Get the low-down on Brighton boys Abattoir Blues.
[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Brighton boys Abattoir Blues are bang centre of a burgeoning local scene - and they’ve just released their debut single. Frontman Harry Waugh and guitarist George Boorman give us the low down.
Hey guys, how were your recent dates with Dilly Dally? Did you get up to any on tour shenanigans?
We had the most amazing time. Both Dilly Dally and Weaves, who were the main support, are the loveliest people and really took us under their collective wing. They knew each other from Toronto before so we were a bit worried that we were just gonna be a weird British third wheel getting in the way but they were so welcoming. Don’t want to tell too many incriminating stories but after the Manchester show I did wake up in a flooded cellar not having a clue where I was, I went upstairs and there were a load of people I didn’t know in the kitchen, it took me a while to establish that I was actually at my friend Beth’s house as the people in the kitchen hadn’t been out with us. It was quite a disconcerting experience for all involved, me stumbling out of the cellar desperate to work out where I was exactly.
Do you have any live tricks or schticks you wheel out for the stage?
For a while we wanted our friend Pete to be a kind of Bez figure but we figured out that the way I move around on stage is so ridiculous that two people dancing like morons might be overdoing it a bit. We also do a great cover of ‘Zach’s Song’ from School of Rock but we haven’t rolled that out recently.
Your single ‘Sense’ / ‘Fading’ has just come out - what made you choose those two tracks as your next output?
I think there is a real contrast to the two songs and that they both show a different side to the band. We feel we have a wide range of influences and I think this release shows that. We chose to lead with 'Sense' even though 'Fading' is probably more of a traditional single due to its structure. That’s because as a band we see Sense as the song that defines us more than any other.
‘Sense’ was a long time in the making, wasn’t it?
Yeah, that’s partly why we feel the way we do about it. The original version of it was written when the band had a slightly different lineup in the cellar of the house where The Magic Gang and loads of other incredible bands wrote all their early songs. Personally for me, it’s a really important song because I have changed the lyrics so many times but the underlying theme of feeling like you’re fighting a losing battle against anxiety and depression has remained the same. I have pages and pages of old lyrics for that song but some of the original ones have remained. The other day I was reading the old lyrics and I realised how much my own understanding of mental health has changed since we first wrote it almost three years ago.
Do you have a lot of songs in your arsenal? Are you prolific chaps?
We’ve been writing so much recently and it's really exciting. There’s a real range to the stuff we’ve got written and we’re looking to demo it all by the end of the year so we can decide what is right for the next release and what we’re going to hold on to until it feels right like we did with ‘Sense’.
We have a load of bits that needs pulling together into full songs, I feel like we are all just finding confidence in our personal output. We all write our own parts so it’s really exciting to hear everyone’s take on the different ideas that come in.
What inspires you, musically or otherwise?
I don’t know if inspires is the right word but a lot of the aggression in our music comes from feeling alienated and dissociated. Lyrically a lot of the songs are expressions of discontent with capitalism and a comment on how a survival technique that many people around us seem to be adapting is just to try and switch off from and ignore politics because it is so depressing when you get involved in it. I have been politically active for around five years and it get’s really tough and really grinds you down because you’re constantly losing, I can totally understand why people just want to switch off from it, especially when their lives are so difficult anyway. We all find that the band is a good way of expressing anger at our surroundings and communicating those feelings.
In terms of songwriting and how I play guitar, it’s somewhere between a post-hardcore thing and just general alternative rock. Bands like Seaweed and Guided by Voices on the heavier side but also Pavement and Built to Spill on the more melodic side of it. It’s hard to put your finger on one specific thing with regard to that, everyone subconsciously absorbs stuff and regurgitates it in a way that makes sense to them if you know what I mean.
What’s it like being a young band in Brighton? Is it treating you well?
I think it’s pretty hard being a young band anywhere in the UK at the moment to be honest, I don’t think there is enough support for aspiring artists in general in the UK which is a real shame. Brighton is known for having a very active creative community and that is definitely true. A good example is the Fat Dog shows that our friends put on. They combine all of these amazing talents in film, music and art to create a really engaging and immersive experience. Would definitely recommend going along their next party!
Are The Magic Gang good housemates? Do they do all their washing up?
They are the best housemates! The only sad thing is we’re always on tour at different times so sometimes we’re lonely in the house without them and vice versa. But when we’re all at home it’s brilliant. Washing up-wise they’re all pretty good, Paeris doesn’t cook and lives solely off of white bread out of the bag so we don’t have to worry about him kitchen-wise, but we do often have to force feed him some veg.
What do you do for fun?
The same as any average twenty-something to be honest. I like collecting things, whether that be records or graphic novels. I read Watchmen for the first time recently and it blew my mind.
What’s next on the cards for Abattoir Blues?
We’re supporting The Big Moon on a couple of dates at the end of the month [October] and are also supporting a certain spooky band at the start of November for a few dates, don’t think we can tell you Wytch one yet though (apologies for the awful pun).
Taken from the November issue of Dork, out now - order your copy here. Abattoir Blues’ debut single ‘Sense’ / ‘Fading’ is out now.