Theoretically thinking about a three way with Iron Maiden, Metallica, and Motorhead can only lead to one conclusion. That must mean Abstrucktor is up.
Touring in support of their latest album, Judgement of Terror, this Boston, MA quartet is staying busy. Being made up of Phil Slopak (bass), Brendan O’Hare (guitar), Alex Fewell (drums), and Matvey Spitkovsky (vocals), the guys are venturing further and further from the New England area on their way to Full Terror Assault 2015. Phil sat down with us at National Rock Review for a few minutes to discuss what’s going on with the band. We’re still not sure we want to see Lemmy, ever, in porn, but that’s just us. Enjoy the conversation below.
NRR: What’s been going on with the band in the last year to catch the Full Terror Assault fans up to speed?
Phil Slopak: We have been supporting our debut LP, Judgement of Terror, released in November of 2014. Did a ripping tour in April along the East Coast in support, played with some rad bands (Viking, Posessor) and we’ll be hitting the road again this October branching out way more midwest. Alex has been drumming with us for just under a year now, he’s been killing it. We’re also working on material for our next full-length, shooting for a 2016 release!
NRR: So, not much, huh? Hopefully, you guys have a great time on stage this year. Are you looking forward to anything in particular at FTA 2015?
Phil Slopak: It’s awesome to be part of a new tradition, in that there really are very few if any I can think of, European-style open air metal festivals here in the States. You have Death Fest in Maryland, but that’s really it. The lineup is stacked too, which makes it so much more enticing. But we are all looking forward to getting out of Boston and road-trip our way out there. Can’t really camp out in Boston, so the scenery change is something we are all very much looking forward to.
NRR: Tell me about Abstruktor. How did you form, pick the name, etc?
Phil Slopak: Abstruktor started when Mat, the rhythm guitarist/singer, and I were neighbors in Brookline, MA. We started casually jamming and writing riffs based on our mutual affinity for crossover thrash and Motorhead, and after much beer drinking, had an album’s worth of songs written. Through trial and error and a few lineup changes, we have this carnation of the band with Alex Fewell on drums and Brendan O’Hare on guitar.
As far as the band name, Abstruktor was penned by Mat, no doubt as a result of his alcohol abuse. We decided to go the fake word route, misspelled because we aren’t really too smart.
NRR: There seem to be two camps this year on a derisive issue, so I’ll ask you guys. One or the other, but not both: whiskey or beer?
Phil Slopak: We’re pretty heavy beer drinkers I’d say although we do indulge in whiskey quite a bit.
NRR: You have a future in politics. If FTA rolled out the red carpet, for anyone that you guys would want, is there anyone you’d love to have onstage for a song or two, and if so who might it be?
Phil Slopak: Easy. For me, Bobby Liebling, Mike Muir, or Lemmy.
NRR: What can we expect from the band after FTA is a dark, decaying corpse of a walking metal zombie until 2016?
Phil Slopak: Our music is getting faster, deadlier, heavier, and more sinful, so keep those ears out for it. And you’ll probably be seeing us out on the roadway more often!
NRR: Is there a band or bands on this year’s FTA line-up that you are looking forward to seeing as fans?
Phil Slopak: Absolutely! We’re buds with the guys in Revocation, so it’ll be good to hang with them! I haven’t seen them with their new drummer yet. We’re also really looking forward to catching Obituary, Napalm Death, Terrorizer, Eyehategod, and Valient Thorr especially.
Abstruktor – Hail of Fire
NRR: If you had to describe your sound, what would a new fan expect to hear on the first dose of Abstruktor’s apocalypse theme songs?
Phil Slopak: If Motorhead and early Metallica had a threesome with Iron Maiden, you’re about there. Maybe throw a pinch of Sepultura and Sabbath for good measure.
NRR: You’re a newer band compared to some of the guys on the bill. Are merch sales vital to the band’s continued growth?
Phil Slopak: I suppose from a financial standpoint selling merch on the road helps fund your way to the next city, but I don’t necessarily think it’s important for band growth. For us it’s ultimately about performance and engagement, getting people excited. We want people to see our show and go “what the fuck just happened, that was amazing!” That’s going to get people to come back and see you.
NRR: From the crowd’s vantage point, what does a show of yours look and feel like live and up close?
Phil Slopak: We are a high energy, run around the stage kind of band like Pantera, Metallica, Suicidal Tendencies, etc. We feed off live energy and getting the crowd involved. That’s one aspect of the underground/DIY scene that is incredibly important, and I feel is sorely lacking. The bottom line, though, is that no one wants to see a band just standing there on stage looking like they don’t want to be there!
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Photo Credit: Hillarie Jason Photography