Remember finish scene in the early 90’s... Xysma, Funebre, Demilich, Disgrace, Demigod, Sentenced... Crude, primal death metal infested with macabre atmospheres, an ancient history already pervaded by the eerie cold of snowy forests. I’m quite sure that the mighty ABHORRENCE is one first representatives of the brutal scene formed in the late eighties; the band recorded just one demo, as well as one single throughout its short-lived career. I was lucky enough to contact frontman and vocalist Jukka through his fantastic web-site paying tribute to these pioneers of morbidity.
01 - Hail Jukka, how are you today? Can you please commence the interview by providing more info regarding the mythic Abhorrence tribute?
You have to let me know what this is or what you mean with it, since I haven't heard of any such thing. I have been thinking of releasing of the material we ever recorded on one CD with maybe some bonus material as well. A few record labels have contacted me about this, but nothing has been planned or decided as of yet. If there is enough interest in it, I will surely do it.
02 - The band formed in 1989 after playing under various names, but this was the time of ‘thrash metal’ generation; later, you evolved towards a new, much rawer style: ‘death metal’. What drove you to play this brutal style?
The time was that of speed thrash metal, and most bands played some sort of music that would be in one of those two categories. At the time when we got our demo out, there were three bands that played similar type of stuff. There were Xysma and Funebre, where Xysma was leaning more to the grind side of things and Funebre was the only total death metal band around. Our motivation? Well ,I really don’t know, I mean I remember we listened to stuff like Bolt Thrower, Morbid Angel, Nihilist (pre-Entombed) and a hell of a lot of demo-tapes. I think those bands, and heavy metal in general, influenced us a lot.
03 - I recall interviewing acts from the first Finnish death metal scene such as Demigod, Sentenced, Purtenance (ex-Purtenance Avulsion) or Disgrace, etc. Are you still in touch with old death-metalheads, now that most have ceased their activities, like you? What are the reasons for your disappearance? Do you have any regrets?
All those bands came a bit later, I think we played with Demigod when they had done their first demo, but I am not sure about it. I am still very busy with music, but there wasn’t really a ‘death metal scene’ at anytime. Back then it was more like ‘metal scene’, where more or less everyone tried to work for the common good... which meant organizing gigs and so on. The reason Abhorrence disappeared was that the band broke up. Tomi continued with Amorphis and I think Relapse offered them a deal based on the Abhorrence demo/EP. About my personal regrets, I have none. Well, maybe I should have taken the spot as Amorphis’ singer when it was once offered to me, hahaha! But no, seriously, no regrets. It was fun, but its all past now and I’ve gone on to other things.
04 - Back to your work on your discography - you released only one demo and an EP on the rip-off label Seraphic Decay, you lost all your money and the same happened to Xysma, Derketa and Incantation
I don’t think we would’ve made any money with EP even if he had paid everything to us. But yeah, he did do the same thing to several other bands and it is very annoying just in the principal
05 - Finally, are you proud of your previous stuff? I mean the stuff before Abhorrence?
I don’t know, we were really young then and the music was kinda shite. I’m not embarrassed about it since it was all right of the time’n’type of stuff. But I would ’t go calling any of them ‘good’ either .Everything I remember was that it was fun playing with those line-ups… what were they again? Disaster and Rebirth are the only names I remember.
06 - Could you please tell me about this big issue with the American label? Why did you never take them to court?
You mean Seraphic Decay? First of all, there were no ‘big’ problems... just that the guy promised us something and never delivered. We paid for our own studio time, he put out the record, that was the extent our agreement and everything went according to plan. After that, we got 50 copies of our EP and never heard from Steve o’Bannon again. Justice and law suits... no man, too much work and nothing to gain. From what I’ve heard, o’Bannon is broke and miserable anyway. I also think he is bound to get beaten up in several cities if he ever makes the mistake of visiting them. That is good enough for me.
07 - I recently visited Abhorrence’s official Web site - very professional, with much information, and very attractive. So what’s your own opinion on the importance of your great job?
What goes to the website, I made it myself and personally, I think the design is not that good. But it serves its purpose, which is to let people know about the band and to get those old songs out in the open as good quality MP3s.
08 - Well, I suppose that have you at least played some memorable live gigs in Finland. I read recently you played one gig in Norway to support the true Mayhem in the past. Tell me, what is your general experience of live shows, audiences... and also the human contact with Mayhem’s members?
Yes, there are several memorable gigs and one of those is the Norway gig. The gig was organized by members of Cadaver, who are now called Cadaver Inc., I think. The gig was good as far as I remember, we were all really nervous and the Norwegian TV did an interview with us at the time. Mayhem didn’t really play on the gig, but they let us use their house and we spent the night there getting drunk. The whole night was fun, though some of the ‘party jokes’ weren’t that funny... like burning the socks of those who passed out - the guy from a Swedish metal ‘zine got his toes burned pretty bad. I liked Euronymous, he was intelligent and kind of thoughtful person, who was interested in all kinds of things. Dead, on the other hand, was a more distant person, I think he was manic-depressive or schizophrenic or something. At least his mannerism was sort of the way.
09 - Without any indiscretion, I would like to know if the other members still play metal music... Somewhere, have you ever though of reforming Abhorrence, since there are many reunions of old acts, these days?
I haven’t been in any serious bands other than Abhorrence. Bassist Jussi Ahlroth played guitar in a psychedelic metal/rock band called Spipha and on some other projects. Guitarist Tomi has played in Amorphis, Varenpisara, Ajattara and several others. Second guitarist Kalle stopped playing for 5 years, but I don’t know if he played in any bands. Our second drummer Mika Arnkil has played in several bands afterwards: Antidote, Impaled Nazarene to name a few.
10 - Since always, the look of Finnish metalheads has been a classic feature - for example Funebre, Adramelech etc... What’s your take on this?
Hahaha! No, I have no idea why we look like we did back then.
11 - Many thanks for your time and attention... the last words are yours, cheers
Thanks for the interview, I hope all your readers will visit the Abhorrence homepage at http://www.timetombs.net/abhorrence and downloads the songs I have there to offer. Also keep checking the pages now and then if I ever get to release that CD with live material and a bonus. Cheers!
Interview : Kanz-Noz