Abacinate Add Members, Thrash Parts Before Recording New Album
Abacinate -- like fellow death metaller's Waking the Cadaver -- come from a small shore town in central New Jersey. The band's 2008 release, 'Ruination,' combined brutal death metal with grindcore and still found a way to balance out the slam parts for optimum moshing. A couple of lineup alterations and some small death metal festivals later, and Abacinate are ready to record their second album. Noisecreep talked to guitarist Todd Stern about the band's changes, Wesley Pipes and writing their follow up to 'Ruination.'
Tell me about the new lineup. Where did you find vocalist Jason Sica? Was he a friend before he joined the band?
Mr. Jason Sica had been a friend of the band for years. We met him in 2006 when he was singing for a band called the Grieving Process. When we lost our original singer in August of '09, he tried out shortly after. He was the sweetest of the batch, so we continued jamming with him. Dan Higgins was a stranger to us when he tried out. He actually auditioned and got the gig while I was on tour filling in for the Binary Code. So basically, we hired a big doofus with a clowny track record and a quiet, skinny weirdo with tight pants, pretty much out of desperation and crossed our fingers. Right now, we couldn't be happier with that decision.
Tell me about your socks: U.S.A.
Generally speaking, all of the members of Abacinate tend to make fun of everybody and everything. So one day, [drummer] Ninj and I were viewing an adult movie together at our rehearsal studio, when we simultaneously noticed that one of the male actors, Wesley Pipes, was wearing nothing but a pair of socks that said 'U.S.A.' on them. We obviously laughed pretty hard at first, then we took it to the next level and suggested to each other that it would be a great gimmick if we all wore socks like Wes. Next thing you know, he sent me a picture message from work the next day, and in the picture was an eBay ad for the very same U.S.A. socks. I of course responded immediately, "I already ordered them. 15 pairs."
Did you guys play Wisconsin F---fest? If so, how was it?
Yes, we played Midwest F---fest, both last year and this year. The show was held at a rather big venue this year, which made it tough to pack the house. We were there all day Friday and Saturday and I'd say there were probably about 50 to 75 people there watching the bands at any given time. Although the turnout wasn't the greatest, we had a blast and we played with some amazing bands. We had the privilege of opening for Common Grave and Gorod, which was totally amazing. We met some really fun, sweet people, saw some incredible live acts, and partied as hard as we could for the weekend. All said and done, if we're invited next year, I promise we'll be back.
How was the drive over there? Or, did you guys fly?
We actually flew, for the first time in our 'career.' We've done some pretty long, obnoxious drives in our day but going from Keansburg, N.J. to Milwaukee, Wis. to play one show seemed a little too outrageous. Normally we try to book surrounding dates and do mini tours around festivals. However, we just did a mini tour in April, we're going out for two weeks in August, and we start recording the new album in the third week of June, so we decided to just fly out and get crazy for the weekend, instead of taking more time off of work.
How will you guys top 'Ruination'?
Topping it should be a breeze. We always feel like were above and beyond our last effort as we're writing, which is a good thing. The way we write is rather unconventional I must say, but we always feel very strongly about the result and we also always find ourselves saying, "This is my favorite s--- we've ever done." Everybody writes in this band. In fact, our drummer writes more guitar riffs than the guitar players do, and our bass player writes a lot of guitar parts as well. We just finished writing a full length, and personally, I think it blows the doors off 'Ruination' as far as both intensity and cohesiveness go.
Will the new album have more slam parts or more grind parts?
Surprisingly, there are more thrash parts on this album than anything else. It's tough to say really, but my speculation would be that we toned it down a notch with the tough-guy breakdown parts, let the slam parts remain about as frequent as they always have for us, hit the grind parts a little harder than in the past and then straight up went to town with the thrash parts. The thrash parts are evil at times, melodic at times and sometimes they're just beer-soaked, fun thrash riffs that drive the songs. I think we cover a lot of ground on this album. There's even an instrumental, a clean interlude and a handful of guitar solos. It's not that we're headed in a different direction, we're just being a little adventurous and taking the scenic route in the direction we've always been heading in.
When do you guys get into The Machine Shop and start recording?
We start pre-production on Thursday, June 17. We should be tracking until the end of the month, and we plan on having the album out by the late fall. We're all very excited to work with Will Putney, who will be engineering and producing. We're also proud to be added to the roster of amazing bands that have recorded at The Machine Shop. Doing this record in such a prestigious facility with such awesome talent behind the board is an honor and a milestone for us.
Who taught guitarist Dan Higgins how to make those faces?
Hahaha, nobody knows! Maybe he accidentally learned how to make those faces when he was sifting through his girlfriend's hamper. Dan is an interesting character with an interesting musical background, which is a nice way of saying that he's a total weirdo and that we have no idea where his stage antics came from or how they came to be. We love him though. He's like a skinny little harmless brother to all of us.