Talking with Tom Morrissey of Killcode

New York City-based rock outfit Killcode recently unveiled their single/music video, “Let’s Get Back To Rock N’ Roll,” a track from the band’s latest album, Life, Death, Rock n’ Roll.

In the New York underground, these musicians are already viewed as tireless champions of rock at its most elemental and powerful. Killcode has shared the stage worldwide with bands such as Rammstein, KISS, Aerosmith, Five Finger Death Punch, Twisted Sister, Queensryche, Alter Bridge, and Airbourne as well as sold-out headlining shows at premiere NYC Venues such as Bowery Ballroom and the Gramercy Theater.

They have released two albums and a series of ferocious EPs to regional acclaim. In recent years, they’ve taken their distinctive amalgam of Southern rock, metal, roughneck barroom blues, and pure Downtown grit across the Atlantic and beyond, appearing at the Bang Your Head Festival in Germany, Rockfest Barcelona in Spain, Hell and Heaven Fest in Mexico, and Riverside Aarburg in Switzerland.

The video, directed by David Swajeski, depicts dramatic shots of the city, followed by visuals of Killcode performing in clubs and bars, regaling fans of pure rock with their ferocious sound.

CelebMix spoke with the frontman of Killcode, Tom Morrissey, to find out how Killcode keeps their sound consistent, and their writing process.

What inspired your new single/music video, “Let’s Get Back To Rock N Roll?”

Because of the topic and timing, people may feel it’s in direct reference to 2020 when the world kind of went crazy. It definitely has that spirit, but in actuality, it was written prior to everything changing. We all showed up at one of our rehearsal spots in Long Island. Prior to arriving, a storm blew through and the entire town lost power. The studio only had one generator, but instead of just going home, we rigged an extension cord to a few power strips and found a way to make rehearsal happen. Organically, we then started writing a song about breaking down obstacles and making things happen. This ended up being very fitting because of what the world was about to go through.

Who directed the video and where was it shot?

Our long-time partner and director David Swajeski directed this, as well as all of our videos to date. It was shot around New York City (including at one of our favorite local venues, Arlene’s Grocery) as well as at Elite Sound Studios on Long Island.

Who is in Killcode, and which instrument do they play?

The band is…

Tom Morrissey – vocals

Chas – vocals, guitar

DC Gonzalez – guitar

Bobby Flores – bass, vocals

Robnoxious – drums

How do you keep your sound consistent on stage?

It actually begins with keeping the writing and recording process simple – not over-producing or over-tracking. Then we use the same gear from the studio on-stage (amps, guitars, etc.) to keep the sound consistent and play the damn songs the way they were recorded! Rock ‘n roll 101.

How did you get started in music?

Collectively, we all kind of had the same calling and followed similar paths… all in different ways but coming from a place of disenchantment and dissatisfaction with the cookie-cutter norm way of going about things. We followed our dreams and hearts. For me personally, I started singing and performing in church and school plays. I’ve always been involved in some sort of show/entertainment/dance/song, but never equated it to a career or life path. But like my bandmates, circumstance, luck, and fate led me to the world of New York City rock ‘n roll.

If you had to describe your sound to the uninitiated, what would you say?

Southern-infused rock/metal with melodic, hard-edged vocals! It’s music that we hope inspires a need to let loose, have fun, and think about life.

What inspires your writing? Do you draw inspiration from poems, music, or other media?

We definitely draw inspiration from everything around us. That includes news, current events, history, our life experiences, and our perceptions of how this all ties together.

What can you share about your writing process?

There’s no real simple equation to our writing. Each song is written differently. It can start with a lyric idea, guitar riff, or drumbeat, but until we all get in a room together to contribute as a band, it doesn’t feel finished. It’s a very collaborative effort.

Which artists in your opinion are killing it right now?

Anyone who is living their dream, making the music that they love in their heart first, and can rock out to it in their own room. Below is some of what we’re all listening to now:

Tom Morrissey – Alter Bridge, Inhaler, and Blue October.

Chas – Waylon, Geezer, and Clutch.

DC Gonzalez -Blackberry Smoke, Whiskey Myers, Colter Wall, Tyler Childers.

Bobby Flores – Latest Judas Priest and Lamb of God albums, Twin Tribes and movie score/soundtracks by Clint Mansell and John Carpenter.

Robnoxious – Rammstein and Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes.

How do you define success?

What does success even mean these days? I know what I want, personally, which is people waiting for and wanting to hear our new music, being asked to perform here and abroad, our fan base growing, and being able to do this for as long as we’re able.

Looking back over the last few years, what have you learned?

To be very patient, mind our own business, and live each day like there is no tomorrow.

What can your fans look forward to over the next six months? Music videos? Live gigs?

Several more single releases from ‘Life, Death, Rock N’ Roll,’ several new videos, and touring. We’re currently booking shows but have a few confirmed 2023 dates across the east coast and Europe. Stay tuned to all our socials. And… don’t be surprised if we leak some more brand-new music. We already have several new songs recorded and in the can, and several more ready to bring into the studio!

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Written by Randy

Randy Radic is a Left Coast author and writer. Author of numerous true crime books written under the pen-name of John Lee Brook. Former music contributor at Huff Post.