Once again I had the chance to sit down with Charles Elliott, vocalist/guitarist for ABYSMAL DAWN. This time around we were discussing the tour they’re on that just started with CANNIBAL CORPSE, OBITUARY, and CRYPTOPSY, and all the heads that are gonna get busted in each and every city! Check it:
Amps: You’ve got this tour with CANNIBAL CORPSE, OBITUARY, and CRYPTOPSY!! ERMAHGERD, I can’t wait for this one!! Now, are you doing any writing or are you just focused on this run?
Charles: I’ve got a song and a half written right now. Writing has come to a halt for the meantime. I think as soon as this tour is done we’ll regroup and work on songs again. It’s always a clusterfuck to make tours happen (laughs), and there’s always a bunch of stress leading up to it, which puts a damper on creativity in a way.
Amps: The tour is a Death Metal fan’s dream come true. How much fun will this be for you? A lot more eyes are gonna be on you this time around.
Charles: Alex Webster (CANNIBAL CORPSE’S bassist) was laughing at how quickly we confirmed the tour. As soon as their management asked us, we confirmed in seconds (laughs)! We wanted to make it happen because we’ve toured with the CANNIBAL guys before and had a great time. That was one of the best tours we ever did. I grew up listening to all these bands and I’ve seen them a bunch of times. So now, to share a stage with them and do a proper Death Metal tour like this across North America is fuckin’ awesome.
Amps: I really think that the other three bands are gonna have to step their game up after you go on. Because I saw what this band can do in only a 20-minute set and I’m pretty sure after the first night they’re gonna realize that ABYSMAL DAWN is a force to be reckoned with.
Charles: I don’t know, man. But I think it’s gonna be a great tour from top to bottom. Hopefully we set the bar high when we get onstage and make the most of our time. I try not to look at it as too much of a competition because we’re friends with all the bands. I just consider it an honor to share the stage with them. Fans are gonna get a killer show from front to back.
Amps: Have you looked forward as far as getting the next record done?
Charles: We’re definitely looking to get it done sooner rather than later. It was three years between each of our last two albums, so I would like to keep momentum going a little bit more this time. We just seemed to run into roadblocks on the last two as far as getting them done in a timely fashion. I think us writing a bit more in advance and having more ideas this time around will be a big help.
Amps: You’ve got what, 30 minutes onstage this time? How’s the setlist shaping up?
Charles: Well, we’ve got four records so we want to represent them all. It’s always tough when you get to album number four and you’re trying to pick songs for a set. But we’re gonna do our best.
Amps: You get a smorgasbord of music. What on Earth is Charles Elliott listening to these days?
Charles: I really liked that TWITCHING TONGUES record (Disharmony), that KETZER record (Starless) was cool too. Other than that I couldn’t even tell you right now. I’m drawing a blank. Oh, that CRYPTOPSY EP (The Book of Suffering Tome 1) was great and so is the ABORTED EP (Termination Redux).
Amps: What, if anything, are you doing away from music to unwind and relax?
Charles: (Laughing) I don’t think I relax at all! I’m always busy, man. These last few years have been pretty nonstop and stressful at times, you know? I’m always making music or working, or recording stuff. I guess I’m a bit of a workaholic.
Amps: You have four albums out. Have you ever thought about doing a live album or EP? You know, something for the fans who don’t get to see the show in person?
Charles: I don’t know. It’s hard to capture the real essence of a band for a live album. I just want people to fuckin’ come to our shows. If you want to hear what we sound like live, come to the show. I don’t know if putting out a live record makes sense for us, you know? Especially the way the industry is going, I’m not sure how well those things do. It might be cool to do, maybe throw it out digitally, I don’t know…just put it out there for our fans.
Amps: You think we can avoid anybody getting sick on this tour, whaddaya think? Last run THREE of you got hit hard!
Charles: (Laughing) no way, dude. We’re gonna get sick every fucking time. We live in filth, we don’t get sleep, we probably drink too much, and I get sick every time without fail. It always seems like it comes at the end of the tour, too.
Amps: You are a publicist and you have to deal with knuckleheads on the phone probably all the goddamn day. When you know you have a tour like this coming up, what do you do to try and preserve the voice so you can get through all the dates?
Charles: I really couldn’t tell you, man. I try and drink a lot of water, which sucks when you’re on tour because you have to piss every 10 seconds. There’s some nights where it’s not sounding as good as it should, and there’s other nights where it sounds killer, you know? Then you get sick which fucks it all up. Nothing you can do about it, you just have to go with the punches and try to stay healthy. If I get a cold or something, and I told you this last time, I’ll have ONE beer before because it gets rid of that nasal drip and gets you through a show.
Amps: Looking into the crystal ball, what does the future hold for ABYSMAL DAWN?
Charles: That’s tough to say. We just want to make better records each time. We’re gonna start demoing stuff after this CANNIBAL CORPSE tour and hopefully have something out early next year, maybe. That’s the goal. And we’ll see where it goes from there. I’d definitely like to make more of a raw-sounding record again, but still sleek…I don’t know how to describe it.
Amps: How obsessive do you think you’ll be on the next album? What is your normal approach?
Charles: With every record I get more and more obsessive about things. The more I get into recording the more I get into the finer details of things, and I’m able to communicate that with whoever’s mixing or engineering it. Our records have only gotten tighter with time and they’ve been better put together. I just try to top the last record every time.
Amps: What is your current guitar/amp setup?
Charles: I’m playing my ESP guitars. My main one is an ESP E-II FRX. I’m running my Mesa Boogie Mark IV head. I have an ISP Decimator noise gate pedal and some MXR Dunlop overdrive pedals, and I’ll probably run this Mesa Boogie CabClone live.
Amps: What would you like to say to all the ABYSMAL DAWN fans out there in the world?
Charles: I just want to thank everyone for their support. It’s been really cool how much people have supported us. And thank you so much for supporting Death Metal and Extreme Metal in general. We hope to see all you guys on tour!
ABYSMAL DAWN is one of my favorite Death Metal bands on the planet. If you see them live on this tour I guarantee they’ll be one of yours, too. So what are you waiting for? Grab tickets HERE and we’ll see you in the pit!!
LIVE PHOTOS: ARDENT OWL MEDIA