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INTERVIEW: Sven de Caluwé & Ken Bedene – Aborted

Photo Credit: Laura McCarthy
Photo Credit: Laura McCarthy

WORDS: James Weaver

Belgium’s ABORTED have been riding high in the death metal scene with their gore-soaked music. Recent albums such as Global Flatline, Goremaggeddon and The Necrotic Manifesto have propelled the band to the summit of modern death metal and on the brink of unleashing album number nine, Retrgore, we spoke to vocalist Sven de Caluwé and drummer Ken Bedene to talk about the new album, consuming too much food on tour and the internet warriors of the metal scene.

So you guys are a couple dates into the tour. How’s it going so far?

Sven: It’s going pretty good so far, we’ve had more than a couple of dates. We’ve only had two days off!

Ken: I thought we are on the 40th show?

Sven: No, there’s more. There is 46 shows. Many many many many shows! We’re still alive sadly, but we are here!

I’ve seen on your personal Facebook accounts that there has been a lot of pranks on tour. What has been the best?

Sven: The best one is….

Ken: He’s not here is he?

Sven: Mendel always tries to prank everybody, he did exasperate at the start of the tour so we all said we’re going to get him back and he is shitting his pants. The best thing is we aren’t doing anything. He is freaking out, he rang his girlfriend (points to Ken).

Ken: Yeah…

Sven: He is stressing out about and the best thing is his paranoia is the best prank.

So the band have been going since 1995 but you Sven have only been the consistent member. How do you cope with constantly changing members?

Sven: It is kind of like playing Twister but with Russian brides and the Russian brides are these guys. It’s a challenge but if you’re flexible it works.

Has that affected the progress or evolution of the band at all?

Sven: Ken will come back on this, but I think it helped in a way. Some people left because they have more important things to do in life, like collecting dead hookers, collecting stamps or whatever. I don’t know what people do in their daily lives because we are living the dream clearly. We’ve also consumed enormous amounts of food on this tour so the evolution is going, we’re expanding our fanbase and ourselves!

Ken: Soon we’re going to be like FEAR FACTORY

Sven: We’re going to be Fat Factory!

So have you found anywhere good to eat in Manchester today?

Ken: We just ate at (points to a big bag of food full of burritos)

Sven: Yeah we went to some burrito bar.

Ken: There are a ton of vegan spots we wanted to check out but we don’t really have the time to do that.

So on tour, do you get to explore many places? Do you get many days off?

Sven: It depends where we are, we’ve only had two days off in seven weeks so not so much! And one day off we spent on a shitty boat going to Finland so not as luxurious as you may think!

So album number nine, Retrogore is due out in April. It contains your signature sound, it’s really brutal. What were your influences when you were writing that album?

Ken: Time basically.

Sven: Time was your influence?

Ken: Yeah…

Sven: I don’t like WINTERSUN!

Ken: Yeah, we were forced to do it really quickly.

Sven: Basically these guys were locked in my apartment for like a month and they were rewarded with video games after writing songs. The proverbial whip was video game accomplishments afterwards. Our inspirations mainly was the whole political climate and everything in the world is garbage, more than usual. That makes for good inspiration.

Prior to announcing the album, you did the EP Termination Redux. Do you feel that EP was to tide the fans over?

Sven: Termination Redux is on the album, nothing else is. So we wanted to do something to mark 20 years as a band but our label released it too late, that went that plan! Out the window! But it’s cool it came out in January, right in time for this tour and we only have two left that we are selling. Our stock will be finished then, we wanted to do something on the anniversary. There are those small yet distinctive changes to the sound, which are kind of there on the EP.

A lot of bands seem to do these anniversary tours when they hit a landmark. Do you guys have any plans for that?

Sven: No we already did that! We’re the cool guys

Ken: We are the trend setters!

Sven: We are the trend setters that don’t get any credit. We did it for Goremaggeddon in 2013.

ABORTED seem to be one of the bands that are leading modern death metal but a lot of people think that death metal was best back when it first started. How do you feel the scene is today?

Sven: I think all the people that have a big mouth and talk shit should be grateful for the bands that came in the late 90s/early 2000s that came and carried on the torch. They kept the music alive. Music always evolves, it’s easy to criticise and bitch about everything but how about some positiveness? If you’re complaining that it’s not good then how about you do better? I’d like to see that.

I guess that’s with the internet as well…

Sven: Stop bitching and do something!

So really to close this off, you’ve still got quite a bit left on this tour. Are we hopeful to see you guys at any UK festivals this summer?

Sven: I don’t know yet. That will be a question for our agent! The album just got announced and we hope to release the first song next week but hopefully, I’d love to do Bloodstock again!

Retrogore is set for release on April 22nd via Century Media Records. 

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