1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?
Colin Tarvin: We’re a death metal band, plain and simple
Chad Gailey: Mortuous is a four-piece Death Metal band from San Jose, California. We are influenced by Incantation, My Dying Bride, and Paradise Lost
2.Recently you have released your first full length, what are some of the things you feel you have done musically on this recording that you were not able to do on your previous demos?
CT: We spent a long time recording - every chance we could get here or there with Greg Wilkinson, which panned over the course of about 14 months. We decided to take the time and do everything we would like to do with this record, inside and out. Fulfilling ideas about exploring different instruments we wanted to incorporate, like violin and flute, artwork, etc., were important to us, and I think we wanted to feel resolute about every part of this record.
3.This is your first release in 6 years, can you tell us a little bit more about what was going on during that time frame?
CT: We've all been working with other various projects, near and far. Sometimes depending on how busy any one of us would be at any given moment, can make or break potential opportunities, but it’s all inclusive. A lot of us have played these songs for years, it didn't seem like it took so long to produce, but looking back it definitely did.
4.Your lyrics cover philosophical views on death and anti technology, can you tell us a little bit more about what these topics mean to you?
CT: Well one thing personally is that views are constantly changing, it’s good to be open to new patterns of thought. There’s a few things that I feel when you realize make you a better person, like even the fact of being open to what someone else might think, that in itself is pretty groundbreaking, but the core attitude doesn’t really ever change. The lyrics stem from a very cynical view of society, but with a gleaming hope, that’s more comparable to a cry for help out of a sense of hopelessness, that can be moments from everyday life. Lately (on the album) we’ve been collaborating on lyrics, and also have been basing a couple songs on horror stories by authors such as John Saul and David Morrell.
5.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Mortuous’?
CT: The name came from a close tie with another death metaler from New Jersey, Tim Ninerrell. Back when I first discovered Tim and his music, he had a band called Tenebrous. He was a really big fan of Funerealm, and we had a close bond over liking each other’s bands. He changed the name of Tenebrous to Deform, and I loved the old name so much, I wanted to use at least the suffix. Mortuous just kind of popped into mind and stuck since then.
6.Can you tell us a little bit more about the artwork that is presented on the album cover?
CT: Marald was able to take lyrics from throughout the album and put together a piece that represented the themes from that. We’re really happy with what he produced. We also wanted to go with him because Necrot’s Blood Offerings art turned out great and we wanted amazing artwork for this album.
7.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?
CT: We’ve had the pleasure of playing some pretty great shows around the area throughout the last decade with bands such as Incantation, Deceased, Insanity, Grave Ritual, Ascended Dead, Asphyx, Skeletal Remains, Fetid, Mortiferum. Exhumed, Scolex, Funeral Chant, Bone Sickness, Caffa, Necrot, Swamp Witch. This would be a pretty long list if we included every band we’ve ever had a great time playing with, because we usually always have a great time with whomever we play with. As far as stage presence goes, it’s still something we try and figure out as we go. We’re just your everyday dudes that don’t take ourselves too seriously, but serious enough to know when the song calls for it. Being cynical has it’s upsides, everything is pretty much a joke.
CG: My favorite shows that Mortuous has played were in 2017 when we played with Asphyx and in 2015 when we played with Incantation. Another sick one was very recently when we played with DeathgraVe for their record release show. Both our new albums had just come out and there was a great turnout for a show in San Jose.
8.What are the touring and show plans for the new album?
CT: We’re hitting the West Coast soon (August 2nd-11th), hopefully we’ll be doing the East Coast next spring and then from there we will see what we’re capable of.
9.You also have a few guests on the new album, can you tell us a little bit more about who they are and also their contributions to the recording?
CT: It’s subjective, but you could say there are more guests on this album than there are members in the band. Chris Reifert and Danny Coralles from Autopsy came through with vocals and guest guitar leads, Derrel Houdashelt, formerly of Exhumed, with another guitar lead, Matt Harvey from Exhumed with some lyrics, and Ria (Teresa Wallace) from Cartilage with a flute outro.
10.You also have a few labels working on releasing the new album, can you tell us a little bit more about this process?
CT: Multiple labels are giving us support on this album, the main label is our very own drummer, Chad, and his new label Carbonized. Then there's Scotty and Tankcrimes who put out Necrot’s debut. David from Undergang’s Extremely Rotten Productions based in Denmark. Finally, Jeff of Dawnbreed Records based in the Netherlands. Both labels are each putting out European pressings of “Through Wilderness”.
CG: The idea of having so many labels participate on one release was to have a good amount of distribution in the US and in Europe. Tankcrimes, Extremely Rotten, and Dawnbreed have all stood on their own and released great records over the years. People follow each label so it’s more likely that fans will purchase from the one they like the most. This also allows for people to save money on shipping.
11.On a worldwide level how has the reaction been to your music by fans of doom and death metal?
CT: The reaction has been great in it’s own niche because this is a type of music that would be considered underground. Seeing posts online of people all over the world enjoying the album. Every day i’ll see at least one person tag the band and show appreciation for the album. it’s been crazy.
12.What is going on with some of the other bands or musical projects these days that some of the band members are a part of?
CT: Chad’s got Necrot, which is his baby, same with Atrament. Then he’s been also jamming lately with Palace of Worms and Scolex for live performances. Clint plays in Cartilage from SF. Clint also plays in a band with me called Evulse
13.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
CT: We plan to write more songs after tour, keeping with the death metal tradition.
14.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
CT: Influences have always really ranged everywhere for this band, like a death metal blender. Grew up with Death, Obituary, Pestilence, then getting deeper with bands like Incantation, Rottrevore, Paradise Lost, becoming obsessed with Napalm Daeth, discovering My Dying Bride, diSEMBOWELMENT, more obsession. Viogression, Accidental Suicide, Demigod, Amorphis. We all each love so many different kinds of death metal, doom, grind, etc. There’s a mood associated with different bands. That’s the beauty of death metal, it’s a very vast genre in itself. Lately I’ve been jamming the album Final Man by Contaminated, Fetid’s Sentient Pile of Amorphous Rot, Mortiferum’s Atlar of Decay, Spectral Voice’s Eroded Corridors of Unbeing. This is another list that would honestly take a page to tackle completely.
CG: I was really influenced by punk bands when I was first learning how to play drums. I had always listened to metal but when I wanted to start playing that style my listening choices started to shift. Some big influences for me include Terrorizer, Discharge, Ramones, GBH, Adolescents, Cannibal Corpse, Bolt Thrower, and Napalm Death
15.What are some of your non musical interests?
CT: I’ve been really into basketball the last few years. I never even knew Oakland even had a basketball team, but took notice right before they started winning, the same time period my dad passed. Warriors won in 2015 only a month or two after I lost my dad, that had a pretty profound impact on me, but if felt weirdly unrelated. It’s just the minds coping mechanisms. The human mind is an interesting place.
16.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
CT: Yeah I’d just like to say we wanna be heard, rock n roll, crank it to eleven. Live free, die when you must. Never take life too seriously, but also enjoy the beauty to be in this world, on earth, a place where we can interact with like-minded individuals and revel in the disparity!
CG: Thank you for the interview! Catch us on tour this summer!