When talking about the German death metal underground scene, Absorb certainly is one of the bands that any fan following the scene should descant. Forming back in late 80’s and disbanding in 1994, luckily for us the got back again in 2007. And today we are hosting a very interesting interview with Volker Schmidt (vocals) providing us with some intriguing answers to our questions. Praise the underground…
Let’s get it on then. Feel free to introduce Absorb to our readers…
Hey Christos, we hope everything is fine. First, you have to know, I am back with Absorb about four years. The time before I was playing almost eighteen years in a band called dryrot. We split in 2010, but in all those years, Pfisty and I still had contact from time to time. In 2008, Pfisty asked me for a session with Absorb, for me more just for fun, but I think Pfisty had been searching for a new singer. After the split with dryrot, in December 2012, Pfisty asked me again for the singer job in the band Absorb. Since 2013 I’m the new (old) singer for Absorb.
Absorb is a death metal band with “old-school” and technical influences. Sometimes we like to play old-school stuff (like 1989) 🙂 , and sometimes we like to play “new death metal” sound. This was not intended, more the feeling at the band practice. Absorb were established in 1989, so like other great bands start with this kind of music. Before Absorb, there was Wolf….(just kiddin), Pfisty, Jochen and I played with two other guys in a thrash metal formation called Blackness from 1986 till 1989. So, you can see we’re fuckin’ old… 🙂
Having formed in the late 80’s, I would like to turn you back in time, and tell us what urged you get involved with extreme metal, and specifically with death metal?
We early started listening to that kind of music. Before we listened to death metal, better before death metal came up; we all listened to rock, heavy metal, speed metal, thrash metal. We grew up with the NWOBH and heavy stuff from all over the world. Every year the music we listened to, started to get harder and in the end; Death metal was our favorite genre. It is the dark atmosphere what I loved in death metal. The deep voices and the riffing still captivate me. After the split with Blackness, we agreed that we wanted to found a death metal band. Our age at this time was all around between 18 and 20.
After your magnificent demos ‘Last Regain’ (1991) & ‘The Call’ (1992) that established you in the death metal underground you vanished with an exception of a split with Fertilizer and Syphilis in 1993. What happened back then?
I’m sorry but this was a very long time ago. In fact I don’t remember.
Correct me if I’m wrong, after almost 14 years of having split-up you reformed the band in 2007. How difficult was getting back?
The first of all difficult parts was to find a practice room in our area and the second difficult thing was to find acceptable musicians. You have to know, there are two important things for us about searching musicians: We need musicians, who can play our stuff and the most important thing is, if they can mesh with us. I cannot play with people, I do not really like, or they are political incorrect, or lie to us etc. I think you know what I mean. Before I came back to Absorb, Pfisty and Jochen had some unauthentic people they played with. In these fourteen years, we all had different bands and projects and we all grew with the experience from other bands and people.
Tell us a few words about your latest explosive EP ‘Vision Apart’. Are you satisfied with its reception?
First, we appreciate for your words “Explosive EP”. We feel honored! Yes we’re satisfied about the reactions and the response from all the magazines and radio stations all over the world.
On this EP you can hear different “death metal styles”, but we don’t like to determine what kind of “death metal” we have to play. It’s our music and we do what we like to do. Maybe sometimes we will record a “progressive-swing-death-metal-spanish-folk-song”. 🙂
How would you describe the Absorb’s live experience? Any tour dates planned?
In the past, we have played many concerts with bands like Cannibal Corpse, Obscura, Pestilence, One Man Army, Sodom, Sinister, Master, Massacra, Vader, Destruction, Hatesphere, The Black Daliah Murder, Vomitory, Tankard, Morbid Angel, Arch Enemy, Triptykon, Leng Che, Kataklysm, and many more. Therefore, we can say, we have a lot of live experience. Actually there are no tour dates fixed, but we are working on it. You know, we all have to work and have a family business besides the music. Maybe in the near future we conquer Greece. 🙂 We will see what is going on.
Which bands would you consider as the biggest influence to you and why?
When we started Absorb, I think most of the influences came from bands like Slayer, Obituary, Death, Morbid Angel, Venom, Celtic Frost, Deicide, Bolt Thrower and so on. Those bands inspired us, with their raw and dynamic riffing, unholy drumming, deep growls, intelligent lyrics from some bands (Death, Napalm Death) and the attitude from some musicians.
We had the ambition to play like those bands. We think, the influences are coming automatically by the music you listen to.
Do you believe that death metal has changed since late 80’s and in what way?
Some type of death metal has changed, some type of heavy metal, thrash metal has changed. Bands have changed and they have created new styles like new metal, symphonic metal, folk metal and all the other “new” genres.
In every evolution, you have changes, this is the way it goes. You cannot stop the progress in time.
In other words, stagnancy is the fatal way to degeneration. Guess what had happened in the 70’s or the 80’s if rock and heavy metal did remain static.
How did the cooperation with GlobMetal Promotions come about?
So I do not really know, but someday Kostya wrote an email to Pfisty with an offer for us, about GlobMetal Promotions. So, it was more than a fair deal and we decided to work with Kostya. He is a fair cool guy and now we are partners and friends.
A classic but vital one! Which are your future plans?
Actually, we are working on new songs and we plan to record a full length CD. For the near future, we are planning some festivals and local gigs. We will see what is going to happen this year, maybe small tours over Europe and other countries, but right now nothing ripe for decision.
Best greetings and up the Irons,
Volker from Absorb.