Howdy pardners, today we have a very in depth edition of A Chat With for you. We had a chat with Abrade The Earth. The local metal band got very in depth with their answers and we appreciate them taking the time to give us such a huge interview. Hope you all enjoy it!
1. How would you describe your sound?
We have a unique sound as far as progressive metalcore goes. James studied Jazz under David Parker in Québec City during his High School years and as a result he tends to bring out some of those Jazz influences into our songs when writing. For example, the first verse in our EP’s opening track “Crisis” heavily features swung eighths on the ride cymbal against the more typical breakdown-style rhythm on the kick. On top of that, we really like to emphasize the bass in our songs as it seems that nowadays bass either mirrors what the guitarists are playing or is only there to accent the kick, so a lot of our songs feature melody on the bass and at times an almost walking bassline. Aside from that, we like to keep things weird. Messing around with weird sounding synths and time signature changes is pretty standard for us, and we like to have a mix of really heavy, hard hitting grooves intertwined with spacey, atmospheric parts as well. It’s like Alien Morse Code.
2. Who are your influences?
While we all come from similar albeit different backgrounds musically, our main musical influences as far as Djent/Metalcore goes are bands like Veil of Maya, Erra, Northlane, Volumes, and August Burns Red to name a few. All of those bands have such a high caliber of musicianship that we can only try to emulate that same level of mastery of our respective instruments within our songs. Adam also plays drums in Future News, which brings a kind of Post-Punk Fusion kind of style to his playing and technique that’s really refreshing. Luis and Cameron are both 2000’s Metalcore kids at heart, and Jared is a fan of self-produced artists such as Bilmuri, which is Johnny Franck of Attack Attack!’s solo project. James listens to a wild variety of music, going from Goregrind bands like Waking The Cadaver and Vulvodynia, to Freeform Jazz like John Coltrane and Art Blakey. Needless to say, we have a bunch of different perspectives that go into the music we make!
3. What’s on the horizon for your music in 2019/2020?
It took a couple years for us to release our debut EP, and this is partly due to the learning curve associated with self-production and promotion. Now that we’re finally at a place where we’re satisfied with our ability to portray our ideas accurately, we’ve been able to streamline our production process in such a way that will allow us to release high-quality music at a very fast and efficient rate. In short, expect a lot of new music in the coming years.
4. What is your creative process?
Due to all of us working full-time, it’s not easy to bounce ideas off one-another at the drop of a hat as we’re not always accessible to one another 24/7. Typically, either Jared, James, or Cameron will come up with a riff or rough draft of a song and tab it out on Guitar Pro or do a rough recording, and send it over the band chat for the others to listen to and add input. We get together every Saturday (it’s for the boys) at Jared’s house and work on one of the many demos we currently have in the works. Jared works in a very streamlined fashion where he basically starts with the drums, maybe a bass groove, and goes from there. On the other hand, James works in an almost reverse-engineering fashion where he’ll be working on a song, and write a really cool line or riff but place it before whatever he had previously written and jumps back and forth between sections. After all is said and done, everyone else goes over the track and adds their own tweaks so that each song has everyone’s flare to it.
5. Where do you draw inspiration from?
We like to stay authentic and true to ourselves, so we try not to confine ourselves to what’s expected of a metal band. Ultimately, what we end up writing directly correlates to what we’ve individually been vibing with at that point in time. It’s great because it keeps us thinking on our toes without falling into a habit of churning out the same old stuff as some bands tend to do after a while. Sometimes someone might even suggest an idea as a joke only for it to actually make it’s way into a song! It really all comes down to our perspective when approaching an idea. A little wacky tabaccy never hurt in coming up with ideas haha.
6. How do you deal with nerves before a show?
While all of us have experience being in a band and playing shows, pre-show jitters are just a fact of life. We all take a deep breath and know that the nerves go away the second we start playing. Having our friends and significant others attend is a huge help as well because we know that they’re there to support us no matter what. Also, some Dutch Courage to get a slight buzz going helps us to let loose!
7. Fave venue in Ottawa?
So far as a band we’ve only really played Maverick’s, but it’s a venue any musician or artist in Ottawa will call home. All the staff there are dedicated and great people to work with and we’re grateful to get to work side by side with them to put on the best show we can for the people that come out to see us!
8. Craziest thing you’ve seen at a show?
Cameron: The craziest thing I’ve seen at a show was at Heavy MTL. It’s nothing too big, but Killswitch was playing and some woman flashed her boobs. The guitarist then brought her on stage and I think I she met them after their set.
Adam: The craziest thing I’ve seen would have to go to seeing everyone at the doors drenched in rain from a tornado that hit Ottawa during our soundcheck.
Jared: I saw Iron Maiden live at Bluesfest a while back and they brought a 15-foot tall Eddie robot on stage. It grabbed a guitar and started shredding with the band. That’s a moment I’ll never forget. It was truly awesome.
James: Slipknot, 2008. ‘Nuff Said.
9. If you could tour/play a show with any line up who would it be?
Basically all the bands listed above! It’d be sick to get to play with Gideon, Wage War, Protest The Hero and Fit For A King. Getting to play with Tool would be a transcendental experience but frankly we’ll probably never be worthy.
10.Advice for new musicians/bands
a) Make sure you establish a strong relationship with your band mates. If you guys aren’t best friends, the band will crumble apart eventually because you won’t be enjoying your time with each other.
b) Practice your instrument with a metronome, play often and be friendly. Those three things will help you play in bands for as long as you’d like to.
c) Remember that a band is a team effort, and the band will progress further if every member is involved in contributions in some way. Establish people’s strengths and ensure that they’re assigned to the role that they’re best at
d) Most importantly, make sure you’re being yourself and having fun. Pay little concern to getting big or grabbing people’s attention and instead focus on the reason you became a band in the first place—to have a good time and pursue a passion with your friends.
11. Any shout outs you want to make?
Jared: Shout out to Brandon Bird and TDMA, Christina Kasper and Chord Productions, Red Handed Denial, Held in Secret, and everyone that’s ever supported us in any way.
Cameron: Shoutouts to my lovely girlfriend, Danielle, as well as to my brother, Cayden, who claims to be our biggest fan but has only been to two shows.
Luis: Brandon Bird of The Diamond Mine Agency, Christina Kasper of Chord Productions , Held in Secret, Friends and Family.
James: My beautiful girlfriend Bryanna, who puts up with me working on music and band stuff at all times of the day and night and comes to every show and practice to support me. To Brandon Bird and Christina Kasper for believing in us and giving us the opportunity to share our music with everyone. And lastly, to all our fans from (surprisingly!) around the world who make all of this worthwhile.
12. Social media links/music links
You can stream our debut EP here at:
Follow us on Instagram and Twitter @abradetheearth
And like us on Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/AbradeTheEarth/