For fans of Slipknot, Lamb Of God & Machine Head
Based in Bristol (UK), Groove/Nu Metal band Malicious Inc. are loud as hell - in all the right ways!
Having recently released their energetic and well written debut EP ‘Red Flag’, through Sliptrick Records, we caught up with lead guitarist Morgan Weeds for todays Inbox Interview...
Malicious Inc. consists of Kyle Mortiss (vocals), Morgan Weeds (lead guitar), Kyle ‘K-Z’ Zehtabi (rhythm guitar), Matthew Hulin (bass) & Luke Hill (drums/percussion).
So why the name Malicious Inc.?
The name ‘Malicious Inc.’ came about because vocalist Kyle Mortiss used to front a band called ‘Malicious Intent’. The idea behind this band was to bring back the elements that legacy fans were calling for as Kyle would often get asked ‘when are Malicious Intent returning?’ while bringing new elements and a new ‘improved’ and ‘polished’ sound and approach.
Being in a band is as much, if not more, a business than it is to ‘have fun’. Don’t get me wrong, we do have fun and that is important, but we want a career out of this and for that you need that business attitude.
In just one sentence, explain your sound...
An onslaught of brutal honesty.
How did the band form?
The band was formed when I (Morgan) approached Kyle (Mortiss) off the back of hearing a track he performed vocals on under the name ‘Of The Wolf’. I got a very Randy Blythe (Lamb Of God) vibe from it and was looking to start a more Metal project along side the other things I had going on at the time.
We’d been friends for some time and he knew of my musical background through other projects I was involved in at the time so we talked, set it up, put adverts out for drummers. We auditioned 2 drummers, Sam Youd, and Luke Hill. It was a close call but we chose Luke because he just fit better musically.
Following this, Kyle brought in old bandmate Christian Elvins for rhythm guitar and long time friend Chris Watkins for bass and the band was formed.
After recording our standalone single and the 5 tracks for the debut EP, we had to let go of both Christian and Chris due to commitment issues in which Luke Hill suggested bringing in Kyle Zehtabi for rhythm guitar and Matthew Hulin in for bass to replace them. They came in, jammed a few sessions and that was that, they were in the band.
What have been your best moments as a band so far?
One of the best would have to be the recording process. Everything about it just worked and really realised the concept we had envisioned for the material we had at the time. We got to work with Jeff Rose (Bullet For My Valentine, Trivium, Skindred, Glamour Of The Kill, etc) who I had worked with before with my former Alternative Rock band Wreckage of Society.
The energy in the room and the vibes we were getting really added to the emotional atmosphere of what we created and everything just came out bang on.
Also we have only played 2 live shows since forming. We hit the ground running with a plan to get the material sorted, record it and then approach labels. Due to wanting to time the shows with releases of things we held back on shows until agreed release dates with the label but the shows we have played have been amazing. Having the amount of people show up to them as they did and to be singing the songs back at us on the stage is just an amazing feeling.
What can we expect from a Malicious Inc. live show?
An MI show can be pretty brutal. The performances are relentless and high energy, while maintaining focused msucianship. The emotion is poured by the bucketload into our songs and Kyle (Mortiss) has a way of interacting with and working the crowd to ensure participation, a good rapport and plenty of encouragement to go crazy.
There are moments of pure aggression as some of the songs are relentless musically and lyrically cover dark topics such as betrayal, self worth and rape. There can also be mellow and emotive moments, like when we close the set with ‘Wintered Trees’ as that song touches on the topic of suicide.
I guess the easiest way to describe our show is a real emotional rollercoaster. Ups and downs, with potential for whiplash.
If you could support any band/artist, who would it be and why?
If we all had to collectively agree on one it would be a tough call between Slipknot and KoRn. They’re 2 of the founders of Nu Metal and theres a lot of groove, certainly in their earlier music that a lot of us draw influence from.
People say Kyle Mortiss sounds like Corey Taylor from Slipknot, KoRn are Luke's favourite band and as a songwriter I drew a lot of influence from those 2 bands when writing the EP.
The music industry can be incredibly difficult, especially for upcoming music artists - there is a lot of hard work, sacrifice and dedication needed to make it. What has your experience as an upcoming band been like so far, and how do you manage to balance ‘doing band/musician things’ with also running the business side?
Everyone in the band has been in other bands of varying levels before. Between us all we have knowledge and experience in managing certain aspects.
I myself ‘manage’ the band from within, so I deal with the labels, press, booking agents, etc. Kyle Z and Luke handle looking after our merch, sending out the orders, keeping stock etc. Kyle M is the video guy. Matt does his bits on Instagram and online finding contacts and things.
We’re all quite lucky that we have flexible day jobs to a degree, so we can be pretty on top of things very quickly while still being able to live and to fund the band as much as we need to at this point.
Who are 3 other bands/music artists that we should all go and check out?
What’s next for Malicious Inc.?
Malicious Inc are currently working towards recording our debut album to release early next year. We were hoping ti enter the studio at the start of April however with the current Covid-19 Pandemic that seems to be off the cards so it’s all a bit up in the air for that right now.
As of right now, we’re just plugging away doing our own PR and marketing online to try and get as much exposure during this time.
And so concludes our chat with Malicious Inc. A massive thank you to Morgan & the guys for their time - we absolutely cannot wait to see what the future holds for this exciting upcoming band!