Exclusive Interview: MORBID FASCINATION

Morbid Fascination is a Technical Death Metal band out of Salem, Oregon and if you are a fan of Metal, Technical Metal, Jazz or Death Metal you have to give these guys a listen.

MORBID FASCINATION photo courtesy of Heather Kelly.

Lead Singer – Joe Benson
Guitarist and Back-Up Vocals – Matt Miller
Drums – Thomas Smith
Bass – Justice Robinett

MORBID FASCINATION have played with such groups as:

The Brutal Growls of Matt Miller twisted with the high screams of Joe Benson had last nights premier of the new front-man Joe Benson shaking the foundation of the building. Show was brought to you by the hard hitting Marion County Underground. Opening the show was Trojan Swamp Monster, Nihilist Nation and Cruciation. This was one of the most brutal lineups i have seen locally this year.

There are some mind blowing things you need to be known about this band. Besides them being brutal and crazy technical at the same time they are on fire causing a PIT OF HELL FURY at the premier showcasing their new lead singer Joe Benson last night in Salem Oregon.

Thomas Smith their drummer was the bass player only a few months ago. He is self taught and the blasts will have you saying “no way”….in amazement of his talent. When asked who his drumming influences are he responds “Dave Lombardo especially slayer era, his speed and pinpoint accuracy as for modern he names Shannon Lucas that guy is sick! Cant forget Paul Mazurkiewicz to name a few”. Thomas is taking practice way more serious as a drummer being the backbone and driving force is way different than playing the bass meaning drumming is so much more physical. He has also cut back on drinking because his dedication to the group, saying that any slow reaction could screw up what they do. I asked Thomas about being a lyricist if he believes lyrics should be able to say anything the writer feels passionately about and he answered “hes not big on telling someone what they can or cannot write or how to express themselves and everyone should realize words can have a huge impact. As long as spreading hate isnt the intention, anything goes”.

Justice plays 2 different bass guitars one is a fret-less bass which he tells me has a unique tone all to its self. Justice Robinett started playing when he was 16 years old. He is known in Oregon for his onstage confidence and his lovingly called “bass face” facial expressions. He is the youngest member of Morbid Fascination and I asked him if he had any advice to give the younger generation looking up to you and he answered “Have fun, create good learning habits for yourself on bass. Don’t pressure yourself for lessons if you can’t afford them. Don’t be discouraged when you feel like you cant progress when things get rough. These things will ultimately make you a better player in the end”.

Matt Miller has won awards for his musical genius. Akademia awards for best song in the metal/hardcore department for 2016 and 2017 for songs “trans-vaginal mesh rot” and “twist the knife”. Matt has been influenced by groups like Necrophagist, Death, Megadeth, Cannibal Corpse and Dying Fetus. His favorite guitar is no surprise a ESP NV which he shreds like a master. Matt was 14 when he knew music was his future when he listened to Technical Difficulty by RacerX. Matt is dead serious about his craft as he spends 15 to 20 hours a week practicing. I have no doubt he will get the tour he wants with this kind-of determination which will include Germany and Brazil. I asked him a serious question, In Oregon Antifa protested the mentors show because of lyrics and Phil Anselmo (formally of Pantera) was not allowed to play in a Oregon venue this last Thursday because of some past racist comments and actions. I asked what he thought of this. Matt answers “Do you protest freedom of speech? We must be responsible for the things we say however, art is subject to interpretation. As for Phil they booked him already knowing that he has said questionable things sounds like someone should have used better judgement before announcing he would not be performing”.

Joe Benson has been in the music industry since he was 16 in 1986 eventually playing clubs around Portland Oregon. His First band SPECTRE, then he was in Final Solution and then SPAWN started in 1993. Joe adds that hes having a blast with Morbid Fascination which he was already a fan of before he came on board. Joe adds back in the day there was not a lot of death metal bands so when there was a show it was a big event once even closing down a venue by the fire marshal because there where too many people, nowadays he says its just not the same there a lot of brutal bands out there. Joe’s influences are Death, Hypocrisy, Cannibal Corpse and his favorite Forbidden. Joe also adds a note to his band-members saying “hes enjoying making music with these guys and appreciate them letting him being a part of this killer music journey”.

These guys are in the Cityview Recording Studio owned and operated by Kevin McCarthy laying down what will be an extraordinary EP that will be released Spring 2019 that will also accompany a tour of the Pacific Northwest. Matt also added that Kevin McCarthy is extremely on point as the owner he is a highly skilled audio engineer with an even higher skilled EAR.

If you want a taste of this Spine Fracturing DARK ear candy for the soul check out one of their next shows…

December 1st at BOMBS AWAY CAFE in Corvallis Oregon playing with VINTERSEA and DEADTHRALL

December 7th at The Heavy Metal Brewing Company in Washington playing with ACROSS 300 SEAS and NIHILIST NATION. You wont regret it or forget it!

Here’s to you Morbid Fascination – May your dedication and mad skills take you around the world to be seen by music fans everywhere. Stay Brutal!

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