We catch up with vocalist Ashley Scott and drummer David Archer about the origins of the UK’s most brutal band.
Tell us a bit about yourselves! How did the band come together? What inspired the name?
ASHLEY: I started the search for band members in the later part of 2013. I had taken a little time away from the whole band thing to get married and have a kid. Once I had adjusted to the new routine of married life and fatherhood, I started reaching out to people with the intention of forming a band. Things had come into perspective with my time away from making music and I realised during that time off, that I had unfinished business and wanted to have one last push at making a go of it. The name, I was originally going to call the band Cozenage, had a logo made up and everything ha. But later decided against it. I preferred the idea of a two word band name. I had the word ‘Abhorrent’ earmarked. And an old member of the band and I made a list of other words that could go either side of it. Decimation was one of the words in that list and it was picked. Pretty dull story, but the birth of the name no less.
You have a new album coming out on Prosthetic Records. Tell us a bit about it, including recording the album – who was in charge of sound, production, mastering?
ASHLEY: Indeed, the new album is called ‘The Pardoner’ and it’s a fairly deep concept album which breaks down and tells the story of ‘The Pardoner’s Tale’ from ‘The Canterbury Tales’ by Geoffrey Chaucer. I knew for sometime that I wanted to use a middle age concept for this record. We knew that we was going to push the sound into a more modern feel, so the juxtapose felt interesting to me and one that would create more of a challenge for us. I certainly had a lot of fun creating all the lyrics and patterns on this one. I really got into the concept and tried my best to provide a coherent and fluid version of the story. Archer (our bass player) played such an instrumental roll in bringing the record to life.
ARCHER: I really wanted to handle all of the sound on this album myself. Whilst I have been heavily involved with the production on the previous releases, being able to really build this one from the ground up was rather important to me as unlike our previous work, I was also heavily involved in the writing this time around. I had an idea of what I wanted the overall sonority of the record to be long before we had even finished writing, so being able to control every step of the process was incredibly useful in really making sure that every aspect of the release is shooting in the direction that I felt like it needed to. I suppose even more important than control was just having the facility to experiment and create all of the things that I had in my head to really make this piece of music something that we could all feel proud of and would hopefully be worth people taking the time to listen to. Love and care and painstaking attention to detail have been poured into this on every level we were physically able to.
You’re playing Bloodstock Festival soon, how do you prepare for an event of that size? Which bands should people check out over the course of the weekend?
ARCHER: We are all really looking forward to playing Bloodstock, we’ve massively stepped up our live production for this album and we have spent a lot of time experimenting with equipment and sounds to try to get as close as we can to the sound and the feel of the CD. I think we all feel that we have pushed ourselves with our new material and because of that, to accommodate it, we’ve upgraded pretty much everything equipment-wise. We really just want to push ourselves to that next level in terms of our live presence and can’t wait to share what we have been working on with everyone who comes to see us at Bloodstock!
ASHLEY: We have loads of friends playing at this years festival. But If I had to shine a light on any bands, I would demand you catch ‘The Infernal Sea’ on the Thursday. Go check out Corpsing and Black Moth on the Friday. Be sure to see us Abhorrent Decimation and OHHMS on Saturday and then go catch Wretched Soul and Courtesans on the Sunday.
What bands would you consider to be some of your main influences or inspirations?
ASHLEY: I’ll take that as a two parter because I see influence and inspiration as two different things. In terms of vocal influence, my all-time top vocalist in the game is George Fisher of Cannibal Corpse. I just love the no nonsense approach to his vocal delivery and I try to adopt a similar style in what I do. Not in an attempt to mimic his voice, at all, I’m nowhere near. But more in the sense of pinning my ears back and delivering a solid, clear, straight forward voice in the lower register. And then inspiration wise, personally I’m a horrifically romantic, emotional soul. Dead soppy, so I get inspiration from all sorts… reading, art, the world around me, my relationships with people, culture, food. You name it, I can muse on it and find something in it. Sometimes these ideas and creative urges come from the most random of things, so I just try to be reactive when the moment comes and note down or sketch what I am thinking. But my main inspiration on ‘The Pardoner’ was the story ‘The Pardoner’s Tale’ itself. I didn’t listen to any type of metal music other than our own demos while I was in writing mode, I often do that when we are in a creative process like this. Instead, I was session-ing the new Bruno Mars album, Xavier Omar and a lot of Anderson Paak while we was in writing mode on this album. I find these styles of music more indicative for writing my lyrics and our chorus hooks.
What bands would you consider to be the originators of the whole Death Metal genre, if someone was wanting to get into Death Metal, where should they start?
ASHLEY: Death, Morbid Angel, Obituary, Cannibal Corpse, Carcass, Deicide & Suffocation. That should keep you busy for a bit.
What are your thoughts on the current state of metal in the UK?
ASHLEY: I think the UK has a thriving underground scene, it’s great. In my opinion though, there are a lot of shit bands out there but for every pony band we have, it feels like we have two great ones. My only real gripe with the UK scene is the lack of bands that are emerging from the underground and taking bigger steps towards forging a solid career. Middle tier bands? I can only name a handful. We need more. Something needs to change. Agencies and agents need to clock that we have very little in that area. The underground needs scouting, good and proper and some of the diamonds need developing up onto that middle tier status.
What are the band’s plans for the next 12 months?
ASHLEY: PLAY SHOWS, SELL RECORDS, SELL MERCH, PLAY SHOWS, SELL RECORDS, SELL MERCH etc. Our aim is to develop a few areas of what we are doing in these next 12 months to allow us to get some better opportunities with the touring. We have started work on our next album already, this will come together slowly but yeah, work has begun. Our main focus right now though, is to play this new material to as many people as possible.
Abhorrent Decimation release ‘The Pardoner’ via Prosthetic Records on July 28th. PRE-ORDER NOW at http://smarturl.it/AbhorrentDecimation