“I think the biggest thing for this one is we’re gonna have years and years of anticipation in that room from both the fans and the band,” expressed Motionless in White vocalist Chris ‘Motionless’ Cerulli on their upcoming debut headlining tour of Australia. “I think just right out of the gate that energy in the room is gonna be built up and pent up and I think the shows… I feel strongly that the shows are just gonna fucken go off! I know that the guys in the band have talked about what we’re gonna play. There’s a lot of songs now and when we think about it we haven’t really had a chance to play many of those over there so we’re frantically trying to get a set list written up and it’s all fun things to work out.”
Motionless in While have toured Australia before in 2015 when they supported Amity Affliction and A Day to Remember but with the headline show looming, Cerulli says the scope and magnitude of the shows will be more intense.
“A headline show is so different man. The energy, the vibe, the feel is all different. I don’t think we’re gonna have the space or the budget for crazy production so the shows are gonna have that more intimate vibe that I really love more than anything else.”
With the bands fourth studio album, Graveyard Shift, unleashed earlier this year, Curelli feels Motionless In White have finally reached the point where they can confidently take their music to the world with a firm legion of fans supporting them.
“Basically all of 2016 was spent working on that album,” he recounted. “We just wanted to get it out so bad. We sat on it for a couple of months – the album was done in December – but it took so long for it to come out. Obviously just finishing it was a big goal (laughs), but I think the other goal which we achieved was building up confidence so we could do these headlining shows across the world and see people wanting to come and watch our band. I think with this album that has certainly pushed us in that direction. Fans have been that cool about it and it’s all good stuff. It just continues to get better and better and I really can’t complain about shit man, it’s great.”
With the album finished and ready to go in December but not actually released until the following May, Cerulli admits there were periods of frustration knowing time was passing them by.
“Fuck man, it was torture,” he laughed. “We had to change the release date I think two or three times over the whole course because we were a little anxious and I think we felt the pressure from the fans to provide some sort of release date without really gauging what it was gonna take to complete this album. We kept giving fans a better, more precise idea of when it was gonna come out and then we’d push it back because we just weren’t satisfied with the album yet. Once it was finished we had already stated that May was gonna be the time frame so it was just… a lot of torture and a lot of waiting.
Thankfully we were able to put out a few tracks before the album came out and build up some anticipation. I think when we put our first track out in the summer of 2016 then the album didn’t come out until May 2017… it just felt like a lot of stop and start with momentum and I like to look at that as a lesson learned for the next album and just make it more when it’s done, it’s done and then it will come out instead of telling fans dates and they just get pushed back. It’s just a lesson learned and the waiting and the torture is just shit that you look on and reflect and do it better next time.”
When Motionless in White first formed in 2005 they were competing against a number of up and coming metalcore bands in a market that was becoming increasingly congested with each new release. Too many bands of that era were content to simply release music in the hope people would connect with it on a sonic level, but Cerulli says from the get go Motionless in White knew it was going to be the fans on which the band and their music lived or died.
“I think early on one of the things that we used to pride ourselves on that we still do today is we’ve always felt we were one of the bands that is very, very, very in contact and very present with our fans. We felt like that was who we are as people and we weren’t seeing a lot of bands really servicing their fans in a way they were expecting personally or by connecting with them through their artwork or other creative outlets. We always felt that was the thing that we were able to see that happen when we were not in a band and just a fan of other bands and that helped make us a dedicated fan of these bands. There were a few that did really heavy, awesome things with their fans but we wanted to do it all. Even though in the early stages that was possible it was a bit naive to think that all this time later as we continued to grow that we could maintain that close relationship. Sadly that has become a little distant, but at the same time, I feel like we’ve adapted to figuring out how we can maintain that relationship with the fans even though it’s not as constant and direct and that includes things like we have fans in our music videos all the time. We had our fans design the cover of our new album by submitting entries to be possibly selected for the cover and it’s things like that that gave us the confidence feeling like we’re gonna be a band that is for the fans, by the fans and I think that’s still true today just as much as it was then.”
Motionless in White have enjoyed a steady trajectory with their career, improving and growing more popular with each release and while Cerulli says this is exactly the way the band have intended their career to pan out, it wasn’t necessarily a strict plan from the outset.
“We’ve seen a lot of bands that have been really, really big come and go over the past eleven years,” he said. “We’ve seen bands blow up and be the biggest thing ever and then disappear the next year. We’ve seen a lot of them break up, and that’s not saying it’s because they have achieved instant success, I just feel like when that happens the margin for a long, drawn out career – any longevity – is a little more complicated. For us I can’t say that we’ve done anything or not done anything to make that happen, it’s just the way it has happened and I’m so happy that it is that way because I feel like our success has been savored a lot. It’s just paced it better in that we’ve never blown up; we’ve never hit any massive spike in our popularity. It’s always been a slow growth and a nice, slow, steady pace and I think we just appreciate everything a lot more. I think that is how to keep fans – and that closeness with them – more because it doesn’t feel like the band becomes impersonal and not this intimate type band anymore because we have never had that spike. It’s worked for us, it’s worked for the fans: it just feels good to have a steady climb over eleven years instead of having moments of highs and lows. There are highs and lows but not like I referenced earlier where a band just blows up and then disappears just as quick.”
While admitting to not having a direct plan or intent for worldwide domination, Curelli says the band do have a loose direction with where they want things to eventuate.
“It’s a three part system,” he assessed. “We wanna continue to make music that makes us happy and that we wanna play and if it evolves in the way that it does because that’s what we want then that’s the first and foremost thing we want to do. Secondly, I think that taking the fans opinions and thoughts into account and implementing those opinions when they are very vast is something that you need to do as a band because… you can write music all day that makes you happy but if your fans are really not liking it then you’re not really gonna have a long career. We always try to take into account what the fans are saying and what songs they like or what they like about certain songs; different things like that and really try to take that and use that as some motivation when creating new music and as some inspiration when creating new music so that’s a really big factor for us. The third is to really just do things that stand out and just kinda shake up the mold of how things are going. Not necessarily go against it just to go against it but take things that we’ve done that we really like and then try to create new things out of it and push that envelope musically and create things that aren’t commonly heard all together, all at once and that seems to be what we’ve done for our band the last couple of years and that’s what we’re most proud about.”