By Brian Turk
By Drew AIles
By Taylor Boylston
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By Emerald O'Brien
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"When you're in a store open to the general public, you don't want to be offensive to them unless they're assholes. I was playing Ted Nugent or Black Sabbath, or somebody from that piece of fabric. Billy kind of perked up and asked, 'Well, who's this?' I named them, and he asked, 'So who do you listen to? Who should I be listening to?' I just started rattling off a bunch of names, just stuff off the top of my head that I was listening to at the time. Even Cheap Trick, who obviously became a very big influence on Billy's direction in music with the Descendents."
As one of the most formidable and ferocious frontmen in music today, Morris continues to have influence. But to maintain this sort of presence is something you have to work at, he says. It takes dedication. "You have to understand that the music is very energetic, and it takes a certain level of athleticism. You don't just jump up there and do it. You have to kind of whip yourself in shape by rehearsing the songs, blasting them, going through the set four or five times. The fuel for me is the fact that I love what I'm doing.
"We talked about this earlier with not having to bow down to a boss or punch a clock," Morris continues. "There's a certain vibe that happens when you're playing — not only among the guys in the band, but the people that are there who are witnessing it. At some point, they almost become part of the performance. There's something really exhilarating and really great being able to yell and scream, 'I hate you! Fuck you! Get out of my face!' We're very fortunate that we're allowed to do that, because there's a lot of people that don't like that. There's a lot of people who are complacent and want to stay in their little cubicle. There's a lot of people out there who want to walk around with a box on their head.
"So that's what inspires me," he concludes. "There's an anger and an energy. I'm making enough to pay my bills, but I don't have enough spare cash to sit on a guy's couch and tell him all my problems. That's what keeps me going. The world is my couch."