of smoke until I had the attack, so the next album will be a smoke free zone… sorry guys!

DM: I’d like Brett to get more ‘babes’ involved with the studio… the ones we get in to sing are too nice and don’t like to be ‘played’ with!

GC: How long did you spend on your latest effort?

GD: I spent 6 months writing songs and recording demos, then I handed the whole lot over to Brett and Mark who did their own thing whatever. Then we spent 2 weeks in Brett’s studio followed by um….. over to Brett.

BA: … months of production, with a small break in the middle for a heart attack! Overall, the album took a year from start to finish.

DM: I helped BA as much as poss after his illness, so I could say that most of the better production is mine! (only kidding!)

GC: What is the hardest thing about being in a band of this genre?

GD: We’re not radio friendly. Wait!!!!! That’s a GOOD thing. :D

BA: Answering interviews as long as this one is! (only joking, they are great questions!)

DM: Trying to satisfy the sexual fantasies of our groupies!

BA: Wake up Marky!

DM: Huh? Oh Shit.. Its you!

GC: Feel free to do any shameless self promotion here of your band, now is your turn to talk about anything, ideas, or life in the band.

GD: All I’ll say is go to our web site at www.morgueazm.co.uk and check out some tunes. Then go to www.morgueazm.com and buy the new CD. And check out our official mascot the “Chainswhore” alias Mandy. A luvverly girl and an awesome friend. She did her duty as a Morgueazm Mistress and bared all.

BA: Go and look at the website.. that’s where it is all at!

DM: We need more Mistresses, so if you think you fit the bill.. Send your pics to Gramie and we’ll immortalise you on the website - it keeps the lads coming back to the site too! - you can check out our beauties on the website. Also, I found an ‘unofficial’ MorrgueazM site, which gave me a real buzz… I’d like to see more of them (hint, hint)

GC: What is most rewarding when it comes to your band?

GD: Knowing that people “get it” when they hear our music. When people can see what we’re trying to do without having to be told, that’s a huge buzz to me.

BA: It is great to see MorgueazM sprayed on to a wall! Whoever our ‘Tagger’ is.. thanks for the publicity!

DM: I’ll go with Gramie on that one!

GC: What are you looking forward to most right now as a band?

GD: I’m looking forward to shooting the video. Lots of gore, nudity and Hammy Horror.

BA: I’m not getting my tits out for anyone!

DM: Another coffee please, Brett!

GC: Do you have any band goals?

GD: Just to get our music into the ears of as many people as possible.

BA: Ditto

DM: And again!

GC: Can you tell us about your songs on your latest release, anything from messages to inspirations?

GD: Multiple Morgueazms is a trip into the world of sex related horror, or possibly horror related sex. There are songs about cannibalistic cunnilingus, auto-erotic disembowelment and a jazz/metal scat sex song. All with glorious lyrics on the web site. I think the message we are getting across is clear. We are perverts and we know you all are too.

BA: I think GD has just about covered it!

DM: Where’s my bloody coffee, fat boy?

GC: Now, that your CD is out, would you change anything?

GD: Nope, like I said earlier, this is done now and it’s time for something else. Dunno when that will be but here’s hoping.

BA: I might just turn the guitars up a tad! lol.

GD: Shua, and the Pope is Jewish.

DM: Not a thing… it rocks!

GC: Are you with a label working on finding one if so.. how are is it to be accepting or what was it like being accepting?

D: No label at present, we release our albums ourselves. We’re lucky to have such a great recording studio at our finger tips thanks to Brett. We hope the new album might generate some label interest. A distribution deal would please us really.

BA: Ditto…

DM: And again!

GC: Remixes? Do you have any or working on any?

GD: There are some on our first album. Over to Dark Mark…..

BA: …

DM: I am going to do a few later on in winter… I have some great ideas coming on and I’d like to get them released on EP as soon as they are finished. Watch the website for news on this.

GC: Compilation experiences good or bad and why?

GD: Awwwww shit yes. We were asked to go on a compilation CD about a year and a half ago. Brett forked out £50 I think, and we still haven’t seen the CD appear. We get the occasional snivelling excuse that they don’t have the funds yet but really, do you decide to put a compilation out if you haven’t got the capital? We’ve been stung so I’m very wary of CD compilations at the moment. Unless I knew it was a reputable record label or organisation like www.heavycore.net who release excellent compilation albums featuring bands who are members of Heavycore.

BA: Where my fucking £50 you bastards?

DM: The only thing I want compiled at the moment is a simple cup of coffee, but Tubbs seems unable to get his fucking head round it!

BA: Yep, sorry mate, running all the way!

GD: Got any Jammy Dodgers?

GC: When you get a review back from press how helpful is it really for you?

GD: Whether it’s a good review or a bad one, it’s always cool to know that someone has taken the time to give us a proper listen, given opinions, criticisms or praise. It all adds to the morale and creativity of the band. We are encouraged because we know our message is getting across in the way we intended. Or, we might find that a particular message isn’t getting through, so we’ll need to correct things on the next project. You know.

BA: Once again, Gramie says it as it is!

DM: Hurrah… I have coffee!

GC: What do you think you would be doing if there was not this type of music out there?

GD: I have no idea. I can’t imagine ever playing country, hip hop or anything other than the music I love most of all.

BA: I’d like to be a bus driver!

DM: I’d be searching for it!

GC: How do you promote your music, and is it working?

GD: Morgueazm are all over the internet (search Google for “morgueazm” and you’ll get a whole bunch of links), plus we send out newsletters and stuff. We also have a great deal of help from people like Wednesday Elektra at www.spacejunkies.net and www.aidforbands.com and we have had lots of airplay on radio stations both on and off the web. Maddog Rock Radio www.heavymetalradio.net has been a tremendous help to us in the past along with several other stations. Plus I sneak in some Morgueazm when I do my radio show sometimes.

BA: I leave the promotion to Gramie, but I do push it whenever, and wherever I can if I know the audience is right for us. It seems to work much better if one person has a handle on what is happening.

DM: I think the same goes for me to…

GC: How did you end up in the dark underground scene?

GD: I am inspired by the macabre, the dark, the deadly and the tasteless. Plus I like getting nasty with my guitar.

BA: I had the misfortune of meeting Gramie in 1986!

DM: Brett asked me to play on a ‘different’ album he was working on… I’ve not looked forward since!


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