Interview with Mike Browning (Ex-Morbid Angel, Ex-Nocturnus)

Mike - CropWe previously posted an article about Mike Browning being disgruntled over some happenings with David Vincent and his wife. has offered to give Mr. Browning an outlet to shed some light on the happenings of the early days of Morbid Angel, as well as clear up any confusion that may be encircling the metal underground.

Not many people have such an extensive resume when it comes to being involved with innovative bands in Death Metal. Mike Browning helped mold Morbid Angel, then he helped to create Nocturnus. He has also played and recorded with Incubus, Acheron and After Death.

We are fortunate that Mr. Browning has given us his time to answer these questions.

Hi Mike. Thank you for your time. I have often thought of early Morbid Angel as Slayer on steroids. Why did you guys decide to take the music in such an extreme manner?

It was really what was just coming out of us naturally. Back then we weren’t trying to do or be anything other than an evil chaotic band that was real. We literally did Necronomicon rituals before we played invoking the Ancient Ones and then with that energy we would start playing. We even did it for rehearsals as well as live shows.

There have been confusing recounts of the Abominations of Desolation recording session. Was this Morbid Angel’s first official album? If so, why has the band referred to it as a demo?

Abominations of Desolation was the first Morbid Angel album recorded. We signed to David Vincent’s label Goreque Records and we went to North Carolina to record and David even hired the legendary Bill Metoyer to engineer the record. So even though it was not released until later, it really is the first Morbid Angel record and not a demo.

I don’t know why the band says it’s only a demo. You would have to ask them that. They also claim that Sterling Scarborough played bass on the recording, which is not true either. It was John Ortega.

After Abominations of Desolation was recorded you returned to Florida and Trey stayed with David Vincent in North Carolina. Why did he stay there?

Yes the rest of the band went back to Tampa after we recorded while Trey stayed alone with David to do the mixing. It was told to us that it would be cheaper to just keep Trey there for the mixing, but when Trey came back he acted like a completely different person. He said we had to fire John Ortega and that David had found a new bass player for us which was Sterling Scarborough.

What was the actual reason for your departure from Morbid Angel? I heard that there was a physical fight with you and Trey.

Yes that is what happened. I stopped by his house one afternoon on my lunch hour from work and saw my girlfriends car there so I kicked the door in and found them on the couch kissing and I beat up Trey pretty bad. We were all pretty young back then so that is how I handled it by kicking his ass, but by doing that it caused the band to split up and that is when Richard and Trey moved to North Carolina and started playing with David, Wayne Hartsell and Sterling. I got Gino Marino and reformed Sterling’s old band Incubus.

Morbid Angel appear to be twirling into Skrillex influences more than Death Metal. Their last album Illud Divinum Insanus has been mocked by fans from all over the world. Why do you think they recorded such a weird album?

Well from what I heard that most of the music was written by Trey and he let David do all the lyrics. I’m not really sure if that is the truth, but it came from a pretty reliable source.

David Vincent has signed on to be in a film about pornstar Vaness Del Rio. What are your thoughts on this?

I don’t even want to have any thoughts about it!!! Seriously though I think it will only damage his reputation with Morbid Angel, but hey I am sure all he cares about is that he will make money and maybe turn it into a new career for himself.

Gen Vincent (David Vincent’s wife) has gotten you banned from the nightclub ‘The Castle’ in Ybor City. Why has she gone to such measures?

It’s because I made fun of David and their last album, but of course I didn’t start it all. There were so many people already making fun of it before it even came out that when I finally heard some of it I started making fun of it too. But I guess since I live in the same town and actually just a few blocks away from his house and that I was actually in the band that it was me that started all the jokes about him and the last album. So I guess Gen thought she would try to get back at me by having me banned from the local Gothic club because Gen is very personal friends with the owner of the club. I rarely go there anymore. Just once or twice a year when they have the bigger yearly events there, so it’s no big deal being banned. It was more about the point of it.

Thank you for clearing up some of the confusion that has been encircling the metal community. What are your plans for the near future?

Just staying busy doing both After Death and some live Nocturnus shows. There has been so much interest in people wanting to see the old Nocturnus stuff live that my band After Death has learned the whole The Key album and we are doing these shows and playing the entire album straight through. Then we’re throwing in some old Morbid Angel songs from Abominations of Desolation versions for the encores.

I also want to say THANKS to everyone who has supported all the music I have done over all these years and hopefully I will be able to continue the chaos for many more!

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11 thoughts on “Interview with Mike Browning (Ex-Morbid Angel, Ex-Nocturnus)”

  1. fallot says:

    I think we all know what happened. Just like these guys took Morbid Angel literally, enacting rituals prior to performances, David Vincent brought the same urgency and artistic integrity to Genitorturers, and chopped his balls off before their first performance.

  2. Tralf says:

    Summoning the Ancient Ones… that’s awesome.

  3. Kill 'Em All says:

    Good interview, interesting to read about the old days.

  4. bitterman says:

    The internet killed off occultism in metal. Look at Behemoth now. Repackage Gateways to Annihilation and say Crowley-esque interpretations of the same things you read in Formulas Fatal to the Flesh and VOILA! You got a Behemoth album. Or Absu, Necronomicon,… The era of Mike Browning even blabbering about anti-semetic Cyborgs is gone. The “Evil Ds” of the world are conspiring to make sure the Behemoth/Watain charades last longer because it means more clueless people can relate band concept to metal shirt to band to…grrr….

  5. bitterman says:

    …Mike Browning’s cyborg has failed us. By killing Jesus (the most metal thing ever) but allowing metal music to go unchecked, metal adopted christ-like figures and agendas (Gojira’s whale saving adventures/Steve Rowe urging people not to communicate with dead spirits because it might upset “God” in the liner notes to Scrolls of the Megilloth). The vicious cycle. Mike Browning! Punch Trey in the face and talk some sense into him. We must allow Marduk and Cthulhu to awaken from their ancient slumber and separate the wheat from the chaff. That means Disco Ds fetish wear/Rob Zombie days are over and then, a new beginning…

    1. kvlt attakker says:

      Well, it is quite possible to undo Disco D. Mike has a time machine. Instead of destroying the manger, he can kill off the gerbil that somehow made it through Disco D’s anus and traveled to his brain.

      This Morbid Gerbil nonsense must be stopped.

      1. Disco D says:

        How did you find out about the gerbil?

      2. KAM LEE 1996 says:

        It was I who traveled FROM BEYOND to implant the ancestral gerbil within the dark recesses of Disco D. Vincent’s cavernous anus. From the chamber of ages I can intercept Mike Browning’s amateurish contraption and rewrite history starting from the dawn of eternity, ensuring that only mall-death grooves like the ones on Obituary’s World Demise are all that human beings can fathom until the release of Illud Divinum Insanus, which would seem like a LOGICAL PROGRESSION MWA HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA HA!!! The provoked accuser will rise again, and that’s a PROMISE!!!

        1. Don’t fool yourself Mr. Lee.

          It was I who twirled Mike’s time machine into the Crypts of Rays, which gave it the power to unleash the Dawn of Meggido.

          The damage has been done to Disco D, but the ancestral gerbil is now frozen in the cold lake, where no man dares to dwell. Your promises will thrust you into the pandemonium.

  6. Ironrequiem says:

    Excellent recount of events!! As I was there as well and remember the same events Mike has stated. Although while we were still in North Carolina recording the album, Mike was in the booth recording his drum tracks and David was already talking about getting rid of Mike and getting another drummer. Bill Metoyer was somewhat taken back by his David’s comments as we were just early into laying down Drum and Bass tracks. He basically told David that Mike drumming was good and that he should concentrate on the band putting together a Killer Album rather than try to destroy the group in the middle of a recording session. I sensed the same conversations were taking place regarding me as I was recording my Bass tracks. As it was, I was correct and myself and Mike were out shortly after our return to Florida.

  7. Ironrequiem says:

    Thanks Mike for clearing up the confusion of who actually played Bass on the album. I guess that was David’s way of getting back at me for a couple of confrontations he and I had during those recording sessions.
    Also, I guess the DEMO issue came up because I had a copy of the Master of our album that we left the studio with before the Final Mix. Since David and his partner screwed myself and Mike out of the album and the band for that matter, I released the album in Cassette form and sold throughout the word in the underground magazine forums. In approximately 2 years it grossed about $30,000. worlwide.

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