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Morte McAdaver (Blacksoul Seraphim)

Interview with Morte McAdaver from Blacksoul Seraphim
by CJ "Music God" Plain at 20 June 2013, 3:10 PM

CJ “Music God” had been tasked with conducting an interview with the nefarious Mr. Morte McAdaver, a task that is not as simple as one might expect. McAdaver is a man of many hats, so to speak. So, without further ado, here's Morte.

First, thank you for taking the time to do this. I know you're an extremely busy person between the three bands and other composing duties you currently have going on. So, tell us about the bands, the people involved, and what it takes to keep that all together?

I'd say luck is at the heart of it; meeting the right people and keeping them are the biggest challenges of maintaining a live band.  Life gets in the way, people have schedules, obligations, etc., and all too often folks have to drop out because of such things.  The fact that I compose almost everything is both a blessing and a curse; the material is there, but the crew often isn't.  I currently lack anything close to a live crew for Blacksoul Seraphim and Pandora's Toybox, and only Sorrowseed is playing actively.

Truth be told, I'm likely going to have to make an acoustic solo gig work for me, since I've practically exhausted my supply of willing participants.  My people in Sorrowseed are great folks, however, and I am happy to bring the apocalyptic metal alongside them on stage.

One of the things that impresses me most about you is the musical diversity that you encompass. Everything from the heaviest, darkest metal down to Morrisey and Twiztid. On Pandora Toybox's new CD, The Bleakshow, all of those elements come into play in a twisted, demented concept record. What is the story behind the album and what inspired the different characters?

Bleakshow is sort of the "magnum opus" of the Pandora's Toybox project.  Hell, there were songs I couldn't fit on there due to CD length constraints, but those will be coming.  The story of Bleakshow is a continuation of the established Pandora's Toybox theme park, now a sprawling den of debauchery, necromancy, drugs, freaks, and other shenanigans.  Throughout the narrative, a lone detective is investigating the atrocities of the Toybox, Morte McAdaver, and Morgue Anne, and his story comes to a head in the final track "Prying Demise."

The characters in Bleakshow and other albums of the Toybox are basically inspired by real people and events.  I observe behaviors, social trends, economic conditions, or just certain individuals that stand out to me, and then assign some grand, grotesque attributes to them in order to make things more interesting and/or amusing.  I could tell you specifics, but that would involve a wall of text for each individual song!

What are your impressions of the current heavy music scene and the glut of "-core" bands that are becoming ever more prevalent by the moment. Are they helping or hurting the business? What is your current LEAST favorite trend in music?

Tough to say for sure, but off the top of my head, any music that appeals to what a scrawny little pussy like myself would refer to as "meatheads."  I am put off by tough guy music that talks about "honor" and self-aggrandizement.  In other words, I dislike almost any "core" kind of metal.
As far as business goes, that's subjective.  If we're talking dollars and cents, I'm sure the "core" bands are good for business due to their popularity.  Even though I may not think highly of them, fans of that music still pay money and attend shows, which means success from a business standpoint.  It's not what I like to see, but it's what the people want.

It's time for the VS Game:

Twiztid or Hopsin?

I haven't heard enough Hopsin to know for sure (though what I have heard is awesome), so I'm going to go with Twiztid.

Mayhem or Cannibal Corpse? 

Neither.  I don't care for them.

Plastic Or Leather?

I'll take both, and a crate of rubber while we're at it.

Oingo Boingo Or The Smiths?

This is a damn close call, but I'm going to have to go with The Smiths, mainly due to how much more they "speak" to me (or whatever saccharine poetic statement about how emotionally touching they are).

Xbox or Playstation? 

Playstation by miles and miles.

You're a multi-instrumentalist. What instruments do you play and how long have you been playing them?

I'm currently 29.  I picked up the bass guitar at 14, the 6 string guitar at 16, keyboard/piano at 17, and the rest just sort of followed at random intervals (ukulele, dulcimer, banjo, etc.).  In short, if it has strings, I can probably play it.

If you had the unlimited means to put together a "Dream Tour" with any current bands or artists of your choosing, whom would you choose and how would you market it?

If my bands could be included, I would choose all three of them and have Opeth and Moonspell along for the ride. If, however, you're just talking about bands I like, I'd probably put Tom Waits, Nick Cave, Morrissey, and Danny Elfman (with Oingo Boingo of course) together.  I could die happily after seeing a show like that several times.

You're also a huge gamer. What are some of the best games you've played this year? Some of the worst? 

Best: "The Binding of Isaac," "Spec Ops: The Line," the entire Bioshock series up to Infinite, and "To the Moon." Worst: "The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion," and "Eternal Sonata."

So, what do you have in store for us this coming year musically? What other musical endeavors will we be graced with from the mind of Morte?

I've got a new Sorrowseed album slated to be released this year under the title "Nemesis Engine," which is the biggest project.  Other than that, I'm picking away at the Cosmetic Conspiracy studio side project, working on various paid commissions (which includes 3 video game soundtracks), getting the "Bleaksides" songs from the Toybox ready to release, and mapping out a Morte McAdaver solo album.  I also have new Blacksoul Seraphim stuff in the works, but that likely won't happen until next year.

Are there plans for any videos or possible LIVE content seeing the light of day at some point?

Maybe.  I am very particular about videos, due to their cost and the nightmare of scheduling people.  I have a Lollipox video in mind, but I just can't seem to get it going.  As for live stuff, I hate putting up live videos unless they are professionally recorded with a good sound in mind.  Most live stuff just sounds like absolute crap, and I tend to dislike watching them for that reason.  Unless I feel it's of the utmost quality that I could present (assuming I'm in control of uploading it), I don't want the public to see it.

So, give us your closing argument of why the world would be a better place with more MORTE. Also tell everyone where to find the proof

Well, I thank you for the sentiment!  I can't claim to make the world a better place, but I am confident in saying that I can add an intelligence, elan, and "grim" creativity that is sorely lacking in music today.  Even if I don't "make it," I hope to support other amazing bands (like This Way to the Egress, for example) and also inspire others to add something new and flavorful to the music scene.  I suppose the best way we can stand out amongst this oversaturated clusterfuck of an industry is to simply be the better choice, and that's what I strive to accomplish.

You can find my music across the internets, but you could also start at  I'm on Soundcloud with a comprehensive music portfolio that is still growing to this day.  Blacksoul Seraphim, Sorrowseed, and Pandora's Toybox can all be found by their respective names on Reverbnation, and you can also find them on CDbaby to buy them and support me directly, should you wish.

Once again, thank you for taking the time to answer my ridiculous questions. Please never give up on what you do. You're a island of hope in a musical world that has lost it's mind. 

Thank you for making this gothic rock maestro smile with fluffy feelings!  I love having my brain picked, so feel free to ask anything anytime.  I'll always be making in music in one capacity or another, so you can count on me not to give up that easily.


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