Interview with Chris Reifert of Abscess!
Blazing a path of their own unique choosing, Abscess is fresh off their disgusting and brutal new album "Dawn of Inhumanity." The band combines the considerable forces of former members of Autopsy and Death, Abscess seeks to provide the listener with a visceral and mind-bending experience. With songs that range on topics from sinister atmosphere to acts of sheer vulgar force, to the cramped prisons of our own fragile psyche, Abscess continues down the warpath of punk-infused dirge-like death metal.
Here to discuss everything about his band, the new album, and the kind of place this comes from, is singer Chris Reifert.
"Dawn of Inhumanity" creates a tenable atmosphere of carnage and almost Lovecraft-ian disarray. Simply put, where do you come up with this stuff?
Found it lurking in the back of our minds just waiting to lunch, rend and feast! It's always there at the ready, just gotta find the right words to lure it out and into an unsuspecting world of normality. Weirdness is good for you!
After so many years with Abscess, what keeps the band fresh? What makes you desire to keep pushing?
We just don't know any better I guess. It's not a matter of desire or will, it's just what happens to us whether we want it or not. Kinda like a mental parasitic twin that refuses to be separated. Might as well embrace and exploit it.
Given the visions of smoky, fetid entrails dripping from "Dawn of Inhumanity," have you ever hit a point where you pull back on the creative reins at all, or is it just all systems go for brutality?
We just do what we do at the time of doing it, we can go fast, medium, slow, raw, psychedelic, whatever, just as long as it's heavy and brutal. Since these avenues are always open, we never feel like we're painted into a corner (wink wink!) As long as we have sick hallucinations, there will be bizarre and brutal music to be made.
What do you want people to take away from either the album or the band? Is there a message, or do you just do it for the love of it?
This is the path we have chosen and it anyone wants to accompany us on this journey, we're happy to have them along with us. Even if we walk alone, the vision compels us regardless. That pretty much sums it up in my strange mind.
Given the band's extensive catalogue, rank "Dawn of Inhumanity" relative to your other works.
It's our best yet, hands down. We worked our asses off on this beast and we are pleased with the outcome. Time will tell is others agree with us, but we feel strongly about this thing and I challenge other bands to pack the work in there that we did in our short span of studio time.
Given the chance, is there anything you'd do over or do differently on the album? Are there lessons from it you'll be carrying forward into whatever project suits the band next?
We actually feel 100% satisfied with what we created. Nothing would be changed. It is Abscess all the way, love us or hate us! Haha! Lessons? Nah...just gotta think creatively.
Abscess is famous (infamous?) for its creative and abstract cover art. Do artists approach you looking for an opportunity or do something different, or how does that process work?
Well, on the last few albums, Dennis Dread has supplied us with his unique art which suits our music very well. Usually we will give him an idea or sketch to chew on and he will come up with his interpretation of it. This time around we really didn't give him much at all and just let him go for it. He had the album and song titles to go on and that was about it. As usual, he delivered the goods and we are pleased with the results. Hell yeah, Dennis!
Aside from the great punk influences, what in your mind makes Abscess stand out from other bands in the genre, especially from your European counterparts?
We do what comes from our foul hearts no matter if others like it or not. We have had our share of detractors, but that doesn't matter. Not many bands are willing to go that route for so many years. We believe in everything this band has done and offer regrets or apologies! The great thing about it is the demented folks who dig Abscess rreeaalllllyyy dig Abscess. Thanks, ya sick fucks!
Let's switch gears a second. Horror movies: which do you love, which do you hate, and do you ever look to them for inspiration?
I love horror flix that focus on mood, feel and stories, not just effects or watered down shock value. After all, it's pretty much all been done before, eh? I have to say, my faves are still the Universal and Hammer stuff. You just can't touch the vibe in those things. A lot of 80's splatter stuff is great too. I usually get disappointed by the straight to DVD things. Cool cover and description, lame movie. Ughh! Is "The Dark Backward" a horror movie? Not sure, but it's one of my all times faves! So weird and dark. I still find myself going back to my old Creepy, Eerie and House of Mystery comics as well. Even though they're not films, there is ample inspiration to be found there. Hell yezzzzzzz.......