Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Stoner Rock Reflections - Interview with Seb from Abrahma

Reflections In The Bowels Of A Bird cover art

It's been a long time since we caught up with today's guests. 3 years by my reckoning since Aaron aka DOUBLEADOOM77 interviewed them back in 2012.

With a stunning new record - Reflections In The Bowels of the Bird – that's just been released and it's an album that's starting to win major praise within the Stoner Rock community. Though this is a different band to their 2012 album – Through The Dusty Paths Of Our Lives – as the new album is more direct and gets straight down to the point of rocking out.

I've been asked to interview one of France's best Stoner Rock/Metal bands – ABRAHMA. I'm happy to report that Seb (Lead Vox/Guitar) is going to talk to us.

So lets get started and see what has happened over the last few years or so.

1. Hi guys. How's it going? Thanks for doing this interview. Much appreciated.
We're fine. Just back from an awesome tour with our mates from LO-PAN. Thank you for doing this interview.

2. For people not in the know can you give a brief history of how the band came together and where it is today.
So, ABRAHMA was born in 2011 on the ashes of another band we had with Guillaume and Ben before. We decided in 2011 to change our name with the arriving of Nicolas, and the fact that the sound was a little bit different. Then we recorded T.T.D.P.O.O.L and had the chance to sign a deal with SMALL STONE RECORDS in 2012.

3. You first came to our attention with your 2012 album – Through The Dusty Paths Of Our Lives. That was a great album. Looking back, were you pleased with the responses the album received from fans and critics alike?
Totally, this first album has really opened the road to a lot of cool opportunities and also been a way to better know where we wanted to go.

4. Looking back would you change anything about it.
No, not really. Many people say that it was too long, but personally I love it like this. And it's a first album with a story… I think its running time makes sense.

5. Now we have to talk about your new album – Reflections In The Bowels Of The Bird. WOW what a title. Why did you choose that title for the album.
You know, I'm such a huge philosophy and mythology fan. When we were writing the album, I already had the idea of doing another trilogy on the album, but about the omens. I read a lot about Haruspicy, and its different uses in the old times. From the Viking traditions to the antic Greece, this tradition has been popular for a long time. I personally loved naming the album after this tradition, as it's also a kind of journey in “the entrails of a bird”, haha! :)

Anyway, I submitted this title to my bandmates and it seemed like everybody in the band loved the idea too, so here's the reason why we entitled it this way.

6. Your new album is very different to your last album. It's more direct and it's more grungier and psychedelic. Was that the plan to make something different to Through The Dusty Paths Of Our Lives.
To be honest I don't really think this album is so different from the first one. We only have strengthened the points we loved on our first album. Take some songs like “Headless Horse”, “The Maze” or “Honkin Water Roof” on our first record: I think they have the same vibe than the new songs, and these are the songs we enjoy the most from our first album. So, it's been really natural as we also wanted to be more cohesive. For the grunge influences, I think it surely comes from the fact that we're all big SOUNDGARDEN, ALICE IN CHAINS, FAILURE fans.

7. Was it an easy decision to write/record something different to the album.

For this second album we really wanted to affirm our personality. With all the touring we've done to promote the first album, we have learned so much, and especially where we wanted to go musically in the future. So yes, it was an easy decision, even more as we all wanted the same thing.

8. Did you do anything differently recording this album compared to the last album.

No, we recorded it live again at our drummer's studio. We just changed some technical things like microphones, but drums, bass and lead guitar were all recorded live in the same studio.

9. It's good to see you have Ed Mundell back on the new album. Was it easy convincing Ed to record with you guys again. What was it like recording with Ed again.

Since our first release, we've been in touch with Ed. And he was really interested in taking part in this new release. We shared the stage with THE ULTRA ELECTRIC MEGA GALACTIC last year, and we talked a little bit more about it. Ed was really motivated to make some guest appearance again. So it was a pleasure to have him again, even more, as I think that “A Shepherd's Grief” totally fits to his way of playing

10. Abrahma has such an awesome live reputation when playing gigs. I witnessed that for myself last year in Leeds in such a small intimate venue. (I don't really want to say shithole. But it kinda was). You guys won a lot of praise and fans for that UK Tour you did last year. Really impressed the hell out of me. Are there plans for more European Dates in the future to promote the album.

Thanks for the kind words. This gig in Leeds was a little bit crazy ahaha! We are already working on a new tour to promote the album, yes. This first tour with LO-PAN was a kind of warm-up, and we're now ready to make a longer one. UK will not be missed!

11. What is your setup when playing live and recording in the studio. Do you have a a basic setup or a more advanced setup.

We almost have the same setup. Our goal on album is to record something we'll be able to do also on stage. So we use the same setup, we only sometimes add a lot more guitar harmonies in the studio, but generally our live versions are not so different from the album version.

12. Which bands and artists have influenced you all as musicians. Any particular bands or albums that have made a lasting impression.
We're all listening to different things. Nicolas listens to a lot of Jazz, Guillaume too. But I think our main influences for ABRAHMA are surely BLACK SABBATH, SOUNDGARDEN, KING CRIMSON, PARADISE LOST, MONSTER MAGNET, ATOMIC ROOSTER, PINK FLOYD, TYPE O NEGATIVE, HAWKWIND, THE BEATLES, ACID KING, NEUROSIS, ALICE IN CHAINS, LEAF HOUND, ESOTERIC…

13. Which bands are you currently digging at the moment. Are there any bands/albums you would like to recommend to our readers.

The past few days, I've been listening to a lot of YOB, ELDER, GURT, MONOLORD, PET THE PREACHER, the new ACID KING's album, DOPETHRONE, DOMADORA… And I'm really looking forward to the new FAITH NO MORE's release. The last ELDER album is really awesome!

I also had the chance to listen to some new demos from ENOS, and believe me, their next release will kick some ass!

14. Is Reflections In The Bowels Of The Bird being released on Vinyl. Or is it just CD/DD at the moment.

Yes, the album will be released on Vinyl, but I do not have the release date yet.

15. What other plans do you have in store for you in 2015. Anything you like to share with our readers.

We gonna tour a lot to promote the album and also try to play live in countries where we've never
been yet. We'll also surely begin to work on some new songs.

16. Well guys thanks for doing this. Before you go, do you have anything to say to your fans.

Thank you for this interview and for your support. Thanks also to all the people supporting, we hope you'll like this new album, and we can't wait to play it live in a venue near you.

Thanks to Seb from ABRAHMA for talking to us at Sludgelord HQ. Thanks to Claire at Purple Sage PR for arranging the interview. Reflections In The Bowels Of The Bird is now available to buy on CD/DD from Smallstone Records now.

Words by Steve Howe and Seb Bismuth

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