If Tommy T. Baron is the brain in Coroner, Marquis Marky is definitely the heart. He is responsible for most of Coroner’s lyrics and artwork. And of course, as a drummer he gave Tommy T. Baron a perfect counterbalance for the music to not sound like Nintendo-core. Marky is currently playing in his new band, Tar Pond, which released their debut album Protocols of Constant Sadness.We have just interviewed Marky. The interview is 1 hour-18-minutes-long, so make sure to get your popcorn!
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We started the interview with a discussion about Tar Pond. The band finished the mix for the new album in February this year. They are currently mastering and working for a new record label. The album will be released by "early autumn this year". The band recorded 6 songs but the album will contain only 4. The band also did a 26-minute long remix of the songs from the previous album which Marky described as "atmospheric" and "spacy". He also stated "It’s probably gonna be a double album with a third side where we’re going to put this (remixes) on." He recalled that Tar Pond was formed in 2014 and that the original band members were Martin Eric Ein and Tommy T Baron. He mentioned that there were Martin Eric Ein of Celtic Frost (RIP), Tommy T. Baron of Coroner, Thomas Ott (the singer of Tar Pond) at his birthday party. Marky said that he already had an idea to form the band with Martin Eric Ein. Tommy Baron was also a part of the short lived original lineup. He recalled that Martin died half a year after the recordings of the Tar Pond debut album. "which was a huge shock for everybody of course. Not just losing such a good friend and also like...it was a big shock for the band, you know, it was like, what we wanna do? He was kind of like a motor for the band so losing him it was a very, very sad, tragic incident. We were actualy close before to stop the band at this point. On the other hand we also wanted to release the recordings since Martin was very happy with it so in the end it turned out that everybody thought like, let’s go on…And we also always wanted to play a live show."
He then talked about Martin Eric Ein who was a dear friend of his. “All I can say is that he was such an outstanding, such a special person and he had a huge knowledge about movies for instance, about music, literature…He had a huge collection of these little figures…A living lexicon. You could ask him whatever. He knew something to say. It was always right. And he was a lot of fun, a great entertainer. He did many shows with his band Karaoke From Hell which he started after the split of the Celtic Frost reunion tour. He was a host of the show in a club and he did such a great job because it was so much fun. So sad. I miss him a lot, still today.”
Then, Marky recalled the connection that Celtic Frost and Coroner had since the Death Cult Demo on which Tom Warrior sang and wrote the lyrics. By the way, the lyrics for Coroner’s song "Why it Hurts" were written by Martin Eric Ein. Marky said that Celtic Frost made Coroner "known in the world" He also said that during the 1986 Celtic Frost US tour, Marky had an opportunity to share Coroner’s demos around while at the time he was working as a Celtic Frost roadie. Tom Warrior was also responsible for Coroner, Voivod and Watchtower getting a record deal for Noise Records. "First I can say is that Tom has a very good taste, that he brought these bands to Noise Records." Marky then talked about Celtic Frost, Voivod US tour.
Marky then said how easier it is for him to be playing drums in Tar Pond when compared with Coroner. "I left Coroner in 2013 because it was just like...I don’t like to play complicated fast drums anymore. Actually, I never did. Somehow I was pushed into that but I always actually prefer to play slow and heavy. You know the song "Invincible" on the demo tape, it was actually what I like the most, more kind of Black Sabbath stuff. But anyways we ended up playing very fast and very complicated but more and more it was too extreme for my skills. You know, I’m not a drummer that goes to rehearse for himself to do all the rolls and everything like that. I was always too lazy. So left and right, all the drummers of all the bands that we toured with they were just like 10 times better than what I could play. But that was just never my goal. I wanted to just have the feeling and to play very heavy. My dream was always to play that kind of music that we are doing with Tar Pond. And playing drums for Tar Pond is for me much more… It’s almost relaxing… It’s a total…I can totally play with feeling and heaviness rather than concentrate on complicated breaks and stuff like that…“
As for his drumming influences, he said that his favorite drummer is John Bohnam (RIP) of Led Zeppelin. Among others, he mentioned Dave Lombardo of Slayer, Stewart Copeland of The Police, Reed St. Mark of Celtic Frost,
Then, Marquis Marky talked about how oppressive the Swiss government was back in the 80’s when youth and musicians were in question. He recalled the 1980 Zurich riots, known as Opernhauskrawalle, where the youth went to the streets because the government spent 62 million dollars on renovation of an Opera House while on the other hand, musicians had no clubs, no rehearsal spaces. The music couldn’t be played after 10 PM. The metalheads were harrassed by the police for their long hair and skateboards. He stated that it was a „huge fight“ to have „space to have the bands, to have the culture of the young people to celebrate. It was a hard fight actually.“ Afterwards, he talked about the Zurich scene, and mentioned bands like Krokus, Hellhammer, Lunacy, Excruciation, Messiah.
When asked who came up with the band’s name – Coroner, Marky said: "the name came from the bass player of the old lineup. His name was Phil Pusztai. He is originally from Hungary. I remember first we were called Vault8 so we tought it’s too much AC/DC sounding. They had this name before I joined the band and then we thought we need something more special. And then maybe most of the bands of the world do that, we had the list of the names and this Phil Pustai said: Well, how about Coroner, it’s a medical examiner and has something to do with death. And imediately everybody was like YEAH! That’s the name! It sounds cool!"
Afterwards, Marquis Marky talked about Chuck Schuldiner of Death (RIP) who was a big fan of Coroner. He said that they were good friends and that he met him at Morrisound Studio while Death was recording Human album, while at the same time, Coroner were mixing and recording Mental Vortex album at Morrisound Studio as well. He recalled Chuck as "such a nice person, great musician. I loved the music, Death. I adore this band. Yeah, it’s a shame.”
Then, Marky talked about working with the legendary Scott Burns of Morrisound Studios. He said that Tom T. Baron worked with Scott Burns for No More Color.
Marky then discussed recording the first three Coroner albums in West Berlin which he found very inspiring.
Marky said that Coroner weren’t happy with the video release of their infamous concert in East Berlin (No More Color – Live in East Berlin) but had to release it due to the pressure coming from the Noise Record’s Karl Walterbach. Coroner’s song "Last Entertainment (TV Bizzare)" was featured in Thrashing East documentary, with Cold War footage of The Berlin Wall coming down.
Afterwards, Marquis Marky talked about the lyrics for the songs "When Angels Die" and "Masked Jackal". "Masked Jackal is just a song about the politician. I think it’s funny, I thought about it during the Trump era, that it fits perfectly on Donald Trump. (laughs). It’s about a politician…“ When asked whether he had a certain politician in mind, he said: "No, I think as you can see, it’s an never ending story with guys that have a high position. And they’re just like assholes. You will find right now many of them. That’s sure, my children and their children will still see the same. That’s never gonna change.“
Then, he talked about the meaning behind the Punishment for Decadence and No More Color albums: "Punishment for Decadence actually speaks for itself. It’s just like, if you fuck up the world more and more and you would have complete decadent life, sooner or later there’s gonna be some punishment for it. If you see the Roman emperor that went down like this and many other stories in history… No More Color topic is just like, too much, too much information, too much color. I think, as I wrote those lyrics there was nothing compared as it is right now, you know you can 24 hours bomb yourself with millions of information and movies, and clips and social media… that’s actually much more extreme and I think this title would fit even better today than it did at the time I wrote it.“
Marquis Marky recalled US Kreator and Coroner tour. Among others he mentioned a tour with Nuclear Assault and Panic and then talked about Coroner playing with Motorhead. And he shared a couple of funny stories with Lemmy Kilmister.
When asked about the direction that the band took on Mental Vortex album, he said that Coroner was fed up with playing fast live and that’s why they changed their style away from 2 studio albums. Marky said that he totally likes the Grin album, and denounced accusations that it took him 20 days to record the drums for it. "It was probably a week or something“. He stated that after that album he decided not to play in Coroner anymore.
Then, Marky talked about what he was doing after he left the band. He was working as a graphic designer, at a record store in which Martin Eric Ein worked as well, and also produced electro music. He then moved on to talk about his band Apollyon Sun.
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In the last part of the interview, Marky discussed Coroner Reunion and Coroner’s LSD trip in Paris’ Disneyland and talked about how drugs helped the band to a certain extent (3 or 4 times a year). Marky mentioned that Tar Pond’s album was recorded in Tommy T. Baron’s studio and that he is still in contact with Coroner. Regarding the new Coroner album, Marky stated: "As far as I know they have more or less finished with the songwriting. They are supposed to finally go to the studio this fall. I’m really looking forward to it. I’m sure it’s gonna be great.“ Sadly, he is definitely not a part of Coroner's upcoming album.
01:04 New Tar Pond album
06:28 Remembering Martin Eric Ein.
08:33 Coroner and Celtic Frost connection
11:04 – Easier drumming with Tar Pond
13:26 Drumming influences
14:37 Swiss Riots, Opernhauskrawalle
22:02 Coroner’s band name?
23:09 Coroner and Chuck Schuldiner of Death
30:54 Working with Scott Burns
32:26 West Berlin experience
40:09 Gig in Poland, 1989
42:20 No More Color – Live in East Berlin
46:00 "When Angels Die" and "Masked Jackal" lyrics
48:38 Punishment for Decadence and No More Color albums
55:12 Mental Vortex and Grin albums
01:01:20 In the Meantime
01:05:41 Coroner Reunion
01:10:10 – Coroner on a LSD Trip in Disneyland
01:12:32 – In contact with Coroner?
01:13:22 – New Coroner album?
01:14:15 Final Words
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