Interview: Chris Cerulli of MOTIONLESS IN WHITE

Interview: Chris Cerulli of MOTIONLESS IN WHITE

Written by Joshua Wessling

MOTIONLESS IN WHITE will be making their first ever non-Soundwave appearance in Australia as a part of the Big Ass Tour this December. Vocalist Chris Cerulli took the time to have a chat with me about the upcoming tour, comparisons to Marilyn Manson and of course, Australian butts.

Hey Chris, how’s it going?

Good, dude. We’re off today, only one show left on this tour, just gonna spend the day relaxing, get some dinner and whatnot.

For people who don’t know who Motionless In White is, who are you, and why should we care?

Well, we’re the worst band from the United States, so you should probably check that out, cos why would anybody not wanna hear the worst band?

I dunno man, you have BrokenCYDE.

Haaaaa, well I guess we’re in the top 10. People love tragedies and trainwrecks so you should definitely hear it.

How long have you guys been stealing Slipknot’s rhythms for?

I knew from the first moment that I heard Slipknot that I just wanted to be them so we’ve made a pretty healthy career out of being the unmasked version of them.

I did a little bit of research while writing these questions last night. On your wikipedia page under the ‘Influences’ sub-heading, it lists literally 39 different bands and artists in alphabetical order. That’s fucking ridiculous – so list three bands that you reckon would best describe your band, and god help me, I will edit the Wikipedia page for you once this interview is over.

Haha, I feel like Wikipedia is the perpetrator of lies on the internet. It’s like the source of where all misinformation comes from. About two and half years ago, we actually went in there and tried to edit some of the stuff on there to make it least partially true that it at least wasn’t all bullshit, but of course, people keep going in there and changing it after the fact.

Alas, the way of the internet.

Yeah, it’s really frustrating. Obviously there’s no way to say like, official words from the direct members of the band, no way to legitimise the information on there since anyone can edit it. But it’s really funny that people think they know more about our band than we do and I’ve tried to edit it, it’s pretty fucking frustrating.
But yeah, 39 influences, that’s pretty interesting. So three influences: Slipknot, of course, Bleeding Through and AFI.

Next month, you guys are gonna be a part of the Big Ass Tour with A Day To Remember, The Amity Affliction and The Ghost Inside. How does it feel to be a part of such a huge lineup?

Yeah, actually, I don’t know if you guys are aware, being serious for a moment, but The Ghost Inside got in a really, really fucked up road accident.

Yeah, I actually read that 5 minutes ago…

I’m really concerned for them, whether they’re even gonna be able to go, because I’m not sure if any injuries were disclosed but from what I’ve heard, there’s some serious shit going on.

From what I’ve heard, the band and the crew were fine, but two people were killed in the crash.

Yeah, it’s pretty wild. Aside from that, I mean, I feel great about the tour. We love all those dudes. The Ghost Inside, we’ve toured with at least once a year for the past 4 or 5 years. A Day To Remember are great too, we toured with them last year. Never really had the chance to really hang out with the Amity guys, but we did do their first US tour with them and they were really cool. It should be great.

Is there any particular city you’re looking forward to playing in?

We always love Brisbane and Sydney. Those have always been the two we loved whenever we were there on Soundwave. Plus, there’s a lot to look forward to, we know that the shows are gonna be rad. I’m excited for the whole thing, but if I had to pick, it’d be Brisbane or Sydney.

Since every other band on the tour is superior to yours, how does it feeling knowing you don’t have to put as much effort into the shows?

Haha, I wish every interview was like this, this is great. We have a saying around the band and crew on days where we aren’t really feeling being alive, which is basically a part of our character, so most days.

I was gonna say, you look it anyway.

Yeah, right? Well, we have to feel the way we look, you know? But yeah, we call them ‘No Care Days’. So I’m really looking forward to spending an entire tour as a ‘No Care Tour’, considering no one’s gonna give a fuck about us. Obviously, we’re gonna do what we can, but with 30 minutes opening up a tour like that, I really don’t think that a lot of people are gonna give a shit, so we’re just gonna get out there and just have fun and actually not stress about it.

You guys have been to Australia more than once before this, what’s the best story you have in regards to touring this country/has anyone told you anything about Australia that ended up being a lie?

Personally, both times we’ve been to Australia, we’ve been there on Soundwave and both times it’s just really awesome to be treated like royalty. Soundwave takes really good care of the bands. I mean, you fly on flights everyday with all the other bands, everything is scheduled really well, you’re at badass hotels, so just being on Soundwave and being treated like that, even just the first time we were ever there was a pretty monumental moment of our career. We’re very grateful to have lived the ‘Rockstar Lifestyle’ in a country that I actually really love. We have great memories from Australia, both times we’ve been there.

As far as the lie goes? No, actually, but here’s what I can say about Australia, it’s my favourite part ever: last time we were there, I declared that Australian women have the best butts out of any women in the world. That is not a lie coming from me, that is cold hard FACT, sir. So I’m very excited to come back and do some ‘sightseeing’.

While we’re on the subject on Aussie women, I’ve heard that American’s find the Australian accent really sexy. How the fuck is that possible? This is the least sexy accent in the world!

I dunno man, it’s like when American women think that the British accent is incredibly sexy and I don’t get that. I don’t mind it but…

I actually love the British accent.

Yeah, you like it?

Yeah, it’s probably my favourite.

Haha. Well I dunno man, I do agree, I think the Australian female accent is quite intoxicating, especially if she’s attractive. I did a few interviews with Australian female interviewers and just listening to them was pleasurable. I couldn’t tell you why it’s sexy, it just is.

You released your last album Reincarnate a bit over a year ago at this point. RockSound said that they felt like you were trying too hard to sound like Marilyn Manson or Cradle Of Filth. Do you have a response to this statement?

It’s funny that they say that because it makes me question whether they were aware that the singer of Cradle Of Filth was on one of the songs. I wonder if they took the time to realise that, because I know that a lot of reviewers are just completely biased against certain bands and they don’t really look into it, they just trash on it if they already don’t like the band or whatever. We’ve had experiences like that before, I mean, I’ve heard internal stories that that’s how it works for some magazines.

I really have to wonder if they even realised that Dani Filth sings on one of the songs and if they DIDN’T know that, then that’s why they would have said that. But Providing that they DID know, it’s also funny to me because there’s only one song on the entire record that even sounds anything potentially influenced by Cradle Of Filth and that’s the one he sings on! So solve that fuckin’ mystery.

As far as Marilyn Manson goes, I’ve been getting that my entire career. These days it just makes me laugh. And yeah, it has something to do with the way I look, I’m not arguing that I have black hair and wear makeup and a couple of my vocal styles have a reminiscent of what he does, I mean, he’s obviously an influence to me personally and on the band, but there are definitely differences there. Also look at how many other musicians and vocalists out there in the world have done something similar, yet it’s just cos of the way I look, I instantly get pegged as trying to be him. But I don’t even let it bother me anymore, it used to piss me off really bad, but hey, there’s far worse people I could be compared to, it’s pretty rad to be compared to a music icon, so that’s fine with me.

I was gonna say, I’m a huge fan of Manson, so of all people you could be compared to, Manson is pretty rad.

Exactly, so I don’t feel too bad about it.

End of 2013, you had a pretty massive rant about bands turning a show into an inspirational speech or fans acting like a band has saved their life. Two years on, do you still have the same ‘fuck that shit’ mentality about this topic?

Not so much, I’ve chilled out a bit. I still get really, really aggravated by things that are sort of praised on social media. THAT particular point has chilled out. A lot of our fans, even if they want to say that stuff to us, are kind of like, afraid to cos they know that it’s not as welcomed by us as a normal ‘Hey, how are you? I liked your record, great show!’ We wanna be talked to like we’re just people and I know that they don’t see us that way, but I would much rather be talked to like that than trying to have some scripted fuckin’ thing that you come and tell me because you think that that’s what I wanna hear, because it really isn’t at all. When people do it now, I just let it go, because it’s so few and far between, but obviously still an aggravating issue for me.

Fair enough, man. I’m not in a huge band or anything but I imagine hearing every punter going ‘You saved me!’ would get pretty aggravating after a while.

Oh dude, it wasn’t even so much the words, it was like, you just had to see the way that these people were saying it to me in person, it was just so fucking fake and insincere. And then the ones on the internet, I couldn’t even tell you how many countless times I’ve looked at like, lets say a girl tweeted that at me and I’d go to her page and I’d see that she had literally copy and pasted this same thing she tweeted me into like, 50 other band members and it’s just like, all they want is the response from you so that they can screencap it and brag that you responded, it’s such bullshit, it’s not even fucking funny.

Well, last question, I’m gonna give you three bands, first band, you release a split with, second you do a world tour with, third one has to break up. August Burns Red, The Plot In You and in the spirit of today, The Ghost Inside.

Oh man… okay, well at this point, we pretty much already are doing a world tour with The Ghost Inside, Australia will solidify our world tour with them, as we’ve now toured with them in Europe, America, Canada and soon to be Australia. That’s a pretty wide section of the world so I’ll say The Ghost Inside for the tour.

I would do the split with ABR, for sure. Back when we were doing our first record, August Burns Red was a pretty big influence for us just because they were super technical, super heavy, they were really young, they were just kind of inspiring, so I’ll do a split with them.

As far as the break up goes…I don’t really know anything about The Plot In You. I think I’ve seen them play a few times, but I don’t know enough about them to dedicate any of the other two options to them, so I’ll have to go with them on the split up.

Interview: Chris Cerulli of MOTIONLESS IN WHITE
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