With so many cool bands out there to check out I offer you some minor guidance by introducing you to ABEYANCE. Anders Ekdahl ©2020
Was it hard to come up with a name? What does the name mean to you? How important is it to have the right name?
The project name is something we have taken very seriously, to clearly identify ourselves among the many bands out there that have the same or similar names to each other.
-Nowadays it is really difficult to find an original and unique name for your group; not too long, complex or difficult to understand. Actually it was already difficult 10 years ago (pretty much all the most original or suggestive names were already in use!)
Initially the monicker was “Evervoid” but we replaced it with “Abeyance” after about 1 year. It was quite difficult to find such an immediate, short and suggestive word. It also had to identify our attitude, especially in what we tell in the lyrics.
This term suggests the grand uncertainty in which everything is suspended. It can in fact be considered a synonym of “suspension” but in a more philosophical sense.
Who would say have laid the foundation for the kind of sound you have? Who are your heroes musically and what have they meant to you personally and to the sound of your band?
-Each of us has quite varied musical backgrounds and inspirations, but we all went through a musical path with the veterans of thrash and death metal.
For this project we took a lot of inspiration from the 90’s Melodeath style (Dark Tranquillity, In Flames, At the Gates, and others) trying to mix it with some more modern influences and sounds.
In fact, Abeyance aim to be a “tribute” to the melodic death metal of the golden years while maintaining its own musical identity.
When you play slow do you have to think differently arranging the music than if you play faster and vice versa?
-In our experiences we have not encountered particular difficulties in these situations. The genre itself is characterized by sudden changes of tempo at various levels, and our songs have this feature. We can say that “we think differently” in a creative sense: in the slower parts there is more space for inventiveness and some improvisation, phrasing.
Will your music work in a live environment? What kind of stage environment would best suit your music; a big stage or a small club?
-Well we think melodeath is a genre very inclined to live performances and that it knows how to easily involve the public and keep interest high.
The songs were also composed for the stage, and we think they work well because of the pressing, aggressive and tight structure, but we never had the opportunity to “test” them!
In fact unfortunately we were unable to debut live due to the lockdown here in Italy. Some already planned shows were supposed to take place during the first days of total closure.
It is very hard to be 100% satisfied. Everybody seems to be disappointed with something they have released. Is there something that you in hindsight would have done differently on this your latest recording?
-Maybe some minor aspects of production and mixing could have been managed differently for a slightly better results a little here and there. However at the time of recordings we were absolutely convinced of the result, and as always happens some afterthought can come out after weeks or months from releas. But at least in our case we talk about details that do not preclude our satisfaction in the way we have produced the album, and the results it is having in terms of audience and critics.
Promotion can be a bitch. Even today with all different platforms it can be hard to reach out to all those that might be interested in your music? What alleys have you used to get people familiarized with your band?
-We’re talking about a scene that got saturated a lot in the past 10 years. Today also the metal and underground world can be defined “overloaded”. A lot of bands are born every day, and as many releases are published at every level of notoriety.
Today more than ever it is really difficult to stand out and be noticed in the midst of a multitude of digital, singles, EPs, albums, various news that invade every corner of the web continuously.
Certainly we have adopted promotion strategies together with our label to make ourselves known, but we think that nowadays it’s the fans who mainly go around among the new releases, collecting what really interests them.
The streaming platforms have certainly also helped newcomers like us to be found more easily in the last decade, and we think this is very important.
To me art work can be the difference between bust or success. What to you is a great front cover? What should a cover have to make it great?
-Yes we agree that the cover arts play an important role. The increasingly high diffusion of digipaks, maybe with an extended artwork, confirms that the market and fans give a lot of weight to how music is presented outside its casing.
We consider artwork as much as music, we want it to be of great quality and a starting point for the listener.
If the cover can attract attention amid the myriad of other proposals, then it’s a good cover. If it convinces the guy to listen to the album, well, there we are talking about an impeccable cover!
We have noticed how this market has also expanded in an incredible way: there are many talented artists around. We can only be glad of this because the choice between different styles is wider and that’s always good.
Do you feel that you are part of a national scene? Is a local/national scene important for the development of new bands?
-Well we can say that the metal scene in Italy has never been glorious. However, we are among the countries that churns out more new bands every year, at least in Europe. Those who love and play metal here usually try to reach people with more than one project. You do it out of passion, and to express yourself more than chasing success.
We have niche scenes here and there, but they have weakened over the years unfortunately. If you want to make yourself known and heard with some relevance, it’s essential to aim at the international scene.
However playing in small clubs and pubs in your country will always be great and satisfying. We believe that the local scene is very important for a band’s growth and its support.
I could just be me but I got the feeling that the live scene is not what it used to be. Could be that more and more people use the net to discover bands instead of going out and supporting new bands live. What is you experience with the live scene?
-As previously said, unfortunately our live debut was cut short by the lockdown. We had 3 concerts scheduled within a few days from each other and it would’ve been fantastic to present our EP with those opportunities.
We absolutely agree that now much of the “support” to the scene has moved on the internet, where today more than ever it’s convenient and immediate to discover new groups, even from one’s own local scene, without bothering from home. It is easy to even find live videos with a few people on YouTube, going to see directly the performance of some small provincial band we are interested in keeping an eye on.
On the other hand, the web component certainly helps to increase the spread of the monicker, to sell CDs and merch. But it would probably be better to have more people under the stage.
The live scene has certainly changed significantly, and unfortunately we do not believe that this has happened for the best, at least talking about the undeground and local scene.
What does the future hold?
-This is a really interesting question considering the situation in which we find ourselves worldwide. The world and the music market is likely to change forever, with the part of the shows increasingly threatened and shrunken by ever new threats.
Yesterday was limited budgets and half-empty pubs, with fewer and fewer people supporting shows. Now we have security measures and social distancing, price increases, entire tours canceled.
As an emerging band, however, we are optimistic and for the moment we are focusing a lot on the writing of our next album.
Thanks to the internet, luckily we are able to carry out the compositions in an almost identical and structured way compared to before, although obviously we miss all together during the rehearsals.
Well, now we can say that we are really in a situation of suspension, of uncertainty. To have also guessed the name of the band in this context. Now there is a sense of bewilderment that we are inspired by for our songs, but that we are here to face and overcome.