I prepped my notes, and was ready to go, I was expecting a call from Zurich around noon my time and at about 10 a.m. the power goes out...damn! It comes back on, then goes back out again! Oh no! What the hell!?! Now, I have power backup to my computer, but the damn thing is a dinosaur, in tech terms, and I thought to myself: if the power goes out during the interview, I got maybe ten minutes to wrap stuff up...you just don't pull this crap when interviewing someone like Marky .
About forty minutes before the interview, there's juice again, but now, the telephone line is out! Thankfully I still got internet; fine this thing's gonna go fubar for sure...the call comes in and the connection is terrible, the video recording software crashes, I quickly close and re-launch, it goes again...god fuggin damnit!! I finally get through on audio only and my knuckles go white with fear as I wait with visions of my kit melting while the rock god on the other end screams "What is this shit !? I thought I was dealing with professionals here !?" going through my head...
...and I am greeted by a voice I almost didn't expect with a super laid back tone and jovial attitude. Before I knew it, I found myself speaking to him as if he was some long lost friend rather than the drummer to one of the most influential heavy metal bands in history. A band that went to the edge creatively, and knew when it was time to step back from the cliff...unlike others who should have kept their name intact while exploring new avenues of musical expression. That band was and still is Coroner; not in name only, but musically as well...when you go to a Coroner show, you are seeing Coroner and hearing the songs which make them a vital part of any thrasher's music collection.
Ron Broder (aka Ron Royce), Tommy Vetterli (aka Tommy T. Baron) and Marky Edelmann (aka Marquis Marky) are back!
ThrashHead: You are considered to be one of the finest drummers to come out of the thrash metal era, how did you get started drumming and who influenced you the most?
Marky: Ok well, first of all I have to say that I don't think that I am one of the finest drummers at all (laughs), especially now I can experience this once more when we are on tour or the few shows we are playing and we have supporting bands with young guys, and I can tell you one thing; every single one of them can play ten times better than I ever could.
So, my problem was that I never had a drum education, so everything I am doing I learned myself without a teacher and now, I totally regret that I never went to any lessons or anything because I have completely no technique, I can't even do a proper drum roll or anything like that. So, I somehow survived with Coroner, trying to play along the other two guys, so that's the facts. (Laughs)
ThrashHead: That's really a surprising answer, because to us, every time we hear a Coroner album we're absolutely flabbergasted by really how technically advanced all you were, you guys were ahead of your time.
Marky: Thank you very much.
ThrashHead: Compared to a lot of the bay area thrash bands that were comin' out early like Exodus, Metallica of course, Death Angel...
ThrashHead: You guys were already putting out music that was far more advanced on your albums from the get go, like songs Nosferatu and Totentanz. That in itself, really showed your ability as musicians whereas there wasn't really anything comparable to it in American thrash metal until much later for the more recognized thrash metal bands. (note: the intro to Totentanz is a cover of Bourrée by French composer Robert de Visée)
Marky: Thank you for the compliments.
ThrashHead: Who influenced you as a drummer?
Marky: I probably got influenced...I always like John Bonham a lot, I think it was Physical Graffiti, when it came out, a girl from the neighborhood gave it to me as a present..I think for my birthday. I was quite young , I don't really remember what year it was and it was the first time I ever heard music like this and I immediately really liked this kind of drumming. But, I had no idea who Led Zeppelin was and I was like "OK" . So, I was listening to it a lot. It was actually the first record I ever got, so I think it stuck in my mind somehow and I always loved John Bonham a lot.
And another drummer that came later, I really like is Stewart Copeland from the Police, he's an outstanding drummer . And now, I really think one of the coolest drummers ever was Buddy Rich, I really like to watch him play on what videos I can get or Youtube.
ThrashHead: You're Essentially self taught and got into drumming just for the pure love of music then. You were born and raised in Switzerland, what was the metal scene like in the 80's around... Zurich, is it?
Marky: Exactly, Yeah...Absolutely, at this time there were things called heavy discos, I don't know if you have this kind of things in the United States as well. It was called heavy discos because people were actually meeting somewhere, like in a community house or something like that, so all the metalheads would go there and someone would be playing extremely loud metal music and people were just playing air guitar kinda like...as others go to a disco to dance, there were like handbangers banging their head to the music. That was basically how everything started here, that was where the scene met.
And there was a record store called Music Land in Zurich where every Saturday pretty much everybody who was listening to metal at that time was meeting. It was actually new, maybe not the traditional metal fans, but like a new breed, you know, guys listening to Venom and like, thrash metal, early Metallica..things like that.
One of the guys I met there was Tom G Warrior who was already doing Hellhammer at that time, so we became pretty good friends.
You know, they had like a group of people and I was with another group of people I was with. The guys... you know, there was a Coroner lineup before the lineup with Tommy and Ron, Coroner used to be a five piece, back in.. I think we started in '82 or something and we played just three shows and recorded a few songs, I don't even remember what music we were doing exactly. I think it sounded something like Twisted Sister or early Motley Crue.. something like that.
I had to go do military service in '84 so the band split up at that time and when I finished with the military after a half a year, I was looking for new members and I met Tommy and Ron. Then, there was also quite a big group of metal fans at that time, and of course we were going to all the shows of the bands who came to Zurich, which at the time weren't that many, I think Exodus played quite early in Zurich or Metallica as a supporting act of Venom at that time.
ThrashHead: So there was a pretty vibrant scene? When people speak of Switzerland and heavy metal, there are only two bands that come to mind, at least on this side of the Atlantic, and those are Coroner and Celtic Frost; we were also listening to Celtic Frost when the first European Imports came out and it was some of the heaviest stuff around, almost making Motorhead look tame. It was really powerful stuff.
ThrashHead: When you came back from military service and you hooked up with Tommy and Ron, you did a demo and Tom G. Warrior did the vocals on that?
Marky: Exactly, yes.
ThrashHead: How did that work out? I mean, were you expecting this to be the Coroner lineup, you three with Tom G Warrior or was he helping you out since he already had albums out?
Marky: Exactly, yes, yes. He was basically helping us out, of course we knew he wasn't going to be our singer in the future and the problem was we were looking for a singer, as well as a second guitar player, and it turned out it was really hard to find the right person. So , we already had a few songs ready so Tom was like "Yeah, if you guys like, I can help you out with the lyrics." and then later he went as far as doing the vocals. Which was fantastic for us because it gave us a quite a good kick, it was good promotion for Coroner. As well as the fact that Tommy and Me later went on that U.S. tour in '86 with Celtic Frost, Voivod and Running Wild where we could spread this demo tape all over the United States; every interview Tom was doing or Martin I would immediately give these people one of our demo tapes. So it was fantastic opportunity for us to become known in the United States.
Yeah Tom help us out in the beginning, he was wearing Coroner t-shirts during live shows and stuff like that, we are still really thankful, he helped out a lot in the first years and days.
ThrashHead: You guys were picked up by a label a little while later and went into the studio for the R.I.P. album..
ThrashHead: At the time we over on this side of the Atlantic , were listening to albums like Exodus' "Bonded By Blood" and when we got a hold of "R.I.P." we were blown away. How does it feel to know that that album is still considered to be one of the finest thrash metal albums in history? Matter of fact, I don't think there is any Coroner album, if you compare it to Metallica for example, where some elitists will definitely criticize Metallica in their later years, but when it comes to Coroner, pretty much all the albums are classics, how does it feel to be regarded in that light?
Marky: Well, it's first of all, it's a big honor, it's like "wow, thank you so much for this compliment" , it leaves me speechless, i don't know what I can say. We were just, you know, doing what we like, we were playing the music that we wanted to listen to ourselves basically. It's great, it's fantastic people still remember us after such a long time, that's a big wonder to me right now, with this reunion it's unbelievable.
We feel very honored to be not forgotten and people like our music so much.
ThrashHead: It's timeless music. Most headbangers essentially realize, from the mid 90's up until fairly recently, heavy metal has become a little too corporate, there's been that missing edge of the underground which was around in the 80's and I think a lot of people realize "hey, you know what? these band back in the early 80's are still as heavy as anything now and these albums still kick ass" and you turn somebody on whose never heard a Coroner album and they're absolutely blown away.
ThrashHead: One of the tracks on the first album is one of the most famous songs "Reborn Through Hate" But the song that really gets me the most, is a song I think you wrote "When Angels Die"...
ThrashHead: And I was wondering, you know those lyrics center around apocalyptic contamination and disease and the album actually came out, I think, a year after the Chernobyl disaster, did that have anything to do with what you wrote in "When Angels Die"?
Marky: Um, That's a good question, because it's way back, you know I think there it was more from the fear of atomic war, because I think everybody also...I have to think back...you know it was Ronald Reagan, for instance, who was in charge and there was this talk of "star wars" and there was this "let's get more atomic rockets to Europe and put them in Germany to get ready" as well. And, on the other side, the Russians was doing exactly the same.
I remember, for a moment, I feared it was going to be more extreme, I was thinking about things like that. I think the Chernobyl incident happened when I wrote the song, but I'm not sure any more. But, it was basically: yes of course, I'm concerned about this problem with atomic disasters. My wife is Japanese so, I never ever thought that we could not travel to where we always traveled in Japan because there is an atomic catastrophe happening right there with the nuclear shit that's gonna take for, I don't know, how many hundreds of years until its gone.
So, It's still something that is always there, as long as we work with atomic power stations and as long there is atomic bombs and rocket; I think it's a topic that will never be too old to talk about.
ThrashHead: Exactly, it just seems that there is a complete insanity among world governments and also the populace of the world with their thirst for energy and they talk about nuclear as being potential answer to our energy woes instead of depending on solar and wind, and tidal energy using the ocean or rivers and such.
ThrashHead: It's completely frightening, even after Chernobyl and Three mile island in the united states, which was mild in comparison, and now in Japan....speaking of your wife, hopefully her family is ok?
Marky: Thank you very much for asking. Yeah, they are ok, they are living about 250 miles from the Fukushima (Daiichi ) power plant. Her brother lives in Los Angeles so , they are already planning to go over there because he has two kids and can help out with the kids. They will live in Los Angeles until things settle down
ThrashHead: Until they know exactly what's going on.
ThrashHead: It's good to know they are safe and sound
Marky: Thank you.
ThrashHead: Getting back to Coroner's history...when you guys first put that album out, we've always heard stories about how brutal touring for thrash bands was, even though Coroner might not be considered to be just "thrash" band because of the complexity of the albums....
Marky: That's ok, that's ok I have no problem with being called thrash (laughs)
ThrashHead: Most of them didn't have any support at all, it was all the next stop is gas money and maybe a place to sleep if we're lucky and we just tour and tour. What was touring like when that first album hit? How crazy was it?
Marky: Well, first of all, I have to say actually the hardest tour ever was the tour where Tommy and myself went along as roadies with Celtic Frost because we were driving ourselves, I think there was an English Roadie as well, Tim Botch I think was his name, he was the guitar backliner and Tommy and myself were driving a small dodge van which was pretty much broken. We were driving ourselves from one to the other venue, so that meant we were actually doing our jobs at the show, we were, like, you know, putting all the gear back into the gear truck and the bands went with the Nightliner while we were driving all night with this van and sleeping on the suitcases and our bags. That was quite hard for two months. Just a very few times we had a hotel room, basically we were driving at night, so it was extremely exhausting. After two months we were really...we looked different (laughs)
But, we were glad to be on our first tour as Coroner, that was with Kreator in '89, it was really cool because we had a Nightliner and it was really like a professionally organized tour, we had a great, fantastic crew...so basically that was like a holiday compared to what we did as roadies on that first trip through the United States.
Yeah, the biggest problem with had on the tour, was a problem with the drivers, in the end, I think we were somewhere in Florida, we getting thrown out of the tour bus, we went for soundcheck in the club and as we came out there were cops around the bus and we had to clear the whole bus...everybody had to throw out their things onto the parking lot, the bus was leaving with the police. So we had to wait, I think for two days or something for a new tour bus. Thankfully it was in Florida so what we did was spend a day in Orlando at Disney World, which was fantastic fun for everybody. (laughs) I am glad it happened there.
But, basically it wasn't so hard...it was harder for us, for instance, when we did single shows in Europe, you know, traveling with the small van on far trips...that was tough, but touring was actually always with the tour bus, so that was very, very easy, not so tough.
ThrashHead: Ok, now getting to you coming back out to the tour bus...there are cops everywhere?
ThrashHead: Why the heck were there copes there? Was it famous American, you know, Southern Hospitality...
ThrashHead: I know Southern Hospitality very well, you don't look like their kind, they (the cops) will talk to you...but, what happened?
Marky: What Happened was the driver called the tour bus company and he told them we were actually destroying the tour bus...I have admit it was sometimes things just broke, but it wasn't because we destroyed something on purpose...but sometimes bad quality...(laughs)
ThrashHead: Right you weren't being Paul Baloff right?...
ThrashHead: ...The singer for Exodus with his cards which said "will destroy anything" or whatever it said on them...so, you guys weren't being rock stars, you know...a cup holder breaks and the driver goes nuts?
Marky: Exactly! It was a bit like that and the other problem this guy was never flushing the toilet so after a while it was all full...
(Both Laugh for a bit)
Marky: The bus was just like not in good shape anyway. But, he did, he called the company and he told them that we were shitting in the bus, or things like that or completely destroying the bus so they called the cops and they were just waiting until we were out of the bus and they kinda surrounded the bus...and the driver was already gone, he was somewhere else and another driver picked it up because he was afraid we were going to fight him...I don't know, anyways it turned out to be no big deal. We had a good time, I think we had to cancel one show or something and in the end it was great fun at Disney.
ThrashHead: Your next album was "Punishment For Decadence" and I know you're being really humble with your technical prowess as a band, but it's the second album and yet again, another metal album par excellence, considered another classic. And talking about technical, you guys did a cover on the album of Hendrix.
ThrashHead: How were able to follow up such an incredible debut with such a hard hitting masterpiece, did it just come naturally or did you really have to work at it?
Marky: Thank you so much again for the compliment. What happened was we were rehearsing like crazy, I remember , at least the first four or five years, we were rehearsing six days a week, we went to this bunker and were playing for three or four hours.
So, that was of course the reason. We were trying out a million things and the other two guys were writing like crazy and coming up with riffs and we threw away a lot, using things, changing things...so what we basically did, we were playing together like every day for many years. And so, maybe that was also a reason...it was never like "Ah come on let's get together next month" and things like that. I remember extremely strict, there was no way we would not rehearse...it was total, like the main thing we were doing.
I think that was one of the main reasons that the album turned out like this.
ThrashHead: So essentially pure dedication to your art.
Marky: Oh yes, totally, totally.
Once we had a record deal, we were dreaming of going on tour, we wanted that so bad that there wasn't anything else that we wanted...yeah..it just had to be like this.
ThrashHead: That's great advice for any band whose aspiring to be great right there...it's not partying and women from the get go, it's hardcore dedication and discipline...
Marky: RIght, well, that you get in the end if you do a good job...the partying and the woman hopefully (laughs) that's a good part of the whole thing too (laughs) it's not just the rehearsing, but that's the main part.
ThrashHead: Speaking of "Punishment for Decadence" all the Coroner imagery has been really impactful, the cover , and forgive me for my German, was from a woodcut "Der Tod als Wurger" "Death as Strangler" in English I think, from 19th century German painter Alfred Rethel?
Marky: Exactly, yeah.
ThrashHead: I was wondering myself I am into it; I ended up becoming a painter myself...so, the artistic side of music, not just the obvious of songs which kick butt, I'm saying the actual creativity behind the music, behind the lyrics and the artwork which is there to draw attention to the music....also draws my own attention...and I was just wondering who decided on that artwork for that cover.
Marky: I don't know if you've ever seen the original cover which was a bluish cover with the relief from Auguste Rodin on it, it was actually meant to be a fold out sleeve and this grim reaper you can see now on the front was actually meant to be in the foldout in the middle surrounded by photos of the band. And the front side is actually, if you Google "Punishment for Decadence", you are probably gonna see the original sleeve somewhere. So it was different sleeve actually, then the record company they just decided themselves, I think it was the second edition, and also in the United States, they just changed the cover from the Centerfold...this picture was meant for the center of the record, and they changed it and put it on the front . So we were actually quite pissed about this because we wanted the other cover, it also has a black stripe on the side and so, yeah you have to check it out. I mean you know in the end it's ok, but it would have been different if the band wanted it. (note: the relief Marky refers to is "La Porte de l'Enfer" or "The Gates of Hell" )
ThrashHead: So essentially, the album we got was not the original cover at all
ThrashHead: Now I am wondering if I can get my hands on Punishment For Decadence as it was when it was released in Europe.
Marky: Right, I think it's really tough because it was only out on vinyl, I think it's probably impossible, I think, I only have one copy of every Coroner record...that's all I got...it's really funny (laughs) I was going through all my things recently because of the reunion and I was quite shocked that I basically only..I don't even have all the CDs and stuff. So it's funny, yeah it's quite hard to get the original
ThrashHead: I am going to have to keep an eye out for that, now I feel like I've been cheated.
ThrashHead: After Punishment of Decadence, the third album, you come out with "No More Color" and there is a slight change in the musical style and unlike other thrash bands, who will remain nameless, who go for a very "popular" sound... this sounds more like it's not intentional other than there is an evolution to the music; there seems to be a whole new set of musical influences to the album. When you went to Berlin to record it was there a conscious effort to change the direction of the music or was it as, I perceive it to be, simply evolved?
Marky: I think we definitely wanted to change the sound on every record basically, you can say that.
I think you're totally right, it was definitely the point where you can say we went more in the direction that we kept until we stopped. But, it is really hard for me to recall how exactly things were going at this time, you know, what happened to make it sound like this.
Of course, it had a lot to do with the music we were listening to...somehow, I don't know, I was listening to the Doors a lot at this time, it's funny, I was totally listening to the Doors...I don't really remember what the other guys were doing. I think all in all, we were trying to do more heavy music... it was more heavy, heavy riffing and then playing extremely fast it was not so much influenced by classical music or other styles...so things change.
ThrashHead: That change did continue because the next two albums "Mental Vortex" and "Grin" pretty much touched everything there is as far as there is in genres and subgenres in metal..especially on "Grin" there were touches, it wasn't so much thrash, it was like speed metal, which essentially is the same thing, but a little tighter, a little cleaner, there was a progressive feel to it, even a hint of groove, but not in the sense of what we were seeing with a lot of heavy metal in the 90's which is pretty much the dark ages of heavy metal, I mean..
ThrashHead: ...It was an evil, vile and terrible time in metal history, I just can't explain it, there wasn't anything out there, I don't care what anybody says about newer bands, there were only a handful of bands in the 90's who were putting out good tunes...how were you able to really stick to the origins of Coroner without sounding like you were selling out to the way heavy metal was changing? As far as I m concerned, when I listen to those albums, I hear musicians coming of age, I don't hear what had happened to so many other bands of that time. Were you being true to yourselves rather than what was going on around you?
Marky: Yes, I think there was still a certain Coroner style, that was just coming out of us without having to do a lot. Let's say if the Police are doing a record, they always sounded like the Police even though they did a lot of experimentation as well . I think there is a basic Coroner sound that you have, on the inside, that sound.
We were experimenting as much as we could without going too far, and I think that was the reason why we stopped ...yeah, that was the reason we stopped because we felt that we were coming to a point where we actually wanted to go further, and that far the people would probably not recognize the band anymore as Coroner. So we felt also, the whole thing was a little bit like... a cage, you know, where we couldn't get out. So, I think we went as far as we could being Coroner and experimenting, but not so far that we should call it different...where you should say that's a different band now. I think we did that at the right moment when everybody was really up to do something new, and we were kinda like bored, playing always with the same people.
ThrashHead: Right, you wanted to essentially to expand your horizons as musicians and not, as you say, be "caged" into the Coroner thrash mold. So, you didn't think then that the fans would be open-minded enough to accept you at that stage, doing something like that?
Marky: It was for ourselves, you know, because we knew that Coroner is Coroner you know, with all the possibilities , maybe much more possibilities, being accepted by fans then other bands who ever do it.
I think the Coroner fans were basically people who were very, very open-minded, most of them I think. Because if you look through the years, I mean, there is a massive change between R.I.P. and Grin for instance. But, people were also expecting changes that was the great thing you know, we could do that and I think that many bands were not able to do those things like that and still be accepted by their fans and that was really cool for us.
ThrashHead: That was going to actually be my next question, why did you guys broke up in '96 because, in my opinion, unlike a lot of bands that just had to throw in the towel due to so much conflict or for whatever reason, you guys seemed to be coming together, meshing together, perfectly artistically...after the breakup, Tommy went on to play in Kreator and you hooked back up Tom G Warrior, and you guys started a band together or you joined his band Apollyon Sun?
Marky: Exactly, yes, I joined his band.
ThrashHead: What were those times like, could you tell me about it?
Marky: Yeah, it was actually... it started really cool, it was a lot of fun with the guys, we had a good time, I think what the problem was, was that probably we stepped into a very high level, we had the same management as Iron maiden for instance, there was a lot of money in the production and somehow for me, it felt a bit... it was a bit too much before we actually ever played live, had any response from any fans, it was already...we started at such a high level.
For me there was a big pressure, I always felt like "Wow, we spend another week in the studio, we do this and that" and this cost so much money, and I felt like "wow it has to be the ultimate super product" we have to come out now with otherwise, you know, this is all ridiculous. It was a lot of pressure for me.
And besides, that was very bad time in my personal life, I broke up with a girlfriend, it really put me down so hard like never before. So, all in all, everything went ... kinda it took forever 'till the record was released....it took much too long in my opinion, between songwriting and the release I think it was like, in the end, it was about almost three years.
Combined with my personal problems, so in the end you know, I left the band...it was not so fun how it ended. But Still, listening back to the music, I have to admit, I think it was not so bad at all, it is actually a shame it didn't go any further. But, I think it was as well... the record company was disappointed, I don't know what ever happened, but it never really went as far as it should have gone.
ThrashHead: What did you do in the interim before Coroner getting back together. Did you step away from music awhile?
Marky: Yes, first of all I had to find a new job (laughs) I suddenly realized that I had to earn some money to pay for my daily life, I had to say to myself "You're not a musician anymore now, you have to find something else". I am a graphic designer and I went to an art school here in Zurich for five years, but I never really, except for the Coroner covers and some little other things, I never really did the job so, first of all, I thought I would go back to this...but I've found out it's like I don't want to sit in front of the computer all day.
Then I found, through the bass player of Apollyon Sun, he brought me into like a gallery to work for artists to build up installations... contemporary art. And from there I went to a museum, a quite big museum here in Zurich, also contemporary art, and I was doing this for many years; I was helping creating and building the exhibitions, working with artists from all over the world, very famous artists actually.
It was fantastic for me to feel that I could do things, and so, I was basically doing this and then I slowly started going back ...But, what I did was like electronic music, I was getting more into the electronic music scene, and there was a great club scene here in Zurich, a great, great underground scene with lots of new freaks doing strange things.
The first project was called "Spoon", you know supreme psychedelic underground, it was named after a band in the 70's, I just liked the name so I just "stole" it..(laughs) so we were four guys doing music using only Playstation programs and we really fucked up the samples and stuff like that.
So, that was the first...actually there is a record, a double LP that came out and then the second thing was called KnallKids, Knall stands for BANG! in English, it was a duo and we did very sick kinda house music, really like, you know...you might be shocked hearing the words "house music" but it's not like what you think probably. Anyway, so that was what I was doing, there was also a record that came out on Deck Records, thousand pieces or something like that were sold out, which was really cool for me, because I was like "Ok, it's working in the scene as well." But then slowly, I heard Tommy was calling up, that we should try to play together again, then I slowly started to think about maybe about playing drums again...but that took another four years or something before I really decided to do it.
ThrashHead: When you said that "I might be shocked to hear that it is house music", just to let you know, all of us over here at the websites are not elitists, we've been listening to all sorts of music throughout our lives and we are all fully aware of how important music is and all its expressions, there is always a time and place to listen to a certain type of music, there are a lot of people who will absolutely turn their nose up simply because it's not their music...to me that closes their mind to all forms of artistic expression.
Matter of fact, it really makes me quite happy to hear that, once you withdrew from music, you were able to continue in an artistic environment, and perhaps in a way, deep down, just by being surrounded by that creativity...you, yourself, being an artist but with sound rather than oils, water colors, charcoal or whatever, maybe perhaps that effected you on a very deep level and that is really great.
The question I wanted to ask, about the Spoon and KnallKids albums, if one of us wanted to score those albums, where would we be able to get either one of those?
Marky: Well, actually you can't get (laughs) either one because I think I only have two copies, I think there was 200 hundred copies or something which each guy had fifty or something....it never sold, the other one, it's sold out, but I think you're could find it if you just Google KnallKids. Then you can still listen to some of the songs as teasers at the time you order it. So some of the tracks from KnallKids you can still hear on the internet, the other thing is impossible.
ThrashHead: Impossible, huh? Gonna have to kill someone to get a copy then?
ThrashHead: When you guys did decide to get back, was it just simply because there seems to be a resurgence of thrash metal; of gettin' back to the basics of what made heavy metal great? Did you notice all of a sudden people were saying "hey wait, we've been fed crap for ten, twelve years!" and now there is all of sudden a whole new school of musicians who are bringing this music which Coroner pioneered back onto the scene. Were you aware of that, did you think the time was right that a new generation understood the metal geniuses that you guys were?
Marky: To be honest, I was not really aware of it. What I did realized was that, on Youtube, suddenly I saw there were young bands playing covers of Coroner for instance, young guys who were probably not even born when we stopped the band, that was the first thing...I was "wow man , that's so cool!" you know or I see some guys sitting at home and a Coroner song comes through their stereo and they play along with their guitar, bass or drums or whatever, I was like totally like "wow, that's so cool!" seeing people doing this...I mean it's not so easy to recreate these songs.
That was the first thing, there's people caring about what we did in the past. To be honest, I really never listening to new bands or realizing that anything has changed or coming up like you mention before. Maybe Tommy much more, because Tommy owns a studio and is producing a lot, he is really listening to, and aware of, a lot of what's going on. Myself, not at all.
Now what I see on these shows we've played so far, there was a lot of young bands playing, for instance at the Maryland Death Fest, there were a lot of bands, or during the several shows we've done recently, Italy, Greece or whatever...I see bands, you know, that I can really see sounds like old school...they're coming back to the essence. I can hear sometimes, definitely some Coroner in some of the other bands.
ThrashHead: Absolutely, Coroner is just one of those bands... for example some members of newer bands were born in '84 or something like that, when we were already cranking Coroner as far as it could go and blowing our speakers, so we're your generation my friend, fans from way back. Coroner is one of those bands where headbangers would get together and say "hey have you heard Megadeth's first album, or Metallica's or Exodus' " and then the real connoisseur walks up and says "ah, but here's Coroner" and then everyone's gotta bow down to this guy because he is the all knowing metalhead, because he has a Coroner original first vinyl pressings or something...
ThrashHead: Coroner has always been one of those bands, where there has been a lot of respect from the Americans towards European thrash bands, because even though we had the pioneers over here, you guys were a lot more political, you had a message and you also took it to a speed that was just a little faster than us, a little heavier than us and it was one-upmanship but Coroner, Sodom, Kreator, Destruction those are the bands outta of Europe, you cannot say there is only Kreator, you always have to mention Coroner when you talk about European thrash. Another question I was going to ask you, is that people hear about all these bands who are coming back together and it's not really the original band because it's only one guy..
ThrashHead: It's not even the singer, or guitarist, it's just the drummer.
ThrashHead: You on the other hand, even though there was some lineup changes like you mentioned, before the demo, it's always been pretty much you three, Ron, Tommy and yourself as Coroner, does you three coming back as the original band speak a lot of how you guys got along?
Marky: Absolutely, yeah. It does.
ThrashHead: When you were touring and putting out albums, you essentially got along artistically?...I'm sure you had your fights, I don't think there are any friends who don't
Marky: You can bet, it even got close to physical sometimes, I remember once, a producer had to stand in-between we were ready to about to smash each other's faces in, especially between Tommy and myself, it could get way out...then it was, you know, we'd probably not talk for awhile, then...I am not the kind of person whose not going to talk to anyone for 200 years because there was a fight, I'm really not. And it's the same with Tommy, so yeah, basically we get along very good. I think there was always respect of each other, it's not perfect...we just live with that. I think basically we had such a great time, that these few fights would just disappear.
ThrashHead: Essentially you guys got along like brothers then?
Marky: Yeah, you can say that, absolutely, totally and still now it's better than it ever was...it is really a unit, it's an extremely relaxed situation right now because we don't have to promote an album, it's just travel around and play shows, and we are so glad to see all those people to talk to, the fans ....it's just fantastic. It's really basically a great time we are having right now, everybody feels really lucky that we have a chance to do this.
ThrashHead: That kinda leads to my next question, and I know you've been asked this probably a 100,000 times and you can probably guess what I am going to ask; have you ever really thought now, that you've got a few shows under your belt, and with people saying "coroner's back!", about gettin' back into the studio.
Marky: (Pause) No, we don't. (Laughs) Because there are several reasons for this, the main problem is that we all have daily jobs. Ron is working for a company, I work for an art collector, I have a family and a little daughter, I am just not as free as I used to be, I can't just say "well, I am going to be in the studio for a month", I can't cancel my job for that, I can't be away from my family for that long.
And, Tommy with his studio, is extremely busy all the time. I think it's just an illusion if we say we'll make a new album, because it would take such a long time. Of course, we can try to do that, but it would take, maybe three or four years or something....that would be just strange you know to produce in this way, that you say "let's wait three weeks, and then we come together and put together the second song, drums" or something like that. For me, you have to be a band, you have to be somewhere else, away from everything, you have to be together for three weeks or whatever in one studio, just to get through one piece...that's the way we always did it...this is just not possible.
I think it's ok how it is...well, what we are probably going to do is one song or something, just one song to add to these few shows we do know or we just put on ....we're actually planning on putting out a DVD with all the cuts from the shows, traveling, what we're doing now and next year...combined with some old footage, like for instance, the first Coroner concert ever that we did in Zurich with Celtic Frost and Kreator and things like that. That's probably where the one new song or something like that will go....I don't know.
But, basically to answer your question, there is not going to be a new album.
ThrashHead: That's a definitive no, but we can at least look forward to that DVD you mentioned sometime in the near future?
Marky: Yes, Yes, well...near future...(laughs)
ThrashHead: Ok, sometime down the road.
Marky: It's takes time to do something like that, we are also quite lazy, it's going to take awhile, because it's a lot of work to cut these clips that we recorded. We recorded sometimes with up to eight or nine cameras during each show we've done so far.
Marky: Yeah? There's a guy touring with us whose doing the keyboards and sampling, we have four members, studio musician, he was already touring with us on the last tour we did in France in '96. The same guy is now with us, he's doing the sampling and these things on the stage, while he's actually filming...placing cameras everywhere, small helmet cameras, really cool, we can record HD. Also, he has a larger camera, so basically we completely document everything we are doing right now and now all this material needs to be cut.
ThrashHead: That's sounds awesome, gonna have to keep an eye out for that definitely! Last question: Is there any chance perhaps for one monster concert in Europe and maybe one more in the United States as an answer to the famous "Big Four" tour where Coroner, Sodom, Kreator and Destruction play together? Is there any possibility of saying: "You know what? here's Europe's Big four!"?
Marky: I never thought about something like this...but yeah that would be totally, totally possible. It's probably hard to get everybody together, we were just talking about...actually, there's probably a tour coming up with Triptykon and Kreator and they were asking us if we were up to tour with them...but it's just not possible because it's gonna be like 24 dates or something like that. As much as I would love to do that, it's just not possible; it's impossible for me to be away for three weeks. But, to do a single concert, a Festival like that would be fantastic! If you know anyone who would like to put something like that together...(laughs)
ThrashHead: Are there any words you'd like to say to your fans before I let you go?
Marky: Well all I can say, how much we enjoy being able to do these shows, I am just thankful to everybody who made it possible, the people who book coroner, the fans who come to the show to make this possible. I am very thankful, I am really enjoying this time...the next concert is in January we are gonna do 70000 Tons, so I am sure there are going to be a lot of American fans, I am really looking forward to this. Basically I want to thank everybody in the countries we've played who've come to the shows, I look forward to every single show!
Again, I wish to convey my deepest appreciation to Marky for participating in the interview and putting up with my enthusiasm, it was a great experience to say the least! It was definately the most memorable itnerview I have ever had!
Be sure to hook up with Coroner and show them your support, try to catch a show and keep an eye out for that DVD mentioned in the interview!