Fresh off the highly successful Devastation Across the Nation tour with Aussie headliners Psycroptic and other brutal fiends, multi-national grinders Aborted are ready to swing the cleaver unto Australia and slice audiences a new one. Tearing at vital organs and snapping necks since 1995, we caught up with screamer Sven De Caluwe to discuss how things are going.
Things must be going good; at this stage in the bands’ career, they’re still on brutal touring gauntlets and only picking up the pace with quality albums, with 2012’s ‘Global Flatline’ followed by 2014’s ‘Necrotic Manifesto’, 2016’s ‘Retrogore’ and soon-to-be-released ‘TerrorVision’. ‘Well, what can be said really?’ Caluwe notes, ‘we’re just a band that really love to write songs, play them, record them then play them live!’ A simple but effective maxim for a man who’s stuck it out since the mid-90s.
Touring is still fun for the guys, thankfully: ‘The Devastation Across the Nation tour with Psycroptic was actually the most fun we’ve ever had on an American tour’, he proclaims. Big call! ‘Yeah, well basically it was a really fantastic bill. I think people were really anticipating the show, turnouts were great, shows were great, the bands were really nice, it was a great time to go on tour.’ Sounds more like a fun day at the carnival than a brutal assault, but it’s heartening to hear him this animated about live shows.
‘Obviously, there were times where things were hard for the fans’, he mused, ‘because there were seven or eight bands in a row, so as a headliner you’d go on and be thinking ‘How many blastbeats and death metal vocals can you stand in one day?’’ That’s nice to be thinking of us mosh-sore fans, Sven! ‘It was a little bit more work to get them back into, but we got them, so it was all cool.’ Such a cavalier attitude for a man who runs about the stage shrieking and barking about all manner of atrocity, death, perversion and gore behind a wall of blastbeats, screeching riffs and blazing solos. A show that will be absolute carnage.
Speaking of shows, when discussing the upcoming tour, Caluwe feels touring with The Black Dahlia Murder will be ‘just really nice’ because ‘they’re really cool guys, they’re fun-loving, they’re a really tight live band so I’m excited to see them live again.’ On how the two bands differ, he notes ‘we’re two very different bands in the way we engage with the audience, even if we both use banter.’ Continuing, Sven says ‘But then again we don’t imitate their show – we’re two different bands, and you don’t want to see the same band twice.’ You get the sense from this death-grind veteran that there’s quite a consciousness about his audience overall. Expect a gentlemanly treatment.
He feels equally as conscientious about exploring our nation, too: ‘I’m so curious to see your country again. We were booked out last time and it was just hotel, venue, airport, show, repeat, so we’re glad to be getting out amongst it’. Well, depends on what he means by ‘it’ – apparently, Jason Peppiat from Psycroptic is taking him out to dinner! Aw, that’s sweet. ‘I’m looking forward to it, man,’ he notes with a childlike glee, before cheekily adding ‘it might even be McDonald’s, so I better cross my fingers and hold my breath for that one!’ Well, let’s hoping old mate Jase is at least decent enough to dole out a ten-pack of nuggets for our Belgian visitor, eh?
On that thought; Aborted started as an all-Belgian outfit but now members are spread inter-continentally, as far as Netherlands and the United States. Seems like a tough gig to manage. ‘Well, first of all I want to say that we’ve done this because we believe that it’s more important to have the right person in the right place, rather than just have people be in the band because of vicinity.’ The conviction he states this with is more than palpable. ‘Obviously, with doing it over the internet the logistics are a lot tougher, but the people are in the band are absolutely worth all the sacrifices you make on a logistic front.’ Again, showing respectful concern for those involved with the music.
‘My main thing is that I’d rather make less money, have more logistical issues and be with my brothers than tour, make more money and be stuck with some guys you want to murder after a week.’ That’s a pretty pragmatic sentiment to have, one which many bands could use to avoid those all-too-common dramatic flareups. ‘The fact we don’t always see each other all the time means we fully enjoy all of the time we do spend together.’ This guy’s a charmer! Well, they must enjoy the time they do have together considering their currently-hectic touring schedule. ‘To avoid burnout, we usually do a month or so touring, then take at least a month off. We don’t usually do more than 3 or 4 months out of the year ‘cause you know, most of us have careers, families, relationships next to the band.’
Life at home. Yet another crucial ingredient in glue of keeping a band together.‘We really just want to be able to balance both things rather than just go all-out on the band with nothing to come home to.’ Powerful words, Caluwe. ‘That’s the secret to not getting burned out and enjoying what you’re doing – its not really a hobby but you get to maintain the passion.’
Great words of wisdom. To wrap up, we briefly discuss the bands’ unfortunately-seemingly-unavoidable Carcass comparisons of their early work, and how that stacks up to todays’ horror movie aesthetic. ‘The funny thing is people have always and still compare us to Carcass cause of the medical lyrics, but for the last 3-4 albums there’s been little to none of that going on.’
Obviously something bigger than that drew Caluwe towards his latest morbid fascinations. ‘I think its just something I always wanted to do but back in the day it was a lot more difficult to get together concept wise. We thought why couldn’t we fully embrace that whole horror universe of ideas?’ And embrace they have – ‘RetroGore’ and new single ‘TerrorVision’ especially ramp up the kitsch horror tropes to eleven, all the while over an infectiously-blasting framework of death metal, grindcore and even slam. They’ve got the butcher’s knives sharpened and are ready to unleash carnage.
Speaking of influences, notes that his perfect night out with a serial killer and horror villain would be Ed Gein and Freddy, respectively. A man of good gore taste to the end.
Get your tickets to see Aborted on tour with The Black Dahlia Murder in Australia HERE!