It’s been said that there’s “an ass for every seat.” If that’s the case, then sit your ass right here with Motionless In White. It could be fun. The metal band is bringing music to the masses that’s melodically, technically and intriguingly sound. The group formed in 2005 in Scranton, Pennsylvania, while the founding members—Chris “Motionless” Cerulli, Angelo Parente, Frank Polumbo and Mike Costanza—were still in high school.
Motionless In White are unique and cliché all at once. Heavily fused with industrial metal, gothic, horror, post-hardcore and emo elements, the musical repertoire is, quite frankly, frightening. But the technical appeal of this band and creative merit is refreshing in an otherwise crowded world of heavy music.
It has to be said that, aesthetically, frontman Cerulli channels the likeness of Marilyn Manson. However, the band offers enough musical variation to differ largely by its level of metalcore style. Cerulli often echoes the ‘90s shock rocker vocally with well-done homages.
Cerulli is an interesting character; you may have seen him on TLC’s New York Ink, scoring a tattoo in memoriam of his grandfather. The segment chronicles an emotionally unmasked “Chris Motionless” humbled by the opportunity to travel and play music around the world. He’s enjoying the moment as part of a six-man crew of the band’s current lineup: guitarists Ricky “Horror” Olson and Ryan Sitkowski, keyboardist Josh Balz, bassist Devin “Ghost” Sola, and drummer Angelo Parente.
After the release of their 2005 self-titled and self-distributed demo, Motionless In White released two other EPs on different labels before signing to Fearless Records. They’ve since released two full-length albums: 2010’s Creatures and their brand new disc, Infamous, which was released November 13.
To the earlier point of preference, music of this ilk is typically relegated to a specific type of aficionado group, but there are layers of this band that ought to be peeled back and appreciated by all. On the band’s recent sophomore release, Infamous, each song is reflective of different musical styles and instrumental experiments.
The first single, “Devil’s Night” is an electronically infused metal mix that integrates keyboards, classical metal breaks, steady percussion and DJ scratches into an intriguing mash-up. Cerulli croons, “I know the only words that you have for me / Are give up and get out / You’d like to think that we’ve been beaten / But we’re here to stay / Forever and always.”
“The Diving Infection” is the track on which Cerulli’s inspired-by-Manson vocals come to fruition the most. The talking rap and rhyming, coupled with industrial riffs, offer a sentimental throwback to the great acts of the late ‘90s.
The Infamous Tour, which kicked off Nov. 8, will hit more than 30 cities across the U.S. The tour includes support from Chelsea Grin, Stick To Your Guns, Crown The Empire, and labelmates Upon This Dawning.
In the quick Q&A below, Cerulli talks about the group’s collective musical influence, “twisting” music styles to break the metal mold, and what’s next for the budding band.
Motionless In White recently kicked off The Infamous Tour, the band’s first North American Headlining tour. Can you share some of the highlights of the tour thus far and what the shows have been like as a group?
The entire tour has been pretty amazing so far. Just being able to finally headline is pretty awesome for us, so every day has been a highlight. All of the bands on the tour are great friends and there's a big sense of family. The fans have been shocking us with how many have been coming out and singing along, so I’d have to say that's my favorite part.
Your recently released record, Infamous, is the first album composed by the current lineup. Do you feel like you’ve found your groove as a unit? How has the recording process evolved since your humble, high school beginnings in 2005?
Well, what most people don't know is that all of our music is written by our guitar player, Ricky, and myself together. We write everything and have been since Creatures, so that record and this record have been the same.
The biggest help with Infamous is that we had our two producers, Tim Skold and Jason Suecof, provide their input as well. Our earlier EPs’ recording process is really funny to look back on now because of how different things were.
Motionless In White are a unique metalcore act in that you fuse together a plethora of different instruments and production elements into your songs. What inspires the band’s repertoire?
We really want to just take music and bend it and twist is as much as possible. I hate how bands always stick to the same style with only minor changes. I wanted to write all different kinds of stuff and put it on a record. I don't just love metal; I love a ton of genres of music. Why not go all out and show what you’re fully capable of?
In addition to Eighteen Visions—from whose song “Motionless In White” you took your moniker—who are your musical influences, both individually and as a band collectively? How does these artists’ work impact your composition and production process?
There are a lot of them. My personal influences are pretty wide, but I have my favorites. Collectively to name a few: Bleeding Through, Cradle Of Filth, Slipknot and Rammstein, but we pull influence a lot from films and film scores as well.
Now that you’re tackling North America and the charts, what’s next for Motionless In White?
We're going to go to Europe at the beginning of 2013 and then I'm not really sure from that point on. We're definitely going to do more videos and start writing for our next record, so we have ample time to prepare.
Motionless In White’s new album, Infamous, is available now through Fearless. See them at Irving Plaza on Dec. 15 and Philly’s Theatre Of Living Arts on Dec. 16. For more information, go to motionlessinwhite.net.