Interview With Sven De Caluwé Of Aborted And System Divide
Band Photo: System Divide (?)
Juggling two touring bands is no easy feat, making Sven de Caluwé stand as one of the hardest working men in metal, comparable to Mike Patton in his prime. After recently establishing System Divide in addition to Aborted, Sven has been living a live of constant touring and recording for the past two years.
Sven goes on the record exclusively with Metal Underground to discuss the new Aborted album, the reception to System Divide and the struggles of juggling two bands at once.
Matt: What was the catalyst for the formation of System Divide? Was it because your guitarist is also in Abigail Williams or was it a desire to branch out musically?
Sven: Ken is no longer in Aborted and we started System Divide before he even joined Aborted so that had nothing to do with it. Everybody in the band knew each other for years. We always thought we should do a band together. Touring with Aborted a lot meant me spending a lot of time away from my wife. Also we decided to do something together so we could spend some time on the road as opposed to me being away and her sitting at home.
Matt: The last thing that you released with Aborted was an EP last year. Are there plans for more Aborted releases?
Sven: We're actually hitting the studio right after this tour and the album should be out by October.
Matt: Do you have a title yet?
Sven: We do, it's called Global Flatline.
Matt: Awesome. System Divide is a much more melodic band than Aborted. How do you stay creative as a songwriter with those two very different styles without letting them overlap?
Sven: That's the good thing, they're two different bands and they sound completely different so you don't have the need to intertwine. Obviously there's a very clear definition of style between the two. Aborted is more extreme and that's also the way it's going to be, there’s no need to introduce any gay-ass crap in Aborted. System Divide is heavy for what it is but we don't aim to sound like Aborted either. I don’t want both bands to sound similar so it's pretty easy to keep it separated.
Matt: Do you think that System Divide is going to become bigger than Aborted because they’re more accessible?
Sven: We'll see. I'm not too preoccupied with this kind of thing. I make music because it's a passion and because I like what I'm doing. As long as it's possible without going completely broke, I'm fine with that. If System Divide gets big then whatever. As long as I have a good time, that's all I care about.
Matt: What's your favorite exploitation film?
Sven: I like I Spit on Your Grave. The remake's pretty good too.
Matt: Are there plans for another System Divide tour or a new Aborted tour for North America in the near future?
Sven: Aborted will be in the US in November. I don't have all the details yet. System Divide might be back right after summer. We're working on things. It's really too early to start divulging plans.
Matt: Will there be any bills where Aborted and System Divide are both playing the same festival this year or next year?
Sven: We actually did a tour last September where Aborted was headlining and Augury and System Divide were also on the bill. That sucked. Pulling double duty is intense. I don't mind it for festivals but doing a full tour like that doesn’t make sense.
Matt: If you could tour with any band, who would it be?
Sven: I don’t have any preference or care as long as the package draws people in and everybody is having a good time. It was cool to tour with Carcass with Aborted. That was a big deal since they were an influence back when I started the band. We will be touring Europe with Exhumed after this year which should be good since we've been friends forever. We finally got to tour together after fifteen years.
Matt: System Divide is a bit heavier than the other bands on this tour. Do you think that you’ll be opening the eyes of the more mainstream fans on this tour or do you think you'll attract a different crowd for your band?
Sven: So far, we're still a pretty new band and most people don't really know who we are. But we see that things go very well after we play and we get a lot of positive feedback. I'm sure that when we come back we'll see a mix of sorts of fans. The other bands after us on this tour have a much longer touring history and an established fanbase, unlike a band like System Divide.
Matt: Are you attracting a lot of Aborted fans at System Divide shows?
Sven: It happens. Not too much but it happens. There were two or three guys I saw last night wearing Aborted Shirts which was nice to see.
Matt: Is System Divide more of a side project of Aborted or a real band?
Sven: Both bands are equal to me. System Divide is a new band to me but obviously we've got to start from scratch while Aborted is more of an established band that's been playing for more than fifteen years. There are obviously differences when you perform. To me both bands are equal. I don’t do anything half-assed.
Matt: Anything you'd like to say to your fans?
Sven: Come check out the shows of either band and still buy the albums of either band or at least buy our songs digitally, don't be a fucking thief.
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