ABORTED are undoubtedly, Belgium’s biggest metal export. From going through a number of lineup changes to what it is today, the band has had their shares of ups and downs. Nevertheless, they have kept their spirit alive. They have recently released their new record Retrogore, which has received great reviews the world over. Here I am interacting with the bassist JB, speaking about the band’s most successful line up, the recent collaboration with the new producer, idea behind the new release and lots more! Excerpts from the interview-
MJM. Hello, greetings from MJM. How are you doing?
Aborted: Good man! JB here! We are getting tons of great reactions. Now that the album is out, so while I was already proud of what we did, having the affirmation that we did good, makes it even better!
MJM. Congratulations on the release of Retrogore. How is the reaction so far from the metal community?
Aborted: Thank you!! It’s been what we hoped for, the main thing is that we delivered a more focused album, song writing wise and the songs are more diverse than the previous 2 albums, so it’s good to hear it worked. When you write/pre-produce/record and finish a record, you lose your view on it, so you just hope everyone likes it haha!! But a lot of people on our Facebook page have been calling it our best effort till now, and reviews have been going really well too, So that’s awesome to hear. Very happy right now!
MJM. What was the idea behind naming the new record- Retrogore? Can you share with us, the story behind it?
Aborted: It’s about our love for 80s horror, like the rest of the artwork in the booklet also will unveil haha! We are a bunch of nerds who love and have watched all the old school horror favorites over and over, so for this record, with both artworks, lyrically and sound wise (Alex Karlinsky from 80s Synthwave Project Highway superstar added a ton of killer old school sounding layers to the album)
MJM. Which is your favorite track from the new record? Why?
Aborted: I can’t pick a favorite; all the members write killer stuff in my opinion, so whenever I remotely like a track of my own, it gets trumped by someone else’s song haha! But I like Forged from Decrepitude, it was a song started by Mendel that we finished together shortly before the studio, joining forces on that one made it a killer song in my opinion.
Divine Impediment for obvious reasons, we didn’t make a video for that one for nothing. And I like In Avernus, not because it’s by far the best of the album also but more so because it’s kind of the oddball track of the album I guess and who doesn’t like weird stuff!
Click the picture below to watch the new video for Divine Impediment–
MJM. How was it like working with the new producer Kristian Kohlmannslehner? What made you guys decide to work with him?
Aborted: ‘Kohle’ is great, super precise (German much?) in his work, love his straight forward advice for the songs and probably is the fastest editor I have ever seen in my life haha!! Plus, the studio has a feel and is located in a gorgeous area, what more do you want if you like taking runs in between recording? We ended up there because our good friends from Benighted have recorded with him numerous times and their last album sounded killer in our opinion. We took a test run sort of, with the EP Termination Redux, where Kohle recorded drums/vocals and mixed/mastered and I recorded the guitars/bass myself, which kind of gave us a good look on how he worked and how it would be if we recorded a full length there, because we are very accustomed to ‘Jacob Hansens’ way of working and we did 3 albums there now which we are also very happy with (alas he was busy working on Volbeat around this time).
Needless to say it was a success, ‘Kohle’ rocked and we decided to hang around there for 2 weeks to get the album done!
MJM. As a band that has been active for two decades, can you enlighten us on how Aborted took birth? How was everything kicked off, basically? Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Aborted: I have been in the band since 2008, so I wasn’t there in the beginning. But the band started off originally being called Ebola haha and began with a good amount of love for Carcass and grindcore as you can obviously hear in the first releases.
With this line up from 2008, we began having more of an own face musically I guess, with a lot more influences from all members. While Mendel can’t get enough of all kinds of Tech Death and Malmsteen, I listen to tons of sludge/stoner, Black Metal and Grindcore, etc… And we all write. Thus bringing us to what became the last 2 to 3 albums.
MJM. When we go through the band’s history of lineup changes, it’s obvious that you guys went through rough times. Nevertheless, the spirit has been the same. How did you all manage to do that?
Aborted: It’s been steady since like 2012 I think, it sucks when people are dicks when the rest try their best or when someone has to quit because of work/girlfriends but it is what it is and while sometimes you make sacrifices for the band, there are also moments were people have to sacrifice the band for their own good and it can’t work out any more.
Now we have a steady line up, in which we wrote the last 3 releases, (and a large part of Global Flatline is also the same people writing music now) so there hasn’t been much of problems we had to manage with it lately actually.
MJM. How settled is the current line-up?
Aborted: Like I explained in the question before, doing great and with the addition of Ian Jekelis, who is Ken’s old friend from Abigail Williams we’re doing better and better. It’s an awesome team at the moment.
MJM. How do you think has the band evolved from The Necrotic Manifesto to Retrogore?
Aborted: Like Yngwie Malmsteen says, MORE IS MORE, so that’s what we thought of doing for this album. The slower is slower, the faster is faster, song writing is better, and since this is the 3rd record in a steady line up, we are also really synced in together.
Having added Ian’s input to some songs, it just became a lot more diverse and a focused album as a whole compared to Necrotic, while we are still far from unhappy with that one too haha!
MJM. What’s the main ideology behind the record- Retrogore? Does it convey any message?
Aborted: It’s all 80s horror themed, in both artwork/lyrics and sound design, thus the obvious moniker- Retrogore!
RETROGORE also features- Travis Ryan, Jason Keyser, Julien Truchan and David Davidson!
MJM. Did the recent signing with Century Media Records change the band’s view?
Aborted: Not at all. We decide on creative intent and what we want to do band wise.
MJM. What are your thoughts on the current scene, where many bands go without labels and opt for independent releases? How effective could it be?
Aborted: If you work hard as an independent band you can still kick it very far with the help of everything on the internet. That is IF your music is good enough and you work hard enough, because with all the bands and projects coming out (its way easier to record yourself nowadays) it’s easy to get lost within the constant stream of new stuffs.
MJM. Before 2008, the band released an album after an interval of two years but after Strychnine.213, the band came out with Global Flatline after 4 years. Did you guys decide to stop for a while or was it just a pause for a new beginning as the band is back on track with an album in 2 years?
Aborted: We basically replaced the whole line up, since that line up was far from working as a band should work any more. So instead of rushing into a new line up to make that 2 year interval the band took it easy when it came to finding new members and writing, which resulted in the Coronary Reconstruction EP and after that, Global Flatline, which also took some time to write. It took that amount of time to write a quality album basically. No use in rushing it for the sake of making a certain flux of releases haha!
MJM. Are you guys planning to release a new DVD? That’s something everyone is waiting for!
Aborted: No solid plans right now but it is something we are slowly going to be working on.
MJM. Have you heard of any metal bands from India? What comes to your mind when you hear about this country?
Aborted: I have played in Goa and Mumbai before with another band I used to play for and it was fucking great! The people are amazing and the food is even better if you like spicy stuffs haha! Band wise I know Demonic Resurrection and SkyHarbor!
MJM. How is the touring going on? Is India on cards?
Aborted: We would love to come to India! And touring has been good, we are now taking it a bit easy since we did a lot, in the last 2 years. We toured for about 7 weeks straight with Kataklysm, before that we wrote and recorded the album and also shortly before that we toured. So we are taking a much deserved breather at the moment but not for too long obviously.
MJM. How does it feel when fans refer to you as “Pioneers of Brutal death Metal”?
Aborted: It doesn’t feel that way for us obviously, we have too many people to look up within the genre, to feel as pioneers. But it sure is quite an honor if people want to think so!
MJM. What kind of music do you all listen to other then metal? Any favorite bands or artists?
Aborted: Today, I’ve been listening to a lot of Killing Joke (the last 2015 record is VERY good) and some Death Grips (the 2011 record Exmilitary is the shit). Other then that, I listen to a bunch of Mogwai/Sigur Ros and love some Katy Perry and Paramore haha!
MJM. I don’t know if you guys follow Football, so I am just going to ask. What do you think of Belgium’s chance of winning Euro-2016?
Aborted: I don’t really follow any football to be honest. Tops I check out the Worldcup because it’s a good reason or an excuse to drink haha!!
So I would have absolutely no clue.
MJM. There are loads of Death Metal bands in India who take you guys as an inspiration, any words for them?
Aborted: We are very much honored and I hope that with Retrogore we delivered a good amount of inspiration again!
MJM. Thank you so much for your valuable time! We hope to see you guys soon in India. Any last words for your fans here?
Aborted: Same as to the bands inspired! I hope everyone likes the record and that we can come down and play for you sometime soon!
Connect with the band here-