Abysmal Dawn Front Man Charles Elliot Talks North American Tour With Hate Eternal And Origin
Abysmal Dawn is currently on the road for a Metalunderground.com sponsored tour, slaughtering the masses with its own breed of death metal alongside other genre heavyweights Hate Eternal, Origin, and Vital Remains. As the band continues its trek across North America, front man Charles Elliot took out some time from the madness of touring to discuss the shows so far and how the crowds have reacted to each of the performing bands.
In the interview below you can find Charles' thoughts as he delves into the writing process for the band's latest album "Leveling the Plane of Existence," Abysmal Dawn's plans for upcoming material, the controversial new Morbid Angel album, and his new band Bewilderbiest.
xFiruath: How has the tour been overall and where have you gone so far?
Charles: It’s been awesome, we started the tour in Texas and played Arizona and California. Portland last night and Seattle, and we’re also playing Nevada. It’s not too far into the tour, we’re about a week and a half in. So far it’s been killer, it’s definitely a cool package with a lot of great death metal bands.
xFiruath: Have you had a particularly memorable best or worst night on this tour?
Charles: No, not really. Everything’s been cool. The first day of the tour is always a little shaky, but it wasn’t anything terrible, no train wrecks or anything. We didn’t even get to rehearse as much as we’d liked to, we rehearsed maybe once or twice before, but we rehearse a lot on our own so when it comes to touring it doesn’t take much for us to walk in.
xFiruath: How are the other bands on the bill and are the fans supporting each band or only staying for their particular band?
Charles: I think the fans of each band are interested in seeing all the bands on the tour package, so it’s been great. I think all the bands appeal to each group of fans.
xFiruath: Are you playing the entire new “Leveling the Plane of Existence” album or mixing it up with songs from each release?
Charles: We’ve been playing one or two from the “Programmed” album. We’ve been staying away from “From Ashes” on this tour. We really want to support the new album, so most of the stuff is off “Leveling.”
xFiruath: Your new album has been out for a few months now. How has the feedback been and are you guys working on writing new material for the next release?
Charles: The feedback’s been great. I’ve had a lot of people say it’s our best record yet. This new album has been people’s favorite so far, and that’s a really good feeling because I feel like we stepped it up in terms of production and performance and song writing. I don’t think it will be impossible to top, but it will definitely be a hard record to follow-up in some ways. I think when we get back we’ll start writing some stuff, a couple of riffs or Mike might have some riffs already. When we get back we’ll see and throw around some ideas. We hope to do maybe one more U.S. tour and maybe a European tour next year. Somewhere between now and then we’ll start writing for a new album.
xFiruath: Do you all get together to write new material or do you work on things separately and send files back and forth?
Charles: This last album was written quite differently from how our other records were written in the past. We’d all get together with the old lineup and we’d write pretty much in the studio, but this time I wrote a lot of stuff at home and wrote a lot of stuff with the drum machine or in Guitar Pro. I arranged a lot of the riffs and songs like that. Once Scott joined the band about half the album was demoed and he learned those songs at home and when it came to writing the rest of the songs they were pretty much put together, but we jammed them out and wrote the drum parts there. There was a lot more demoing involved in this record and it was a definitely a change from what we usually do.
xFiruath: What do you guys listen to on the road?
Charles: We listen to a lot of music on the road, and we listen to a lot of comedy albums and stuff like that to keep us sane I guess. There’s a ton of different stuff. I think our merch guy and drummer for Canada, he’s been filling in on drums for us on Canada because Scott can’t get into the country again. He’s been playing something called “The Whitest Kids” or something like that and it’s a comedy record. Death metal, rock, grunge, fusion, indie rock stuff, just a ton of stuff. If we listen to death metal the whole time we’d go insane, not that I don’t love playing death metal. You get tired of blast beats all day when you are on the road for eight hours.
xFiruath: Have you heard the new Morbid Angel album yet?
Charles: Yeah, we’ve heard it.
xFiruath: It seems like almost everyone is uniformly not digging the new direction, with only a few people here and there liking it. What did you think?
Charles: How do I put this? I don’t like making fun of them, because they are a legacy to me and have been so influential to the whole death metal scene. A lot of people are talking shit about how much they think the new stuff sucks or whatever. I’m personally definitely not a fan of the new stuff, but I can’t knock those old records and the legacy they have. I try to stay out of the shit talking sessions as much as possible because I respect that band and they mean a lot to the scene. We were joking around that people who say we sound like Morbid Angel can’t really say that anymore. But I guess Morbid Angel doesn’t even sound like Morbid Angel anymore.
xFiruath: Are you guys working on any other projects outside of Abysmal Dawn?
Charles: I have a band called Bewilderbiest with Sacha from Intronaut, Derek who just quit The Faceless, and Derek from National Sunday Law. It’s a doom band where I sing and play guitar. It’s definitely different from everything else I’ve done as far as Abysmal Dawn and it’s different from Intronaut and The Faceless. I’m pretty proud of that, we just finished that and it sounds awesome, I can’t wait for people to hear that.
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