You voted and Chris from Motionless In White is in your Rock Sound 50! We spoke to him about being influential and how much the band's fans mean to him.
HOW DID YOU FIND THE EXPERIENCE OF HOLDING ‘CONNECT TO CREATE’ WORKSHOPS ON VANS WARPED TOUR?
“When I go up onstage I’ve got the music to block out my stress, but with this I was like ‘Oh man, this is scary but I need to do it’. It took me a while to get used to it, but I wanted to use this platform to do something important, and the fans made it easy on me.
"They were as much a part of it as I was. It was really special in that way. I originally wanted to focus on how to meet people and come together for a common goal, whether that’s a band or anything else. It ended up transforming into something a lot deeper, like how to be okay with yourself, to find peace with your own personality and character.
"That little gathering every day became a comfortable place where people felt they had control, they could be a real part of the discussion and feel valued. For many of them, that wasn’t something they’d experienced before.”
WAS IT NERVEWRACKING AT FIRST?
“Yeah, because I’d never pictured myself as a public speaker! But people would say things and I’d think, ‘Wow, I remember back in high school when I felt the exact same way.’ It gave me a different perspective on my life.
"Many of the things we discussed actually came from me bringing up an instance from my past that I felt other people could relate to. Now I feel cool about being me and embracing that, and hope I’ve helped others do the same. It’s something I’ve often struggled with, and I’m so proud of everyone for stepping up.”
HOW DID THAT IMPACT ON ‘GRAVEYARD SHIFT’?
“A lot of moments on the record were inspired by those talks, and two songs are directly about them. I’ve always tried to say what I’ve wanted to say, without being afraid to be who I am. But they definitely pushed me to another level with that, on this album.”
ARE YOU MORE COMFORTABLE BEING SEEN AS A ROLE MODEL NOW?
“It’s only ever bothered me that people start expecting more of you, seeing you as some kind of hero. There’s a song on the new album ‘Graveyard Shift’ called ‘Necessary Evil’ that’s about that concept. It’s my way of saying, ‘View me as whatever you want, but I’m living to my own standards.’
"I’m a decent fucking human being, and beyond that I’m going to do whatever the fuck I feel is right. I do this because going onstage and screaming it out is part of who I am, my release. At the same time, I’m incredibly grateful to our fans for allowing us to make our mark.”
HAS YOUR APPROACH TO MOTIONLESS IN WHITE EVOLVED OVER THE YEARS?
“It’s always been a matter of myself and the band just doing what we want to. We’ve fit into certain genres that have felt popular, and that’s fine if it’s what we want - we didn’t want to be the guys who shied away from something just because it was popular, that’s stupid and shooting yourself in the foot.
"But as our personalities and our tastes have evolved, we’re looking back more to the music that inspired us to play when we were younger. There’s more influence from older bands now, on our newer album.
"We’re not trying to reinvent music - we feel like everything’s already been done, so we’re trying to create something unique out of pieces of the things we love. Art is a way to bleed the bad stuff out of me. Over the past five years, the workload I put on myself was to distract myself from those feelings, to deal with different things in my life. The band has become an absolute means of release in every way shape and form, and I work myself so hard to deal with it.
"It’s really rewarding in that we’ve always been a cult band. Our fans are fantastic and make me really proud - sometimes they go a little crazy, but that’s just how it is! I love that we can look back and say we’ve had that already, I’m so grateful. Hopefully the things we do show our fans how much we appreciate them.”
This interview is adapted from the Rock Sound 50 issue of Rock Sound. You can pick up a copy below...