Firstly, I wanted to say thank you for the interview. As far as Abominism goes, we really aren't a band but more of a project at this point. I actually started this project because I was a little burnt out on being in a band and some of the lows that go along with it. My previous band was an awesome bunch of guys, and we're still friends to this day, but I think the fun for me had run it's course for me. So I decided that I wanted to focus more on just writing and creating music. And with that, I also had some concepts that I wanted to explore in their totality without expecting other members to be ok just playing what I wrote. My previous band was a collective environment where we all had equal input. So it would not have been fair for me to expect that. So I started Abominism to scratch my own musical itch. That being said, I can't do vocals to save my life so I approached John Dunn who plays in an amazing band in or area called "Dark Waters End". John, to my relief was immediately 100% into what I had in mind. And so, here we are.
2.In March you had released your first album, can you tell us a little bit more about the musical style you went for on the recording?
I didn't start out with many limitations on what I wanted the end result to be stylistically. My goal was simply to end up with something heavy, moody and that accurately expressed my inner existential discontent with certain aspects of life. What I feel we ended up with is just that. Musically though, I guess it's a combination of death metal, doom, technical death metal and black metal in varying degrees all rolled together. I try not to be much of a stickler for what is or isn't "acceptable" within any of the sub genres. When you pull back and really look at extreme metal as a whole, there are common themes and aesthetics that run through most of the sub genres. So I tried to tie it all together and reinterpret my favorite aspects of many of the sub genres. It's nice to hear other people's interpretations of our sound though. Everyone hears things differently so it's cool to get other perspectives.
3.Can you tell us a little bit more about the lyrical topics and subjects you have explored so far with your music?
Ah yes, the lyrics. It was extremely important for me to stay away from some of the more overdone lyrical topics. No gore, no Satan, no politics, no violence against women. None of those things interest me in the least (especially the last one, for fucks sake). I feel as though, sometimes death metal and black metal lyrics hide behind those things. Or more specifically, some of the artists tend to. It's completely safe at this point to talk about those things and get by with that without ever having to open up and put yourself out there. And yes it's all very edgy and brutal... but I'm not a young man. I don't have a young man's concerns. I'm not concerned with impressing anyone with how offensive I can be just to troll people. It's masturbatory at this point. I didn't want that. I wanted to give an honest assessment about how I feel about our world, such as it is. This is 100% about my own discontent and disappointment with our world. Our "society." There is a thread of nihilism throughout but I will admit it is a bit contradictory. On one hand, I feel that the only real cure for our ills at this point would be an asteroid. On the other, I want my daughter to see all the beauty that this world has to offer. To be able to genuinely enjoy just existing. It's something that I have to lie to myself about to reconcile those two things and focus less on my dissatisfaction with the world and focus on raising a healthy, well adjusted young woman. So, working these ideas out musically definitely helps in that regard. The only song on the album that deals with a more personal topic is the opening track "Burn Them Slowly". I won't go into details about that one. I had entirely different lyrics worked out that just didn't seem to lock in. Once I gave up on the original lyrics, I tried a different approach and what we have is what we have. So, I'm ok with it.
4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Abominsim'?
I'll try to keep this one brief because I could go on forever about it. hahah! but, Abominism is essentially the idea that the true face of humanity is in our deeds. We claim to want peace. We claim to want sustainability but our deeds show this to not be the case. And Abominism (Abominable + Organism) is my feeble attempt to examine this dissonance. I think the name best describes how I see us all collectively.
5.Can you tell us a little bit more about the artwork that is presented on the new album cover?
I really love how the artwork came out. It was done by Mosaeye art and design. Fantastic artist from Russia. I gave him probably the most frustratingly vague description of what I was looking for and he came up with something really awesome. It's really just a "Physical" manifestation of what I was describing in terms of our lyrical content. Also, I saw a comment somewhere that also said that it looks a bit like an ultrasound. Which I really didn't notice until I read the comment. Now I can't not see it. hahah!!
6.Currently there are only 2 members in the band, are you open to expanding your line up or do you prefer to remain a duo?
My original idea was to get several vocalists and musicians involved. But once John got on board and I was able to hear how dynamic he was with his inflections and just overall power, I felt like I would be doing the project a disservice by not having him be THE voice of the album. He did an amazing job and it wouldn't have been even close to what it is without him. Plus he's super laid back and easy to work with. Also, Ian, another friend of our who also happens to be in Dark Waters End with John, was the audio engineer. And I've worked with Ian in the past. The three of us working together just felt right and I'm a big fan of going with what feels right. That being said, I would be open to involving others but only if it feels natural. That's essential. So, who knows?
7.Has the band done any live shows or open to the idea?
I'm always open to the idea of performing live with the project. But right now, I'm very happy with it such as it is. I'm not really a performer.... I enjoy it but it's not my main drive. The writing and recording and being able to express some of my less palatable ideas this way is what really motivates me. But hell, who knows? Never says never, right?
8.On a worldwide level how has the reaction been to your music by fans of black and death metal?
Amazing! I am completely humbled and shocked by how great the reception has been to the album. I honestly would have been satisfied with this just circulating among my friends and peers but I have gotten some great reviews and feedback from people from all around the world. Some of which has come from people I really admire in the scene. So anything more from this point is just a bonus. The album has already exceeded my expectations so I'm just really appreciative of all the love and support that we received and continue to receive. I can't thank everyone enough for all the love and kind words.
9.What is going on with some of the other bands or musical projects these days that some of the band members are a part of?
DARK WATERS END!!! I love those guys! As I mentioned earlier, Both John and Ian are members of that band. They are definitely more than worth checking out. One of the best and tightest bands in our local scene and beyond. Every member of that band is a fucking weapon! As for myself, I have some plans for more Abominism releases. I've actually started writing some new material. I'm also in the planning stages with a good buddy of mine from across the pond on a project we've been talking about for a while but that's all I can say about that at the moment.
10.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
That's a great question. I have no idea. HAHAH! I always want the next thing I do to be heavier and more impact-full than the last. And more importantly I want it to mean something to me. Where that will take the project is a mystery. I definitely want to focus a bit more on crafting atmosphere in unconventional ways. I also don't want to lean to heavily on what I may have done with the current album. That would just be lazy and not very exciting for me. So we shall see. But whatever you hear from Abominism, expect it to be honest. That's the only promise I can make.
11.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
Some of my biggest influences... wow, where to begin? the band Death! As I said before, honesty in music is big with me and Chuck was probably one of the most honest death metal lyricists ever in my opinion. So his influence over my approach to lyrics can't be overstated. Musically I would say, Immolation, Nile, Gorguts, early Cryptopsy, Behemoth, Emperor, Bloodbath, Abyssal, Portal, Ulcerate, Nightbringer... so many more. I love discovering new bands the most though. Some of the newer things I've been listening to are The Wolf Garden Which is a phenomenal atmospheric black metal band from the UK. Vilest Breed, Mourning by Morning, Engulf, Abyssal, Pissgrave, Primitive Man, Construct of Lethe, Malignant Altar, Thantifaxath, Carach Angren, Infernal Coil, Blood Incantation, Acathexis.... I could on and on but I'll spare you.
12.What are some of your non musical interests?
Honestly, I'm just enjoying the hell out of being a dad and a husband and everything that goes with it. That's where the majority of my interests are. I love my family. Pretty much every other interest in my life is somehow connected to music. Oh, and craft beer! Shout out to Neshaminy Creek Brewing.
13.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Nice, thirteen questions! How appropriate. Well, once again I want to thank you for taking the time to interview me. And I want to thank everyone who has purchased or will purchase the album or has or will download for free. Everyone who has supported any of my musical efforts. I also want to mention that we will be releasing a CD version of the album via Black Market Metal Label on July 26th. I will also have limited copies. Feel free to reach me on our Facebook page for more info or just to say what's up. Thanks again everyone.