With so many cool bands out there to check out I offer you some minor guidance by introducing you to AHAB. Answered by Cornelius Althammer/Drums. 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?
-Obviously, it is very important to have the right name. I still call us very lucky that we found this whole concept about the sea. Those memorable, yet profound four letters in connection with the concept and our music make our success, I believe. When the boys (Daniel Droste and Christian Hector) came up with this whole thing I wasn´t in the band, yet. Ahab wasn´t even designed as a band at this point of time. But as far as I know, while writing stuff for the first outputs it just popped up in their minds. Fun fact (or myth, I don´t remember what they told me): It popped up at the same time but independently from each other.
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?
-Wow, on this question I could go on forever, for all of us are huge fans of music and for sure Doom in particular. But let´s pick some few artists we have been adoring for a long time and met in person, as well. Nearly ten years ago we asked Esoteric to join us on a tour Just into the blue, knowing nothing about the people behind the music (In fact, I am listening to their new album right now, when I´m on this interview). We were total fans and just became a little bit ballsy after our previous tour went very well for us. And it turned out that our heroes were a bunch of super awesome people we spent an unforgettable time with.
Another band we look up to are Yob. Unfortunately, we never toured with them, but I met Mike Scheidt a few times and had the chance to talk to him. And he proved to be exactly the guy I expected, as well as hoped him to be.
I could tell a similar story about Patrick Walker and Warning…
Considering our sound, I am not so sure. I guess, other people might tell you rather than me…
When you play slow do you have to think differently arranging the music than if you play faster and vice versa?
-After many years of being in the same band I kind of understand how Daniel, who is our main composer, functions while writing music. And I can tell you it is his very natural and inborn way of creating. For us as a band we try not to think too much. It´s rather like trying to feel what a song wants and what it doesn´t want. For sure this ends up in discussion all the time because everybody feels differently very often. But the tempo is nothing that makes things harder for us. It just lengthens the songs, haha…
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, I hope it does… We played hundreds of shows so far. And besides from our very first ones, which clearly were terrible, we can deliver a proper show, I guess. I like to play all kind of stages, but in the end, I prefer a club´s stage.
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?
-Nothing wrong with our latest album “the Boats of the Glen Carrig”. I just would have picked a different crash cymbal on the left, but that´s nerdy drummer´s talk. Our next release to come (June 2020) is a live album. It contains only songs from our debut “the Call of the Wretches Sea”. And yes, the main reason why we wanted this show to be released is that the way we play those songs from our first nowadays is much more musical. Drums and bass have developed and support the songs way better. In terms of musicality it´s way more coloured, one could say.
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?
-Well, in our case it worked out, somehow. Besides our homepage (www.ahab-doom.com) and our facebook page the promotional stuff is run by Napalm Records. Obviously, they´re doing a good job, because people seem to know us. But in our scene it merely works by word of mouth, I guess. That´s how I discover new stuff, at least…
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?
There´s no particular style or technique of creation I can point my finger at. It has to convey the mood of the music, most importantly.
-Do you feel that you are part of a national scene? Is a local/national scene important for the development of new bands?
Absolutely, this is where the good stuff comes from. I totally don´t believe in casting a band. It has to be some friends in a stinking rehearsal space, in the beginning. This is what rock music is about. Having a good time, getting hammered, spend a lot of time together, and so on… For me the scene doesn´t feel so much like a national thing. It´s rather one scene. I wouldn´t draw a line between national and international. Especially, in the Doom Scene.
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?
-I can´t complain… During the last ten years it has become more people attending shows, in my opinion. For sure, bands are being discovered on the internet. That´s what this medium holds for bands. It makes it easier to find music from all over the globe. But the bad times when nobody showed up at underground concerts was from the late nineties to around let´s say 2007.
What does the future hold?
-In the very first place, we have to get rid of that fucking virus. But then it´s hopefully gonna be those great things I always wanna do: writing an album, recording an album and then go on tour.