Steve Tucker’s band Warfather are releasing their sophomore album The Grey Eminence. It was produced by his former Morbid Angel bandmate Erik Rutan (Hate Eternal). Tucker gives us the lowdown on the new Warfather album, his return to Morbid Angel and other subjects.
Chad Bowar: You’ve had a couple lineup changes since your debut album was released. How did guitarist Jake Koch and drummer Bryan Bever come to join the band?
Steve Tucker: Jake came along first. After doing some shows with the former guitarist, I decided that he needed to be replaced immediately. A close friend recommended Jake to me. It was actually pretty simple. I met Jake and realized that we were on the same page both musically and personally, and his playing ability is amazing. So it was literally the easiest change I have ever made in a band.
As well, Bryan was recommended by a close friend and after playing together one time I knew that he was a perfect fit for what I wanted to do. He has all of the extreme drumming abilities that are needed as well as an excellent groove, and for me this is very important.
How was the songwriting process for The Grey Eminence different than your debut?
Simply, the biggest difference was that Jake and Bryan contributed to the writing, Jake with full songs and Bryan with ideas regarding arrangements. For me it was a lot less heavy load to carry. I prefer a team effort over an individual perspective.
Give us a brief synopsis of the Grey Eminence concept.
Without going into detail, because I hope some people will do research for themselves, The Grey Eminence is an album about modern times and modern events. A grey Eminence is a hidden force that controls the outcome of a situation, the hidden agenda and the hidden faces that make this agenda.
How did you decide to work with your former bandmate Erik Rutan?
I would have loved to work with Erik on the first album as well, but there were too many variables that kept that from happening. I started talking to Erik a year before we recorded The Grey Eminence. I really only wanted Erik to do it the whole time. Erik is an amazing producer who makes a band sound as they should properly sound. As well, he’s one of the best friends I have ever made in my life, so it was a no brainer to have Erik do the album.
What’s his producing style?
Real. Erik produces very organic albums. Another aspect of his style is his personality. When you are working with Erik, one wants to do the best performance that they are capable of. In some odd way, you want to make Erik get excited about what you are recording. Like, if I can make Erik bang his head, I know this is a kick ass song.
How has the band’s sound changed from the first album to this one?
The biggest difference on the entire album is that all songs were written on 7-string guitar. This for me made a huge difference in the sound and feel of the band. It seems to me that people’s ears are now naturally tuned in to a lower frequency. Lower tunings have become so common. As well, the drummer Bryan, really captured all of the feel that I felt needed to be in the songs, the fine details are there now.
What has the early response to the album been like?
It has been absolutely brilliant so far.
There’s nothing currently on your tour calendar. Is there anything in the works?
Yes, there are definitely plans to tour with Warfather. There is a bit of a scheduling issue at the moment that is being worked out. Once this is worked out there will be announcements of tour dates.
What has been your most memorable Warfather live show so far?
At this point, the first show we did was probably the most memorable. However, I am sure that will be replaced in the near future with better memories.
What led to your return to Morbid Angel?
It started with a phone call, and some soul searching on my part. For reasons that I don’t want to get into, I felt that I needed to finish something that I started .
You recently signed with UDR Music. How far along on a new album are you?
Things are very progressed. I am not going to go into too much detail, but we are almost ready.
Would you be willing or able to do a Warfather/Morbid Angel tour if there were a band or two in between to give you a break?
I honestly do not know if I could do both in the same night. I put a lot of energy into my vocals. However, I would sure as fuck try it!
What are some of your non-musical interests and hobbies?
I am pretty obsessed with Manchester United and European football as a whole. I spend way too much time obsessing over it.
What’s currently in your heavy musical rotation?
New Morbid Angel songs. I am working on them constantly, so no time for much other music.
What’s your take on this year’s U.S. presidential election?
I think it is sponsored by Monsanto. (laughs)
Anything else you’d like to mention or promote?
I just want to say cheers to all the metalheads, and see you soon!
(interview published September 16, 2016)