ABYSME might have a pedigree that dates way back but to me there are totally new. That I like their death metal just proves that there are still bands to be explored by me and you. Anders Ekdahl ©2013
When you are an underground band does your pedigree mean anything? Does your history really mean a thing when you form a new band?
TIM: A band’s pedigree can be helpful for a reference point, context or to open some doors, but hey if some fresh blood is injected into the scene, why not welcome it? Honor your scene elders while raising a new brood of metal maniacs.
BRAD: It kind of depends on the band you were in, honestly. If you were in a well-known, popular band a long time ago, a lot of people will judge you by what you’ve done previously. That can be good and bad.
With what intentions did Abysme come to life?
TIM: I’ve been in bands for 25 years now so my intention is to still enjoy myself making music with people whose company I like. And because I have a day job as music librarian, it gives me the financial freedom to make music that is unpopular and uncompromising. And the positive reception that Abysme has received so far makes it even more enjoyable. Someone is hearing our tree falling in the forest.
BRAD: When Tim and I started playing together, we had been acquainted since the mid-90’s, we wanted to play something metal. At first, it was a little bit of us just trying to find our legs playing together. When Mike came into the fold, he really helped solidify our sound then the death metal began to flow!
When I listen to your music I get thrown back to South America in the 80s and bands like Sarcofago, Sextrash and the likes. Where would you say that you find your greatest inspirations?
BRAD: Wow, I honestly can’t say those bands have been much inspiration, but I do like them. If any South American bands have influenced me at all, it would have to be Sepultura and their Morbid Visions album. That album is their best, by far. I listened to that a lot back in the Funerus demo days! As far as the band now, it’s pretty much the classics. Bands like Autopsy, Grave, Carnage, Incantation, Funebre, Abhorrence/Amorphis, Nihilist/Entombed, Disembowelment, Repulsion, some punk stuff, etc. When I listen to music, though, it’s really varied.
When I got into extreme metal in the 80s there was a difference in how elaborate a release was depending on if it was a major release or an underground. These days you can’t tell the difference. Has that change been for the better or worse? Has the underground suffered from it?
TIM: It’s true that technology has allowed most anyone to have slick-sounding recordings and fancy graphic design rather than 4-track tape recordings and photocopied lyric sheets. So now you have bands intentionally trying to look and sound shitty and low budget in order to identify themselves as underground. It’s funny to me. In the mid to late 80s in the Colorado punk scene, I was on a bunch of 7”s, split 7”s, and comp 7”s that were recorded on 4-track and had photocopied covers and lyric sheets. Very DIY and underground but not so listenable or easy on the eyes. Anybody that had to listen to or look at those surely suffered!
BRAD: Like Tim said, it’s so much easier to have a band and make a recording these days. And you can get it to the masses via the internet. It’s just harder to keep up with all the new stuff and new bands that are actually good. So, I’d say it’s both good and bad!
When I look at the US metal scene I don?t see a comprehensive one. To me it seems more like bands competing for the same spot instead of trying to help each other out. How much of the American mentality can you apply before it starts to bite itself in the butt?
TIM: Death metal is a pretty small scene so the idea of competing for the top of the heap is ridiculous. We can all share the 40 dudes and 4 women that come out to shows.
BRAD: The still scene clique, too-cool-for-school mentality still exists, for sure. I don’t know about what it’s like all over the US, but in Pittsburgh we have a pretty good scene where there’s lots of crossover from hardcore punk and metal genres. I think it’s a good thing. But you’ll always have the wankers who still have the mentality that they want to be the coolest and most well-known.
Speaking of scenes. Where do you see Abysme fit the best? Do you feel that you are a part of a scene? How important is it to be a part of a scene?
BRAD: I’d like to think we’re just part of the international death metal scene and associated with other underground bands like us who have similar goals and attitudes.
Your album cover is in black and white and it is a drawing. How important was it to have it done this way for the feel of authenticity?
BRAD: It was important to us to have our buddy Putrid do our cover. We love that guy, he’s a true maniac! We’re honored that he was able do that for us and it turned out incredibly. The fact that it’s black and white is just how it happened. I don’t think that lends to authenticity or credibility at all.
What kind of topics do your lyrics deal with? Is there a special theme/concept that you feel needs to be followed for it to be real?
TIM: I’m not into murder or rape as lyrical subject matter, for instance. So sometimes when I write lyrics they’re full of despair and disappointment that human beings are capable of such horrific things.
BRAD: I like Tim’s themes of despair and disappointment. When I write, it usually ends up being about human existence and experience, or the passing of time.
Is Abysme a touring/gigging band? What are your feelings on playing live?
BRAD: We play shows and like it a lot. I like to meet and hang with people who like metal. The one thing I don’t like is hauling gear around. My back isn’t as sturdy as it used to be! We haven’t toured, but have played in places like NYC, Buffalo, Chicago and Cleveland. All excellent places we like to play!
What kind of future do you see for the band?
TIM: The cover of the first Die Kreuzen album is a drawing of dinosaur skeletons on tank treads roaming over a rubble-strewn wasteland. That’s how I picture the future and I hope Abysme will be there playing some songs.
BRAD: Tim really knocked that answer out of the park! More Abysme for a death metal hungry world of total maniacs!! Thanks for the interview!!!!