Abysmal Grief (Italy) 02/02/2022

What could anyone say about one of the legendary bands of Italy. After Yes, Abysmal Grief may not play strictly Black Metal music but they are more 'Orthodox' and for sure, more 'Black' by many other bands out there. As I have been a fan since almost their first full length, it is an honor to host them in OrthodoxBlackMetal. Many thanks Regen Graves.
1. Hello guys. I am really glad to have an interview with you as I have been a fan for a long time. First of all, it's been almost two years since this pandemic shit has begun and, especially in the beginning, all the media, at least here in Greece, were showing about the very bad situation in Italy. Are any of those images true? How are you doing during all this time?
Regen Graves: Yes I suppose the images were true, because here the situation at the beginning was quite serious if compared to the rest of Europe. Honestly I can say that I observed all that with big curiosity but keeping myself far from every dramatization and panic. I really enjoyed social distancing, lockdown and curfews, and I would have nothing against them being applied from time to time even in a non-pandemic situation.
2. You have been together since 1996 if I am not making a mistake. Would you like to give me some info about the band, how you met each other and share some of your greatest and worst moments since the beginning?
Regen Graves: This only question would need a whole interview, man! After all these years the stories to tell about us became a lot and I am really not able to chose one in particular. Probably would be quite interesting to start writing something about in a more detailed way, but I still have not enough time to dedicate to such a work. Maybe when I’ll get older...
3. Let’s begin with your new album “Funeral Cult of Personality”. I have to tell you that I really enjoyed this one. Please give me some more information about it. Where did you record, how long did it take and is there any interesting story behind it to share?
Regen Graves: I composed “Funeral Cult…” in a quite difficult period for the band: we were coming from a long year of concerts and tours in 2018, so we decided to take a period of stand-by in which I created the whole album alone, without any contact with the rest of the band, and not even sure when and who would take part in the recording of the same. I cannot deny that I consider this work as my most personal since the Ep “Mors Eleison”, and I am very satisfied of the final result. When we decided to reunite, in Autumn 2020, we recorded it in the same studio of the previous “Blasphema Secta” full length, and everything happened in a very fast and relaxed way.
4. I think the album is out for about three months, correct? What kind of feedback have you received so far by the fans and the press?
Regen Graves: Fans and magazines alike have welcomed it very well and the sales confirm this judgment, so we can't complain.
5. Are you satisfied with how the album came out? Is there anything that you would like to do it differently if you had more time or resources?
Regen Graves: If I had more time, I would have liked to have preceded the release of the album with a single 7" instead of useless videos / teasers on youtube. I just don't like that stuff, but it seems this is the way labels promote their artists today. Other than that, there is nothing I would change concerning the work of the band.
6. So, let’s discuss about Abysmal Grief in general, now. Your music and lyrics show a passion about Death, funerals, graveyards etc. What do you want to express with your music and lyrics? How do you get your inspiration to write and compose?
Regen Graves: My intention has always been to create a form of Art that could represent a serious way to enter the world of the Occult, trying to keep far from easy cliché for teenagers, and exploring themes not so catchy as Satanism can be, for example. The deepest meaning of our Philosophy is related to Life and Death and our brief passage on this spiritual level: Spiritism, Necromancy, and all the most relevant theories about contacts with the World Beyond can be considered as the main themes and the comprehension keys concerning Abysmal Grief. The inspiration comes mostly from my studies and personal experiences in this subject, of course.
7. After six full lengths, a lot of Eps and split albums and already more than twenty five years into music, do you think that you have achieved your goals – dreams that you had in the beginning? What are the goals that you want to achieve the years to come?
Regen Graves: When I started playing guitar, my teenager dream was to get to release at least “one” album with a label… At the beginning we were asking no more than this, haha. So you can imagine how it all went way beyond what my partners and I ever expected… My main goal in the years to come is to keep on working without losing the coherence that has characterized us up to now, and without composing shitty albums as most bands usually do at the end of their careers.
8. I see in your Official Website (http://www.abysmalgrief.com/) that you haven't played live since 2018. I know that at the moment everything is unstable, but do you have plans to play live in the following months?
Regen Graves: Yes, while I’m answering this interview our agency is completing the booking of our forthcoming European tour scheduled for April 2022. But the situation as you said is still extremely unstable, so we still didn’t make any official announcement.
9. What do you do apart from music? Do you have any other artistic way of expression apart from music?
Regen Graves: Apart from my solo Ambient music project which involves me most of the remaining time, I have no particular passions other than reading essays on philosophy or politics, watching old movies, and painting.
10. You live in Genoa, don't you? Is there a strong local scene? Do you cooperate or just hung out with other musicians from there? Would you like to suggest any band or musician from your local scene?
Regen Graves: Genoa has some very cool acts, like Necrodeath, Il Segno del Comando, Tony Tears, just to name the top ones. We’ve been knowing each other for a very long time, and we collaborate from time to time (as for example me and Tony) but I never considered it as a real “scene”.
11. Generally, I love the Italian scene as you can find exceptional bands for every Metal sub genre. I believe that it is very underrated. What is your opinion about that? Are there any bands or musicians you admire and have influenced you?
Regen Graves: I agree when you say that the Italian occult scene is underrated. I’ve discovered not so long time ago that there are still many people abroad who have never even heard about legendary bands as Death SS, The Black, Devil Doll or Mortuary Drape, and many others that consider them nothing more than cheesy acts with crappy recordings and funny accent… especially from America or Northern Europe. My answer is that I consider the Italian DarkSound nothing less than the Norwegian Black Metal, but only with less hype and more consistency.
12. Thanks a lot for your time. Feel free to add anything for conclusion.
Regen Graves: I thank you for this interview, and I renew our desire to come to play in Greece some day! In Death. R.G.