a musical form of horror films

Aborted

Thank you for taking the time to talk to us, let’s dive right in! You are about to release your latest album Retrogore, which comes out tomorrow!

Yes Sir!

What can you tell us about this release?

Well, it’s a new album, it has songs, they’re pretty heavy songs. It’s probably one of our most diverse, extreme and mature records that we’ve done.

It’s really, really fast as well.

Well yes *laughs*

I like that *laughs*

That’s not what she said!

The first reviews out there, and the first responses that you posted to your Facebook, they’re unanimously positive. How do you feel about the release, did you achieve what you set out to create?

I think we did. It was very stressful in the way that we were conscious, a lot of people liked Necrotic and Global Flatline, so we obviously had to do at least as good or better. For ourselves in the first place, because we cannot release an album that we don’t believe is actually as good or better than the last two. So when we were writing, a lot of the stuff got over-analyzed and thrown back to the drawing board. We were thinking, we cannot do this exact same album again, so we need to come up with some stuff where it still sounds like the same band, but you can tell there are some nuances and some differences. I think that was the main challenge and I think we succeeded in that. Yeah, we’re pretty happy.

But overall it took a bit more effort this time around to land on this sound?

Well, we were just way more critical on ourselves, I think. When we did Necrotic we wrote like 30 demo’s and we picked the 13 best ones and just put that on the album, whereas to now we had less demo’s, but we spent much more time on them.

When you start the creation of a new record, what’s usually your main focus? Is it the energy, the message, or what do you usually set out to do?

I think we just look at what direction we’re going in at first. It’s all about songwriting and energy, I think those are the two most important things. Everything else, like technicality or shreds or whatever, that kind of stuff always comes in the second place. We’re looking to create a certain energy and a certain atmosphere for our music in the first place rather than just like check out how fast I can play, because there’s always gonna be that band that is faster than you. And if that’s all you have, you know, that’s kind of cheap.

Indeed, that would be pretty sad. In the press release that came with my copy of the album, you mention that this album has many politically involved lyrics, songs about the state of the world we live in?

Yeah that’s true. We’ve always had hints at that, more misanthropic, but this time around it was a bit more specific. One of the bonus tracks that you probably haven’t heard called Les Miserables, which is a song in French, the lyrics were also written by Julien from Benighted who is a good friend of mine. It’s basically us showing how we feel and our appreciation and support towards the victims of what happened in the Bataclan, and how we see the situation. Devine Impediment deals with the direct results of extremism and religion in our modern society.

There’s plenty of that.

Yeah. And on the other hand, the song that’s right after it, consciously as well, Coven of Ignorance speaks about this culture that we have where people can’t call a fridge a fridge. They have to call it something else. Everyone is like some sort of fucking social justice warrior on social media without being properly informed about the bullshit that they’re spewing around, and the internet is a fantastic outlet for mongoloids to spread their opinions. Be it hate or stupid ignorance, it’s out there and that’s what that song deals with.

It’s a messed up world at the moment, there’s plenty to write about.

Things are going to get better.

Let’s hope so! What do you feel is the most intense song on the new record?

That’s a tough question. I mean, depends on how you view intense. If you view it like brutal and heavy, I’d say the title track. If you mean the most fast and technical one then that will probably be Cadaverous Banquet and if we’re talking about most extreme, vile atmosphere I’d say divine impediment.

That’s a great answer, exactly what I was looking for. There are always different ways to view what intense is, and the way someone answers that question tells a lot about the way you look at your own album. So, great answer.

Cool! *low voice* I’m glad it pleases you.

*laughs* Have you played any of these songs live yet?

We’ve played Termination Redux live because it was also on the Termination Redux EP, which came out on our tour with Kataklysm. So we actually played new songs from that EP on that tour, but it’s pointless to already play Retrogore songs in February when the album comes out in April. It was barely announced back then so it would have been very stupid, people would just have been there like, what? What is this? *laughs* So, we’re going to wait until the album is out.

Which song do you think will be the biggest crowd pleaser?

That’s hard to tell. For us, the first ten, dozen times we play a new song, it takes about ten to twelve times to play it live to really get the feel of it, and what to do with the crowd with it. We intend on playing quite a few of these live. I think they will go over well, but I think we just need to play them a bunch of times and then I can answer your question.

See how they work out and break them in first. Right. The artwork on the album is really amazing. Who did that?

There are two people involved. There’s a guy from England called Christopher Lovell, he did the cover artwork and like, the panels and shit. He’s an artist that doesn’t usually work for bands. He mostly works for clothing lines, for movies and stuff like that. He’s done a lot of the 80’s vintage horror stuff, which is where I found him and I absolutely loved his work. He was pretty much given carte blanche to do whatever the hell he wanted. I told him we like the retro shit, we do have some surgical elements in our artwork usually, make it sick and include like stupid toys and shit, because he’s really into that stuff too. He is into exactly the same things we are, so for him I think, it was really cool to do the artwork as well, because he could implement all these retarded things into a brutal death metal cover.

It’s really cool to look at. I really got the 80’s horror vibe from it, very cool. The intro for the album, how did you land on that?

O that? That’s actually the guy at the studio that made it *laughs*

He made that?

Yeah, he made that overnight while we were sleeping. He was like fucking around in the studio and he made it, and we were like well that kind of like sounds fucked up in an American Horror Story kinda way. Probably people will not see this coming, let’s do it *laughs*

I liked it. It’s a very nice surprising opening.

Yes. It sets an unsettling atmosphere I guess.

The name of that track, Delamorte Delamore, is that a reference to the horror movie with the same name?

Yes. Delamorte Delamore, or Cemetery man, depending on where you are from. It’s a reference to the movie. It’s a movie I find particularly funny.

Funny is important in horror as well I think.

Absolutely.

It’s one of the things that really made me smile when I was browsing the artwork included with my copy of the promo of the album, the band picture where you pose as Ash from Evil Dead. That really made me laugh. Same artist?

No. The band pictures are done by Coki Greenway, a guy from Indonesia.

He nailed that as well. Pretty cool.

Yeah, he’s fantastic.

You have band pictures posed as Evil Dead, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and another I did not recognize.

There’s Ghostbusters as well, and there was Reanimator.

Ah, Reanimator. I didn’t recognize that one, I guess I should watch it.

Yes sir, you should.

How did you land on the Ghostbusters pic by the way, it’s the only non-horror one in the set.

Well it’s still sort of related to horror I guess *laughs*. I mean, it’s a movie that defined our childhood as well, so we were very stoked about it.

How big of an inspiration are horror movies to you?

I think as a starting point they are definitely a base to work out of, and they’ve been a very big part of my childhood. It’s where everything begins and everyone of us really like the whole horror thing. It’s always a base, as a death metal band, to get your inspiration. To me, Aborted, or death metal in general is just a musical form of horror films.

I think so too. We have a monthly section in our magazine as well that explores the connection between Horror and Metal. We feature different movies every month. Do you have any suggestions for us what movies we should look at?

Ooh. New stuff?

New stuff, old stuff, classics, anything.

Okay, if you haven’t talked about them yet, definitely The Collector is one you should take a look at.

I think that’s indeed not yet been covered.

It’s fantastic. Both The Collector and The Collection.

I’ll put them on the list!

Have you seen them?

I haven’t seen them yet. I’ve been out of the horror movies for a while now, I used to love The Evil Dead, Bad taste, all the early Jackson stuff, Dead Alive.

Right. Yeah, it’s a bit more extreme than that stuff *laughs*

A bit more extreme. That’s all good. I saw online you have released a new a new release every year, three in a row.

Every two years you mean?

Every two years? Let me see where I found that…

Don’t say Wikipedia *laughs*

*laughs* No, I don’t only focus on Wikipedia. I think it was Encyclopaedia Metallum. That’s the one. 2014, then an EP in 2015 and the new release in 2016.

The EP was in 2016 as well. It came out in February.

Then I must have indeed looked at the wrong sources. *laughs* It still makes you a very busy man.

That’s okay. Yeah, I mean, they were all done around the same period, so it’s not as bad as it looks.

Where do you find the inspiration to write that fast?

The world being fucked up I guess, is a very very good source of inspiration.

When you’re writing a new album, does everything you write make it to the release, or do you have a lot of stuff on the shelf for like B-sides and compilations and what not?

The stuff we record usually gets released. Usually we keep some songs as bonus tracks, but generally everything we record gets released. I mean, we have songs that we demo out that we just throw away if they’re not good enough. In the case of this album actually we do have about 3 or 4 songs that we just couldn’t finish in time, so those might actually get used again later.

So there are surprises on the horizon!

Maybe!

I always like maybe’s. If I were to pick words to describe your sound, the two that come to mind are brutal and uncompromising. Which words would you pick?

Pooh. To describe our music? Delicious Gory Fun.

Delicious gory fun. I think we have a title *laughs*. I like that. Do you bring the same energy that’s on your releases to a live show? How does an Aborted show look?

I think we bring more energy to the shows than we actually do on the album. We’ve always been more of a live band. We give everything we have and we go fucking crazy on stage. I would say come to a show and check it out!

I definitely will! You say you go crazy on stage. Do you think that’s something that’s hard to capture on an album, that live energy?

It’s just music. It’s more when you have the visual with it. It’s a bit more intense when you see someone losing their shit live, you can’t really bring that with an album. I mean, musically it’s the same thing, but when you have the people with it doing their thing on a stage, it gives the music a different dimension and a different way to look at.

I understand what you mean. I can also imagine it might be hard to get that vibe onto an album.

Well it’s just very different, because sometimes songs that sound not that heavy on album would sound way heavier live because of the way you play it, because of the sound or the way the band behaves on stage. And then some songs where you’re like holy shit, this is crazy on record could just fall flat on it’s face because it doesn’t translate well. It’s always two very different things.

I can imagine. Do you feel you are different from other bands in your genre?

I think so, in a way, yeah. I mean I do think we managed to get our own sound throughout 20 years, I at least hope so. *laughs*

I think you definitely do. I read somewhere, I don’t know if it was an interview or a press release or something, that you play an important role in the death grind genre. How do you look at a statement like that yourself?

If you play an important role?

Yeah, that’s what it said. Literally.

I would just say, we just do our thing. We work hard and we try to keep moving and doing our thing. I’ve never been one to keep too busy in thinking what other people think or say or do or whatever about the music that we do. If that’s what people think that’s fantastic, that’s a great compliment, but we’re just doing what we love and what we like doing, you know? That’s all that matters to me.

That’s the best attitude to have I think. What artists influenced you, and what music do you listen to yourself when you’re not writing or on stage?

Lots of different things really. The bands that inspired us when we started were clearly Suffocation, Cryptopsy, Entombed, Carcass, even Slayer, Hatebreed, stuff like that. That was, you know, those were definitely the bands that inspired us when we started. Or Dismembered, you know, the old shit. Obviously it evolved through the years as well. The kind of stuff I listen to when we’re not writing, it can be very different kind of things. I like the last Benighted records a lot, there’s a new Architects record coming out that I’m excited to listen to, completely not metal I would say I’ve been listening to Carpenter Brut, which is like 80’s synth wave.

Surprising!

Yeah, or if we’re going back to the brutal kind of thing, the new Wormed album is fantastic.

Have you heard the new Hatebreed yet? I have the promo here, they’re also in this issue!

Cool! I have not. I’ve heard the lyric video, that’s it.

You just released a 20th anniversary EP, well, this year apparently. *laughs*. Well, twenty years is a long time. How do you look at twenty years of Aborted?

That we’re old *laughs*. It’s odd you know? You don’t realize it’s been 20 years. If I hear twenty years doing this shit, I’m like fuck, what, why? But you know, it doesn’t feel like 20 years. When you’re doing something you enjoy, of course there’s always worse periods or all that kind of stuff, it happens with everything, but you never realize that it’s going by that fast. You just do your tours and before you know it the year is over, and you’re in the next year, and every two years you have to do an album and you’re like fuck, okay. It goes by so much quicker than you imagine.

But you’re having fun though.

Yeah of course. Otherwise I wouldn’t be doing this. Because it’s death metal *laughs*

How was your anniversary year so far, did you do something special, other than the EP?

No. I mean, we played a couple of shows and we did a very very long but awesome tour for it throughout Europe. But other than that, we were still busy working on the album, we just didn’t have time to do other stuff.

I can imagine that. The album comes first. What’s your favorite tour memory in the last two decades?

I think, for sure, the last tour we did was absolutely amazing. All the people on the tour were fantastic. It was the European tour with Kataklysm and Septic Flesh. Three very different bands in death metal, but it worked really well, the shows were really good, lots of sold out shows and everybody got along super well and it was 44 shows in 46 days.

That’s intense!

It’s very intense, yes.  And we never had any fights, any issues, it was absolutely cool. I think the last headline tour we did was really cool too in Europe, the Hell Over Europe tour with Origin and Exhumed, which are also old friends. Other than that, some memories, we did Summer Slaughter in the US, that was fantastic. Touring Australia and Japan was fantastic. South Africa was amazing. There are so many things, I could keep going *laughs*

Hard to choose from. Any weird stuff that happened that springs to mind? Any chainsaws or stuff like that? *laughs*

Well yeah, Exhumed has chainsaws on stage, but for us it usually involves our Bass player J.B.. One time for example he fell asleep on the ferry, and everybody was already on the bus, out of the ferry and he had to run out because it was already heading back in the different direction. So these kind of things tend to happen.

Yeah, they happen on the road. But it’s also the good memories.

O yeah. Because it’s always the same guy anyway *laughs*.

A running gag. Yeah. Were there things in your career so far that you would have done differently in retrospect?

Yeah. Strychnine and Slaughter & Apparatus would have been two albums that don’t exist in my mind, so yeah. I wish they didn’t exist. But they don’t, do they?

Nay, they don’t, I won’t write them down *laughs* A silly question. Can we ever  expect a ballad from you?

No?

*laughs* No. Short, to the point, and the expected answer. Your list of current band members is dwarfed by the list of ex band members. Why have there been so many line up changes and is it demanding to be a member of Aborted?

Well it’s very demanding, you know? We force people to go to the gym, clearly there’s a lot of whipping involved, there’s a lot of whipped cream involved, and a lot of midgets. So it’s a very tricky place to be in Aborted. But on the serious note, it’s a career of 20 years, there are not a lot of bands that have remained the same over 20 years. There are bands that break up after three years and then those people start new bands. I mean, we just kept going and a lot of times it’s either because touring life isn’t for everybody, or it’s that we don’t make enough money and they want to get a regular job because they want some more financial stability. Which is completely understandable, but at the same time, that’s their decision.

You could say that to be able to make this kind of music and to be able to live on the road, it does take a special kind of person.

Yeah, of course. All of us have jobs on the side. It’s something you have to do, if you don’t, you know…

In this day of age it’s very important, the music industry has changed a bit.

Of course, you could do crowdfunding and ask people to give you money every few months if you’re a goddamned pussy, but you could also get a job.

*laughs* I haven’t heard that take on it yet. Do you feel crowdfunding is for pussies?

No, just if you ask people for money every month because you don’t want to work, that’s kind of backwards in my opinion.

I see what you mean. How is the current lineup working out for you at the moment?

Fine. It’s been stable since 2012, we just had one guitarist leave last year because he is getting married this year and he was going to lose his job if he kept touring, so he had to make a choice.

That’s a tough choice to make, but I can understand that one. Where can we find you live in the coming months?

Nowhere. Our first show is in July in Columbia, Rock Al Parque, which are apparently huge ass festivals, so that’s pretty cool. Other than that we will be doing festivals all over Europe this summer.

Okay, which ones?

Antwerp Metal Fest, Brutal Assault, we’re playing Metal Gefle in Sweden, there’s a whole bunch, I just don’t know by heart right now, but there’s quite a few festivals. Other than that we will be doing a US headline tour before the end of the year, or a co-headliner, we are looking for options. Then we will be back in Europe on an actual tour February next year.

Pretty cool, busy schedule! I’ll be looking you up for certain. What will your setlist look like, how much of the new album will you play live?

I’d say, if we have like a 45 or 50 minute set, it will be at least six new songs.

That’s a nice number.

Yeah. I really like the songs, so we want to check out what works live, and actually for once play a decent amount of new stuff live, because we’ve been playing a lot of the same old songs, and it’s time to change the set a bit.

Does it tire you to play the same songs again and again?

No, no! I like the songs. I’m just thinking in the mindset of the fans, that maybe they’d like to hear something different.

You might be right. Where it comes to your catalog, all the songs you’ve ever written, which of those songs is the most fun to play so far?

Of the songs? Pooh.

Yup. Hard question!

Yeah. I think Necrotic Manifesto is a really fun song to play live, and Coffin Upon Coffin, or Origin of Disease, or Meticulous Invagination, those are all fun songs.

I completely agree. How will the future look for Aborted, do you have any special surprises planned for us?

Not right now. I mean, we just have the album come out tomorrow and we will probably tour quite a bit after that *laughs*

I can imagine. Are there any parts of the world where you have not been yet, that you still want to visit for a show?

We have never been to Korea, so that would be cool, and there are certain countries in South America we haven’t been to, so those would be nice to do, but other than that, we’ve been to a whole bunch of places. It’s been cool so far.

Korea should be interesting. Which one, the north or the south? *laughs*

*laughs* let’s stick to the south.

Let’s. North may be a bit too interesting *laughs*. I’m through my questions! That means all that’s left is to ask is, do you have any last words for our readers?

Yeah, thanks for the interview! Check out the album, and if you’re still not tired of us, Mendel, Ken and I have another band called Oracles which has an album coming out on July 1st, so check it out!

Nice, I will! Thank you very much, and have a great time on tour! Metal On Loud!

Randy Gerritse