Excerpt: Motionless in White Discuss Their Sophomore Album, 'Infamous'

by Richard Bienstock, Photo by Justin Borucki
Posted Dec 18, 2012 at 11:25am

The following is an excerpt from the January 2013 issue of Guitar World, which is now available on newsstands and in our online store.

Given that there aren’t very many—or, perhaps, any—metal bands in recent memory to have emerged from the steely northeastern Pennsylvania city of Scranton, it’s not surprising that the six members of horrorcore act Motionless in White have experienced their fair share of sideways glances when they’re out and about in town. After all, the city’s two biggest claims to fame are Vice President Joe Biden, who was born there, and Dunder Mifflin, the Scranton-based fictional paper company at the center of The Office. And neither looks particularly out of the ordinary.

“We’ve all gotten the looks from people, and the name calling as someone drives by,” guitarist Ryan Sitkowski says. Adds co-guitarist Ricky Olson, “We get the stares.” He laughs. “But then again, we get that everywhere we go.”

Though Motionless in White might look more than a bit out of place in their hometown, they’d probably stick out just as much in New York City or L.A. Because while they’re hardly the first metallers to cloak themselves in black and embellish this uniform with copious tattoos, piercings and gobs of strategically applied makeup, they seem to take special pleasure in not only producing a spectacle but also making sure it’s a confrontational one.

Take, for example, the promotional video for “Immaculate Misconception,” the raging breakout track from their 2010 debut full-length album, Creatures. It begins with the band members, led by singer Chris “Motionless” Cerulli, weaving through a crowd of buttoned-up, enraged protestors holding signs emblazoned with slogans like “Repent or Die” and “Music from Hell.” Plenty of blood, brawling and lyrics about “stomp[ing] your f---ing face in” follows, and by the video’s end, Cerulli, wearing little more than a crown of thorns, has assumed the role of the ultimate outcast himself, Jesus Christ, as he takes his place upon the cross. It’s a bit over the top, to say the least (there is also a cameo from Twisted Sister’s Dee Snider, who, as Pontius Pilate, whips Christ/Cerulli into submission). But it’s also pretty memorable.

“I think that’s why our band sticks out,” Olson says. “We’re not afraid to do these types of things that other people might think are taboo.” It’s partly why Motionless in White chose to title their new, sophomore album Infamous. “People like to talk about us,” Olson continues. “And a lot of the time they’re talking s---. But I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing. Any word of mouth is good in our opinion.”

For the rest of this story, check out the brand-new January 2013 issue of Guitar World magazine. The issue also features a roundup of the 50 Greatest Led Zeppelin Songs, a full interview with Page, Plant and Jones, and a complete "Black Mountain Side" acoustic guitar lesson.