A couple of days ago, I had the opportunity to chat with Sven, Mendel & Stefano from the Belgian death metal band Aborted. As well as having a good laugh, we discussed the response to Retrogore and how they’re ‘just a bunch of nerds that love old games and horror movies’. Read on for the full transcription…
You guys have been opening up for Kreator these past couple of weeks, how do you feel the response has been?
Sven: It’s be really good actually. We were a little worried at first as we were going on so early after doors but it’s been good. The first song is sometimes a little rough but by the second song the venues have been filled up and the crowds have been responding well.
Retrogore came out early last year. How has the response has been?
Mendel: For me personally, everything I’ve seen is positive in terms of media reviews and fan reviews.
Sv: I saw one bad review but that’s one out of so many.
M: We’re happy with it though and when we finished it we knew we had something good.
You’ve been announced to play Tech-fest as well. Are you looking forward to that?
Sv: Yeah we are. Even though we’re not really techy but it should be fun. The lineup looks pretty cool and we’ve never been there before.
Black Dahlia are headlining and it’s a kind of small festival.
Sv: Oh we’re good friends with them!
Stefano: Hopefully we are playing the same day as them.
Sv: Yeah, that’d be sweet.
Now, what sort of gear are you guys using these days?
M: I use Carillion guitars who I recently got endorsed by. They’ve been really good to me and are awesome guitars. Ian, our other guitarist, uses Jackson guitars and we both use Kemper amps which goes straight to the front of the house. We both use a Shure GLH16 wireless sytem. No cabs, no bullshit.
St: I use Blakhart custom bass guitar along with a sansamp. That’s linked into a Darkglass overdrive pedal and then runs straight to house. No amps or cabs.
Sv: It means you don’t have to have everything blaring loud anymore!
M: That’s very true.
St: It speeds up changeover as well.
M: No more heavy amps!
Sv: You just turn up with your toaster and plugin and play.
With Retrogore, the focus was mainly on old horror movies. Has that been the case across all the Aborted albums?
Sv: Well, the theme has always been gore, horror and all that happy stuff. For Retrogore though, not only do the artwork and band pictures hark back to the 80’s horror films it also represents who we are as people. We’re basically a bunch of nerds that love old horror films and retro video games. There’s a couple of He-Mans in there along with the Nintendo powerglove and other things from our childhood.
For us, it was cool to make a statement that yes it’s heavy, yes it’s brutal but this is who we are and we also believe that it should be a bit of fun as well. To me, death metal shouldn’t be a fashion show or listening to the right bands. It should be about dressing how you want to and being free to be yourself.
Is there any advice you’d give to new bands?
St: It’s pretty straightforward though.
Sv: If you want to try and make a career out of this, you need to know that you’re going to have to eat a lot of shit throughout the years and you need to able to deal with that. You need to make sure that everyone in the band gets along as you’re going to be cooped up together for a long time in some really shitty situations. You need to be tight as a band as well, if you’re not then you’re not going to get anywhere.
M: One thing I noticed is that a lot of opening bands don’t pay attention to their live performance. I was a judge on a panel last year and something I noticed was that they stood there like poles. You need to move around a bit and engage with your audience. There needs to be good chemistry between the members and you need to interact with the audience.
Sv: People are coming there to see you play a show and not play an album.
St: You still need to be tight but at the same time they know the music and it’s about delivering a performance. People want to have fun and they’ll remember exactly what you’ve done and tell folk about you.
Describe yourselves and then the band in 3 words.
Sv: Holy f*** dude. That’s hard!
Sv: Right for me: loud, aggressive, man.
M: and then the band?
Sv: Bulldozing, punishing, death metal!
[Mendel & Stedfano think for a bit]
M: I think for me: attention seeking musician
Sv: [laughs] It’s true!
St: For me: pizza-craving bassist.
Sv: Fair enough.
M: For the band: amazingly tight unit. I mean, Ken’s still working on overcoming his ego but I’ve heard some live recordings and I’m really happy with how tight we sound.
Sv: Well Stefano….
[Stefano thinks for a bit]
St: Gory out-striking team