Interview with Abominant
This interview was conducted just a very short time ago, but as anyone who follows the site could see, it’s been awhile since I’ve actually posted anything. So finally, I have the time and the means to do so, and here it is, my interview with Mike May of the Kentucky death metal band Abominant. I hope you enjoy it. Unlike my usual pretty-making, I decided to NOT do that with this interview, keeping even grammatical and spelling mistakes.
You guys are from Kentucky, a state better known for its horse racing and whiskey more than it’s metal. What is it about Abominant do you think that has kept the band going strong despite not having an easy access to a larger metal fanbase?
PROBABLY BECAUSE WE WERE NEVER REALLY LOOKING FOR A FAN BASE. I MEAN, EARLY ON.. I’M SURE THERE WERE DREAMS OF TOURING THE WORLD AND SIGNING TO CENTURY MEDIA, BUT AT THE END OF THE DAY, WE REALLY ONLY HAVE EACH OTHER AND THIS BAND HAS REALLY BEEN THRU ALOT OF BULLSHIT. MYSELF, PERSONALLY I’M NOT TOO CONCERNED WITH ALBUMS , SHOWS OR WHATEVER OTHER SHIT WE CAN ACCOMPLISH, I JUST LOOK FORWARD TO HAVING SOME BEERS WITH THESE GUYS ON THE WEEKEND AND WRITING SOME GOOD METAL SONGS. THAT MEANS EVERYTHING TO ME AND I THINK THAT’S ALL MOST OF US ARE LOOKING FOR. USUALLY THERE IS ALOT OF DRAMA AND EGOS INVOLVED WITH A BAND AND ALL THATS KINDA BEEN BURNT AWAY WITH US. I CAN STILL BE PLAYING A NEW SONG WITH THESE GUYS , WITH NOBODY LISTENING OR WATCHING US AT ALL AND ILL BE GRINNING EAR TO EAR.
You’re now on album number nine, definite achievement for any band. How easy was this album to write? Was there any pressure from fans or the label?
IT GETS EASIER AS WE GO , I THINK. THIS TIME WE TOOK A BIT LONGER THAN THE LAST 2 RECORDS AND ALSO TRIED A DIFFERENT STUDIO, WHICH TURNED OUT TO BE FUCKING AWESOME, SO THERE IS NO HURRY FOR US AS FAR AS TIME IN BETWEEN RECORDS. ALOT OF PEOPLE KINDA FREAK OUT THAT WE HAVE 9 RECORDS, BUT IN REALITY THAT’S REALLY JUST ABOUT 1 EVERY OTHER YEAR, SO I GUESS ITS MORE INCREDIBLE THAT WE HAVE SURVIVED THAN OUR ACTUAL BODY OF WORK.
What is it about metal in general that keeps you writing?
I ONLY CAN SPEAK FOR MYSELF , BUT I JUST REALLY ENJOY WRITING SONGS WITH THESE GUYS. AS I GET OLDER , I AM REALLY GETTING JADED ABOUT THE HUMAN RACE IN GENERAL, BUT I DO KNOW THAT THESE GUYS ARE THE PEOPLE I DO ENJOY SPENDING TIME WITH AND CREATING METAL WITH. OUTSIDE OF THE BAND, I DO LISTEN TO METAL EVERY DAY AND HAVE AN ALMOST INSATIABLE HUNGER FOR HEARING NEW STUFF. I DO ADMIT MOST OF WHAT I HEAR IS EITHER TERRIBLE OR PRETTY DERIVATIVE, BUT FINDING THAT ONE GEM REALLY KEEPS ME EXCITED ABOUT METAL IN GENERAL.
Is Abominant a full time job for you guys or do you have day jobs?
IN ALL REALITY, WE ARE PRETTY MUCH WEEKEND WARRIORS AT THIS POINT. ALL OF US EXCEPT JIM HAVE FAMILIES, MORTGAGES
AND SO ON, BUT PLAYING TOGETHER IS VERY THERAPUTIC AND MAKES THE 40+ HOUR WORKWEEKS A BIT MORE BEARABLE.
Mind if I pry about those day jobs? What do you do, and how much do they piss you off?
I WORK AT A PRINTING COMPANY, TIM WORKS AT A BRAKE FACTORY, JIM IS A FORKLIFT MECHANIC AND MIKE BARNES WORKS AT A MEAT PROCESSING FACTORY. FOR ME, WORK IS TEDIOUS AND SOMETIMES INNERVING, BUT REALLY NOT THAT BAD. I’VE HAD WORSE JOBS AND MOST OF THE THINGS I GET PISSED OFF ABOUT ARE HUMANS IN GENERAL, IN OR OUTSIDE THE WORKPLACE.
Do you think you’ll ever experiment with other genres, such as doing a pure doom album, or a grindcore album?
ME, NOT SO MUCH. IM A PRETTY HARDCORE HEADBANGER AND ABOMINANT REALLY HITS THE SPOT AS FAR AS THAT GOES, BUT I WOULD LIKE TO DO A GRINDCORE ALBUM. NOT TOO MUCH INTO DOOM, BUT SLOW DEATH METAL LIKE AUTOPSY OR COFFINS WOULD ALSO BE SOMETHING I WOULD BE INTO TRYING. I THINK WE HAVE SLIGHT GRINDCORE ELEMENTS AND A FEW SLOW PARTS SO I DONT THINK I WOULD NEED TO GO ELSEWHERE.
How often does Abominant play live?
NORMALLY ABOUT 8 -1 0 TIMES A YEAR. WE DID 18 SHOWS IN 2008 AND THAT WAS FUN, BUT I’M NOT AS SOCIAL (EVEN AROUND METALHEADS) AS I USED TO BE. I DON’T LIKE TO DO SHOWS JUST FOR THE SAKE OF PLAYING OUT, SO IF IT’S NOT AN EVENT OR WITH SOME BANDS I LIKE, I’M USUALLY NOT INTO PLAYING LIVE MUCH AT ALL.
Who have you played shows with in the past?
WE’VE BEEN LUCKY OVER THE YEARS TO PLAY WITH SOME OF MY FAVORITES FROM THE UNDERGOUND. MAYBE NOT SO MUCH ON A COMMERCIAL LEVEL BUT BANDS THAT I ACTUALLY LISTEN TO. SOME OF MY FAVES HAVE BEEN DECEASED, IMMOLATION, NUNSLAUGHTER, GOREAPHOBIA, SUMMON, INCANTATION, ESTUARY, BELPHEGOR AND CARDIAC ARREST.
Any plans for an extensive North American tour?
NOT REALLY. I CAN ONLY STAND SO MANY NIGHTS IN A ROW OF PLAYING FRONT OF 20 PEOPLE, HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! WE LIKE TO DO THE 3 DAY WEEKEND THING AND BY THEN I GET A BIT HOMESICK AND BROKE, SO THATS ABOUT WHAT WE LIKE TO DO.
Outside of death metal, what do you guys listen to? How about outside of metal in general?
I LISTEN TO ALOT OF TRADITIONAL METAL LIKE MANOWAR, DIO AND THE LIKE AS WELL AS ALOT OF OLDER STUFF LIKE BLUE OYSTER CULT, DEEP PURPLE AND RUSH. I’VE ALSO BEEN INTO ALOT OF 70′S STADIUM ROCK LATELY LIKE JOURNEY, FLEETWOOD MAC, BILLY SQUIRE, HEART AND OTHERS WHICH ACTUALLY KINDA SCARES ME. DON’T WORRY THOUGH, MORBID ANGEL AND INCANTATION CAN SNAP ME OUT OF IT..
I am personally a major gear hound, so I almost always ask: what brands of guitars and basses are you rocking out with, what what kind of effects do you use?
TIMMIE MAINLY PLAYS ESP GUITARS, BUT LATELY BEEN TEARING UP A JACKSON DINKY HE PICKED UP. I’VE BEEN PLAYING THE DAVID VINCENT DEAN DEMONATOR FOR ABOUT 2 YEARS NOW AND I LOVE IT. IT IS MY FIRST DEAN AND I AM 100% SATISFIED WITH THE BASS. I’VE HAD A GIBSON THUNDERBIRD ON MY WISHLIST FOR SOME TIME AND THAT IS WHAT THIS IS MODELED AFTER SO……..
What kind of drum set up does Jim have? Any really odd things in there?
JIM PLAYS ON AN OLDER TAMA SET, I THINK THE SAME SET IMMOLATION USES LIVE. I THINK JIM PLAYS LEFT HANDED SO THE SET UP IS DIFFERENT AND HE HAS REALLY SCALED IT DOWN QUITE A BIT SINCE WE STARTED PLAYING WITH HIM. I THINK HES DOWN TO A 5 PIECE SET LIVE…..
How about your amps; what kinds are you using, and are they tubes or solid state?
WE ARE ALL TUBES. I PLAY THRU AND ANCIENT PEAVEY ROADMASTER TUBE HEAD AND A 4 X 12 CAB WITH BLACK WIDOWS. TIM ALTERNATES BETWEEN A CARVIN TUBE HEAD AND A MADISON SOLID STATE BUT I THINK HE PREFERS THE CARVIN.
Are there any effects used on your vocals?
I THINK MIKE USUALLY HAS A BIT OF REVERB ON THERE TO HELP ROUND OUT THE SOUND, BUT THATS IT. NO DELAY OR ANYTHING LIKE THAT.
Where do you get your inspiration when writing? Literature, movies, other music, etc.?
FOR THE LAST FEW ALBUMS, WE’VE BEEN LEANING HARD ON WAR INSPIRED LYRICS AND IMAGERY , WHICH I THINK GOES WELL WITH THE MUSIC WE ARE TURNING OUT. I THINK WE HAVE A FEW SONGS INSPIRED BY MOVIES BUT I DONT REALLY ANALYZE OUR LYRICS THAT MUCH. IM SURE ALOT OF OUR INSPIRATION COMES FORM ANGER AND FRUSTRATION IN LIFE MORE THAN OTHER BANDS OR WHATEVER. WE DO LIKE TO KEEP THINGS PRETTY EVIL AND HEADBANGING, THAT’S AWAYS IMPORTANT.
What is your favorite topic to write about lyrically?
GOD ONLY KNOWS WITH MIKE BARNES, BUT I THINK OVERALL IT IS THE END OF THE WORLD AND MANKIND DESTROYING ITSELF. WE LIKE TO KEEP OUR LYRICS DARK AND OBSCURE…OPEN TO INTERPRATATION…SO IT REALLY DEPENDS FROM SONG TO SONG , ACTUALLY.
Who did the cover art for the new album, and who was it that penned your logo? Are these artists for hire, and if so where can people get in touch with them?
HIS NAME IS JUMALI KATANI AND HES BEEN DOING ALOT OF COVERS RECENTLY. HIS EMAIL IS JUMALIKATANI@GMAIL.COM. A GUY NAMED DANIEL DID OUR LOGO YEARS AGO AND FUN FACT… SAME GUY DID MARDUKS LOGO AND OTHER BANDS LIKE AFTERLIFE.
How old were the members of Abominant when you discovered metal? Who got you into the genre, and with what band or album?
FOR ME, THE FIRST BAND WAS ,OF COURSE, KISS. SURELY, THE FIRST BAND I LIKED MORE THAN 1 SONG BY AND I STILL LISTEN TO THEM TODAY. FROM THEN, OF COURSE ON TO AC/DC, VAN HALEN AND THEN INTO METAL, THRASH AND BEYOND. I REALLY NEVER WANTED TO TRY AND PLAY METAL UNTIL AROUND 86-87 WITH BANDS LIKE KREATOR, POSSESSED, SODOM AND THOSE STYLES WHERE I REALLY WANTED TO TRY AND TAKE A STAB AT WRITING A SONG.
What do you think of popular metal, stuff like Bullet For My Valentine, Avenged Sevenfold, etc.?
TO BE HONEST, I DONT KNOW MUCH ABOUT THOSE BANDS. I KNOW I DONT LIKE WHAT IVE HEARD, BUT TO EACH THEIR OWN. I MOSTLY ENJOY MORE DIRTY SOUNDING DEATH METAL BANDS LIKE AUTOPSY, INCANTATION AND SO ON. I KNOW THIS MUSIC IS NOT FOR EVERYONE, WHICH IS PROBABLY WHAT I ENJOY ABOUT IT!
Were any of you guys fans of 90′s nu-metal?
UMMM…..KORN AND THAT STUFF? AGAIN, IM NOT REALLY THAT KNOWLEDGABLE ABOUT IT, SO I JUST SAY IT’S NOT FOR ME. SOME OF IT SEEMS HEAVY BUT I WOLDNT CALL IT METAL…HEAVY WIHOUT THE METAL. NO THANKS.
Are there any really cool underground bands that your fans might like that you’d like to namecheck?
I GET INTO BANDS LIKE FUNEBRARUM, DEAD CONGREGRATION, CEMETERY URN, AZARATH, GRAVEHILL, DENIAL….MOSTLY PURE DEATH METAL …BUT MOST THINGS I LISTEN TO ARENT NEW OR ANYTHING…. SODOM, POSSESSED, AUTOPSY, ASPHYX, INCANTATION… THATS WHAT I LISTEN TO THE MOST.
Are there any last thoughts you’d like to share?
JUST THANKS A TON FOR THE INTERVIEW AND THE SUPPORT. METAL ABOVE ALL!