Hello Stefano and welcome on behalf of Metal Invader team! Firstly, I have to congratulate you for you latest album ManiaCult. Sounds brutal, ferocious and modern by all means. It is out for less than a week, but tell us, what’s the feedback you‘re getting so far from the fans and the music press?
First of all Penny, thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to talk about the album, it’s a real pleasure to be hosted by Metal Invader, so thanks again.
Feedback on our new material it has been great so far. Everybody seems so excited about the new songs and I couldn’t be happier myself. It’s overwhelming with all the incredible messages we are getting so far. Thanks to everyone that have already checked the album!
Covid pandemic has changed many aspects of everyone’s reality. How did Aborted cope with all that?
Well it didn’t really change our plans that much. I mean as an international band, all members are spread around the world (Belgium, California, Italy), so that wasn’t so different from what we were used to do before Covid. We tried to be as creative and productive as possible. Like the majority of the bands out there we tried to get the most out of this situation. We released the EP ‘La Grande Mascarade’ in the very middle of the Pandemic, it was about April 17. Most of the countries all over the world, and in Europe of course (Spain, Italy), but also US, started getting the real picture of what each country was dealing with at the time, so we released that in the middle of Covid mess, and at the same time we committed to write new material, as we found that a great opportunity since we wouldn’t be touring. So, by the end of 2020 we had most of our new stuff already written, which we finished recording this year, so we tried to stay as optimistic as possible. It sure wasn’t that easy cause Covid affected not only us the musicians, but also anyone involved in music industry. I consider though myself personally and as part of the band kind of lucky in comparison to other bands and people I know.
I think that this time you followed a simpler songwriting structure and straightforward riffs. Tell us more about the writing procedure. Do you write songs that you want to hear yourself, or songs that you believe your audience would love to hear?
Well that’s a good question! I definitely agree with what you said at the beginning. I think we tried to go for a more direct/ straightforward approach, we tried to recapture the old-school sound, but always combined with a more modern kind of approach. As far as the writing process is concerned, Ken took care of it mostly by himself cause not only is he a great drummer, but also an extremely talented guitar player, so he wrote almost everything within ManiaCult. Of course cooperation between band mates, exchanging ideas etc still remains our key to success. We go over and over all tracks (patterns and riffs) giving more feedback or just record the song ourselves adding few ideas here and there. So, by the time we get to the studio we had six or seven versions of the song, and that was actually good cause we checked all the material from different perspectives, so by the time we recorded the songs they were already solid and fixed in our heads, we knew exactly what we wanted them to sound like.
I also believe that the songs are really memorable and have this sense of hit singles (In a good way I mean just to be clear haha). Was this on purpose or it just come out like that?
No I think it kind of stays in line with the fact that we tried to go for a more riff oriented approach of the record. I think what distinguish ManiaCult from previous records is the fact that we tried to write songs trying to have in our head how they would sound like, cause sometimes we have these lengthy kind of structured songs that you hear on the album and you get amazed with a 6-7 minutes long song. In ManiaCult though, we tried to write sorter songs, kind of catchy and memorable, a bit bizarre I admit for death metal genre. I think writing a song having as a reference how it might sound like, that definitely helped shape the way we wrote the music for this record.
Eleven albums for you guys so far, and you’re still rolling! How difficult is it to stay focused on your plans/goals as a band?
We always try to raise the bar every time, not only musically, but also regarding our live performance, stage production etc, we always focus on what it’s the next thing we should work on and in order to do that I like to think of ourselves as kind of death metal conscious band, meaning that we always listen to new music being released and always trying to see works and what doesn’t in a live show kind of situation. So we always go with the same approach in order to release an album: write the material, release the album, and then promote it as much as we can. Hard based setting on stage, banners and lots of that kind of stuff, and special effects by our great technician. For this one we will try to evolve the setting in our live performances to come. So it’s really difficult to give you an exact formula of what we do to change and evolve our sound. I think the main concept is to try and make it as much relevant as possible. With ManiaCult we created this Facebook group where we interact a lot with our fans. I think it’s really helpful for the band; it gives us a concrete grasp on the actual scene embodied by metal fans and bands. We are trying to see what works what doesn’t, what they like and what they don’t … don’t get me wrong! that doesn’t mean we are writing music depending on what people might like, or might not like, because that would be impossible as some people like same short of things, while others might enjoy more other styles or genres, so that wouldn’t have been possible in the first place.
Well with the fb page you mentioned, I can’t help asking you, how do you manage to socialize and interact with your fans, cause after all it’s a bit contradictory to the b movie gore aesthetic and brutal attitude that you have on stage, or I don’t know, appeals in your music. How do you approach everyday life comparing to your stage image?
Well I get your point; I think Aborted kind of embodies the typical aesthetic of metal and death metal. As a fan, I also love to listen to horror theme music and lyrics, or seeing very graphic images, but at the same time we never take ourselves too seriously, so it’s not like we‘re the famous band and in the other side are the fans. I mean we are on the same level, and even at the show, we‘re always down on having a chat with our fans later on. It’s just like we are a part of this big family, we all like horror movies and fiction, video games and it’s the same environment really. The fact that we show that right in your face it’s that ironically we play with horror movie themes and thus we find ways and motives to stay close to each other and make the band laugh. That’s the key I think for a successful relationship with the audience. I mean it’s always cool to interact with them because you can always ask a fan what movie does he likes the most and we straight ahead start a conversation with him. So, it’s all about communication. To go back to your question now, I think it helps to see a bunch of nerds playing video games and enjoy horror movies, or listening to death metal, that’s a sort of definition I can give you on Aborted haha.
Aborted members have been a part of several bands in the past, such as Leng T’che, System Divide, In-Quest, and more recently Oracles on Deadlight Entertainment. How do you manage to stay solid and devoted to band, despite parallel band activities for each one of you?
I think it’s really helpful to the band’s cause. New projects and other bands, keep the band as well productive and creative as we gain different perspective, and at the same time it also takes our mind off, which is also vital from time to time. Going back to Aborted, we all come with new ideas, new motivation. When it comes to concerts, Aborted is our priority, so the other bands and side projects do not interfere that much on this part. Before Covid Aborted were super busy, you see we were touring three to four times per year, so to squeeze in some time for different music paths I would say it is therapeutic. Just like taking a break from our routine.
What are your plans for the near future? A big tour to promote the new album is scheduled or COVID is still winning the war against humanity haha?
We ‘re supposed to go on tour next year on February and March with other bands, it’s a big tour, 35 shows in 40 days, so are going to promote a lot ManiaCult I guess. I think we are working on doing something in the summertime too, maybe going back in the US in case that all travel restrictions are lifted. If Covid allows us, our goal is to go back to our pre- covid live routine, with lots of shows throughout the year.
Any chance to see you guys in Greece?
Unfortunately, I’ve never been to Greece although I really want to. I’m really dying to… the weather, the art, the architecture and the food, actually all Mediterranean countries we have a lot of similarities in all those. With the band, I’m not so sure right now. Maybe … we will see if we can do some shows in the summer, but if not, maybe next year will do another European tour and try to fit in Greece as well. It also depends on the promoter. Personally, if you ask me I would tour the world, and like I said I really love to come in Greece.
Let’s cross fingers then! haha
Correct if I’m wrong but soon Aborted will celebrate their 30 year presence in the music industry; any special shows, anniversary releases in mind?
The band has officially being around since 1995, so yeah! Now … for events I don’t have a clue yet, I barely know what I’ll have for dinner right now haha. I’m sure though that we will come up with some special stuff.
That’s all from me; the floor is yours, if you want to add something or give your greetings to your fans…
Like I said in the beginning, thank you so much Penny for the interview and your smart questions, cause not every day you get asked such original stuff. Thank you so much! It’s usually the classic questions, but you helped me going in detail considering all aspects of the band, so I thank you again. To all the fans of course I would like to say keep supporting us, streaming, listening and buying ManiaCult, cause first week’s sales are important and thank you so much for the incredible feedback that we ‘ve got from you guys so far.
Thank you so much for the kind words, your time and this interview! Stay safe!