The Blood Brothers
Silent Uproar: You're finishing up a month-long string of dates with Against Me! tonight. Have your respective crowds meshed well, since you both attract somewhat different types of fans?
Morgan: On this tour we were actually talking about how, while both bands are pretty different, it doesn't really matter because we're putting on great show. While you might have people that come for one band -- each band has their crowd -- at least they might stay after us and check out Against Me! So yeah, the crowds have been great so far…
SU: I figured this stopped happening a while back, but do you still get residual people in the crowd from recording Burn, Piano Island, Burn with Ross Robinson?
Morgan: Well, I don't think there has been that many Ross Robinson kids in the audience lately -- maybe on the Glassjaw tour. I don't really know what they look like (laughs)… I can only think of a few instances, so not really. Even though there is that association, we don't get that many of those fans at the shows.
SU: Do you think that all of the exposure last year and the fact you were run through the musical hype machine has had any effect on the mystery that kind of surrounds your band?
Morgan: I'm not really sure what you mean by "mystery"…
SU: Well, for instance, during the time when you guys were kind of emerging, you'd hear all sorts of stuff about things that happened at shows and the media kind of painted you with this weird brush. But, when I finally got around to seeing you guys here in North Carolina last year, I just saw a great band with a tight rhythm section and viscous vocals.
Morgan: Well, that's an interesting thing to look at… I can't really say. I mean there are plenty of people at the shows and they know who we are and what we play. And people have taken plenty of pictures of us. So most people know what we look like…
SU: Well, I guess I was just wondering if taking the sort of mythical aura from The Blood Brothers has been a good or a bad thing. I mean, no clichéd, rock n' roll stories, but people might not be as interested in seeking you guys out when they know you're really not all that strange…
Morgan: I'm not sure. I mean, I think having that kind of mystery around your band helps move some things along, but I can't say I've really thought about it that way before.
SU: On Crimes, you incorporated lots of different instrumentation. What spurred your interest in moving further away from hardcore and towards odd percussion devices, laptops, pianos, accordions and the like?
Morgan: Well, they're not really odd instruments. Basically, we just like music and we like instruments. So, we wanted to incorporate our new interests on this album. Also, Johnny [Whitney] wanted to start playing an instrument with the band. In reality, taking regular instruments and placing them in hardcore music makes it odd, but they're really just normal instruments.
SU: Where do you think your sound is heading next -- staying with Crimes or back towards Burn, Piano Island, Burn?
Morgan: I think a little of both… I mean, I listen to Burn and don't want to make another album like that. I we were able to incorporate stronger themes on Crimes, but I don't want to do that again either. While that level of maturity allows me to express myself more clearly about relationships or life… just because I'm 26 doesn't mean I can't jump around, too.
SU: Well a lot of the songs on Crimes seem well suited for a live show, more so than on the album…
Morgan: Yeah, we specifically wrote some songs on the album so that they would be fun to play live. So, the material kind of lends itself to playing it live…
SU: With all the added instrumentation, have you guys been able to pull the songs off live?
Morgan: Yeah. Johnny has his Wurlitzer and MIDI keyboard for organ sounds. I have my bass, guitar, and keyboard. Cody has his guitar. So we manage to make the sounds work.
However, in the future I don't know about how we'll make it work… I have ideas of bringing in an upright bass. I can't really take that on tour and I don't really know how to make it fit.
SU: I recently heard a demo or b-side that was an acoustic-only song in which all the band members sing. It seemed to be part of "Celebrator." Do you think you'll explore similar territory or maybe release the song in the future?
Morgan: I think we might [explore similar territory]. Acoustic instruments are something I'd like to make more use of, just because of their sound and the fact that you can't hide behind them. As far us releasing that song, I don't know. I think some people hear things outside the band and think they might be great, but we might think it doesn't live up to our standards. So, as far as that being released specifically, I don't think so…
SU: Well, just to finish up… I know you guys are pretty dissatisfied with the America political system, but did you get chance to vote early or send in an absentee ballot?
Morgan: Yeah, I'm really dissatisfied with the dominant two-party system in this country. The other guys in the band had to get people to fill out their absentee ballots. Johnny and I had ours and mailed to us on tour… We all voted.