INTERVIEW BY ANTHONY GAMBINO
Vinicius Sosa, better known as SosMula, met Junius Rogers, professionally known as ZillaKami, on his first day out of jail. The pair were put together thanks to Zillakami’s older half-brother Righteous P, the CEO of the music label Hikari-Ultra. Once they started creating songs together, the music scene was injected with a strong dose of raw violent venom that City Morgue’s wardogs (fans) happily devoured.
Sitting with New York’s demented duo clad in crust punk pants (“Missing Since Thursdays”), we talked music, mosh pits, and genital tattoos.
Coming off your sold out European tour and more recently, the Thrasher show in Austin, Texas, what would you say the biggest difference is between your European fans and your American fans?
ZillaKami: Well, we haven’t completed a solo headliner tour in the U.S. yet, so I can’t comment on America, but I can say the Europeans are absolutely crazy.
SosMula: The European tee up crazy. They are hardcore for real. Not to say what we saw of the U.S. isn’t crazy. Our show at St. Vitus in Brooklyn was wild.
Zilla: That was one of our best shows to date.
I was at the St. Vitus show and the crowd was absolutely off the wall. At one point, Zilla, you jumped into the fray as the song “In Heaven” by Lynch’s Eraserhead started to play. Sos, you managed to quell the pit up front. How do you control such a wild crowd with such ease?
Sos: Simple — We talk to them.
Zilla: As the artists, we take the role of group leaders. So it’s our responsibility to manipulate the energy. Luckily, we have a fucking crazy yet loyal fan base, so 99% of the time, they’re gonna follow our lead.
Was there ever a City Morgue show where you thought, “Oh shit, this is really getting out of control?”
Zilla: In Amsterdam, someone threw a bottle at us and I stopped the crowd and asked “Who threw the bottle?” A fan pointed to a kid and then he promptly punched him in the face.
Sos: They ran him out the joint fast.
Zilla: In Poland, we knew it was going to be hell. The venue oversold. Even after it was sold out, they kept letting people in. The barricade went down and some kid’s leg was caught in it and snap — his leg got broken. That was our first show of the European tour.
Sos: At one point, virtually the entire crowd was made up of a shirtless mass of sweaty bodies. It looked they had been possessed by some primal energy.
If you had to pick one song that represents the vibe of City Morgue, what would it be?
Zilla: “Shinners13.” It’s like our anthem. (Zilla sings) “One for the gang, two for the fame, three for the name, four to the grave.” We are doing what we want till we die like the phrase, “Death or glory.”
Sos: That’s a good question. I’m trying to separate my feelings between songs I like best and one that best fits our vibe. But my favorite songs would honestly be our Soundcloud shit… especially “Bukkake.” It’s a classic.
In past interviews, you have cited you’ve been influenced by the likes of DMX to Slipknot. Are there any artists you guys are compared to that you feel is not accurate
Sos: I can’t think of any examples of people comparing us, but every rapper goes through that dumb shit in the beginning. “Oh, you sound like him” or, “Oh, you dress like him.” We know that soon people will try to compare us, but our real fans know that’s it’s almost impossible to compare us to any other group out there.
Zilla: Ain’t nobody doing something like we are.
Sos: We are the trendsetters for this shit.
The name “City Morgue” fits the band’s aesthetic perfectly. However, were there any other names considered prior?
Zilla: There was a point where we really didn’t have a name.
Sos: We were just gonna use our own names, but we always knew we needed something.
Zilla: When it came down to it, we immediately chose City Morgue. We felt that fit us best.
Onto the tattoo questions. I gotta ask the obligatory, “What was your first tattoo?”
Sos: My hands. It says “Issac Boyz,” and it’s a reference to my block. It’s just one of those young, dumb, hood tats-type of shit.
Zilla: “Riot” across my stomach. P did it. Same day Sos got some new ink and I thought, ‘I might as well get a tattoo, too.’
Do you guys still feel passionate about those pieces?
Sos: It’s tough, because it documents a chapter in my life, but honestly, I wish I got something way better. But, you know, I feel you gotta go through the process of getting some mad, wack tattoos.
Zilla: I like mine, but I sometimes think I could have done something way better with this space.
That goes right into my next question. What tattoo would you say you regret the most?
Zilla: I don’t like the scythe on my face because it doesn’t even look like one. Everyone thinks it’s a question mark. There is a lot of fan art depicting it as a question mark. Good idea. Bad tattoo.
Sos: My galaxy sleeve. Fuck that shit. It doesn’t even look good compared to other ones. My plan is to black it out. However, I am not saying anymore just in case someone tries to steal my idea.
Going into face tattoos — were you apprehensive about getting your first one?
Zilla: Oh no, not at all. My first was the scythe.
Sos: Well, I realized once I got them, I ain’t getting a job, so I knew about the repercussions, but it didn’t bother me. I mean, I’d been getting tattooed forever and at the point I was pretty much inked everywhere but my face. Therefore, I knew I wanted to get one even before it was cool. But I just happened to get mine when it was trendy.
Zilla: No RAEGRETS.
Rumor has it, Zilla, that you have a tattoo in a pretty private place. Care to elaborate?
Zilla: Hahaha, I don’t really think it’s that’s crazy, but I’ve got spider webs by my crotch. Right on my penis, it says, “Toxin” down my shaft.
Righteous P: They had to find a special tool to tattoo that one.
Zilla: Yeah, it was tweezers.
What’s next for City Morgue?
Sos: Mad shit. Two eps, an album, and our solo tapes.
Zilla: Expect mad new music and tour dates we ain’t talking about yet, but soon. We just gotta get the dates locked in. Also P has nipples tattooed on his butt cheeks.