It's not long before UK extreme metal heavyweights ABSINTHROPY unleash their spine-chilling split release with Ecuador black doom outfit SALIX BABYLONICA (Clobber, 12/04/2019). These guys haven't been pulling punches for the last 10 years either through their absorbing and fairly extensive back catalogue as well as countless mesmerising live shows. Their reputation is growing by the day and, with that in mind, we knew that we must waste no time and catch up with Fowler and White to find out all about their mission and their minds.
Fowler - Quite a humble beginning in all honesty: Apart from experiencing separate yet equally difficult and cathartic private lives prior to the band, it was mutual musical interests on particular genres that one would know more about than the other that still evoked the same feelings and outlooks on life that we both shared. We were both heavily into the The Cure and Joy Division at the time, White more so than I - I was more into the extreme side of metal.
White - Fowler introduced me to DSBM in 2009, a few weeks later I sent him a primitive demo of LSD (Life Spent Dying) and we agreed to start a project.
Fowler - Back then there were many bands (some huge now) who began trying to marry post-punk with metal, which is still going on now, but to both of us it was never done in as much of a blatant/honest way that we wanted it sound like. This lead to us attempting it ourselves and, ironically, that outcome was still not as blatant on our earliest recordings as we had hoped so, as a result, Absinthropy was born. Things became very different immediately, and we realised we had something that satisfied more than just our musical interests.
White - Some things are better out than in.
Fowler - For me, music is and always will be a purgative drug. It is an outlet I can give myself to express things of an otherworldly nature that would just not be acceptable in a normal conversation or any other conventional sense of expression. It provides liberation in a way that one can never quite explain.
White - As mentioned, Joy Division and The Cure played a big part in the beginning (Particularly the album 'Pornography' by TC). In regards to the more Black Metal sound we were listening to a lot of the contemporary French scene at the time such as Peste Noire, early-Alcest, Amesoeurs and 'Black Imperial Blood' by Mutiilation (1995).
Fowler – These bands were, for us, where we found refuge and also the skeleton to which we could stylize throughout the early stages of the band. After 'Shivers Of Apathy' which was recorded in 2010, I don’t think our musical influences have really played much more of a part in Absinthropy because, from then on, we really started to make our message our own. Other honourable mentions who we listened to a lot of who we still have a huge respect for include: Forgotten Woods, Strid, Hateful Abandon, Cocteau Twins, Lifelover, Hypothermia, early-Shining, The Sisters Of Mercy, The Mission, The Chameleons
Fowler - A.Nostalgie (Salix Babylonica) has been a long-time supporter of Absinthropy. We first got into contact sometime after our second album, entitled 'Smitciv-Victims', was released in 2013. English not being her native language, she asked us for our lyrics so she could translate them for her home town and for personal reasons. A few years later, we were aware of her band and talked about this split and agreed to do it to honour her unfailing support and as mutual appreciation for sharing similar messages.
White - It's easiest to start with the redo of ‘Sylvia’. We chose to do that because we knew the main artist behind Salix Babylonica liked the record and we have a tradition of re-visiting old tracks for Splits. (We re-visited LSD on our split with Black Shoals). The musical ideas behind the two original tracks came mainly from Fowler but I was pleased to develop our sound and add more layers of guitar than we've ever had before. There was a conscious effort to have synths and piano back in our sound too as these were integral right at the start but we strayed a little from it on more recent records.
Fowler - In regards to the two new tracks, everything was done in a very scattered, segmented and revisited way. This was due to several factors out of our control but also due to finding a focus onto something that felt new but still revisits the old. I wrote nearly all the music for both of these tracks myself with the intention of making them feel long and drawn out for the listener. It very much reflected the landscapes and monotony of where I lived at the time, very bland landscapes that go on for miles that, although beautiful to look at, also made me feel a repetitive perception of being here before but in another life. There are less vocals and lyrics this time to give the music more room to breathe and consume the listener. I never talk about my lyrics so will leave that as it is. As for the re-recording of Sylvia, this was another homage to A.Nostalgie and Salix...
Fowler - We have planned a very special show for the tail end of September which will mark the 10 year anniversary. In order to make this just how we want it, a great deal of planning on the location and the event itself is still going on. Details are drawing us closer to announcement and support acts are now being considered.
Fowler - Absinthropy has always come and gone in waves and sometimes the tide for our return is a little further away until it reaches both of us again. Those who have followed us from the beginning know we never rush a moment’s breath.
White - More Absinthe, More Misanthropy, Never Stop The Madness. Following our upcoming split with Salix Babylonica, we can reveal that music has been written and tracked for another split release with a great black metal band from the UK. We are also the midst of finalizing layout details for the remixed/remastered version of our self-titled debut album which has never been available on physical formats. Follow us for more information as and when it is available.