Q & A With Matt Markle of Angelic Desolation

Q & A With Matt Markle of Angelic Desolation

Tell me about the latest band news? Any new projects coming out, live shows, or announcements?
We’ll begin recording with Taylor Hahn of Hahn Audio on June 1st. We’ll be recording a 4 track EP titled “Quorum Of Unspeakable Curses”. Mastering will be handled by Ted Jensen from Sterling Sound, known for his work with Gojira, Death Angel, and Carnifex. As for live performances, Colorado will begin opening things soon so hopefully, we can return to some semblance of normalcy. As for touring, it seems like that’s going to be a while longer before it is a regular thing again. As I think most of us in music are in the same boat, we’re hopeful for 2021.

How long has the band been together?
Chris, Jay and I (Matt) have been friends since middle school and have been playing music in some form for over 10 years at this point. However, we didn’t really take things seriously until we found a solid drummer. Once Max joined we got him up to speed and put out our Evilgasm EP in 2014. 
Sonically, it was a dramatic enough shift that we changed the design of our logo and got rid of all our previous recordings, merch, etc. In the following five years we put out a full-length album and opened up regional dates for Summer Slaughter, Devastation On The Nation, and Bloodletting North America.

What was your main motivation for starting or being in a band?
For me personally, watching live footage of Hammett, Dimebag, and Hanneman was all I needed to spark something inside. Tastes got heavier and death metal/thrash riffs were what really got the creative juices flowing. Our vocalist Jay is a huge horror fan and has quite the love for GWAR. So, we combined stage antics that earn parental advisory stickers and riffs that we think sounds cool. We’re pretty simple in our motivations I guess. If it’s offensive and people headbang, then we’re good to go.  


What is your music background?
We’ve got a diverse background between the four of us. Jay came from a hip-hop background so naturally, he gets to write the lyrics. Our bassist Chris has a deep-seated love for anything ’80s. He actually won a bikini contest a few years back for front row tickets to see Motley Crue. Yes, you read that right, he beat out 30+ girls. Those pictures are floating around the internet somewhere. Max likely has Talking Heads and Tool pretty high in his Spotify algorithm and I can really get down on old Motown classics and even some funk. Needless to say, there are influences from everywhere with us.  


What image do you think your music conveys?
We’re known for stage antics featuring eating babies and live abortions. We’re also known for a bit of tongue in cheek horror in our lyrics. We try to have that grindcore aspect where you’re laughing when reading the lyrics and then we attempt to get our riffs stuck in your head for a few days. We just want to have a gory live experience, have people moshing on the floor, and the people in the back laughing. We’re just out there trying to have fun with our hobby and we’re happy it resonates with our fans. 


What are your immediate music career goals? (Next 1 to 3 years.)
The plan was to put out the new EP, play a handful of regional shows and then hit the road. Like I was saying, touring is a big unknown right now but that just means we’ll put more effort into other avenues. Other than that though, we’ll be looking around at some smaller independent tastemaker labels. Something like Redefining Darkness or Transcending Obscurity would be
right up our alley.


What are your long-term career goals?
Aspiring to live off of just live performances and album sales is a little far fetched in this industry. However, getting to play outside of our country would be a dream come true. Something along the lines of playing in foreign countries and supporting ourselves through a Patreon situation would be the ideal scenario.


Which do you prefer? Writing new songs and recording or playing for a live audience?
They both come with different emotions so that’s a hard one. On one hand, watching people kill each other in the pit and participating in our gory antics really never gets old. On the other, there is no feeling similar to pasting riff sections together and hearing those completed sections of music for the first time. At least for us, by the time we hit the studio, those songs can be a year or two old at that point. It’s always a good feeling to get those songs recorded so that we move on to newer things. Not that you don’t like your own music but I think every musician knows the feeling of a brand new song and how fun it is when it’s completed.


What are your songs about? (What specific themes do they cover?)
Oh man, we’re all over the place on this one. For the most part, the songs are based in horror to some degree. If it’s not horror specific then we’re going for extremely offensive. We’ve got songs about zombie hippos, sodomizing your kid brother, killing filthy cat ladies and down syndrome kids being eaten by a yeti. Mix those types of topics with a healthy dose of disdain for religion & children and you’ve got us pinned.


Do you have any outrageous tour stories from the road? If so, please fill us in.
Nothing too extreme so far. When we hit Arizona last year, Jay had some family come out to see us, and to say he drank all of the tequila would be an understatement. We left him passed out in Denny’s parking lot while we went inside for food. When we came back out he had opened all the doors to the van because it was too hot. So, he hung out in the parking lot, in the middle of Phoenix, at 2 am with the doors wide open to the van for about an hour. We dodged that bullet luckily but that’s about as crazy as it’s gotten for us. With everyone being in their 30’s we’ve grown out of feeling like shit every night for two weeks.


What’s the strangest request that you’ve ever received from one of your fans?
Seems like we’ve been asked to play naked or at least with our dicks out. Not that we’re opposed to that but to play naked in front of 50 dudes and 6 girls seems a little unfair for the guys. 


Were your parents supportive of your aspirations to play in a rock band?
Mine was not but I know that they’ve come around at this point. These days it’s not too crazy to see one of our family members at a show. Jay’s grandma actually used to come to most of our shows before she passed away. As cool as that is, we had to wonder for a bit if we were doing the right thing. If a grandma can come to hang at a death metal show, do we need to step it up haha? Like I said, these days they’re supportive even though they weren’t all in when we began.


What are your favorite tracks to play live?
I think as a metal band you want to see people killing each other on the floor. That’s always what we’re going for but another part of that energy has to come from us. So, any song where it’s not too technical and we can really get crazy on stage with windmills and jumping around are some of the funnest. Stand out live tracks would probably be Shake The Baby, Pile Of Rotting Infants, Bloody Buddy.


Which band or artist inspired you to perform? Why?
I can’t speak for everyone but for me, it was watching old Slayer and Metallica live videos. Watching people go crazy over double bass and super heavy riffage is what did it for me. The power of the riff is something we all thoroughly believe in so all we can do is try to accomplish that in our own way.


If you could design a dream tour for your band, who would be on the bill?
Decapitated, Blood Red Throne, Deicide, Cannibal Corpse, and then pull Muhammed out of retirement and get Necrophagist on the bill.


What do you consider your greatest accomplishment so far?
I’d have to say opening up the Denver Summer Slaughter date in 2016. That was an amazing year for Summer Slaughter with Cannibal Corpse, Nile, Revocation, Suffocation, Krisiun among a few other heavy hitters. We actually talked with Paul from Cannibal Corpse and requested he watch our set and how much it would mean. To see him on the side, nodding his head to our music and staying for the whole set made everything we’ve done and sacrificed worth it.


If you weren’t performing in a band what kind of career do you think you would have?
Personally I’d probably start my own business of some sort. Screw making someone else rich. Maybe open up my own gym.


What type of equipment do you use for live shows?
Max’s kit is a birch Yamaha with Meinl and Istanbul’s for cymbals. Roland triggers, Trick pedals, and Vater sticks. Both Chris and I are Schecter guys. I’ve got a few Jackson’s but prefer the fell of Schecter. Peavey, Bogner, and B-52 cabs for us on strings, and Jay is an SM58 kinda guy.  On strings, we’re pretty bare-bones about our setup. A boost and gate as about as fancy as we get.


What do you think of the current music scene?
For the genre of metal at least, it’s never been better. The more extreme genre’s are still pretty young in the whole scope of things so it seems like every year there’s some band trying something very original. I mean look at a band like Igorrr. Combining every genre besides bluegrass and wrapping it up in a comfy blanket of electronic, opera, and death metal is something I don’t think anyone could’ve predicted.


For anyone that doesn’t know you, what would they be surprised to know about you?
For anyone that’s familiar with our material, you know we’re rather disdainful of children. Though, in a nonband setting, we’re all really good with kids. We just write songs about how you really feel inside sometimes when they won’t shut up.  


If someone had never heard you before, how would you describe your sound?
We combine the intensity of death metal vocal and drum stylings, thrash influenced death metal riffs, and then throw in absurd lyrical content. When you’re reading along with the song we guarantee you’ll crack a smile a few times. Essentially, just trying to make every aspect of the band entertaining.  We’re a grindcore, death metal and thrash amalgamation. We were actually given a moniker by another band from the Denver area and we just ran with it: American Razorgrind.


Is there anything that you’d like to promote or say to your fans out there?
We can’t thank you all enough for listening to what we do. We thank you for being good sports when the blood and brains of an infant land in your mouth at our shows. We aren’t stopping anytime soon so be sure to your eyes open for our new EP this year!



Thanks again for taking the time to talk with us at XS Rock!

Angelic Desolation is:

Jay Medina – Vocals
Max Thunder – Drums
Chris Young – Bass
Matt Markle – Guitars