DATE OF INTERVIEW:
21st October 2017
ASHLEY SCOTT; DAVID ARCHER
METAL DISCOVERY: Does it feel like the momentum’s really starting to pick up for the band now, what with the Prosthetic deal; returning to Bloodstock in a packed Sophie tent this year; a ton more press… and Bernie Clifton…?
ASH: Yeah, Bernie happened at the end of the ‘Miasmic…’ phase, which was really good because that album did need another little spike, just to get it over the hill. I had so many friends… I think a few of us got accused of orchestrating that. I wish I could take credit for it because it was amazing, but we had nothing to do with it. The first thing I found out was one of the guys who works in my warehouse came up to me with The Sun newspaper, and just throws it down on the page, and is just like, “You’re in The Sun!” I’m like, “What?! What are you going on about?” And, then, there we are with this ostrich! I was like, “What the hell is this?!” I called all the guys up and, yeah, it was just really funny.
(Ash Scott on crossing paths with legendary light entertainer Bernie Clifton)
"...I really just wanted to enjoy it for a couple of days, but then we really must crack on being a death metal band again. I didn’t want to milk it and I didn’t want people to think we were cashing in on it."
Abhorrent Decimation - live shot
Photograph copyright © 2017 Mark Holmes - www.metal-discovery.com
Interview by Mark Holmes
Thanks to Duncan at Prosthetic Records for arranging the interview.
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MD: It was on ‘Have I Got News For You’ as well, wasn’t it?
ASH: Yeah, ‘Have I Got News For You’… I mean, the band’s music was played on the BBC News at Ten. I mean, you couldn’t pay for coverage like that for a death metal band. So, we were cautious going into it because, obviously, we had our own people helping us, and we spoke to Bernie’s manager and agent and stuff, and I really just wanted to enjoy it for a couple of days, but then we really must crack on being a death metal band again. I didn’t want to milk it and I didn’t want people to think we were cashing in on it. You know, we were good sports about it. We got asked to go and meet him because he wanted to see us. We went to his house and he made us bacon sandwiches and lovely cups of tea, and we just had a good laugh with him for a couple of hours.
DAVID: He was an absolute sweetheart. He is on, all the time. Like, he does not stop telling jokes… constantly. It’s awesome.
ASH: He strikes me as one of those people who’s made a living off just being himself. He’s never telling a joke… it’s like a constant rolling performance. He must be exhausted, but he’s not. He’s got so much energy. He’s got more energy than us put together, I think!
MD: I saw a couple of the photos from that visit and there’s one of him wearing an Abhorrent Decimation t-shirt, pulling a metal face, holding your CD and in his ostrich outfit… there was too much going on in that image for me to process!
ASH: That was all his idea!
MD: Oh, really?
ASH: Yeah, we got there and he had his friend there, Mel, taking some photos of us and everything, and it was him… “We should probably get some of this and doing the horns...”, and, “You lot should pick me up in the air.” We just sort of took it in good stride, but…
MD: You went to the Kerrang awards with him last year, didn’t you?
ASH: That was awesome. That was so funny because, again, we’ll probably never get to the Kerrang awards… just because it’s not our genre. So, again, we just took that, and we were on Bernie’s entourage, did the red carpet and had a little photo with him. We met Babymetal…
ASH: Do you know what I mean? Bonkers! I was standing there with a pint and backed into someone, and, “Sorry mate”… and it’s old Chino from Deftones…
ASH: So, yeah, that was cool, but going back to the question… do I feel like things are gaining momentum a bit?… yes. Prosthetic’s PR campaign was more than, obviously, we could achieve on our own, and that was one of the big driving factors going with a label. Not only have they got a worldwide distribution network, they’ve also got a worldwide press network. So, we worked quite closely with the American press side of it and Duncan did an amazing job on the European side. We’d actually built a lot of relationships with Terrorizer, Metal Hammer, Zero Tolerance when we were DIY-ing it, so it was an easy step in for them; for Duncan just to catch up with them. We’ve had so much support from everyone that you’d expect an album like this to get picked up on.
It’s just slow, gradual steps, as well, though, which I am pleased about. I don’t wish for us to rock it and have a mad, successful album and be gone in two years. I want us to slowly grow and I think we’ve got longevity in our style and how open we are. I think we’ll actually be a creative band and it will move and it will shift, and we’ll never put the same record out twice.
MD: Did you get a copy of the new album to Bernie?
ASH: No, we didn’t. We’ve got to call Bernie, because we haven’t spoken to him in about a year and a half now. But he put some of our songs on somewhere… he plays in a trumpet and brass band for the England football team, and I think he showed a lot of them the CD… I mean, you’d love to be a fly on the wall in there, wouldn’t you!
MD: That’d be a news story in itself that, wouldn’t it! There’s been talk of a musical collaboration in news articles… is this ever likely to happen? Could he do a bit of narration in one of your songs, or something?
ASH: If that was ever done, that would be just a simple joke.
MD: There’s room for Bernie in a bit of death metal, I think!
ASH: There’s room for Bernie, but perhaps not under the working name of Abhorrent Decimation. Maybe we’ll put a little single out with him, or something, with a different name.
MD: A Christmas single.
ASH: ‘Beneath the Bernie Massacre’ or something!
MD: I gather it’s a three album deal you have with Prosthetic, so do you have a deadline to deliver the next album by? And have you started work on new material yet? Any new concept ideas at this point?
ASH: We don’t have deadlines. Prosthetic don’t really work like that. They understand that if you put too much pressure you’ll force a record out of people. So, we do want to react quickly because… we can’t announce anything at the moment and I can’t say the names, but we’ve signed with a management company and a booking agent now. So, at the beginning of 2018, we should start to see the bookings picking up, and get us out on some better tours.
MD: Some big supports, and that sort of thing?
ASH: Yeah, exactly. Really, now, I see the band as we’ve done a lot of the underground work now… really, we need to be at the top of the bottom. We’ve got to get on those big tours now and open those up and just start playing to bigger crowds, because there’s only so much you can do on this circuit. We want more than that now.
MD: The offers will start coming in now, I guess, through your booking agent.
ASH: Yeah, I mean, we’ve only agreed a deal in the last two weeks, and he’s already, potentially… this is the thing - you get very jaded after a while because you see so many great offers and great things come and go, and everything can be lost in seconds. You get a bit jaded, which is sad, because I like to be happy. So, yeah, we just need to keep things moving now, and need to keep growing steadily, and it will help us. And the label aren’t going to push us, but I think… 2019… that’s when we’re gonna get the next record out.
MD: Finally then, I put your band name through and anagram generator, and there’s a whole load of weird and wonderful anagrams, if I can run a few by you…
MD: I think there are some potential song title ideas in here, maybe…
MD: ‘Aerobatic Mind Throne’… ‘Drier Cohabitant Omen’… ‘Inherit Acrobat Demon’…
DAVID: That’s good, I like that one!
MD: ‘Abominated Retro Chin’…
ASH: [Laughs] That’s my favourite!
MD: ‘A Demonic Baron Hitter’… ‘Dramatic Hobo Interne’… there’s thousands of ‘em…
ASH: There’s a lot.
DAVID: There are quite a lot of letters to work with.
MD: ‘Anatomic Hornet Bride’… ‘Erotic Damnation Herb’…
MD: And my personal favourite… ‘Arachnid Trombone Tie’.
ASH: You were asking about concepts for the next album… we’ve got the tracklising already!