A Pale Horse Named Death - Sal Abruscato

A Pale Horse Named Death - Sal Abruscato

Just a couple of weeks before A PALE HORSE NAMED DEATH kick off the US tour supporting the 25th anniversary DANZIG shows, METAL KAOZ had the opportunity to get in touch with the mastermind of the band, Sal Abruscato, who talked about the most recent release, "Lay My Soul To Waste", the upcoming live dates (US and Europe) and even about his plans for an upcoming studio album. So, read what Sal had to say and prepare yourselves to catch APHND on the road!

Hey Sal, it’s been almost 2 years since our last interview, so how are things in the APHND camp?
Things are exciting these days, we have a lot of good things happening.

APHND have been announced as part of the DANZIG anniversary shows so how much playing time will you have? Do you think APHND can reach to the DANZIG audience for some new fans?
We have a 30-minutes set, we feel its a great match for us to play with DANZIG and hopefully the fans will receive us well.

Have you decided for the final songs that you are gonna use for this tour? How many songs have you rehearsed? Is there any chance to do a TYPE O cover?
We have rehearsed all the songs but we have six for DANZIG, "To Die In Your Arms", "As Black As My Heart", "The Needle In You", "Growing Old", "Shallow Grave" and "Killer By Night". No, we will not do any TYPE O covers.

Also you have scheduled a show for the 10th anniversary of ‘Rock And Shock’ on October 18-20, 2013 in Massachusetts. Are you planning something special for that night?
We are just planning to kick ass and win fans over. We honored to be part of it and I look forward to seeing the other bands on the bill.

Let’s go to your latest release; how did you decide to name the new album “Lay My Soul To Waste”? I guess it is a paraphrase on “lay your soul to rest”, right?
Yes it is, it sounds lonely and empty to me which fits the mood of the music very well. I had that title for almost 2 years for the album; I just knew it was the right title.

What did you do differently in the new album as compared to the debut, “And Hell Will Follow Me”, from your point of view?
We just approached it that we wanted it to be a good progression from the first album, sounding bigger with more harmonies. Matt did a great job mixing along with Ted Jensen mastering the album.

Tell us a few words about the writing process of the second album. How long did it take you and did you face any difficulties during the entire process?
The process went well, I took my time and not stress over deadlines. It took around a year and a half to write without any pressure.

To my ears, “Lay My Soul To Waste” sounds darker, deeper and more esoteric than the debut; did this happen on purpose or it came out during the songwriting?
It was intentional to be darker sounding, and I kept it in mind always when I was writing. I wanted to be darker and heavier than the first album.

Do you think that this time you approached the music in a more Grunge-y way? I think I spotted some ALICE IN CHAINS finishing touches in songs like “The Needle In You” or “In The Sleeping Death”...
I just do what I like and it comes out that way. People associate us quite a bit with ALICE IN CHAINS and I find that to be a huge compliment.

As I said, your music is quite dark and bleak; what is the inspiration behind it? Does the songwriting play a cathartic role for you?
It’s therapy and a way to get out my inner demons. I have a big imagination when it comes to these stories. I am also a depressed person, so it is easy for me to think these thoughts.

With whom are you sharing the songwriting duties?
I pretty much write the complete skeleton of the song usually 90% done with lyrics and music and then during production Matt will have suggestions and musical additions that round out the song beautifully.

Have you already thought about the next APHND album? Is there any new music on the making? Any song-parts that were not used in “Lay My Soul To Waste”, maybe?
Yes, I have recorded some ideas for the third album and my mind is thinking about titles. It will all be fresh material no left overs from "LMSTW".

Also, you’ve a new bassist in the APHND camp, Dave Bizzigotti; where there any auditions for this spot? What were your requirements for a bassist and what Dave can bring to APHND?
Yes, we held auditions which are taxing on the mind, Dave knew all the songs and lives not far from where we rehearse. So far it’s been pretty good and we are still getting to know each other.

You've recently shot a video for “DMSLT” with director Aaron Beaucher; why did you choose this song? Are there any plans to shoot more videos in the near future?
We chose this song because it had not been played on the radio yet and "Shallow Grave" was out for a while already. For a very basic video we were pleased to put something out for the fans to watch and see us in higher quality video.

You have planned some live dates in Europe, starting on mid-February and ending in the beginning of March; what will be the supporting bands for this tour? How many songs are you gonna play?
We do not know who the opening band is yet. We will be playing around 70 minutes and lots of songs from both albums. I am looking forward to returning to Europe!

Well, Sal, thanks again for your time to answer my questions. See you and the APHND guys on the road really soon! The last words are yours.
Thank you for your support.