You might have heard of Morbid Angel but maybe don’t know too much about MIKE BROWNING and what he’s been up to since he left Morbid Angel all those years ago. Here you’ll get all the necessary info to check out this man’s work. Anders Ekdahl ©2012
You’ve been part of some really great metal acts over the years; Morbid Angel, Incubus, Nocturnus, AfterDeath etc. I remember from back in the days when I read fanzines how I felt that Morbid Angel were unattainable and the Gods. What was it like being part of band that helped shape the death metal genre into what it is today?
-Well you know back when I was in the band we were still mainly a local band that just traded our music with everyone all over the world, but at that point we still hadn’t even played outside of our home town. We were into a lot of Necronomicon based rituals and basically the music and the songs were an extension of that, sort of like the bridge between two different worlds. I guess what I am saying is that we were more into the music than the audience back then.
What was it that hindered Incubus from going anywhere special?
-Sterling had a lot of mental problems so it was very difficult to deal with him on a daily basis. The band split up because Sterling and Gino were drunk and got into a fight and Gino beat up Sterling, I wasn’t there when it happened, but that was the end of Incubus. I do have to say though that Sterling being the way he was, was probably the reason that he wrote such extreme music.
How much recorded material is there of Incubus? I only have one 7” of material?
-That is it! We didn’t have a PA so we always rehearsed without any vocals and Sterling wouldn’t let us record our rehearsals either and the band split up before we ever got to play a live show, so those 3 songs really are the only thing that survived that lineup.
When that Nocturnus demo that came before the album hit the streets I remember how massive it felt listening to it. You guys only did a couple of albums and then it all dissolved. What are your feelings on the legacy that Nocturnus left behind?
-When I formed Nocturnus it was basically drums, bass, guitar and vocals, pretty basic but different. But as the band evolved I wanted to add more weird stuff, so getting a keyboard player was the thing that really set us apart from all the other Florida bands at that time. I was just trying to be different and have an atmosphere surrounding the music and had no idea that people would ever consider Nocturnus to be an influential band, but to this day there still has never been a band that I have heard that sounded like we did.
With so many great acts under your belt have you ever thought about doing an anthology album collecting rare and hard to find stuff and then release it on CD?
-That would be a great idea for sure, but I think there would be a lot of problems with getting permission to legally do that. Most of the stuff I have done is pretty easy to find on the internet, so if someone wants to hear all that stuff it’s easily obtainable for free. I will say though that in my current band After Death when we play shows and tour we usually throw in some Nocturnus and old Morbid Angel covers that I wrote all or part of the lyrics and or music too. I guess you can say I am like the Ozzy of Death Metal! heeheehee
I can only think of a handful drummers that also sing. What prompted you to grab the microphone too?
-It started back in Morbid Angel around 1985. We had several singers actually and no one was really right for what we needed, so one day I just said fuck it I will try because I know the way they should sound and work with the songs and because I knew the songs so well it just sort of flowed out of me and from that day on a became a vocalist and a drummer.
With After Death you pretty much continue where you left off. What kind of musical vision did you have for After Death?
-Exactly that, After Death is just the continuation of presenting what is going on in my life lyrically to music. I wanted it to contain a little of everything I have done but with something new as well added in.
The After Death CD (Iron Pegasus Records) I have seems more like a compilation. When can we expect a real album from After Death?
-Yes it is a compilation of an EP and 3 demos all on one CD. Right now we are releasing a split CD on a label called Proselytism Records, it should be out before the end of the year. After that maybe we can get the right label that can help us put out a really professional debut and video for it.
Is there any greater concept behind After Death?
-t is The Great Work! The interesting thing is if you read the lyrics to The Key, I mention a whole bunch of stuff about after death, like Before Christ I ruled the land, After Death I will rule once again! There is a lot more than that actually, so my lyrics from 1987 were pretty prophetic it seems.
You like me must be pushing 50. When you got into metal in the first place did you ever think you’d be at it even after you turned 40? I know I didn’t. Getting past 40 seemed so far away. Now I sit here and realize that I’m metal till death.
-You definitely got that right I will be 50 in less than 3 years and I can definitely feel it, but I can’t see myself not doing it at just about any age. But I never thought when I was young that I would still be playing metal in 2012!!!
How bright is the future for your musical endeavors?
-With MySpace and now Facebook I am constantly being asked to do guest stuff on peoples projects, it’s getting really hard to keep up with everything actually but like I said I can’t see myself not doing it!