Motionless in White’s Chris Motionless Talks ‘Reincarnate’ Album, Lineup Changes + More
Motionless in White are hitting their stride with the new 'Reincarnate' album. Frontman Chris Motionless recently took some time to speak with 'Loudwire Nights' host Full Metal Jackie about the disc, finding the right lineup and who's on his dream collaborator list. Check out the chat below.
Chris, why is image and the way music is visually presented live onstage important to a band like yours?
I mean for us it is definitely just a way for us to kind of put a complete package together. You know the bands always seem to be the most entertained to me. I’ll cite a specific example last time we toured we on the Mayhem Fest with Rob Zombie and his image and his presentation overall blew me away more than anyone I’ve seen live before. I think it’s the bands that go to that length to really give the fans something to really look at while they’re playing are the ones that achieve this legendary status or even just achieve some sort of status of being known for putting on a great show. So for us you know we unfortunately have to deal with a waist down version of that but we still try very hard to put forth all that we can in whatever show or whatever room that we’re in playing for however many people so it is a very important thing for us.
Member changes can be hard, but how has Motionless in White's evolving through several lineups brought this band closer to your vision of what it should be?
I mean for us it’s weird because the lineup changes were never a negative thing for the band. They were all extremely positive moves for us for the band whether it was some members of the band that were previously playing an instrument or whatnot just weren’t into the band anymore and you could tell and just kind of dragging it down. There are just a lot of different reasons why certain members ended up leaving or being removed from the band so it’s all been positive for us.
As for every member that’s been replaced we’ve found somebody that’s ended up being the right fit for the band all along. So it’s definitely brought closer in the fact that like in the fact everybody is on the same page now, everyone you know when we started the band a lot of people had different visions. When we replaced a member of the band we replaced that member with somebody who had the same vision of us as we you know assessed out the people that we were trying out ahead of time.
So now it’s just a lot more cohesive of a unit where everybody agrees, everybody has the similar vision, and we all know how to work together, we all know how to live together, tour together, it’s just great. It’s a big family at this point where no one really disagrees on much and if they do, we’re able to talk about it which is something a lot of bands don’t seem to know how to do, is how to act like adults and be responsible with what you’re doing with your career and your life. So it’s really good for us, it’s been great.
In what ways did 'Reincarnate' turn out even better than before you expected?
I think I mean at this point I’ve been constantly saying that I’m still waiting for some sort of weird thing to go wrong with my brain refuses to accept that the record is out, that people are enjoying it, and that things are going well. Because in the past so many things have gone wrong with our previous releases that it’s really it’s hard for me to let go of that and realize like wow this record is really going great you know it’s our best release so far. I think it’s something I’ve got to get over. But when I look at it in the realistic standpoint, I think it turned out better. And the ways I think it turned out better to me is just that it’s now greater than I earlier anticipated it to.
I’m a perfectionist; I was very stressed, very frustrated with a lot of things going on in the way. Personally I did think that things were going great but at the same time it was a very personal struggle to make sure that you really achieve the things that you want to do. So when I heard the finished product I was actually kind of surprised in myself that I was able to get that out of myself this time lyrically and musically. That’s the key thing about what I listen to, what I really enjoy the most is that I can actually look at myself in the mirror and feel accomplished and feel happy with myself, with something that I’ve done. So I was not anticipating that and that was the number one thing that turned out greater than I had originally thought it was going to be.
Compared to the first two albums, what was different about the way you went about making 'Reincarnate' and will that affect the way you think about making music in the future?
The previous two albums, the first album that we did it wasn't really necessarily a bad experience along the way of writing or recording it. It was more so, the band's first record. We were young kids going in, inexperienced. I just treated it as a learning experience and looked at the mistakes that we made as pure learning experiences. The second record is where I really, really feel like our time was not a very positive experience at all. That just came from picking the wrong people to work with. Going about things in a wrong way. We still - not sure we had developed a clear image of exactly what we wanted to do. We were using that record as a transition record to go into what 'Reincarnate' would eventually become, which is the cohesive one defining sound of our band that we wanted it to be.
So, we took all that into account and when writing the new record, it was more so: OK - obviously first step is to pick somebody we already have a relationship with and we like working with and gets the band and understands our vision and go with that person instead of someone we didn't really want to be working with from the beginning. That was No. 1 overall greatest change to this record over the past two. It was amazing and we worked with producer Dan Corna, who knocked it out of the park. It sounds amazing. I've never worked with someone who cared more about what I wanted than what they wanted. It was great.
Then, even with the writing process. The biggest change we made this time is we gave ourselves more time. The last two records, the first record we did have a lot of time to write, but at the same time there was a lot of outside influences constraining us to really venture to where we wanted to go. Then the second time, we really didn't have much time at all. For the second record we were writing the majority of the songs in the studio, it was incredibly stressful.
This time we made sure we gave ourselves, I think we had three or four months of writing, than two months in the studio. That was incredibly beneficial. I like to credit our band and myself at learning from our mistakes and trying to make sure that we use that for the next time that we do something where we might make those same mistakes. Everything turned out good.
Chris, in the past you worked with some pretty impressive people. Clown from Slipknot, Tim Sköld from Marilyn Manson. Who else is on your collaboration wish list?
Man, [laughs]. Yeah, we've been very fortunate with being able to work with a lot of different people that we look up to. Whether it's producers, video directors or even guests singing on our songs. So, at this point [laughs] I don't know because it seems like I keep getting lucky and I keep finding the ability to include a lot of these people that I really look up to in all that stuff. We've worked with Dee Snider and his son Cody, a music video we've done. I honestly don't even know where you go after that. After working with Clown and Dee and having Danny Filth singing on a song, Maria Brink singing on a song. Any of those things, it kind of makes you look at what else could I even want? I think you'd have to step back.
My dream producer over anybody that I've ever wanted to work with is Devin Townsend. He's my favorite producer ever. His body of work is just unbelievable. He'd be the No. 1 person I'd want to go for. I've heard he's sort of taken a seat back from producing records, but hopefully someday he comes out of that and the timing is right and we get to work with him. That'd be amazing.
Thanks to Motionless in White's Chris Motionless for the interview. The band's 'Reincarnate' album is available at Amazon and iTunes. See where the group is playing here. Tune in to Loudwire Nights With Full Metal Jackie and Tony LaBrie’ Monday through Friday 7PM through midnight online or on the radio. To see which stations and websites air ‘Loudwire Nights,’ click here.
Watch Motionless in White's Reincarnate Video