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20 Questions With Angelic Desolation

The Denver metal titans on acid, riffs, guns, birds, raining death & being eaten alive.

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Angelic Desolation play by their own rules. That much is evident from even the briefest exposure to their music — an intensely punishing, blazingly intricate and darkly hilarious blend of styles and sounds known as American Razorgrind. Another move that sets them apart: To accompany the reissue of their last two releases Rumpus Time Is Over and Quorum Of Unspeakable Curses, they recorded the tellingly titled Progressively Drunker Commentary Dual Re-Issue. I don’t know if guitarist Matt was imbibing while answering my ridiculous questions, but he doesn’t pull any punches. See for yourself:

 


 

Introduce yourself: Name, age (feel free to lie), home base and any other details you’d care to share — height / weight / identifying marks / astrology sign / your choice.
My name is Matt and I write all of the guitar parts for Angelic Desolation. We are a death metal band based out of Denver, and we blend the stylings of grindcore, thrash and death metal to create a sound that we call American Razorgrind. I am older than 2 but younger than 481 and my sign is “none of that is real.”

What is your musical origin story?
The vocalist Jay, the bassist Chris and I have all known each other since middle/high school. Chris and I helped Jay come over to the side of death metal by introducing him to Decapitated in the early 2000s. Jay was more of a hip-hop guy at that time but we showed him enough riffs and blast beats to open that door for him. We never started jamming together until maybe 2008 but we really did nothing of significance and just screwed around all the time as most hobby bands do. I had been in two bands previous to Angelic Desolation and local-scene-long-story-short, they had asked me previously to be in the band and it never came to pass. A few years go by, we worked things out and have been solid ever since. After going through a few drummers we found Max around 2012 or 2013 maybe and put out our first EP with him in 2014, titled Evilgasm.

What’s your latest project? Tell us everything we need to know.
Our latest project is a dual re-release of our last two recordings. However, instead of doing the traditional remixed tracks or a vinyl release, Jay and I got together to do drunken track-by-track commentary. We did both recordings in the same night so as you listen to this thing we get progressively more drunk and probably harder to understand.

What truly sets you apart from other artists?
I don’t think that we are blazing new trails in the world of death metal. However, with our moniker of American Razorgrind, I guess that we think we are different? I don’t know, we love the classic thrash bands, we love the insane filth that is grindcore and we love the sheer brutality of death metal. We take all of those elements and combine them to get our sound. Please don’t think that we are a bunch of assholes though and gave ourselves our own style. Another band from the Denver scene are the ones who coined the term and we just decided to run with it.

How will my life improve by listening to your music?
Our music will improve your life by giving you tinnitus. If you turn it up loud enough then our music will install a high-pitched ringing in your ears that will never go away. Who doesn’t love that?

Tell us about the first song you wrote and / or the first gig you played.
The first gig that I ever played was a battle of the bands in a small neighborhood park at the age of 13. I’m sure that even though we moved on to the next round, we likely sounded like absolute garbage but the birds shut up while we were playing and that’s always a good sign right? Stupid birds.

What artist or style of music do you love that would surprise people?
I can really get down to funk music and that usually surprises a lot of people. If we’re at a party and I’m drinking and Kool & The Gang comes on, look the fuck out. I WILL tear up your carpet.

Tell us a joke.
What’s red and bad for your teeth? A brick.

What useful (or useless) skills do you have outside of music?
If I’m feeling exuberant, I might clap with one hand, with both hands. That is likely the quickest way to make yourself look like an idiot.

What do you collect?
I do not collect anything. I absolutely hate clutter and aside from furniture or musical equipment, my entire life fits in four large totes. If it doesn’t then I throw it away because it is trash and things are just things. How many things do you think that cavemen saved when they had to move caves? Two rocks maybe? I’m a huge fan of that philosophy.

What would you like to be reincarnated as?
Being reincarnated as a raptor would likely be pretty fun. Not a dinosaur but a bird. I think chilling at the top of some trees waiting to rain down death on your dinner sounds like a grand old time. I wouldn’t complain about the ability to fly either.

What’s your idea of perfect happiness / total misery?
Perfect happiness for me would be no monetary worries ever again. I would then have three different bowls, each one with a different hallucinogen in them. Mushrooms, acid and DMT. Their supply would be unlimited and since money isn’t an issue anymore, I have 10 different amps plugged into the wall so that I can riff as loud as possible at any given moment. Total misery on the other hand woud probably smell a lot like being stuck inside a portable toilet bowl, roasting in the sun and it never gets drained.

What’s your greatest regret?
I will have to be cliche with this answer in saying that I wish I would have taken guitar and band life in general seriously at an earlier age.

What are you afraid of?
Hard to say. I’ve been skydiving a few times so I definitely like adrenaline rushes. As far as I remember I’ve never been eaten alive and that would probably be a terrible way to go out. I’ll say eaten alive.

What would the title of your autobiography be?
Acid, Riffs And Guns.

Who should play you in the movie of your life?
He would probably be unwilling, but Ben from Goatwhore has a lot of the same facial characteristics as I do. So if someone is out there doing the casting call be sure to hit him up and you will be pleasantly surprised.

What’s always in your refrigerator?
Milk is always in the fridge and frozen berries are always in the freezer.

What’s the silliest thing you believed as a child?
I don’t remember when I realized that I was incorrect but I distinctly remember thinking that all dogs were boys and all cats were girls. Probably had a lot to do with the movie Homeward Bound.

What world record would you like to break?
I have no leanings toward automobiles or extensive knowledge about them but I think breaking something like the land speed record would be pretty intense.

What’s the best and / or worst advice you were ever given?
I can’t come up with a single phrase necessarily but for anyone that reads this, if your parents are divorced or separated, don’t take girl advice from your mom. Is your mom out there trying to get laid by other women? Likely not. I’m sure your mom means well but she has no game and you should delete any of her advice from that area of your brain.

Check out their commentary album above, hear more from Angelic Desolation below, and keep up with them on their website, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and TikTok.