I have been a hugh Desaster fan since my late school
days, but I have to admit that I lost my connection to them during the
last years. One of the reasons for that was definitely their inactivity
during the last 2-3 years, of course. But they suddenly got all our
attention again a days ago since their long-year drummer Husky left the
band because he became the new Sodom drummer and had lack of time to
continue. So I took my chance to call guitarist and founding member
Markus ”Infernal“ Kuschke by phone and talked about the whole long
Desaster story until today for 40 minutes. And it turned out to be very
interesting! Here we go!
HELL-ö Infernal! Do you remember when Desaster were
founded back in 1988?
Yes, well… When we were 15/16 years old, we all had the dream of having
an own band. At first, we tried to write our first songs on acoustic
guitars, haha! It was short time before Christmas that we told our
parents that we wanted to found a band and needed instruments for that.
That was when we got our first guitar and bass. Only a drummer was still
missing. We found him one year later, in 1989. Then we met a club for
our very first show although we didn´t have any songs. Our first gig had
most priority, haha! But we actually wrote our first songs after that.
That´s why we always say that the year of our foundation was in 1989
although we first started in 1988; that´s right.
Where did you know each other? Did you go to school
together? Or what was it like?
Yes, kind of. We all went to different schools actually, but we all
travelled with the same bus to Koblenz and did stage diving and tape
trading on our way, haha! So yes, we all knew each other before.
Have you already played in other bands before?
No, Desaster actually was our first band!
How did it happen that you used the German spelling of
the band name although you had English lyrics?
This was actually not our own idea, but there was the Destruction song
‘Total Desaster’. They also spelled it with an “e”. And because we were
hugh Destruction fans, we chose this name and took over this “mistake”.
We never cared about that because we were the German Desaster anyway.
Also, when we talk about the band, we always say Desaster (pronounced
the German way) and not Disaster, like the people from foreign countries
On Metal Archives it´s said that the band did not exist
in 1991 (1988-´90 and 1992-present). Is that true? What went wrong at
Yes, that´s true! We had some problems in 1990. First we only had a
session drummer who went to school with our former singer. He also
played in another band and didn’t want to rehearse regularly with us.
And he had lack of time. And our former singer, Creator Cassie, also
developed other musical interests, so we parted ways. That´s why
Desaster we “on hold” in 1991 before we were able to restart with a new
line-up in 1992.
On your three demos you still had the old band logo with
the SS runes. Was that a kind of provocation, or did that happen
accidentally? Maybe a tribute to Kiss? And was that maybe also the
reason why you changed the logo for all your later releases?
At first, we didn’t even recognize that they looked like SS runes. For
us they just looked like flashes of lightning. But when we were
recognized by the public, some people really asked us about that quite
often although we never had anything to do with Nazi stuff obviously.
And then Christophe Szpajdel, the logo man, who already designed
thousands of band logos, came up to us and said, “Hey, I heard you have
some problems with your logo. Here you have some ideas.” And so we
decided to use the new logo from that day on, without the SS runes. It
was first used on the split-7” EP with Ungod which was released even
before our debut.
Concerning your demos: Your third demo ‘Lost In The Ages’
was re-released in 2007 as a bootleg-split-CD from Finland; together
with the Impiety demo ‘Ceremonial Necrochrist Desecration’ (spelled with
“c“) and their 7“ EP ‘Salve The Goat…Iblis Exelsi’. It was entitled
‘Ceremonial Necrochrist Redesekration’ (spelled with “k“). Do you know
this bootleg? And do you have an idea who spread it?
Yes, I have heard about that. I would like to have it too, haha! But I
think I never held it in my own hands… I don´t know. You know, there are
always releases like that because people like to have it, But mostly,
they are just business men who want to earn money with it. It´s always
sad that the bands don´t get their free copy for their own collection at
least. Our address are always given in our booklets. So they could just
send it. Also ‘A Touch Of Medieval Darkness’ was bootlegged a few years
ago. We are not financially damaged by that. We don´t lose money with
this, but the labels do and have to deal with it then. But we as a band
once wrote all those songs and deserved to get a free copy of those
bootlegs at least, in my opinion.
No matter if bootleg or not: This CD is great, isn´t it?
I mean, there are releases featured that have been sold out for a very
long time now! And metalheads are always fanatic collectors! What do you
think about such collector´s items in general?
Yes, of course! I am a vinyl collector myself and have one or another
bootleg in my collection as well! That’s why I say: I don´t have
anything against those bootlegs in general! I´m not like Lars Ulrich of
Metallica who can´t sleep at night because people bootleg his music and
he doesn’t have enough pocket money for postage anymore, haha! I´m proud
if we are bootlegged because it´s also a kind of honor from fans. But as
I said: It would have been nice to get free copies for our own
collections then at least!
How did you have the idea about the split-7“ EP with
Ungod in 1995? Did you know the band before? Or was it the idea of your
label Merciless Records back then?
That was a funny story actually because some bands in the black metal
underground didn’t like each other. It was a fact that we really loved
Ungod! You can say that they were the first German black metal band of
the second wave who already released something on vinyl. And Schiekron
had tried to contact us several times to ask us if we were interested in
doping a split-EP. But the letter got lost by the German mail… And he
thought that we were arrogant and didn’t want to do that, haha! But this
case was later solved by our good friend, Iron Pegasus Records owner
Costa Stoios who had contact to both Schiekron (who´s unfortunately not
in Ungod anymore today) and us. Of course we wanted to do this split!
And as you might know, this split-EP was of course later released by
Your debut ‘A Touch Of Medieval Darkness’ was released in
1996; eight years after the foundation of the band! The album was
well-received in the underground. Were you aware of the cult of this
album back in the day? Or did this cult status develop though the
No, not at all! We were pretty annoyed because we had already been
active since 1992 and always had problems to deal with. Our debut
usually should have been released many years ago! Maybe our career would
have developed totally different… If you could say career at all… But it
was not released until 1996. We recorded it in 1995 and always had
problems with our former drummer. We didn’t rehearse a lot… And
Merciless Records took themselves a lot of time as well until the album
was finally released. But it should have been released long time before
that! Maybe it would have been a milestone like a band like Mayhem… Who
knows? We´ll never know… Just imagine! But we´re proud of what we
created! If this album is ´cult´ today, it´s a fact that makes us
On your second album ‘Hellfire´s Dominion’ there was your
smash hit ‘Metalized Blood’ featuring Thorsten ”Toto“ Bergmann of Living
Death in the second verse. How did you get in contact with him?
Yes, we had good contact to Atomic Steiff who had also played drums in
Living Death. We also spent the night with the Heavy Metal Fan Club
Velbert where we recorded the album. And we asked him if he could
convince Toto to reactivate him because he had not done anything with
music for several years at that time. But he convinced him to be back
from the dead! There was a funny story: Toto was really enthusiastic to
sing for us. And on his way to the studio, he practiced the song in the
car. We already sent him the demo track before, so that he knew what to
do. And we listened to it in the car, and he started to shout it at the
traffic jam, haha! That was pretty cool
Daniel: On your first albums, you played a mix between
black and thrash metal with a few medieval melodies included. Why did it
take so much time to find your own style? I think it became more and
more unique on your later albums. Or am I wrong in this case?
Well, not really unique, I think. But you´re right: We often had those
medieval melodies in the past. We sorted them out a little bit because
our current singer, Sataniac, does not like medieval stuff that much.
And of course, we respected that! But we still have atmospheric
influences here and there. We always call them ballads when we have slow
passages, haha! But I think our style is still varied. The last albums
received some really good reviews although we don´t really care about
that much. We must always like our own music; that´s all. Otherwise we
wouldn’t release it.
In 2001 you played your last show with your former singer
Oliver ”Okkulto“ Martin at Wacken Open Air. Did you already know that it
was your last gig with him? Or did he tell you later?
Infernal: No, we didn’t know it. But the atmosphere in the band was
really bad at that time. Okkulto and Tormentor always had conflicts.
They had totally different plans how the band had to work. Tormentor is
someone who wants to play anywhere every day. He´s the born musician,
you can say. Okkulto was a shy guy who only wanted to play selected,
special gigs in front of a selected audience. We reached a point where
it just didn’t fit anymore. That´s the reasons why he left the band in
Daniel: Today Wacken is a very commercial event. Desaster
is total underground. Why Wacken for all senses?
Of course it´s possible that he decided this for himself, as a special
highlight maybe to end it up… But I don´t really know if that´s true…
Two tracks of this Wacken gig (‘Sataniac’ and ‘Show Them
How’) were released on the ‘Sons Of Infernity’ 7“ EP. Why didn’t you
release the complete gig as a farewell show cult tape or something like
Just because of technical reasons. Those were the only two tracks that
were good enough to use, haha! The sound was pretty bad, but it was also
a good chance to end up this era. We already had one new studio track
entitled ‘Sons Of Infernity’ which we didn’t want to throw away. We
really wanted to release it and still needed a b-side for that. So it
was a good chance to do it like this.
Do you know Okkulto´s new band Eurynomos? And what do you
think of it?
Yes, of course! Costa Stoios of Iron Pegasus Records and some other
friends of mine also play in this band! Everybody knows each other in
our area. I followed the band from the very beginning and think it´s
great! I can´t wait for their debut album! I think it will be released
Have you stayed in contact with him after his departure
from Desaster at all?
Well, not directly after the departure, of course, because the
atmosphere within the band was really bad… There were a lot of conflicts
between us. But life goes on and we met each other again after some
time. Today we have a normal friendship again. He´s also a member of the
Hellbangers Moselfranken fan club where I´m a member too. So there´s no
bad blood between us anymore, and we support each other again.
Everything is fine between us now!
How did you get in contact with Guido “Sataniac“ Wissmann
as his follow-up singer? Have you already known him before?
Yes, once we had organized a gig together featuring Asphyx, Warhammer
and Divine Genocide, the old band of Sataniac, from the Eifel area. And
on this gig I was pretty fascinated by him as both singer and person.
When Okkulto left the band, he was even our first choice. We contacted
him directly and he became the new Desaster singer.
Your bassist Volker “Odin“ is the only band member
wearing corpse paint. Why? Would it be much cooler to have a unique look
with the whole band? It reminds me on Mayhem´s Dead a little bit who
also was the only corpse paint guy of the band on stage for a while…
Haha! No, it didn’t really had to do with Mayhem actually. When we
re-started the band in 1992, we had both Okkulto and Odin in our
line-up. They were just high black metal fans and started painting their
faces in the beginning. Me and our drummer were not fascinated by this
and just didn’t do it. But we said from the beginning that everybody can
do what he wants. And since Okkulto left the band, Odin was the only
corpse paint guy in the band left. That´s all.
After 22 long years, you suddenly parted ways from for
drummer Stefan ”Husky“ Hüskens who was a member of the band from 1996
until 2018. He always had a lot of bands at the same time. He now plays
in Sodom and Asphyx. In the past he also played drums in Carnal Ghoul,
Metal Inquisitor, Metalucifer, Deathfist and Decayed. Was it just too
much to handle? Was that the reason for the split? And are you still
friends at all?
Yes, of course! We´re still good friends! We still respect and like each
other. It was like you said: It was just too much work for him. Husky
has two bands; even two quite big bands! And he has a ´normal´ job as
well. It was clear that there was not much time left for Desaster
anymore. We hadn’t rehearsed anymore and only met for gigs. It was even
him who suggested an additional session drummer for live gigs because he
already knew that he was not able to play all gigs with us. And then we
got along so well with our session drummer that we decided to bring him
into the band. We finally wanted to rehearse and write songs again! And
that was not possible with Husky anymore, and so we decided to do it
this way. Of course, for us it was not an easy decision! We grow up with
him. I have known Husky since he was 15! W e were sad about it, but it
was necessary. We didn’t want to slow down his career. He´s the drummer
of Sodom now which had been a dream for him since his childhood to play
in a band like this! And, of course, we are proud that we achieved this!
So there´s no bad blood between us at all!
Your new drummer is, surprisingly to me, Marco ”Hont“
Hontheim who played drums in the German mainstream radio rock band
Jupiter Jones from 2002 until 2018! I always had to listen to their big
hit ‘Still’ (which is German for “Silent“) on the radio at work! I hated
it! This didn’t seem to be a really true decision of yours, haha! How
the Hell did that happen? I mean, you will definitely not have stayed in
front of the radio, listened to that song and said, “Wow, check out this
amazing drummer! He´s fucking amazing! We have to take him into Desaster!”.
Haha, yes, your´re right! It wasn’t that way for sure, haha! What least
people know is that Hont actually had a real Metal life before he joint
Jupiter Jones! He had played Divine Genocide, together with Sataniac (!)
and in Monastery from Saarbrücken (so not the Dutch Monastery with the
same name, a short-lived Sinister side project in the early 90´s!). They
had released two CD´s and played thrash metal. But they were so damn
understand that even I never heard of them before, haha! Usually I know
all underground bands from my area… But those CD´s never got my
attention strangely… But as I said: Hont has a metal past and he’s
really happy now. After Jupiter Jones split up, he wanted to make noise
But did he know Desaster at all?
Oh yes! He has always stayed in contact with Sataniac. They also don´t
live too far away from each other in the Eifel area. He had always
followed our career and Sataniac’s entry into the band back then as
well. That´s why he already knew Desaster!
This year Desaster have their 30 years anniversary! I
think there was no anniversary show or release because of the line-up
change behind the drums… Are there any plans for that in 2019?
Well, as I already told you in the beginning. We ourselves always say
that our year of foundation was in 1989. We will definitely do something
that way. We have plans to release a single at least, entitled ‘Black
Celebration’. We already played it live. It is the first song we wrote
together with our new drummer Hont. About any further plans, like an
official anniversary show etc., we don´t really know yet because we had
celebrated our 25 years anniversary in Bamberg with a DVD, CD and LP
already; a show featuring several ex-members and stuff like that. We
won´t definitely do that in the near future again for sure!
Something different I wanted to ask you: In 2015, there
was a Desaster tribute sampler (‘We Worship Desaster’). Do you know how
Oh yes, haha! I don´t really remember how this happened, to be honest.
One day someone came up to me and told me about those plans. I asked
myself who would contribute on this at all, haha! I mean, I heard some
cover songs here and there over the years because they were sent to us
and it was really interesting to hear their interpretations of our
songs. But I think this tribute CD was a little bit too much, haha! I
mean, we´re not really a legend, you know? But it was a cool thing to
listen to those versions. I like that CD, of course! But I don´t know if
it sold much or if people were interested in that at all…
Were you aware that you had so much influence on the
underground at all?
Well, nowadays I recognize that a little bit because our name is often
mentioned in several interviews; in South American countries for all
senses! We really seemed to have a lot of influence on many bands. I´m
always shocked when people mention us in the same sentence with Sodom,
Destruction and Kreator because obviously, we were the next generation.
But for those people we belong to that era too strangely because we´re
also German thrash metal. That´s pretty amazing!
If you take a look at the last 30 years today: Is there
any Desaster album you personally like most or least? And if so, Why?
Well, there’s no ´I don´t like it anymore´. I like all our albums. If I
had to choose one, I would vote for ‘Tyrants Of The Netherworld’ from
2000, the last album featuring Okkulto on vocals. For me, it´s our
perfect album. Most people say that ‘Hellfire´s Dominion’ was their
favorite because of ‘Metalized Blood’ and ‘Teutonic Steel’. Those two
songs are always wanted on our live shows too. But I personally like
‘Tyrants Of The Netherworld’ most.
Both Odin and you, are the only original band members
left. Could you imagine to still continue with Desaster if he left the
band as well? Or would you split up the band automatically then?
Oh, that´s hard to say actually. In the past we always said that we four
guys, Tormentor, Odin, Sataniac and me, would be Desaster forever. But
he had to depart from Husky unfortunately. I think music should be
played as long as the spirit is still alive. If nobody is interested
anymore, it´s okay because then we would still play music for ourselves.
Of course, some bands should end up before it gets ridiculous, haha! But
on the other hand, I think that Desaster proved a lot in the past. Our
last line-up remained the same for a very long time! If another one
left… I don´t know… We can´t foresee that. I always live in the here and
now and don´t care much about the future.
What are your future plans with Desaster? Will there be a
new album soon?
Yes! We have a new, great mood within the band now. We can finally
continue rehearsing regularly. That´s very important for us! We´re a
real band again! We want to play, rock, try different things and a lot
of drink beer together. We have fun again! And we want to continue
playing more live shows. There were not many shows during the last two
years… We definitely plan to record a new album and already test some
ideas with our new drummer. It works perfectly! But I´m afraid it will
last until 2020 until we have a new album ready to release…
Okay, Infernal! Then we have finally done our marathon
now, haha! Do you have any nice last words left?
Yes, I simply want to thank all of you who always supported us! Also
thanx to you for doing this interview! I really appreciate this! It´s
always great to us that there´s still a lot of interested in us old
guys, haha! Now we are all in the mid 40’s. I see that in the scene as
well, of course! There are still many old bands around who are still
active. Some of them became boring from time to time, I have to admit,
although they´re still praised for their glorious past. But they ruin
themselves, in my opinion. I hope we don´t belong to them! People should
still like us because we still play great music!
Daniel Müller/ Patchman Marco for Headbangers Zine &
Markus ”Infernal“ Kuschke - Guitars
Odin - Bass
Guido "Sataniac" Wissmann - Vocals
Hont - Drums
1996 - A Touch of Medieval Darkness
1998 - Hellfire’s Dominion
2000 - Tyrants of the Netherworld
2002 - Divine Blasphemies
2005 - Angelwhore
2007 - 666 – Satan’s Soldiers Syndicate
2012 - The Arts of Destruction
2016 - The Oath of an Iron Ritual