ABSTRACTER are new to my ears but I found them interesting enough to want to interview them. So read and then check them out. Anders Ekdahl
As you might not be that known to most people a short introduction might be in order.
-Abstracter was formed in Oakland in 2010. Mattia (singer) and Robin (the guitarist) formed the band to write and play music that paid homage to their influences (Godflesh, Amebix, Corrupted, Dystopia, Swans, Beherit, etc.) and which represented the ideas and sounds they had in their heads. The band has had many bassists and drummers since formation, but the lineup for some years now has been completed by Emad on drums and Donovan on bass. We recorded two albums and have a split coming out soon. We write music that is full of darkness and despair and which describes humanity as totally inhuman and faulted and as the cause of the worlds suffering and destruction, and how one day they will pay for everything.
How does this new album compare to the previous ones?
-It’s a huge step forward for us. The songwriting is better, the skills and musicianship are better than before after some years of rehearsing and playing live tirelessly, and the influences and sounds since the beginning have changed in favor of darker, angrier, more malignant sounds that take more inspiration from black metal and noise. “Wound Empire” is over all a much more confident and focused album on many levels, mainly due to more experience, higher confidence, and stronger intents.
Was it hard for you to come up with a sound you all could agree on?
-Yes very hard, and we struggle with it every day. The band’s sound constantly changes, but not cause we can’t agree on it, but cause we constantly seek a new challenge.
How important are the lyrics to you? What kind of topics do you deal with?
-Very. The lyrics complements the art, the music and the band’s entire imagery. The lyrics are a surreal, grotesque and hallucinated reflection on the world that awaits us if mankind is not stopped in all its wrong doings towards mother earth, and of the inevitable demise of this species which will realize its fault only when it is too late.
How important is the cover art work for you? How much do you decide in choosing art work?
Very important, just like lyrics and music and all the rest. The artwork of “Wound Empire” was done by Kevin Gan Yuen of the black metal/noise band Sutekh Hexen. Kevin is a visionary artist and a close friend of the band. He read the lyrics, sat down to listen to the music, talked to the band and came up with something that was a graphic representation of the music and lyrics, just as we hoped it would be.
Where outside of your country have you had success with your previous albums?
-We’ve never played outside of the US, but our labels are mainly based in Germany, so we got a lot of positive feedback from there. Also from the UK, France, Russia, Italy, Japan and Australia.
Why is it that we do not see more metal bands from your country making it big internationally?
-Bands from the USA? 90% of “big” successful metal bands are from the USA!
What is your local metal scene like? What status does does your band have in the national metal scene?
-In the national scene, i don’t think many people know about us. Maybe in the “doom” and “sludge” underground, but otherwise we don’t have major or relevant label support and don’t tour. We work in a very DIY fashion, with small labels who are our friends, and play locally. Our local scene – the San Francisco Bay Area is great, especially Oakland. Many great bands came from here: Neurosis, Noothgrush, Sleep, Weakling, Exodus, Dystopia, Autopsy, and so on. Today there a ton of amazing bands, many live venues where there many punk and metal shows and over all, everyone here has at least two bands and everyone is every active with music. Some great local bands are Sutekh Hexen, Augurs, Dispirit, Vastum, Necrot, Negative Standards, Pale Chalice, No Statik, and so on.
What is the general populations opinion on metal? Is being a metal musician a respectable choice?
-Maybe in the past it was seen as odd, or as something “dangerous” today metal in general is big bucks and a very respected and appreciated genre. Being a musician definitely makes you look like someone active and creative and when you tell people you play in a metal band, usually they think it’s cool.
What does the future hold for you?
-We have a split with a canadian hardcore band called Dark Circles coming out. It will be a 12” split coming out on digital and vinyl only in spring 2016 on Halo of Flies Records, Sick Man Getting Sick Records, Moment of Collapse, Shove Records and Désordre Ordonné. At the same time we keep writing music for our next releases. We never stop writing.