Jeremy Henry is the rhythm guitarist and a founding member of Slam/Brutal death metal band Abnormality. The band has an impressive string of great albums on Metal Blade Records including their newest, “Sociopathic Constructs”.
#1 – I read an interview where you noted your punk/hardcore beginnings as a kid getting into the scene so having grown up the same, I have to ask, who are some of your favorite punk and hardcore bands?
Sick! Well, I was turned on initially by friends to bands like Black Flag, The Clash, and it kind of evolved from there. That eventually grew into love for the Cro-Mags, Agnostic Front, Sheer Terror, Sick of it All, the list is a long one!
#2 – Having been into a lot of different genres through your life as a guitarist, who are some of the players that Abnormality fans might be surprised to hear influenced your playing?
I think it just goes back to what blew your mind as a kid and as your musical taste was growing. For me, my all time favorite is David Gilmore, such an ethereal timeless style. I grew up a massive guns n roses fan so Slash has to up there for just inspiring people with his style.
#3 – I hear a lot of Vital Remains weaving around in the base of your sound, what bands have inspired your playing and writing since the band’s inception?
Well, that is definitely an influence! We all have some different influences, as everyone in the band comes from a different aspect of metal, but generally speaking I think you can bet on Napalm Death, Suffocation, Morbid Angel as some of the broader influences. As far as individual influences, we can differ quite a bit from one another in the band, haha.
#4 – The new Abnormality album “Sociopathic Constructs” is coming out May 10th on Metal Blade, how long did it take to come together from writing to finishing the album?
Life has a way of throwing wrenches into well laid plans, and I speak personally that it wasn’t as soon as I would have hoped due to some personal matters I needed to see to, but we got there. We had some material that wasn’t quite ready for Sociopathic Constructs in our back pockets, and after we got done with the touring cycle for that release we really wanted to shut down touring and focus on writing. We had a new member whom joing very close to sociopathic being recorded, so we knew we wanted to really spend some time together and see where we were going to head musically on this one.
#5 – What gear was used to create the meaty, unforgiving and raw tones on the new album?
Most of our tracking is done DI into an Axe-FX and then reamped later. We typically will lean on ENGL, 5150’s Mesa’s. It all depends on what tone we are going for. Tight and punchy. Fat and heavy, all amps have different strengths and weaknesses. This record had a bit more breathing room for the riffs, so I went in wanting to fatten the tone up as much as possible while keeping things sharp.
#6 – How do the rigs that you and Sam (Kirsch – Lead guitar) used on the album differ from the rigs you are touring with?
Honestly, not much! I think the material will tell you in a way what you should be shooting for tone wise. Sam is an endorsed artist for peavy, so he is usually slinging a 5150 with his effects processor (Head Rush). I prefer my trusty ENGL powerball with a Vader cabinet and just a couple pedals.
#7 – What sort of tracking or processing techniques do you utilize to get crushing guitars happening in your home studio?
I (Sam as well) tend to flesh out arrangements and ideas at home in our on studios, before we bring em in to the band. I dont have anything fancy, I use an Ax-Fx to my DAW, where I program drums, and play bass ect. Sam I believe uses Amplitube, with a pretty dope tube preamp into his DAW.
#8 – Do you have experience with digital gear and amp sim software?
Not too much. I am a tube guy at heart..but its hard to argue with the convenience when in a recording situation. My amp simulator is great for the house, and infinitely tweakable.
#9 – The dynamics in your songs change often but always maintain a really great flow. How does an Abnormality song come together and generally how do you approach the transitions between two very different riffs?
We strive to keep things within a song feeling like its going somewhere, or belongs together. Death metal its tough to keep things sounding brand new…so we try to focus on honing the craft of songwriting, and focusing on the little things. I think being able to have flow within a song and still maintain intensity and abrasiveness is what we strive to do.
#10 – I’m not a huge fan of mid paced stuff so one thing I really enjoy about Abnormality is that the songs seem to be mostly either very fast or very slow, is there a conscious effort there or is that just how things happen?
Most definitely a conscious effort. I am a fan of the more intense styles of death metal. I like shit shifting and moving, and I like death metal that is out in front. Prob just listened to too much grind growing up. I tlike to contrast that with grooves and slower parts. I think the fast sets up the slow, and vice versa. If its all blasting, or all breakdowns, its easy to burn out. But just like in horror movies, the quiet part right before the crazy gore shit goes down makes it even better.
#11 – Before we get moving, what does 2019 have in store for Abnormality and your very loyal fans?
Setting up for some touring, so keep posted and come out fuckers!
Thanks again bro! – Jeremy
And we thank Jeremy for talking with us! Brutal death metal has come a long way and love it or hate it, there’s no denying the musicianship and mind required to even attempt it. The genre has rabid fans across the globe always on the lookout for the heaviest, fastest and toughest bands out there. This band also features a female singer with some of the most gutteral growls you will hear. The momentum Abnormality carries going into their new album release is impressive and they look to only be getting better! Check them out on Instagram, Facebook and the link above!