Rotten rancid of death, total gore and total doom! | Interview with Marco Brinkmann / CASKET

Rancid, Rotten, Stinky, Filthy Death Metal! is the word that always appears on this rotting tomb-site. And if there's any Death Metal band that deserves this kind of ugly things, there will be CASKET. A band that crawl and decomposed from Detmold, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany and recently vomiting the first demo, "Ghouls Of Filth" beyond Lycanthropic Chants. I'm really happy when I received the demo tape that Marco Brinkmann have sent to me and believed the final crusher that "Ghouls Of Filth" demo rotting on my analog tape player already got me and for sure the fans that consider themselves the gravedigger of old school Death Metal sound will agree with that also. Marco Brinkmann, the man beyond the rotting-creation madness of CASKET spending some times to talk with us and here you are with the rancid and disgusting death man! 

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MIKA ROTTEN - Thanks for leave the casket open for us to enter the realm of rancid-death. How life goes rotting Marco?
MARCO BRINKMANN - First, thank you for having me Mika. Life’s good so far, I can’t complain. Recently the CASKET demo tape has sold out, which feels great!

MIKA ROTTEN - There were tons of death metal bands crawling up like CRYPTIC BROOD, GRAVEYARD GHOUL, and CARNAL TOMB from Germany death metal-underground scene, and now, we’ve the brand new death metal project that you worked for, CASKET.  Sometime it’s like we’ve run out of time to check them out, but it’s still good the legacy never came to end. Recently this rotting decade, it’s seem old school death metal still going strongest, what do you think beyond this revival?
MARCO BRINKMANN - I totally agree with you. As far as I can tell death metal really seems to be having some kind of revival. Ever since Autopsy reformed - in I think 2009 – it seems many of the bigger bands are going back to their roots. But then again, when you look at the underground , there has always been something to discover. Even in the early 2000s when metal was supposedly dead. And actually “underground metal” is the only form of metal that has always been faithful to it’s roots and that was in fact never dead.

MIKA ROTTEN - Beyond the madness of old school death metal revival. Are you consider, CASKET one of them and  help to spread the disease to infected the underground scenes? 
MARCO BRINKMANN - As I just said, I think the term revival doesn’t fit perfectly, it just seems that death metal get’s a lot more recognition right now than a few years earlier. Anyways, I wanted to do something like CASKET for a long time now, because I am a death metal fan since I was a teenager, it just never worked out until now. Of course I see CASKET as part of the underground and I want to collaborate with as many artists as possible. Spreading the passion for death metal and music in general.

MIKA ROTTEN - Before I wrote this interview, I surf on the Internet to get some info about your past background music. And I found you also involved with MANIA (Thrash Metal) and BEER PRESSURE (Thrash/Crossover) before. Can you lift up some stories about this band?
MARCO BRINKMANN - Yeah, I just recently stumbled across all the info you could find about me on certain websites, haha… and it’s surprisingly accurate! For BEER PRESSURE, it was the first band I played gigs with and actually learned to be a musician. One of my BEER PRESSURE bandmates also played for CASKET – Genözider!
MANIA was  the band of my good friend Simon Bonesaw you might know him from EVOKED, another great german death metal group. At the time they needed a bassist and I just had left BEER PRESSURE to refine my own musical skills - so it was perfect timing. Sadly we split up before releasing any material with which I was involved in.

MIKA ROTTEN - CASKET! You started this new Death Metal band last year.  And for sure, this time your music are much heavy than your previous works. How the idea came to create this band and seem only you involve in the band for now, can we see the full-disgust zombies lineup in the future?
MARCO BRINKMANN - I actually started writing songs for CASKET in 2010 and also recorded them several times, but I was never satisfied with it and obviously never took the time to release it properly. The idea came to life when I was jamming some cover songs with a good friend of mine. I discovered my voice was actually quite fitting for death metal. And also I always wanted to play in a heavier band. There have been quite a few projects in the past that never came to life, but they all were trying to do something more crushing, more deadly.
As for now CASKET will stay a solo project, I will not go back to playing in a band for quite a while, if ever… but there might be some CASKET gigs in the future, at least I am thinking about it.

MIKA ROTTEN - What are the things that have changed most in your opinion between the new band that you work right now and you past bands that you play?
MARCO BRINKMANN - In short: it’s a solo project, haha! For real the most drastic difference to playing in a band would be my way of songwriting. In CASKET I write a song until it’s completely done, then I record a demo and send it to a few people whose opinion I trust. I try to get different thoughts on my music and change things accordingly to that feedback. In a band I would have either done just my bassline or made suggestions to my bandmates’ songs. I never played in a band with that kind of “organic” songwriting at the rehearsal room. I think the rehearsal room is there for you to practice what you learned beforehand and to cultivate your playing and teamwork.

MIKA ROTTEN - Can you tell us more who S. Genozider that lay down his effort behind the ‘rancid-crushing’ drum beat on “Ghouls of Filth” demo? 
MARCO BRINKMANN - Well, I think that doesn’t need many words. He is better known for his other musical projects such as BULLDOZING BASTARD, QUINTESSENZ, LUZIFER and especially VULTURE. As mentioned earlier he was also part of BEER PRESSURE so we know each other for about ten years now. He’s a great songwriter so a collaboration was a no-brainer. The drum tracks speak for themselves, his playing definitely takes the songs to another level.

MIKA ROTTEN - "Ghoul Of Filth" Demo it's definitely worthy for someone that loved all the "slowly-death" anthem by Autopsy, Obituary and Asphyx.  How you describe the CASKET sound on that demo and what band did you should blame because give you such a good inspirations towards the creation of your music?
MARCO BRINKMANN - I really don’t like this kind of name dropping when it comes to musical inspiration. But I’m going to do you this favor. The obvious ones are AUTOPSY, DEATH, GRAVE & MORGOTH and then there are some not so obvious bands like ABSCESS, ANATHEMA & REGURGITATE. But I am inspired by everything I listen to, it doesn’t matter if it’s something from “the roots” in the 70s, 80s, 90s or even modern day music – regardless of genre. However I’m inspired the most by the great musicians around me, there are so many great bands in my area and peer. They truly drive my inner passion for making music as well as working in the music industry.

MIKA ROTTEN - This epic style of slow-riffing guitar's give a new dimension just in few more second before the solo guitar's festering the ugly-horror atmosphere on "Ghouls Of Filth" demo. The second tracks maybe the highlight tracks on this demo if you asked me. And I'm really loved how this tracks flow and fill-up onto the heavy-groovy beat. How much time did you take to wrote all the song from the demo and in yours opinion what things did you need to create a good death metal song.
MARCO BRINKMANN - Thank you, I appreciate this very much! When I first wrote the songs for this demo, it was in 2010, it didn’t take too long, I was full of ideas at the time and wrote several songs a week, deleted some of those and wrote new ones. When it finally came to recording the actual release as we have it now I paid a quick revisit to each of them and refined some parts, made them uglier, more fitting to my current taste in music. And I also rewrote all the lyrics, except for the titles. And lastly some leads were written while recording them such as the melody between the first two verses of SADISTIC.
As far as I’m concerned a good death metal song is made out of a few good riffs that flow into each other, a good melody that you can alter and play around with and of course a great vocal line. Phrasing and accentuation is the key to an interesting vocal. For me there should always be something to discover, even after listening multiple times.

MIKA ROTTEN -  Some demo from the past still sounded fresh in my ear. Remembrance the good old day, the demo production really sounded ugly and raw-disgusting. Do you think with the modern technology that we’ve nowadays can prevails and nailed the ‘old school’ sound and feels again?
MARCO BRINKMANN -  That’s a great question. Since I am a sound engineer I could talk about this all day, but I will try to keep things short. For me the production should serve the song and not become the star. Music should always be about the songs, not about production, not about artwork and most certainly not about image. Especially in death metal that has always been true. Of course there are many exceptions and that’s fine as well; in the end it’s the artists’ way to express themselves. But yet the main point remains, it all should only support the music.

Modern technology is often cursed as the death of the “human feel” in music and it certainly holds the possibilties to be just that. The art in using modern recording technologies is in knowing how to use all those possibilities to make the music shine in it’s best way possible – may this be robotic and sterile or organic and full of dirt. Technology is a blessing, people just have to realize it and make the most out of these tools.

However all this doesn’t really matter because the “feel” and that “analog sound” doesn’t come from equipment and gear, it comes from the musician playing his instrument. For instance I get a lot of positive feedback on the bass sound on CASKET. The reason it sounds great is that I really kill my instrument while playing. For an aggressive sound you have to really dig in and make the strings cry. As well as Genözider’s performance on drums: he might not be a technical genious but you feel every hit punching that snare drum to death because he is going at it like a maniac. If you want to sound good, you’ve got to work for it!

MIKA ROTTEN - I found out the “Ghouls of Filth” demo supposed to (rot) release by Muerto En La Cruz but later on Steffen from Lycanthropic Chants released it’s on tape version. What stories beyond that? Or Muerto En La Cruz will handle the different format for this demo?
MARCO BRINKMANN - Yes, you are correct. It was supposed to be released by MUERTO EN LA CRUZ, but it didn’t. It’s sad that this didn’t work out, would have saved me a lot of trouble. I don’t know why they stopped contacting me, but I won’t be working with them in the future. That was a bad experience. 

MIKA ROTTEN - I guess, the demo already sold out from the band and the label. How do you see that? And how ‘ugly’ the demo have been criticised by the dead-head or zine editor?
MARCO BRINKMANN - Yes, the demo has sold out. My own share of tapes were sold out on release day and after a few weeks LYCANTHROPIC CHANTS sold out as well. I think this is great and it inspires me to put out more releases in the future. Also the reviews are all consistently positive and people seem to want more!

MIKA ROTTEN - Besides those songs that featured on “Ghouls of Filth” Demo, I suppose you have lots of new, raw and unfinished material in the works right now. Are you in progress to records a new demo soon?
MARCO BRINKMANN - I have a lot of songs waiting to be recorded. Most of them were already written in 2010/2011 just like the demo songs, so CASKET will stay true to itself for the next few releases. I am currently working on a future release for 2018!

MIKA ROTTEN - What's rotting ahead for CASKET, playing in front of the crowds? Can we see it’s happen?
MARCO BRINKMANN - I think about doing so, it would be nice for a change and some people are already asking for it. Time will tell!

MIKA ROTTEN - What kind of personal expectations do you have regarding the existence of CASKET that you work for right now?
MARCO BRINKMANN - I would love to do a few split releases with some underground bands I personally like. Actually the first split is already going to happen, there will be info's on this soon. Artwork and songwriting is almost done, recordings are already scheduled. Then after that I want to do a full album release featuring a few guest appearances – not only on drums… And of course there will be some merchandise. I always forget about that and I want to give it more attention in the future.

MIKA ROTTEN - Well, that is it for now Marco. I want to thank you for taking some time to rot with me and in the same death-breath, I wish you all the best with CASKET! Any closing words, perhaps do you want to festering for?
MARCO BRINKMANN - It was a pleasure! Thank you again for your great work with the DISCARNAGE fanzine, I’m still in love with the copy you sent me. Keep supporting the underground. I think I’ve talked enough for now, hear you soon!