27 May
Interview with MARKGRAF


We had a conversation with Odio (Vocals/Guitars). Enjoy!

Welcome to the FILTHY DOGS OF METAL Webzine.

Tell us a few things about MARKGRAF (Members, Starting Year etc).
It all started in 2019 when I (Ódio) recorded the first demo which consisted of a rough version of "Burkart Keller von Yburg" and a Cirith Ungol Cover. The idea was to simply combine first wave Black Metal with traditional Heavy Metal and anything else I like. Lyrically we are focused on the mythology and tales of the German town Baden-Baden. There has not been a consistent lineup ever since but let's put it like this: I always worked with people who were not really into Black Metal or the traditional Styles of Heavy Metal I like. It kind of forces a different a fresh approach to the music which is my ultimate goal since I really hate stagnation and repetition.

You have recently released your album ''Hohenbaden''. What is the feedback from your audience as well as from the press?
Fortunately we could reach a new and broader audience with "Hohenbaden" and I am very thankful and glad that we're not seen anymore as a band that does "Black Metal with Cirith Ungol Vocals". It's good to see how open minded the listeners are especially in regards to the very long (20min) and experimental title track. I am looking forward to further discussions and reactions.

Label or DIY and why?
I am basically running my own Label with Blutrausch Propaganda and coordinated everything around the release and marketing with exception of the tapes which were released by my friend at AbArt Corruption. When you invest so much passion into something so personal like music it would feel wrong- at least in my opinion- to give all the responsibility away to another person. The feeling of satisfaction and pride  after all the hard work is the biggest reward.

Is there any funny or weird story from the recordings or from your live shows that you would like to share with us?
I really suck at pre-production and to me matters worse even though having over a decade of experience at playing the guitar I have no clue whatsoever about music theory and everything around it. My producer and drummer suffered ALOT during the recording process because of my incompetence of correctly naming the bpm and time signatures. Therefore they always yelled "DUDE WHERE'S THE '1'?!" at me.

Do you prefer Vinyl, Tape, CD or Digital Format and why is that?
I do prefer physical copies and love to collect them but I don't see any issue with digital distribution either. It's a luxury of our times to have the possibility to discover obscure music at any time. And I am not really bothered by losing money either. Fans will always buy music and merch and support the bands they like.

Your music style is Heavy Metal. Which are your main influences (Favourite Artists / Bands etc.)
The most obvious one would be Cirith Ungol, Mercyful Fate, Flames Of Hell on the Heavy Metal spectrum and Master's Hammer, Sarcofago and Bathory on the Black Metal side. However Markgraf has always been about including aspects from other genres like Jangle Pop (The Smiths, Cleaners From venus, Orange Juice), Dream Pop (Cocteau Twins, Lush) or even Bossa Nova.

Which things do you think a band should sacrifice in order to succeed? Have you ever sacrificed anything in your life for a better future for your band?
Obviously time. You should always give your head a lot of space to figure out what you want to articulate and express. There is no shortcut to good and timeless music.

Describe your ideal live show as a performance band. Have you already experienced that?
I am not really a live-person but we are slowly working on gathering a live lineup to play some shows one day.

What attributes do you think that a new Heavy/Black Metal Band should have in order to gain identity and be unique?
I think it really boils down to the honesty of the intellectual material. There are a lot of technically good bands however they do not seem to express original ideas and a real passion. We all love 80s Metal but I see no reason in listening to bands who copy the exact same shit over and over again. I do believe that we can take many aspects from that era and turn it into something fresh and new without losing the spirit.

Do you believe that Digital Platforms help the new Heavy Metal Bands? Which, do you think, is the ideal way for a band to promote its work?
Absolutely! The die hard YouTube Channels alone are a real blessing and are even more convinient and effective in reaching a broader audience as quick as possible than traditional media like print. People can list their favorite music so there is no day without discovering something new. I have a soft spot for radio though. Having a well researched issue with an interview and the music is truely captivating. That's where the real magic happens.

Tell us a few things about the New Underground Metal Scene in Germany (Bands, Fanzines, Webzines, Metal Clubs etc.)
I mostly ignore it and spend more time in my own research. I am really fond of "Strength & Anger" though and the ecclectic output on that label.
Many established labels have lost their edge to me so it's always refreshing to see someone doing proper work for the underground. Aside from that I can recommend these following bands: Manace, Necromancer, Rumours, Nekrovault and Xandelyer

Do you know anything about the Hellenic Metal Scene?
Truely captivating and unique in their sound! There is a certain vibe that bands like Thou Art Lord, Necromantia or Nocternity share that other bands don't have. I also realised that the bass playing seems more virtuoso which is always a huge plus. 

The last 4 years, worldwide in the world, we have faced many dark, strange & new situations in our everyday life (covid, lock-down etc.) Did all of this affect you positively or negatively?
It's a little bit rough to admit but it was the best thing that could happen to me. A lot of good changes were made in life and working on and with music became a central role. It's a new mindset that carried over to this day and I am grateful every day that I can do these things. However I am well aware that this does not apply to most folks out there but it's good to see that we are leaving this era behind. Like I already said: Stagnation is not a good thing so I am looking forward how this world keeps developing.

What are your future plans?
Maybe a third album? Maybe some gigs? Maybe something completely different! I am not really set on any plans yet but I am enjoying the ride. We will see!

Thank you very much for your time & keep up the good work! The closure is yours.
Thank YOU for the opportunity. Thanks to all the maniacs and supporters! See ya on the road!

By Steve the Filthy Dog.










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