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lunedì 30 aprile 2012
Translation: Dope Fiend
Brandon Von - All the instruments
I have the pleasure to talk with Brandon Von, mastermind of Malignant Christ. Welcome to Aristocrazia, how are you?
I’m doing great, the album is doing pretty well and we couldn’t be happier!
Let's begin by introducing your creature, how did the band born, by whom it is composed and what are the musical and ideological points of reference that you follow to provide it a clear direction?
I started Malignant Christ in January of 2007 with some friends. Right now the band is just me and I am the only one who performed on the CD although former bassist and vocalist Joey Richesin wrote some of the lyrics on the album. Malignant’s goal since day one has been to deliver true death metal with no trendy bullshit and make the sickest music possible. Malignant Christ is my life and my life-force, I would die without it. Malignant Christ is what allows me to wake up every day and function normally.
I noticed there was a lot of musicians coming and going in the ranks of Malignant Christ, it is difficult to maintain a stable formation?
Extremely, we live in the bible belt of the United States and not many people here are into extreme music. Most people are into either stuff like Whitechapel and Suicide Silence which sucks or gay Pantera worship crap.
"Forever In Chaos" is your child, no other was put his hand within the compositional and instrumental field, as was working alone on the album? What are the difficulties or facilities in choosing to pursue a solo-project?
Actually, former bassist and vocalist Joey Richesin wrote the lyrics for "Shrine Of The Dismembered" But I did do all of the riffs and arrangements and most of the lyrics so yes you would be sort of correct on that. In a lot of ways it’s easier working alone because there is no other input but my own so therefore the album can be my vision of perfect for said project. On the other hand the fact that it’s just me is somewhat draining financially. I don’t view us as a solo project at all because I intend to find more members and bring in people. From now on I’ll probably be writing everything but aside from that I’d rather have people in Malignant Christ other than just me.
I really liked the album, is retro, blasphemous, full of atmospheres and negative feelings that converge within the pieces. How was your song born? And how do you choose the more suitable lyric?
Well we’re mostly influenced by classic stuff like Immolation, Morbid Angel, Sinister, Incantation, Killing Addiction, Atrocity, (old) Gorguts, etc... the lyrics are fiction horror stories but most definitely inspired by real life and things we have experienced or have good knowledge of. Song kind of come about in a weird way in that I tab them first on my computer and then learn how to play them and make changes that way. A lot of people jam stuff out but I don’t really work that way, I feel like when I do that that I don’t get all of the possibilities into it. I feel like if I can listen to the songs back then I don’t waste time continually relearning riffs. Usually it takes me a lot long to write stuff than it does to learn it for that reason. As for writing lyrics I usually go through several drafts of my lyrics before I am satisfied with them.
How much you think is stronger today the anti-religious movement? Do you think the man is finally fighting back to the most famous opioid?
To be honest with you I don’t really view myself as anti-religious. Malignant Christ is really a satanic band per-say. In America everything seems to me at least to be getting more Christianized. To me religion itself isn’t evil as in the belief in a God and justice and an afterlife, it’s how people pervert and mutilate and twist to make it seem like such a god has given them personally the right and authority to do whatever they want. Those people to me are truly vile and should be extinguished.
When we talk about issues and death metal is often pulls out the word "cliché", do you believe that many people underestimate this aspect merely to labelling the genre only for the impact and the malignity that it springs? What are the issues that you prefer to face and if you could organize a concert in the Vatican, what song you ironically want to dedicate to the Pope?
We have a song on the album called "Suspended In Agony" about a guy getting hung up by hooks through his dick and getting shit on and tortured sexually by a dominatrix, I think that would be a good song to dedicate to the Pope. I believe death metal is really misunderstood because the best bands never got very big so therefore a lot of people don’t really know how to handle it. And a lot of metal fans like stuff to be melodic and at least in Malignant Christ’s case we are not melodic really at all.
The underground scene has changed year after year, what are the characteristics that, io you opinion, distinguish who want to stay linked in a serious and coherent way to this kind of reality? This term is sometimes used as a shield-against-criticism or to raise support from people pulling against any form of music that comes out in not ultra-limited version?
Malignant Christ doesn’t associate with any band that isn’t true to death or black metal. If a band is doing this to look cool then we want nothing to do with it, same with magazines or radio shows, what have you. We have asked our songs to be taken off of radio shows that we deemed to have been run by people who didn’t understand metal and had to make everything ironic and goofy and almost like a parody. I’m not saying that there shouldn’t be humor in metal because there should be but when it comes to where everything seems like a big joke then we want nothing to with it. Same for people who abuse animals, Malignant Christ is staunchly against animal abuse.
Anyone who comes to certain extreme musical style and began to produce their work often ends up with the lose their own money, is usually the passion to move the row of plots that lead to the surface albums like "Forever In Chaos". Was there ever a moment when you thought you stop playing music or dedicate yourself to other things?
No, never. Although for the whole of 2008 I was laying low and we didn’t do any shows at all. This was in the transition from our satanic Deicide/Vital Remains worship days to our current state. But everything that most people would consider a setback I just use as a learning experience. We at this point are self-financing meaning that I haven’t had to put money in Malignant Christ in about a year, we are profitable enough to have money to print CDs and shirts and what not. Granted, I haven’t really made a penny off of this band, but I don’t have to use my own money to get stuff printed, Malignant Christ takes care of that, which is nice. But I couldn’t see myself not doing Malignant Christ. Like I said before it allows me to function properly. Malignant Christ is a part of who I am and it’s really indistinguishable from who I am in the real world. Brandon Von and Malignant Christ are one in the same; this band is my life-force.
A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to interview Ryan of Elders Of Apocalypse which, as stated by him, have played in your company, how do you remember that night? And how is the metal scene in Tennessee?
It’s small, and Ryan is one of my best friends. I have nothing but good to say about him, Sam, and Jay from Elders and they have truly released a classic album in "The Law Of Iron". They never played a show with us but they did play a show where I attended with their other band Cannibal Rites that was very intense and they blew this really weak local Christian doom band off the stage that night. Our metal scene is really small, like I said there really isn’t much true stuff. There is Malignant Christ, Elders of the Apocalypse, Goatfucker, Your Kids on Fire, Argentinum Astrum, Domestic Assault, and a few other bands. Most of the stuff here sounds like Pantera groove garbage or Whitechapel queerness.
Turning on the Internet I read that you played live with supporting a drum machine, correct? You are looking for a drummer of flesh and bones or you believe that going forward in this way it is less problematic?
Oh, we’ll probably always have a drum machine. That way the drums come out exactly as I had intended them when I wrote the song. In my head I know how to play drums, my limbs simply don’t. Like I know the physics of how a blast beat is done. And that’s bullshit when people tell you that you can’t a lot with drum machines because I can do whatever my imagination wants the drums to do. When it comes down to it we were originally going to try to find a drummer but never could and over time the machines just sort of became a part of the band. Without our drum machines it wouldn’t be Malignant Christ.
Politics is a pain in the ass, especially when you hear words about words, but you never see realised the promises made??. If you could form a government composed exclusively of symbol men of the extreme scene, who would you see well and in what role?
I believe in survival of the fittest, be it in music or society.
Let's go back to "Forever In Chaos", what are the responses obtained by the disc? As has been welcomed it by critics and listeners?
Response has been a little mixed. There have been a few publications that have said we put out the best album this year which is incredibly flattering. For the most part the response has been great. The weirdest thing is when magazines don’t know how to handle us and try to compare us to like Xasthur or something because I did the album alone. Usually those reviews aren’t so good but they are few and far between. For the most part we’re enjoying a very promising run critically with this album. Fans have also eaten it up. We’re almost out of the 1st pressing and I will be repressing the album in the next two weeks.
I have to do one criticism: unfortunately the drum sound penalizes the album and it is a "shame" because, in my opinion, you have made a really great work. As far as I understood you are already dialing the sequel, you think that in future there might be a possibility of a redesign, at least from that point of view, than "Forever In Chaos"?
The snare is too high in the mix, that’s my fault. I recorded the album in nine days on an eight track machine but for the most part I think it came out really well. We have ideas and plans for two more albums and then we are thinking about rerecording the album. As great as some of the old bands from our area like Besieged and Enter Self were they really didn’t write a whole lot of songs and Besieged even released the same album twice. I’m not saying that to knock them because they’re a huge influence on Malignant Christ but it’s true. We want to get some new stuff out before redoing old stuff. I also plan to, if we re-record this album, to keep but records in print so fans can enjoy whichever one they like better.
If you could have the opportunity to collaborate with three musicians in the drafting of the new platter, what would your ideal line-up (with you as frontman of course)?
My dream lineup would be with myself, Brian Kelly of Oakmoon and Black Ritual on either bass or guitar and Adina Blase of Cernunnos on either bass or guitar. We’re a drum machine band so I can’t pick out a dream drummer because I don’t ever see us having one.
Let's giving to our readers the reasons why, according to Brandon Von, they should choose to put Malignant Christ in the stereo.
I’m biased so I think that aside from some flaws in the production that the album is a classic but to all of the fans who want to check it out I say that if you’re into death metal hopefully you’ll like what we’ve done. And if you’re not then you should kill yourself.
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