lunes, 17 de mayo de 2021


1. When did you decide to put Markgraf into operation? Why did you choose this name and what to refer to?

It all started in 2019 as a little experiment to see if I could add excentric vocals from traditional Heavy Metal Bands like Mercyful Fate or Cirith Ungol to extreme metal. The name itself refers to the rich history of aristocracy in my area so it was kind of the first thing that came to my mind.

2. Is there a relationship between the German region of Baden Baden, the Black Forest andeverything that is related to the band from the music to the theme?

The town Baden-Baden is located at the border of the Black Forest where most of the tales that we are retelling in our songs take place. There is this old building – the “Trinkhalle”-where there are many beautiful frescoes about the local mythology. You can also find them easily on the internet if you want to take a look at these frescoes (what I highly recommend).

3. The other formations of which you are members are not related in a totally direct way with black metal, when recording this “Markgraf” how did you face immersing yourself in a style to which you are not all related? How was it? the entire process of writing and recording the album? What brands of instruments did you use during the writing and recording process?

The groundwork for the album (composing, lyrics etc.) was done all by myself (Ódio) however what I love to do when working with other people on music is to find musicians who are capable of transfering their personality into their instruments. Der dicke Mann for instance is a huge Bossa Nova and Flamenco fan who does not really try to play undertones. There are moments on our album where you get bass lines and leads that go into Jazz territory and some notes may even sound “wrong” to some listeners but that’s really what I appreciate about music – when you get surprised or confronted with little details that catch your attention.That’s when it becomes personal and emotional. Our drummer Commander of Sonic Noise Warfare is a different kind of beast. I play in a Heavy Metal band (STEALTH) with him and he has a very unique approach to music. He is just excited about playing any music and I have never met someone so positive.

4. One of the notable aspects of the album is in the sound of the drums by Commander of Sonic Noise Warfare, how was the drum recording made and in what way did a drummer that is not entirely related to black metal? Have you achieved such a remarkable sound and adapted in some way to the genre?

Even though he does not listen to Black Metal he still never backed down from trying different drumming styles and with his Jazz background it was easy for him to adapt the style and it came out as raw as it was intended. Regarding the recording sessions in general – it was a zero bucks production in our rehearsal room and at home. My friend and producer Bruce Artur did an amazing job with the entire production even though he’s not into Black Metal at all. For all the bands out there:Just get a cheap interface, two mics and bring alot of friends to play some music and you got an album recorded. And yes - it’s that easy.

5. Then there is the combo of voices and guitar that provide that tone of styles such as heavy or speed, how have you managed to fit this whole section with the voices of “Ódio”? What classical bands have been able to influence you at the time to define your sound?

In the beginning there was the question wether it is possible or not to do “Cirith Ungol vocals” over Black Metal. From that point on it kind of developed itself to the final songs you are listening to.

6. Although the sound of “Markgraf” picks up a lot of classic elements within heavy or metal, it is also true that it leaves an aftertaste of darkness and occultism in the background, how would you define the sound of the album?

The foundation of the entire guitar sound are non-metal bands from the Jangle Pop and Bossa Nova spectrum. The idea basically was to do something like Johnny Marr goes Black Metal.There are a lot of references to traditional 80s Heavy Metal bands, mostly NWoBHM, Flames of Hell, Cirith Ungol, Mercyful Fate, Mefisto, etc.. The heavy parts are infuenced by Sarcofago, Master’s Hammer, Merciless and contemporary USBM bands with melodic riffs.

7. Regarding the theme of the album, it is related to the myths of your place of origin, what can you tell us about this theme and why do you choose to deal with it? Do you adapt the music to the lyrics or vice versa?

The mentioned frescoes were a huge part of my childhood. I loved the tales and myths back then when my parents took me out for a walk and passed through the Trinkhalle and I really wanted to retell these stories for a bigger audience. You can go visit and see all the spots of the tales around the area of Baden-Baden. Regarding the writing process – I always write the music first and adapt the lyrics to it.

8. The album cover has a very medieval and pagan feel. Who was in charge of the design of the album cover and how does it relate to the content of the album?

David Glomba did an amazing job with the Artwork. He captured the essence of the mythology and put many references on the canvas. We wanted a cover that catches the attention of Black or Heavy Metal Fans and seperates itself from the rest of the usual Black Metal cover artworks. It’s colourful and vibrant – just as the tales and that’s really the point. It’s an eye catcher that makes you wonder what you are looking at.

9. Blutrausch Propaganda has taken care of the album edition. How did the possibility of publishing the album through this record label come about? How did the possibility of making the vinyl edition come about? Are you satisfied with the editing work and promotion carried out by Blutrausch Propaganda?

Well I am the owner of Blutrausch Propaganda and this album was perfect to figure out how to get into 12inch production. Luckily I got into contact with Flight13 in Karlsruhe who delivered a fantastic product. As a vinyl collector I was very happy with the quality and I will definitly continue to use their service.Promotion wise I’d like to thank Greg Biehl, Goniloc, Dutch Pearce and Decibel Magazine for putting us on the map. Ironically people from the US are more interested in Markgraf than germans. I guess the rest was simply mouth propaganda and additonal attention by Nihilistic Noise Propaganda and Red Door Records who were kind enough to distribute the album in the US. A special shoutout goes to Abart Corruptions who did the tape release. As you can tell we promoted the album within a microcosmos of the DIY Black Metal scene.

10. How were your beginnings in music: the first albums you bought, the first concerts you attended, etc ... What made you want to be musicians?

My mum confronted me with alot of brazilian folklore and my father got me into the Beatles at a young age. Later on I fell in love with NWoBHM and brazilian first wave Black Metal and at some point I started to explore any kind of music, wether medieval, modern, electronic, avantgarde, etc.. The StudioEins record store in Karlsruhe is my go to place to discover new stuff. I developed the habit to buy albums randomly just for the sake of surprise.I think that honest display of expression and raw emotions was the reason why I got into playing an instrument.I enjoyed the Keep it True Festival for a while and Chaos Descends but what really gets me into live performances are the little gigs and DJ Nights at the Alte Hackerei in Karlsruhe.Every night something new and raw, always personal and the staff is simply the best. 

11. In a period of restrictions such as the current one due to Covid-19, how do you think it has affected you in terms of promotion and sales? How do you think this time has been beneficial for people to discover new bands, etc. ..?

I think so. People are begging for gigs and festivals and they are currently getting their fix with all these new albums. There are more discussions, people share their new discoveries –it’s pretty cool and I hope that they’ll continue with that even after the pandemic. People complain sometimes that the music market is oversaturated but I don’t really see the issue. More IS more and it’s cool to have multiple choices. On a personal note: I had more time for music and crafting and got me into a great working flow. It really is the golden age of basement dwelling hahaha.

12. Which album represents to you the essence of black metal? What albums have you bought recently?

I.N.R.I. by Sarcofago. Without a doubt. Any kind of extreme music sounds better when the musicians are pissed and you can hear it. Authenticity and intuition are key to good music.I recently got some new releases of Nihilistic Noise Propaganda and Red Door Records and this neat little demo from Tupperware (American Underbelly) but I am really looking foward to the Blutschwur EP I ordered and I wanted to get Liquids (Life is Pain Idiot).

13. What future plans do you have for the band in terms of upcoming releases, reissues, etc ...? Will there be chances of seeing them on stage?

The second album is already composed and we’ll record and release it in 2022. We are taking our music to new extremes and it will even be more adventerous and experimental. Lyrically we simply continue with our concept and hey MAYBE we’ll even get ready for some gigs event though that’s not really my ambition at the moment. I prefer recording and composing over playing live to be honest but there will definitly be a gig down the line some day.

14. Thank you very much for the time dedicated to Black Metal Spirit, if you want to add something for Markgraf fans this is the place. I hope the questions have been to your likingThank you for approaching us and for your time.

To all the fans and non-fans: Keep your heads up and we’ll return better and stronger than ever.



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