Sick Drummer Magazine

Sick Drummer Magazine Exclusive: Tim Yeung Talks About Playing With Morbid Angel
Wednesday, 05 May 2010 16:50

SDM: Everyone has heard by now that you are going to be doing the next record with Morbid Angel. The upcoming 2 Year Anniversary issue of Sick Drummer Magazine in July, will feature you on the cover and hold more information about Morbid and all your other projects. For now, here are some basic questions about the situation for your fans and Morbid fans alike.

How old were you when you first got into Morbid Angel and what did you like most about it?

Tim: I think I was about 11 or 12 when I first heard them, I was pretty young! I think it was right when "Blessed Are The Sick" came out in 1991, so ever since then. They were fast and brutal with great melodic qualities, so they quickly became one of my favorite bands and it's quite an honor to be working with them at this level and doing a new album.

SDM: So what impressed you most about them, obviously we need to talk about Pete here and wish him all the best at the same time.

Tim: Right on. Well the drumming was obviously like nothing I had ever heard until that point, with the intense speed and blast beats, it was very inspiring to me and is one of the main reasons I play the way I play to this day.

SDM: Do you know exactly what the situation with Pete is? Is it looking to be short term or something that will have an effect on him from here forward?

Tim: He is having issues with a couple discs in his back and had to have surgery. He had the surgery and I was told it was going to take him 8-12 months to fully recover and heal, to where he can play comfortably again. I mean he can play a little bit, but nothing extended or over 30 minutes or so. Man, I really do wish him a full recovery, you know! It sucks... but for now, I'm going to take over the duties and fill in for him, which again is a huge honor for me.

SDM: I know a lot of the Morbid fans are of course, die hard fans and there's nothing wrong with you coming in and doing your thing, but here's one that will surely be on people's minds. Was the album written and the injury stopped the progress, or are you writing with them? People are going to ask, why didn't they wait for him after so long since their last album.

Tim: I was actually wondering the same thing! I guess in their situation they have taken like 8 years off and they really need to get an album out. They were planning on doing the album around this time with Pete, but with him being injured and them needing to get the ball rolling on the new record, they decided to stay on track with the scheduling they had in place. It's unfortunate timing, but there's also the new label and touring to consider. They were trying to work with Pete on the new material, but he was in a lot of pain and it was just not a good idea. So with the intention of staying on track with the record and making sure Pete got better, they decided to move forward and get the album done however they could.

SDM: No pun intended, but it just sounds like a huge case of bad timing.

Tim: Exactly... It's like one of those 'shit happens' situations, unfortunately. As far as I know there are no hard feeling among the band members, but I've really kind of taken a back seat to the whole situation. It was great for me to get the phone call asking me to be a part of it, but I don't want to get too involved with their personal relationships as a band, but I do know they are all taking care of Pete and that was another concern of mine. As a Morbid fan and a fan of Pete, I needed to be sure they were not thinking of tossing him to the side, you know. Seeing how well they are treating him and his injury, it's an added assurance that I'll be treated well too.

SDM: Who called you, what did they say and how f@cking excited were you?

Tim: It was "Punchy" their tour manager/sound engineer that I started talking with, who I have know since the Hate Eternal days or around 1997. He called and said there were some issues and they might need someone, and that he & Eric Rutan had both referred me to the band. There was also the Ddrum connection with Pete, and I think my resume was good enough for them to be interested. It got to the point where David just called me and we talked for a while. We seemed to get along really well in a short time, so that was very cool too. I remember, I was out shopping and got the call, so it was very exciting... just awesome.

SDM: Where were you shopping when Morbid Angel called you?

Tim: [laughs] Believe it or not I had just left Burger King and was on my way to Target. Yea, i wasn't going anywhere cool, just out for toothpaste and shit.

SDM: You just got home from a month with the band in Florida. How much time was spent practicing, writing, hanging out? What was it like?

Tim: It's been really great! The first time I went out was last October, right before a Divine Heresy tour that was starting out in Tampa, Florida. So I flew out there and we hung out, got a vibe for it all, talked a lot, jammed and everything felt really good. I know their entire catalog of music, so we picked a few songs and just went at it. The talks were good, the jamming was good and it turns out we all have a lot in common, with music, cars and racing etc...

I just spent the month of March down there and we would sometimes end up hanging out and talking for an hour before we even played anything. So all in all it was a great experience and I'm glad everyone is so cool. It's tough sometimes working in an environment where not everyone gets along, so no need to worry about that in this situation.

SDM: Was Pete around for any of the jams or just to hang?

Tim: No, he was not around at all...

SDM: Were his drums in the jam room along with the kit you already had down in Florida?

Tim: Yea, Ddrum provided me with a Maple kit in Florida, which is one of the best sounding kits I have ever had, and it's beautiful! So I have that whole rig down there and Sabian sent me a whole set of cymbals, so I don't have to lug everything back and forth. I don't have any drum-cam or anything set, we're just going at it old-school, sitting in a room and hashing stuff out, you know. A lot of the stuff Trey has pre-written so that's cool too. He'll write stuff at home and bring it to the practice for all of us to listen to, and we just go for it. Pete's drums have all been moved out, so I didn't get the chance to see or play them.

SDM: After the recording is finished, is there any talk of you touring in support of it? If Pete is not better by then, would you go, or would your schedule be an issue?

Tim: Yes, I am going to be touring for this album.

SDM: Nice...

Tim: Yea, that's a go, so with Pete being out for the next year or so, they are going to need to tour. Everyone needs money to live and pay bills, so the touring is going to happen soon after the record is done.

SDM: You're coming to Rochester, right?

Tim: [laughs] I hope so! I haven't been able to play there in I can't remember how long! I'm guessing the touring will be extensive and keep me busy for about a year with them, as I need to get my ass out on the road too! It's been a while. Divine Heresy is going to try and do some stuff, but with Fear Factory and Dino's schedule, we're really limited to what we can take on.

SDM: Last question... and it's again for the fans. What can we expect to hear on this record? Will it be all "Pete" sounding tracks or will it be Morbid Angel with Tim Yeung on drums... what are we going to hear?

Tim: With Morbid Angel being somewhat notorious for putting out different sounding records, this record will again be unique. With Trey's writing and everything, there are actually some electronic songs, for those who don't know there will be a good handful of electronic tracks. They are still dark, still aggressive and there are some other songs with blast beats as well. There are songs they wrote with Pete that I really want to keep the vibe on too. Pete being one of my main metal drumming influences, it's going to have that vibe regardless. As far as me sounding just like Pete Sandoval though, that's obviously really hard to do.

I will try to keep similar fills that Pete would do, but adding to that my own flavor, which has been encouraged. I really want to end up with a happy medium, cause it's important for me too as a huge fan of the band. I mean everybody has their own sound and approach to drumming that creates their signature sound, so it won't sound just like Pete, but it's still very fast and aggressive, and it will kick lots of ass.


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+1 # 2010-06-18 20:26
Great to get some insight into what's happening with Morbid! What a gig! Big shoes to fill but Tim's up to it... Obviously he has a lot of respect for Pete, as we all should. I'm sure he will do Pete and the band justice. Hope Pete gets better soon.
Can't wait to hear the new record, been a long wait!
0 # 2010-11-02 17:10
Thats whats so great about the metal community. Everyone is so humble. It's refreshing.

I wish Tim the best of luck and Pete a quick recovery.
0 # 2010-12-07 02:45
Tim Yeung is a great choice. I can't wait to hear the vibes they share and see them on tour. Thanks for this interview and hail to Morbid Angel!
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