David Vincent and Joel McIver Talk ‘I Am Morbid’ Biography

When David Vincent does something, David Vincent really does something. And David Vincent has now written a book. The former Morbid Angel vocalist/bassist, now playing in Vltimas, I Am Morbid and doing solo outlaw country, is releasing I Am Morbid: Ten Lessons Learned from Extreme Metal, Outlaw Country, and the Power of Self-Determination, a look back on his life and the lessons he’s learned, with help from journalist Joel McIver.

“When we first started working on it, I read a number of different biographies, just to get a feel for what some people do,” says Vincent. “Some of the ones that I thought I’d really be interested in ending up just being loathsome. It’s virtually unreadable. So I wanted to keep it fun.”

Vincent says he wanted to get personal with the book but also wanted to share some lessons he’s learned in life, some cause-and-effect situations that readers could take something from. Vincent says that he and McIver have been friends for some time, and they had also talked about doing a book together for some time. Finally, everything clicked.

“He said, ‘That’s one thing, I know you’ve done loads of interviews over the years, but you’ve talked about the record or this kind of stuff, but you’ve really never talked about yourself.’ I said, ‘You know, you’re right.’ He goes, ‘You should think about that, man. I think it would be a really cool thing.’ We thought about it and thought about it… for years [laughs]… and finally we got together and said, ‘Alright, let’s do this.’ So I did a little bit of homework and, like I said, I read several things, I definitely knew what I didn’t want to do. I tried to make it as entertaining as possible but with some kind of a takeaway that it wasn’t just the entertainment part of it. It’s like something happens and here’s what I learned from it, and here’s a way that someone else may be able to apply that lesson in their life and maybe come to a good result.”

I first met David in 2008 when I interviewed him for a magazine,” says McIver. “We stayed in touch and, as he’d enjoyed my Metallica book, the idea of working together on his autobiography came up from time to time. Finally, after he parted ways with Morbid Angel in 2015 he suggested that now was the time to do it.”

To put the book together, McIver interviewed Vincent “for 40 hours or so at his house in Texas and with follow-up phone calls, and wrote the text based on those interviews. He made some edits, came up with the title, supplied the images and connected me with Dr. Matt Taylor for the foreword.”

Along the way, says McIver, he “drank a lot of tequila and had a lot of laughs” with Vincent, and the end result is a book that Morbid Angel fans will definitely find revealing. Case in point: when Vincent compares the relief of parting ways with the band with the ultimate relief of taking a big shit.

Well, you said it—it was just kind of a relief,” he says. “Sometimes things happen and it’s almost like a band playing on the deck of the Titanic as it’s going down. You try to maintain and you try to do your level best and you’re basically pouring water into a bucket that has holes in it. So, yes, it’s an abrupt way of expressing relief [laughs].”

The descriptions of the relationship between Vincent and Morbid Angel’s Trey Azagthoth, particularly around the time of the, shall we say, curious Illud Divinum Insanus album, was also particularly page-turning.

He likes a lot of different kinds of music, stuff that I don’t particularly like, and probably vice versa,” says Vincent when we talk about the section of the book where he details the writing sessions for said album. “So this notion of being on the same page really didn’t exist.”

Ultimately, the book is a very honest look at Vincent, and one of the surprising takeaways is how much positivity the man really has inside him.

“Well, I mean… [laughs]. I have a lot of negativity, but I have balance,” he says. “So even the things that annoy the shit out of me from day to day, I make sure that I supplement that with things that are just pure love.”

I Am Morbid comes out this month through Jawbone Press.