Interview with ABIGAIL

interview - 19.07.2007 22:00

We had the chance to interview Suzuki Yasuyuki, the founder of ABIGAIL before their gig in Pori, Finland in May 2007.

Hello. I am from JMusicEuropa. Thank you for this interview opportunity.

Yasuyuki: No, no, thank you.

Okay, to start off, you could say that Northern Europe is the birth place of black metal. What has it been like to play in Finland so far?

Yasuyuki: We first played in Europe in 2001. We got a good response that time. We got many good offers from the euro scene. I got a great offer from Finland, that's why I'm here now and everything has been okay.

You have played in many foreign countries. Some western bands say that the Japanese audience is very wild. Do you agree or disagree with this?

Yasuyuki: The crowd in Japan is very silent. Especially seeing as the black metal scene in Japan is very small. When we played in Tokyo, there were only a maximum of a hundred people present and they were very quiet. The euro scene however is different, everybody's drinking and head banging. They're fucking crazy! I love it!

I was going to ask you about the black metal scene in Japan. So it is small?
Yasuyuki: Yes, it is.

Would you like it to be bigger or would you change it in any way?
Yasuyuki: Not really. Melodic metal is very popular in Japan. Finnish bands like Nightwish and Children of Bodom have many fans in Japan and there are thousands of people seeing them. I like to be a part of the euro scene.

Do you consider yourselves to be a "Japanese band" or a "black metal band that happens to come from Japan"?
Yasuyuki: No no, not Japanese. I'm more comfortable in the euro scenes.

What are your influences?
Yasuyuki: Thrash metal bands like Venom, Sodom, Enemy, Bulldozer, Celtic Forst, Hirohama.. Also black metal bands like Mayhem. I also like the Japanese black metal band Sigh.

You have worked with Sigh haven't you? How did that happen?
Yasuyuki: Sigh? I'm still active in with my work with Sigh. Right now I'm playing bass in Sigh. I will play with them during their next euro tour in July.

As far as I know, your first demo tape was released 15 years ago. That was a long time ago. How has your band changed since then?
Yasuyuki: Our sound has developed naturally. We started out as a normal black metal band, but then I changed our style towards a more trashier metal sound. I have been a trash metal fan since teenage years and maybe in 1994 or 1995 black metal became really trendy in the underground scene, so I decided to leave the black metal sound.

Because you have been performing abroad so much, has it influenced you or your music in any way?
Yasuyuki: Of course, and in Europe, particularly the Italian band Bulldozer has influenced us deeply.

Did you have any expectations for this tour? Did you expect something to happen or expect the audience to be of a certain kind?
Yasuyuki: Yes, definitely. Last night we played at a city.. That is a name I have forgotten now..
Lappeenranta..?
Yasuyuki: Yes, Lappeenranta! Anyway, there was too much drinking and head banging, the audience was kicking my microphone and I couldn't sing properly. There was a very intense mosh pit too and people were throwing beer over our heads at the stage. Fucking crazy guys present. But we couldn't stop playing!

Was all this good or bad?
Yasuyuki: Oh, no no, it was very good!!

Do you have any special plans for the future?
Yasuyuki:We want to record a new album next year, then later, I want to come back to Europe. Also, I have many side project bands, I'm playing in a metal band called Barbatos. I have to record a new album with them too, and maybe I will play a gig with them in Hungary in September. I have to compose many, many tracks..

So busy times ahead of you?
Yasuyuki: Yes yes.

Would you ever want to have a tour like this one? Only tour one country and go to multiple cities?
Yasuyuki:Yes, but I like all countries. In particular I like Finland, France and Italy. We have also played in South-East Asia; Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia.. We've played in the U.S of course. So I want to play everywhere, not in just one country.

That was it. Thank you again for this interview opportunity and I wish you all the best for your gig tonight!
Yasuyuki: Thank you very much! I am sorry if I am hard to interview, my English is fucking poor.
No it's pretty good.
Yasuyuki: Oh, thank you very much again!

JaME would like to thank the tour organizer Metal Warning for their helpfulness in working together. Thanks to Ilmari Jalanen and lastly also to Sara Virtanen, for the photo and general help with the interview.
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