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17/09/2006 – Interview with ABANDONED

The interview with this new German Thrash band was originally planned for March, which is when I sent the questions. Due to whatever reason, I got the answers last month, as the date shows. Holg (guitars) and Kalli (vocals, guitars) were kind enough to spend some time on the replies. SIX months waiting for your questions to be answered. Apparently the band had nothing to do with it, having received the questions three weeks before they sent them back. But all is fine now and the guys are working on their second album. Earlier this year they released their debut, "Thrash Notes" of which you can read the review at this location.

Abandoned logo

How did it all begin for ABANDONED? How did you guys get together?

Holg: I knew Kalli for a couple of years when we met again on a GAMMA RAY concert in Offenbach in `99 and had a talk about our former and actual bands. A few weeks later, Kalli called me and we started to write some songs, just to see what it sounds like... and it sounded really cool! So we started to look for a drummer and a bass player. A few weeks later we found Konrad: A friend of mine told me of a drummer who wanted to start a Thrash Metal band. It took a few calls to convince him, but then he was in the band. Günt had an announcement in a magazine, that`s where we found him.

Abandoned bandAny reason for the band name? Why so negative?

Holg: It has no special meaning. It was inspired by the song from VICIOUS RUMORS. It`s a one word name, easy to remember and it stands first in the alphabet...after Lee Aaron.

Where did you learn to play an instrument? By yourself, or did you take lessons?

Holg:I had guitar lessons during the first two years, based on this experience, I practiced and learned. Just playing and trying.

Kalli: I never had any lessons, I learned a lot from other guys in former bands and from a lot of records that I tried to play along with.

You recently released your debut album, "Thrash Notes". Are you happy with the result?

Kalli: Well, after a couple of months we're still happy with the songs and how the CD was received by the media and the fans, but we would change certain things in the sound.

Where did you go to record and who produced/mixed/mastered it?

Kalli: We recorded "Thrash Notes" in the Hammer Music Studios in Brackel near Hamburg. It was produced by us and co-produced by Clemens von Witte and Rolf Köhler. Those two gentlemen also mixed and mastered it.

Did everything go smooth during the recordings or were there times you had retry for a number of times until you had a solo right or a drumfill or ...?

Holg: Don`t remind me of some rhythm guitar parts and riffs - hard work!

Kalli: Yeah, also the vocal stuff. Pretty hard work. But hey, this was our first time in a professional studio. So now we know what we have to focus on in the future.

I also noticed a difference in heaviness for the guitars and drums on a couple of songs. On e.g. "Return To One", the guitars have a fuller sound and the snare drum also has a more - in a light way, though - damped sound. Was this done on purpose or just a coincidence?

Kalli: Well, this can be traced back to the fact that we ran out of time during the mix. So it's just coincidence and nothing that was don by purpose.

What's the opinion of family, friends, ... on "Thrash Notes"?

Holg: Most of them like it.

Kalli: Yeah, some don't like the sound, but they all agree that the songs are killer.

Abandoned bandDid everyone contribute, or is it determined who writes the lyrics and music?

Holg: No, everyone's ideas are considered. So far, I wrote most of the songs or riffs, but while arranging every one gives his input. The songs are normally composed at home and are subject to change while we rehearse them.

Is there a special reason for hanging on to the old school Thrash? Not that I mind, as I'm also quite fond of it, of the pureness, the heaviness.

Holg:I grew up with all that 80`s stuff. In the beginning it was all the KISS, TWISTED SISTER, CRÜE , SCORPIONS and ACCEPT stuff but when I first heard SLAYER's "Fight till Death" at the Radio in `84 or "Motorbreath" from METALLICA on a Sampler I thought "Yeah, that`s fast!" Later DESTRUCTION, KREATOR and all those Bay Area bands like EXODUS or LAAZ ROCKIT became my favourites, and of course that "Legacy" Demo was a killer! That`s what inspires me most when writing songs and that`s how the songs sound like.

The title "Thrash Notes" refers to the music, or does it also have another meaning, together with the lyrics? In addition, what are the songs about? I noticed two songs about religion, or where religion plays a role: "Return To One" and "Holy Terror".

Kalli: "Thrash Notes" mainly describes the music. Additionaly, the lyrics and the things they deal with are also kept in a classic thrash style. "Holy Terror" deals with religious fanaticism.We write about war, temptation, anger, despair, and stuff like that and these are classical thrash topics for me. I mean thrash always reflected on mankind in a critical way and we want to blaze these thoughts across. Nevertheless we also have these lyrics like "Hell is home", describing the feeling when speeding down the highway, haha.

Thrash Notes coverWhat inspires you to write lyrics? Books, television, the man on the street, personal things, ...?

Kalli: Well, it's all kinds of stuff that gives inspiration. Mainly personal experiences and the news.

How do songs get born? Does you get together and jam a bit or is it like: one has composed something, contacts the others by sending the audio-file after which someone else adds a certain riff or solo, etc... ?

Holg:Normally the basic-songs are written at home. We record the rhythm guitars and send it to the other guys via email / mp3, so they know the song and the structure. This makes it much easier during a rehearsal. Later we change some breaks or arrangement stuff. Sometimes, songs are written in jam sessions, but that's not the standard.

How did you get signed to Dockyard 1? And what's it like, working with them?

Kalli: They saw us at RockHard Festival in 2005 and were curious about the band. We know them since 2004 when they were still working for Sanctuary, but when they formed their own label, it felt right to talk about working together. And that's what we did: We talked and now we work together, haha.

For how many albums have you signed?

Kalli: We signed a contract for four albums altogether.

Do you have touring plans or will you just schedule a couple of dates and continue work for the next album?

Holg: Right now we`re busy working on new songs. We plan to release our next CD in spring`07. Touring is not that easy, because we all have our jobs. That reduces touring to a minimum...

Kalli: ...but we try to do what we can !

You've played on big festivals like Wacken Open Air, Rock Hard Open Air, etc... How was that as an experience?

Holg:Oh, that was great - very different to all the club shows so far. I mean we didn't play the big stages on these festivals, but it`s a very different experience to 'normal' shows.

Kalli: Yeah! Awesome!!!

Abandoned bandIn today's age of downloading, what's your opinion about it?

Holg:Not my cup of tea. I just listen to the files from the official homepages or I listen to the CDs in a record store. I buy them or not, the only exception is when a CD is re-released with bonus material and I have the original. Usually I only buy original CDs and records.

Is there anyone you'd like collaborate with (artist, producer, ...)?

Holg: In the 80s Harris Johns was my favourite producer, right now no one special.

Are there plans to re-release demo material or re-record some songs?

Holg: We`ll see, right now we have enough ideas for new songs. There is no need to re-record the old stuff. There will be just two songs from our first demo left to re-record. All the "Misanthrope" songs are perfect the way they are, so there's no urge to re-record them.

Did you have songs left out of "Thrash Notes" and will they be used for the next album? In addition, do you already have ideas or (pieces of) songs ready for the follow-up?

Holg: Yes, there`s one song left from "Thrash Notes", maybe we will release it on a "10 Years of ABANDONED"-DVD in 2009! It`s a slow song and very different to the others, thatīs why we didn`t release it on "Thrash Notes".

Next to Metal, what other music do you listen to?

Holg: Nothing special. The background music to some computer games, maybe. Once a year I put in my LEVELLERS CD (Folk Rock). My favourite Car-CD this Summer was a Best-Of RICK SPRINGFIELD - definitely no Metal!

Kalli: Not much. Maybe some MARK KNOPFLER or WOLF HOFFMANN's "Classical". That's it.

Who are your Metal heroes?

Holg: KISS! My first Hard Rock experience in the late 70s!

Kalli: Mr Cliff Burton because of his unique style and his uncompromising attitude. R.I.P.!

Do you also play in other bands or is ABANDONED the one and only?

Holg: I play drums in a Punk/Metal/somewhat sand for fifteen years with some former classmates. It`s just a fun thing, no concerts during the last three years. Konrad plays also in a local Metal-/Hardcore Band. Really funny people and cool music!

Kalli: Günt and me play in a metal band called REVENANT which isn't that thrashy, it's more like good old heavy metal with some speed and thrash influences.

What are the plans for the future? What would you like to see become reality?

Holg: We got a record deal! That`s more than I could wish for during the 90s! Thrash Metal is back, that`s great! I`m happy with what`s happened during the last six years!

Kalli: Yeah, damn right. What we try is playing live as much as we can, writing new neckbreaking songs and record a new killer album in the end of the year. And one day, ABANDONED patches will be part of any headbanger's denim vest, haha!

That's it for me. Thanks again for taking the time. Good luck with this debut album, may the live performances also be spotless and keep the flame burning, I'd say. ;-) If there's anything I forgot to ask or you forgot to mention, fire away.

Kalli: Thanks for having us in the mag. Watch out for the latest news about ABANDONED on or Let's raise the flag of thrash again and see you on the road. Cheeeeeeeerrrrrrzzzzz!!!!!!

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