MORPHINE KILLER - Belle Roka is a singer and plays keyboards. Eski, he too is a singer and also plays bass, guitar and drums. These two talents combined have created what I consider to be one dynamic Metal Band… Morphine Killer. If diversity is the key to success, Morphine Killer is on the fast track. From Extreme Metal to Rock, this Stanton, California Metal Band is making some serious Heavy Music, so good in fact they caught my Metal attention with ease. Add in the pluses of contagious enthusiasm for music, a deep respect for Classic Rock and the roots of Rock ‘N’ Roll, Belle and Eski have the discipline, skills and foresight to make Morphine Killer soar.
With their 2009 EP releases of Unapologetic and Nightmares, a brand new single Throw It All Away released in March of 2010 and a new album to be released towards the end of this year, Morphine Killer is steadily building a credible catalog of Heavy Music. I caught up to Eski and Belle recently, as they took the time out of their hectic schedule to chat to Metal Odyssey. Here is what they had to say:
Metal Odyssey: Where and how did Belle and Eski cross musical paths?
Belle: We met through mutual friends. It was right away, that we began talking about music, Eski said he could record me and I said great!
Eski: Both of our musical projects were coming to an end, so it just made sense and felt right that we should make music together.
Metal Odyssey Note: Eski’s two previous bands were Reckoning Day and Honor The Fallen. Belle’s previous music project was Xob.
Metal Odyssey: Your band name Morphine Killer just screams Metal, how did this name come about?
Eski: Originally, when there was no name for our band, I was looking at song titles, like Nightmare and In Silent Agony. Then we went with Morphine Killer. In Silent Agony was just too depressing!
Metal Odyssey: Is your new single “Throw It All Away”, which Rocks the hell out me by the way, a prelude to an upcoming album or EP?
Eski: We’re finishing up on a full length album now, with a release date towards the end of the year. There will be ten or eleven new songs on this album and Throw It All Away is included on it. We never considered putting any of the songs from our two EP’s on this upcoming album, it just would not sit right with us.
Metal Odyssey: Yeah, I’ve seen so many bands over the years do just that, put a previously released EP on a future album. It’s like paying for the songs twice if your a fan.
Eski: I agree.
Metal Odyssey: Does Eski and Bell agree to disagree?
Belle: We don’t always agree, most of the time it all gels together and in the name of music it’s totally worth it.
Eski: We have a song that is slower than anything that we have ever done, more of a ballad, that’s on our upcoming album. The slow ones, those are the songs you really have to work on.
Belle: To the benefit of the song, we work things out.
Metal Odyssey: Morphine Killer has fused together, rather seamlessly, two separate worlds of vocals. The dark and extreme can really coexist with soothing harmony, can’t it?
Belle: We have been exposed to an underground L.A. Metal scene that has beautiful sounds of screaming and harmony together.
Eski: Out in Europe, I like looking at what Epica and After Forever have done with vocals.
Belle: We really love bringing something different to music. We wouldn’t be pushing the boundaries of music if we both sounded the same.
Metal Odyssey: “Clutching Defeat” from the “Nightmares” EP seems to be the heaviest and angriest Morphine Killer song. Where did you draw the extreme inspirtation for this intensely great Metal song?
Eski: “Clutching Defeat” has an Old School, Thrash vibe, with a Metallica like riff. It’s a song I took on all myself. It’s a song about knowing you get defeated all the time and you are always being close to winning, then something takes it away.
Metal Odyssey: How supportive has Final Breath Records been to Morphine Killer?
Eski: That’s our company!
Metal Odyssey: Hey, great for you guys! That’s very cool.
Eski: We started this label to back our own stuff.
Belle: It’s being entrepreneurs and we really enjoy knowing we can do this.
Eski: To be taken seriously as musicians, we have to do this and have control of our music.
Metal Odyssey: A rising band like Morphine Killer can utilize a vast array of internet platforms to gain exposure. Does utilizing the internet for promotion take away some of the stress of needing to get your name and music out to the world?
Eski: Sometimes, only there are a lot of other people using the same platforms as us. Interviews and reviews do help of course!
Belle: There is always going to be equal stress, we still have to be going to places for promoting ourselves. The internet is a fantastic gateway of course, the best gateway right now is selling on itunes. It’s the way of the future and we use the technology to our most advantage. Eski is in charge of our marketing and promotion, he’s our publicist as well. Eski is the one behind our website and Myspace Music Page. The amount of exposure Morphine Killer has generated in just two years, is remarkable.
Metal Odyssey: No one can say the two of you are lazy, that’s for sure! I give both of you enormous credit for taking charge and making it happen.
Eski and Belle: Thanks!
Metal Odyssey: “She’s Slipping Away” just resonates with emotion in both Belle’s vocals and the lyrics. Is this song about a personal experience?
Belle: Yes it is. This is a song I wrote about my Mom. She passed away a couple of years ago from cancer. It was a terrible experience, to watch someone I love so much suffer and die this way.
Metal Odyssey: I’m very sorry to hear that Belle. I’m sorry for your loss.
Belle: I wanted to really put my emotions in song for others to hear it, so people could relate. Instead of sitting around at home and doing nothing about what I was feeling and going through, I wrote this song, both the music and lyrics. I do want people to take away whatever inspiration they want from this song, fans don’t have to relate it to my personal loss.
Metal Odyssey: Eski, you and Belle are without question, multi-talented musically, the “Nightmares” and “Unapologetic” EP’s prove this. With that said, would you ever consider adding musicians to Morphine Killer?
Eski: I would like to. It would be a different vibe, as opposed to playing instruments back to you vs. a live environment.
Metal Odyssey: Eski, what is your favorite instrument to play?
Eski: I’m trying to make the bass more fun. I’m more inclined to play the bass live.
Metal Odyssey: You have posted many of your music influences on the Morphine Killer Myspace Music Page. Which band or what musician is your most personal influence?
Eski: Metallica! I especially like “Master Of Puppets”, it’s just awesome! Avenged Sevenfold as well.
Belle: I like Classic Rock. Heart and more recently, Gwen Stefani. Vocally, it’s Ann Wilson and Gwen Stefani, I love those two women! I was raised on Classic Rock because of my parents. Classic Rock was imbedded in our minds, it was the music our parents played in the car and at home.
Eski: As a kid growing up, I knew about bands like Boston and Deep Purple before I knew of Metal!
Metal Odyssey: What band or bands are you aspiring to tour with down the Metal road?
Belle: Good question!
Eski: Metallica, someday!
Metal Odyssey: Hey, there’s nothing wrong with aiming high!
Belle: Avenged Sevenfold is what Eski always says as well. Nine Inch Nails would be great!
Eski: Deathklok, just because of the way their assembled. I really admire what Brendon Small has accomplished with Deathklok, just the way he built that band.
Metal Odyssey: Where will Morphine Killer be in ten years?
Eski: Hopefully on the radio!
Belle: Oh yeah!
Metal Odyssey: Well, something tells me you will be. Especially with the talent and attitude you both have.
* You can check out more Morphine Killer by clicking onto their official website and Myspace Music Page links below!
LONG LIVE MORPHINE KILLER!