In anticiptation of the forthcoming release, 'A Crown of Curses', by UK solo black metal project, Abduction, we caught up with A | V and asked him a few questions about darkness, depression and the desire to go it alone. Read on to find out more about this mysterious force deeply embedded within the extreme metal world.
First and foremost, thank you for giving us a few minutes of your time to answer some questions. Being a solo black metal project, can you give us an insight into what drives you to create and, unusually maybe, perform in this way?
You're welcome. I've been musically creative since childhood and I've played in numerous bands over the years. There wasn't any grand plan to start a new endeavour all by myself or anything. It began a couple of years ago as something to do in the evenings. From the interest it got initially, the need for live performances developed and it became a very real entity. It's taken on its own life now and its really exciting. Slighty terrifying, but exciting.
Where did the name A | V come from? What does this represent?
It was conjured to me from beyond the ether many moons ago while I was seeking a symbol to use. Beyond that, I honestly can't tell you.
You describe your music as ‘experimentation with black metal aesthetics’. Can you elaborate a little more on this journey and identify exactly what it means for you here and now?
I've always played around with tape players and broken instruments and bits of audio equipment. I started Abduction by using scraps of drums and copy/pasting them. I see the whole thing as a continuous experiment really. Nothing that I've created with Abduction has been made in the traditional band sense. It's a very different process. I normally start with a couple of simple ideas and start recording immediately as opposed to distilling ideas over time and bouncing them between other members. It's a very unfiltered approach. The process of recording and producing it yourself becomes part of the creativity too. You have gaps to fill and a whole (very basic home) studio of things to fill it with. The whole creativity of it is much, much more pure than when you go to record with a full band.
Your new album ‘A Crown Of Curses’ is released on July 20th (Clobber/Death Kvlt). How long did it take you to write this album and have you achieved the darkness that you craved?
I had plans to release 3 of the tracks on a split late last year but that fell to bits last minute. I suppose a few months before that was when the writing began. After the split fell through I still wasn't happy with how it sounded (thankfully I didn't need to hand it for the split in the end). I struggled for ages with the mix then last minute asked a close friend of mine to re-record the drums. That was definitely the missing piece. I'm really happy with how it sounds now. There's a specific overall kind of feeling I would hope it portrays, that of vast open space but also crushingly claustrophobic. Its hard to describe without sounding like a pretentiousness loon but I feel like I got there. It's easy to lose all objectivity when you listen back to your own recording 30,000 times, but I still get rushes of excitement listening to this album. Even though the tracks are split over 3 completely different recording sessions with different set ups, it bizarrely still has a strong sense of a journey, that I still get lost in. A miserable accident, I guess.
Being a solo project will inevitably involve writing music in a different way to a conventional band set-up. Can you explain a little more about the processes that you go through to create your art?
The most simple explanation is that it's just freedom. A band situation has its own merits, but for Abduction I want it to be the purest form of my creative output that it can be, so it has to just be me. Even live, really. Playing live by yourself is honestly terrifying. As with the recording, it's an ongoing process but currently I'm using a set up which means I can accurately portray all the detail of the album live and still perform on top of that. So, despite the obvious lack of band members. The show is infinitely more consistent and closer to a listen by yourself at home than most other polished full bands. It's a strange idea to get across to people at first, but it's been going really well. It's a strange balancing act of playing well and tight to something that has been captured loosely and is deliberately undercooked.
What do you think are the underlying causes of the ‘modern day depression’ epidemic? Is true creativity more important than ever?
Yes, that's a term I've used a couple of times. As a backdrop for this kind of music it's just a natural fit for me. It wouldn't feel natural to be singing about Satan to the tune of false religious dichotomy. And I have very little interest in goblins or wizards. Instead, I'm fascinated with an almost indescribable human darkness that seems to permeate us all. I honestly don't even have to worry about trying. Whilst I'm creating music, or playing with tracks at home, it just spills out from me. In real life, I struggle a lot (like most people). There are too many contributing factors to list, but it's fair to say I am musically inspired by cold reality. The recording process I explained before is a reflection of that depression. The purest expression, captured in its most fragile form with minimal polishing. Its probably a classic case of art imitating life/life imitating art.
If you could take Abduction out on the road as the main support to any band/solo performer of your choosing, who would it be and why?
It's really hard to pick one answer for this. Maybe Krieg? or Coldworld perhaps? I could say Emperor or something but I think naming someone a bit more realistic is better. You never know, a Krieg/Abduction tour could be a real thing one day.
What’s next for Abduction? Do you plan ahead or is your strength found in chaos as opposed to order?
There's definitely some truth in the notion that Abduction's strength is in chaos. I do have my album launch 20th July in Derby and then Bloodstock. I have a couple of things up my sleeve in terms of collaborations and releases for after the summer but nothing concrete, we'll leave it to see what appears I suppose. For the moment I'm happy ‘A Crown of Curses’ is doing all right. The early responses to it have been amazing!
A | V - thanks for your time.
A CROWN OF CURSES - ABDUCTION IS OUT ON 20TH JULY 2018 ON CLOBBER RECORDS (CD/DIGITAL)
CD PRE-ORDER AVAILABLE HERE
*Also available on linited edition vinyl/cassette via Death Kvlt Productions