Abacinate - 01.24.11

Interviewed by
Abacinate - 01.24.11The following is a mini interview of generic questions that we posed to all bands that wanted to answer:

(questions answered by guitarist Todd Stern)

1. How did you get your band name?
Justin came up with it. He called me one day while he was at work and told me that he thought it would be “mad sick” to call ourselves “Abacinate”. It had everything I liked about a band name (only one word, evil, metal, etc.) so it was an instant hit with me. Everyone else dug it, so it was born. It’s obviously a Slayer reference, for those of you scoring at home.

2. How did this band get started?
I guess the same way every band gets started… Idiots and underachievers with common musical interests always seem to find each other. I met Justin (Spaeth, Drums) through a mutual friend who invited me to join a hardcore project. Justin suggested that I jam with his “other band” which already included Ian and the Rean, in late 2004. By February 2005, Mat (Babulski, Bass) was on board, and we had a full lineup. A lot has changed since then. If we never make it to "Behind The Music", I’d have to write an entire book to even briefly summarize all the events that have transpired in the last 6 years.

3. What bands are you influenced by?
Metallica, Pantera, Slayer, Testament, Anthrax, Sepultura, Type O Negative, Dying Fetus, Skinless, Cannibal Corpse, Cephalic Carnage, Deicide, Lamb of God, Sycamore Dreams, Obituary, Exodus, At the Gates… The list literally goes on forever. That’s a very short list of bands that have all made us wish we could be more like them in terms of creativity, musicianship, or work ethic. Manowar, however, is the only band that has made all of us say that we wish we could be more like them in our everyday personal lives.

4. If you could tour with any bands, past or present, who would they be and why?
Dream Tour: Abacinate, Solidification, Municipal Waste, Pantera. Why? I really can’t say. None of us would remember a fucking thing after it was over anyway…

5. If you were furry, what animal would you be? Why that animal?
A Penguin I suppose. My homeboys that I grew up with all call me Birdman because I have a rather large beak and resemble a bird. So I chose penguin just based on combining me with fur.

6. Why should people listen to your band?
Because listening to my band is actually fun. That’s one thing I really like about us and I’m not afraid to say it. We’re FUN!!! Not the fastest, not the heaviest, not the tightest, not the greatest, not the most brutal or most slamming or most guttural, or even the sickest… But we are definitely fun. That’s who we are and what we do. None of us got into metal because we have blackened souls, or because we hated our parents when we were teenagers. We all got into metal because it’s fun to listen to, fun to see live, and fun to play. You can hear it in our songs, and I’m very proud of that.

7. If you were chosen to be in Guitar Hero/Rock Band, what song would you want in the game? How hard do you think it would be to five-star on expert?
Probably "Laughing in the Dark Pts. I & II". Guitar-wise, it’s very adventurous and challenging. Plus it’s probably the most epic guitar work (epic for us, not ACTUALLY epic) that we’ve ever done. Difficulty level: Advanced. I don’t know how hard it is to achieve five stars on expert. It’s fucking hard on a real guitar. That’s all I can tell you. (Note to youth of America: Play real instruments. They’re just like video games, except you can actually learn something from them, and they could change the entire path or your existence in a positive way. I would have never met some of my favorite people in the world if I never picked up a guitar.)

8. If you won a Grammy, who would you thank?
The haters. Everyone who every told me that I should be doing something other than pouring time, money, and hard work into Abacinate.

9. If you could change something about the music industry, what would it be?
I don’t know how to fix the music industry, just like I don’t know how to fix the economy. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. I feel like whatever change I would make, could easily backfire and come with devastating consequences. Although I will say that I hate the fact that nobody owns hard copies of anything anymore. When I was a boy, buying cassettes and cds was the coolest thing ever. I couldn’t wait to get the package open, check out the artwork and read all the liner notes… Buying downloads??? LAME.

10. Memorable tour experience?
All of them. Tour is my favorite thing to think about when I day dream. First one that comes to mind is The Booby Trap in Topeka, KS, just this past summer. Us, Fit For An Autopsy (AWESOME tour mates), and the merch guy, Hesh. $5 pitchers of PBR, a jukebox full of amazing songs, and a dickhead bartender who sold us all a round of pitchers, then broke the news to us that we had 5 minutes to drink them until he closed up. A homeless guy named Bill shattered our bottle of Absynthe that night, and I got into an old school, ECW style wrestling match with Plunger (R.I.P. forever bro) outside the venue before we left. I woke up wasted, in the back of the van, covered in sweat and filth, and proceeded to crawl outside and take a record-breaking piss in front of somebody’s house (who just happened to be on their porch watching it all go down at 7:30am).

11. What is your favorite song to play?
"Ode to Harry" by M.O.D.

13. What is your vacation spot of choice?
My favorite vacation that I ever went on was in Montreal, Canada. My favorite cities that I had ever spent the night in on tour, are New Orleans, Austin, and San Francisco, not necessarily in that order. If you get the right crew of party animals together, it really doesn’t matter where we go. It’s gonna go down in the books.

14. What music reminds you of your childhood?
Green Day, Nirvana, Offspring, Soundgarden, Alice in Chains, Stone Temple Pilots, etc. All the popular rock from the early to mid-90’s. My main music sources back then were MTV and VH1. Even songs that were totally lame, that I never cared for, remind me of my childhood because I always associate music to the time that it was being burned into my memory. So I guess add All for One, Boyz II Men, KC and Jojo, Domino, Coolio, and The Chemical Brothers to that list.

15. If you could have any super power, what would it be? Why?

To be able to eat, drink, and smoke copious amounts of food, booze, and cigarettes without any negative effects whatsoever… Why?? Are you fucking kidding me?! Think about it. All of my favorite things are really bad for your health, stability, and future. What a curse!!!

15. Do you feel that your band has "made it"?

Not even close. We can’t even make enough per show to cover our bar tab, and nobody has ever heard of us.

16. What is something that most fans don't know about you?
That I do EVERYTHING with my right hand, except jerk off. I switched back around 01’-02’. I was living by myself in Florida, and I started getting really into internet porn around that time. I always had my right hand on the mouse, so I had to adapt accordingly.

17. What's your favorite holiday?
I like any excuse to get drunk with my friends when I don’t have to wake up early the next day. Fourth of July, Halloween, New Year’s… Doesn’t matter.

18. What do you like to do in your spare time?

GO TO SHOWS!!! I live to see bands play live. There’s nothing like a night out with the boys, raging hard and watching a sick band tear the place down!!!

19. What kind of hidden talents do you have?
None that I can think of. I guess I can accurately play air drums to all 29 minutes of Reign in Blood. Not sure if that’s a talent. It might just mean that I had too much time on my hands when I was 17. Oh, and I can eat 3 cheese steaks from Pat’s in Philly. I’ve done it on more than one occasion…
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