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A Dirty Dozen with MATT MARKLE from ANGELIC DESOLATION – May 2021


According to a recent press release: “Emerging from Denver, Colorado’s fruitful metal scene, ANGELIC DESOLATION is ready to take the world by storm…. Or slit throats in the name of Satan, whichever opportunity comes first. The band’s combination of grind, thrash, and death metal, paired with outrageous horror-themed stage antics, makes for a musical presentation that audiences won’t soon forget. Dubbing their sound “American Razorgrind,” Angelic Desolation released their debut EP Evilgasm in 2014. This was followed by the 2018 full-length Rumpus Time is Over, which carried the band to regional opening slots on Summer Slaughter, Bloodletting North America, and Devastation On The Nation as well as touring in the southwestern United States. Jay Medina spews guttural hatred over Matt Markle’s precise guitar riffage, with bassist Chris Young and drummer Max Thunder comprising a forceful rhythm section that drives each song to its inhuman conclusion.” We get guitarist Matt to discuss new music, influences, and more…

Photo credit: Lateralus Photography

1. Tell us a little about your latest release.  What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through?  Are there any hidden nuggets you put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

Our latest release Quorum Of Unspeakable Curses is just a quick four track EP to let everyone know what to look forward to when the full-length comes out. Between that release and the previous one, we have gone down to a four piece so our sound has changed a little bit. No hidden gems in the recording but it’s definitely a better representation of what we’re trying to go for. The songs are a little shorter but we feel the impact is better.

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

For me as a guitar player I actually didn’t have an interest in playing guitar when I was younger. My younger brother got a guitar for his birthday and my parents just got me a guitar too. Maybe they thought we were going start a band together, who knows. He ended up going with piano though and I stuck with the guitar. The first time I remember wanting to play in a band was when I purchased the Metallica Binge-and-Purge box set from their Black Album tour. Watching that live footage is what did it for me.

3. Building on that, is there a specific song, album, performer, or live show that guided your musical taste?

When I first started playing guitar I definitely stuck in the thrash realm for a long time. I made it a point to learn every single one of Slayer’s songs and though I never accomplished that feat, I learned all of the songs up to Seasons In The Abyss. Then one day I was CD shopping and I came across Cannibal Corpse’s Bloodthirst album. I bought it based simply on the artwork and once the disc went in the stereo I started down the path of death metal.

4. Who would be your main five musical influences?

Personally it would be Slayer, Joe Satriani, Cannibal Corpse, Aborted, and Cryptopsy.

5. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be, and why?

I would have to go with Chuck Shuldiner. His style of guitar playing forever shaped the entire genre so to collaborate with him on a song would be amazing. Plus, due to having to resurrect him I would then be privy to the arts of necromancy and that could probably be helpful at some point.

6. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before? What is the one comparison a reviewer or fan has made that made you cringe or you disagreed with?

We combine grind, death metal and thrash to create a sound that doesn’t necessarily fit strictly into any of those genres. We were actually given a moniker a while back that we have since decided to run with. We call our sound American Razorgrind. As far as comparisons that reviewers have made, it was a review where I remember them saying that we sounded like an amateur version of Archspire. That’s fine, people can hear and say what they want to so it doesn’t bother me. I just don’t agree because we definitely do not try to push the boundaries of speed or technicality in our music and that certainly is not what makes us tick as a band. We’re here for riff worship and blast beats. If our lyrics can make you laugh then that’s a plus too.

7. When your band is hanging out together, who cooks, who gets the drinks in, and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

Chris, the bassist, would be the one doing the cooking. The vocalist Jay, he would have six beers down before we finished two. Even though I play guitar, I’m not pulling out an acoustic and singing to anybody. Not only does no one have any interest in that, I’m trying to secure my place in hell so I’m definitely not singing to people in a soft-spoken voice.

8. When was the last time you were starstruck and who was it?

The last time I had a moment like that was a few years back at a Cannibal Corpse concert. It wasn’t so much being star-struck as it was being surprised. I ended up in a urinal next to George Fisher and he always seems like such a large human when he’s on stage. Turns out I’m actually a little bit taller than him so I think I actually laughed a little bit before I said anything to him. He was as cool as you can be while you’re peeing next to someone, I always just thought he was a much larger person.

9. What is the best part of being a musician? If you could no longer be a musician for whatever reason, what would be your dream job?

I mean one of the perks is occasionally you get some drink tickets for free beer I guess. On a more serious note though, I think musicians get more out of music because you understand it a little bit more than the average listener. If I wasn’t a musician I would likely study astrophysics or quantum mechanics as anything dealing with the fabric of our reality is super interesting to me.

10. What is one question you have always wanted an interviewer to ask – and what is the answer? Conversely, what question are you tired of answering?

If an interviewer would simply just ask me if I’m interested in a $100 gift card to Qdoba I would say yes before they finish their sentence. I think the question I’m the most tired of answering is when people ask about the history of the band. Let’s be real, nobody cares. Unless you’re a bigger band, nobody cares about when you wrote your first song or playing your first show in a talent show when you were 13 years old.

11. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over,” even if it didn’t change your current situation?

There’s no specific moment that comes to mind but rather not taking the band in a professional direction quickly enough. It’s very easy to let your band just become a hobby instead of something that might actually go somewhere. It took me a while to realize that but once I got my head on straight, things began to line up pretty well.

12. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

I would gladly sit in the recording session for Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells. One guy recorded that many instruments with that many layers, all on analog tape as well. That is beyond a monumental task and to see it happen before my eyes would likely be pretty damn cool. As far as what it means to me, I take hallucinogens regularly so that is one of my all-time favorite 11th dimension soundtracks.





Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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