Balls to the wall with Abaddon Incarnate
Hello Bill/Steve, thanks for taking the time to do this interview for BRUTALISM.com. Please introduce yourselves and the band and of course give us a bit of history.
(Steve) Hi Connor. First of all may I say Thanks a million for taking the time to interview us. Second of all Ill introduce ourselves I’m Steve Maher, I do the lead vocals and play guitar and Bill does some backing vocals and guitar. We play in Abaddon Incarnate, death grind from the Republic of Ireland, we’ve been grinding for 16 years now, but been playing together in one form or another for nearly 20 years and we have 4 albums out, we’ve been signed to Seasons of Mist, Sentinel, and Xtreem music and were currently signed to Metal Age Productions Slovakia.
You guys have of course been going a long-time now and by now I would guess writing for your 5th album. The entity that is Abaddon Incarnate has slowly morphed into a grinding beast but it wasn’t always like this. How have your influences changed from your debut album, "The Last Supper" till the current ""Cascade""?
(Bill) Well lyrically the content and subject matter has not changed that wildly, but the music has obviously. When we were writing our first album we were listening to death metal predominantly so naturally the songs came out sounding like bands that were most prominent and at the forefront of death metal at the time (such as morbid Angel, Deicide, etc). From there we started listening to the newer age of grind bands such as Nasum and our songs became shorter and more to the point on "Nadir". After that we started to write a few longer songs again so we had more of a mixture between the two albums, which is why "Dark Crusade" does not have the intensity of "Nadir", but perhaps catchier riffing like The Last Supper. Since then we have adopted a bit of punk oriented swing into our music, but put back in some of the 'balls to the wall' blasts. Our 5th album will be the best to date.
Since "The Last Supper" days, you guys have undergone a lot of line-up changes, would you say it’s at its strongest today?
(Steve) Yes I would, when we first started there was of course a fresh energy with the group but after the time we realised with certain members there wasn’t any commitment. When they don’t see big record deals or financial stability they lose interest which is understandable really, we only have one life and each of us has to do our own thing to be true to ourselves, but when you play in a underground band especially something as extreme as Abaddon Incarnate it’s not a job or a career it’s a vocation, it’s a cult. You do it for the love of what we create and for the fans and the feedback from all over the world from the diehards. So the line up we have now, Johnny king, Steve Finnerty, myself and Bill is the strongest as everyone is dedicated and realistic about what we can achieve and who we are and who we will all become. Johnny’s a tremendous drummer anyway no doubt about it and Steve f brings such great energy in the band, at his audition he came in and new 16 songs !! that was impressive, Picks shit up so fast compared to lesser mortals. Great vocalist as well. With these two guys in the band the whole thing is revitalised, and it’s comforting to know we are all in it for the long term and we can trust each other and not worry about people disappearing of on some personal goose chase at the detriment of the band.
Who writes your music within the band and where do you draw influence from when writing?
(Bill) We all write, it’s a collaborative effort - usually one of us writes a few riffs at home and then we all jam them out in the studio and bang them into some kind of song formation. The lyrics usually come after. Sometimes the riffs are written on the spot and a song just comes together really quickly. The writing processed we go through is rarely forced and if the song isn't working we just kick it out and then start writing a new one. On the odd occasion we use riffs from half-written songs and incorporate them into newer ones, but usually by the time we have got the song sorted we hate the original riff cause we have played it too many times and write a new riff to fit in anyway....just the way we have always worked I guess.
Lyrically, there is somewhat of a Satanic/occult type feel amongst it all, is this something that interests you? Is there other influences? ""Cascade"" seemed to be influenced by medieval torture, would I be right in saying this?
(Steve) Ok get ready to be bored to death, this may take a while. Any lyrics I have written have been from a satanic perspective or about the occult. I’ve been reading and researching Satanism and the occult since I was a child and I think it’s important to me to be in a band that represents that kind of darkness, its 50% of the enjoyment for me. On “The Last Supper”, me and Olan (old drummer) wrote the lyrics. They were 80% all anti Christian, blasphemous, satanic, necromantic but also some inspired directly from movies we liked, “I hate” was inspired by wishmaster, also “raping ground” was influenced by the evil dead 1 and 2. In addition to that, “manhead” and “ temple” was about depression, personal shit I was going through at the time. The bum note on that album is “Vermithrax” which if you read the lyrics and listen to the song it’s pretty evident what it’s about on the surface, but none of us believe what it states so it’s kind of impossible to sing that song anymore because the lyrics are so boneheaded, which is a shame because musically the song is a epic masterpiece in my humble opinion, I think I will rewrite the lyrics with a more esoteric message. It was written to piss people off and create anger and hate inside people and it worked a charm but like most black magic it came back and bit us in the ass, now we can’t sing the fucker anymore. It needs a makeover for the 21st century. Id love to redo it on a 7” or something and rewrite the lyrics to something more esoteric.
On ""Nadir"", Me, Olan and Cory wrote the lyrics, again we had primarily Satanic/ occult content but Olan wrote some misogynistic stuff as well, for example Bonebag a critique of anorexia, also the final song Rot. Cory wrote some epic mythological material using his knowledge of classical and philosophical studies also a song focusing on angelic lore, “seditious thoughts” I got my ecological mother earth statement in there too “..And then the world bleeds”
On ""Dark Crusade"" I pretty much had a writer’s block and only wrote the lyrics to “meat” “carrion caresses” maybe one or two others, Jason ( the drummer on that release ) and Cory were writing tonnes of lyrics, for example Cory was sitting in the studio with a a4 pad scribbling line after line of shit and just handing it to me to change into patterns and make it fit with the music and Jason had loads of lyrics he had written in the years before he joined the band. Im not a fan of most of the lyrics on "Dark Crusade". However Jason wrote “self portrait ..” about child abuse, i thought that was a gem. And Corys where pretty good as well, some real good personal shit of corys in his lyrics on DC which are great, real issues, deep angry shit. E.G. Entrusted with Disgust.
On "Cascade" I wrote all the lyrics which is something I wanted to do for a long time. It’s not about medieval torture at all, that’s just the impression you get from the front picture. The song strappado is actually an argument between a pagan and a Christian in an inquisition/torture setting. All the songs are philosophical arguments from a satanic perspective, or esoteric statements, basic black magic spells or necromantic material.
Now your second and third albums were recorded by the late Miezsko t (of legendary Nasum fame) how was that experience for you all? and tell us how each time differed?
(Bill) Yeah, well Mieszko was a known musician and engineer in the metal underground so it was good to meet him. He was a focused person and really helped our sound - he was a cool guy too, we had a laugh with him. The 2nd and 3rd time we recording in Sweden it differed significantly - 4 of us where there the first time - the 2nd time only me and Steve we there for the full duration, our drummer at the time Jason could only stay for a few days and Cory the bassist was there for about a week. Me and Steve just drank like fuck and knocked out the songs...it was a lot more relaxed on our second visit - probably due to the fact that we weren't in each other’s faces the whole time like we were when recording "Nadir" - there we 4 of us in a small bedsit for 3 weeks, we nearly kicked the face off each other by the end of it.
The "Dark Crusade" represented, I thought, a difficult time for the band, although a corker of an album. Can you shed light on this period? I remember reading that the cover was not how it was supposed to be. Why?
(Steve) Yeah it was a difficult time, Olan was coming and going Jason was filling in when he wasn’t around and Bren was playing bass when Cory wasn’t around so it was hard to get focused and moving. And when we had 4 people, me Bill Jason and Cory in the same town for 6 months we lashed out "Dark Crusade" as fast as possible, so the songs are quite basic, simple which is probably why it’s so catchy. We had an idea for the cover to represent teh song “Hour of the Dog”. And a werewolf concept but the art guy at the time (Killustrations) was obsessed with using some kind of insect picture, we said there are no insects in the lyrics why would you put insects on the cover? But he refused to do anything with wolves as he said he had no pictures of wolves to Photoshop. So Cory told him to go to www.wolf.com (which was pretty funny as it was a operating website at the time) but Killustrations refused to anything, actually I think he agreed to do something along those lines but he took forever, eventually he sent us the zombie in the city shit that we finally used and because we had waited nearly a year for this shit to manifest itself we had to go with it. But the good news is we are re-releasing "Dark Crusade" through Sentinel Ireland, with new artwork. We didn’t use the wolf concept this time either but we have some pretty killer art done by Dom form Nephridium. Wait till you see this beauty, also as a bonus on the CD we will have the “when the demons come” 1995 demo and also the 1997 promo which got us signed to season of mist. It should be out later this year or early 2011, whenever sentinel can afford it basically.
What are your plans for the future? Where can we go check you out?
(Bill) World domination - although we have been going on about that since 1991, so we had better come to terms with the fact that it might not happen! We plan to record our 5th album in mid 2011 and to also tour South America in August and September 2011, so we have a bit going on. We will probably do a few shows in Ireland and UK in early 2011 and we have a split 7 inch coming out with Phobia soon enough
Unfortunately Steve has to undergo surgery so we are kind of out of action for the next 6 months, but we plan to make up for it live in 2011!
(Steve) yeah I had a bike crash and smashed my collar bone so we had to cancel some European dates, festivals, and a Ireland and UK tour with Avulsed. But we will be back grinding in January. We have some new tunes in the grinder so it’s just a matter of arrangements and I’m writing lyrics while we wait. The big thing in the horizon at the moment is the Bolivia, Ecuador, Columbia and Peru tour we are organising now for August 2011. And when we are back in action in January we will play in Belfast and maybe two shows in Dublin. We are playing at the Alan partridge fest in Manchester in April and hopefully we can get a show In London too. London is a expensive bastard to get too though and they pay peanuts so we will see if its possible
Throughout your lengthy career, has there been any stand out shows for you? Any crazy nights on the road? and of course who is the band nutter?
(Bill) Hmmm... Well Steve Maher was a bit more of a nutter than I was, but both myself and Steve are getting older so we have let the younger members Johnny and Steve Finnerty take over with fucking themselves up and acting the twat for the most part - me and Steve Maher still go mad the odd night. Over the years myself and Steve have done some stupid shit alright - almost always drink related, for myself probably the most retarded thing I did was actually after a night where I drank a bottle of full strength Absinthe in Czech - I called/greeted everyone (including people I didn't know) with the words 'alright cunt' to their face for the 2 days following the Absinthe intake ( I pissed off a lot of Czech people at the time and nearly got lumps torn out of me for it - I don't know why I did it)
Steve Maher has fucking shit loads of crazy stuff too ------ (steve) me? No way man Im a monk.
(Bill) If your taking about antics on stage - well I walked off stage once because we were all playing a different song cause we were too hammered and I just got pissed off playing shite.
(steve) me and you were playing the right stuff bill, Jason was playing some wired shit though. He could never remember the songs live. All the people at that gig thought we were great though all the same, comparing us to Repulsion etc. That was in Madrid I think or Barcelona
(Bill)Live we all try to have a laugh and go for it to be honest - it’s about entertainment - I try to purposely fuck with the other band members when we are onstage, like shout at Johnny for no reason (just to put him off what he's playing), a couple of times I have managed to make my way across the stage and kick Steve F our bassist while he was playing a solo and I usually try to push/punch Steve M while he is singing or whatever - all in good nature of course, just funny shit, and the crowd seem to dig it so it’s all good.
Good stand out shows - lately the Obscene Extreme, that was a great festival.
(Steve) supporting Morbid Angel in 2000, killer gig. Blew the bastards of the stage.
Cheers Bill/Steve, really appreciate it guys, anything to add? The last rites?
(Bill) Thanks for the interview Connor! If you can't be good be bad motherfucka
(Steve) Cheers bro, looking forward to checking out Putrefy again soon and hearing you new stuff. Hopefully we will meet up at the Avulsed gig in Belfast 22/10/10? Take it easy Connor. Stay brutal.
Aug 17, 2010
Aug 17, 2010
Next interview: Putrefy want to go back to the roots of death metal