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APHND’s Sal Abruscato: “I would totally consider doing something interesting with Kenny Hickey... maybe one day we could do something cool and create something or just have a one off moment door project would involve all three of us (with Johnny)..."

Interview with Sal Abruscato from A Pale Horse Named Death
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 06 April 2019, 9:36 PM

It is sure about time, but there were reasons. A Pale Horse Named Death, led by ex-Type O Negative drummer, Sal Abruscato, is back in the fold. Recently, a new album was released, titled “When The World Becomes Undone”, via SPV’s sub-label, Long Branch Records. Steinmetal had a chat with Sal, while the band’s tour in Europe, about the vision behind the album, inspirations, future opportunities and more.

Hello Sal, it is a privilege having you for this interview for Metal Temple online magazine. How have you been doing sir?

I’ve been doing great been on the road out here in Europe.

It has been quite some time since the last A Pale Horse Named Death album, nearly six years ago. What kept you guys all this time?

A lot has gone on in my life. My second daughter Josie was born disabled and that changed our lives. I also got involved playing and recording with other bands. Life just got really complicated and I needed time.

May your daughter live a good healthy life, I wish you nothing but the best. I can only assume how tough it is, yet I am also sure that there is a lot joy of a new life in the family

The chosen title for your new album, released by Long Branch Records, is “When The World Becomes Undone”. I thought about it and up until now, I still can’t put my finger on what you meant by it, kind of cryptic. Can you explain this intriguing title?

It was in 2014 when I was in a hotel room watching TV in Europe and there was all this crazy stuff going on with terrorists and people killing people. It just made me think that the world was unraveling in becoming undone and that’s when the title hit me.

It is connected with what was and is going on in the world, as well as personal tribulations and battles inside myself, manic depression, chaos and despair.

Do you believe that your inspiration to write “When The World Becomes Undone” maintained a focus on states of affairs or events in the early days of the band? What actually was your inspiration for this album?

Inspirations was from personal family problems, betrayals with friends and the insanity of the planet, global chaos etc. The lyrics, basically, all came to me after I was working on the album in the beginning of 2018 and I had a lot of sketches from over the years that I was working with. I knew in my head how things are going to go in. Once I set down and we started recording, it just all came out.

Musically, I must say that “When The World Becomes Undone” is rather different than the previous two albums. It bears an even darker and grimmer shadow, yet less heavy, in much closer proximity to mid to late 90s Type O Negative albums, “October Rust” and “World Coming Down”, an era of the band where you weren’t involved. Do you agree with that assessment? What is your view regarding this album’s differentiation from its early predecessors?

I don’t know, I feel that it was a natural progression I wanted to do, you know, progress in a way that retains the sounds and quality from the first two albums but also showing improvement and progression of the band musically, lyrically and vocally. Of course it was also much more personal subject matter which seems to hit people hotter. Whether it relates to the mid period of Type O Negative, I don’t know, but it is I think a natural progression that represents where we are right now very well.

What can you tell about the instrumental parts? These are sure enigmatic concepts, which some appeared to me like constant suffering. What is the intention of those instrumentals?

Pretty much to take the listener into a dream fantasy state where they can relate their pain to the music and having lush guitars in and melodies and embellishments that sound beautiful with very heavy music underneath. This is something that I love to do very much and kind of hypnotic for people and basically just a trip a real head trip.

Which of the album’s songs do you feel that made this album, made you wonder through it time and time again? Please elaborate your choice

Of course for me the title track. It is a very beautiful representation of creativity and musical diversity of the band and my mind. I also feel that “Love The Ones You Hate” is a personal favorite of mine along with “Splinters”, which is very personal to me, reflecting dreams of the end is also a song to contemplate suicide throughout from beginning to end. “Vultures” is a good representation of things of gone through where are, you know, people come around only when there are good times and you got something to offer and there’s something for them to take from you, but when you hit rough times, everyone, who was supposedly your friend, disappears so that kind of sums it up right there, but you know all the songs are my children so I love them all.

A slightly off question, how do you see the world today and how does it transpires in what races through your mind when you write music? While writing, have you ever struggled with yourself regarding dystopian or utopian visions?

I still think the world today is in a messed up situation globally, politically and humanitarian wise. I don’t know what’s next, I don’t know what’s going to happen, but it definitely influences me with my dark thoughts, lyrics, songwriting and how it affects me.

Next year it is going to be the 10th anniversary to Peter Steele’s death, yet also the decade anniversary for A Pale Horse Named Death. Has it crossed your mind to produce a set of shows as a memorial, a kind of memorial that would also looks to the future with a commemoration of your band’s ongoing legacy?

Not sure about that, not really. I did come up with a concept in January 2009 so technically it’s already the idea is 10 years old. As far as memorials for Peter Steele, I think we pay tribute and give him a memorial kind of every time we think of him and play a show. Plenty of influences and stuff that we learned from him and he’s always in our minds, so honestly we don’t need to have a memorial because we think about Peter all the time.

Earlier on, you teamed up with John Kelly, the guy that replaced you back in the day in Type O Negative on drums. I wonder if there is a slight chance that in the future you would also join forces once more with ex-Type O Negative / Seventh Void, guitarist / vocalist, Kenny Hickey? Has it been an option under your consideration? It might prove to be a great move

I would totally consider doing something interesting with Kenny Hickey. I don’t know if he would do something with us, but the fact that me and Johnny work together so well, you know, maybe one day we could do something cool and create something or just have a one off moment door project that would involve all three of us. I’m open minded to it all.

Sal, I thank you for this interview. I have been finding your band interesting since your debut, you always find a way to capture my attention right from the get go. I thank you for that as well. All the best mate, and keep it up, don’t be gone for too long.

Thank you I really appreciate the opportunity and your support. It’s flattering that you’ve liked the band since the beginning. I don’t think I’ll be gone that long I’ve had things happen in my life and it was some of the stuff that happen to get this away for five years, but we’re already discussing the future and future tours. We hope to continue this this legacy that we have and carry the sound that is from our roots. So I would just say stay tuned because you’re probably going to see more a lot sooner from Us than later thank you.


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