Becoming has a different feel compared to In the Absence of Light. What do you attribute that to?Ken Sorceron: Just looking back our catalog I would say each release has a different feel actually. I think we are proving to be one of those bands that recreates itself whenever and however we feel like it. It’s caused a huge loss in fan base since our start, but to be honest we really don’t care about that and we just want to put out music that interests us.
The new album has a dirtier, rawer quality to it. Was that intentional?
Ken Sorceron: Yeah, definitely. A lot of this has to do with handling the production from top to bottom and making sure we end up with the exact sound we want in the end. There was a lot of atmosphere lost on our last record because it’s hard for someone else to get exactly what you want. We didn’t use any triggers on the drums, no sound replacing bs, etc. We wanted it to sound how we would live in the room basically.
I like how there’s bits of everything in Becoming. Lots of surprises. Like the “Seek And Destroy”-like riff in “Infinite Fields of Mind” around the 6:30 mark.
Ken Sorceron: Thanks. Yeah, at first we weren’t sure about that riff, but once we listened to the finished product it somehow fit in the song great. We don’t like to limit ourselves to certain types of riffs.
You did the mixing, mastering, production and engineering duties on Becoming. What does that entail exactly?
Ken Sorceron: It entailed doing the drums at our friend’s studio, Michael Keene of The Faceless and he worked with us on that end and he even let us use his drums. Once we finished up there the tracking was mostly done at another warehouse, which we use to rehearse in. We had to leave for the tour with Mayhem tour before the album was finished, so I did vocals for three songs at different friends’ houses and mixed and mastered from the road basically. We had to take the entire recording setup on tour with us.
You close Becoming with “Beyond the Veil,” a 17-plus minute epic. Did the track just keep writing itself or were you aware you were heading in the long song direction?
Ken Sorceron: Any song, whether long or short, is the result of the song just going where it needs to go I would say, at least on this record. I tried to just let the parts tell me how long they want to go on.
Were you careful to not overuse the non-metallic instrumentation on Becoming? Whether they be keyboards or violins?
Ken Sorceron: Not really. I would say we used even less on our last album actually. Very little keyboards were used on Becoming, however; and most of what you hear is real strings. There are no synthesized strings on this record.
How did drummer Zach Gibson re-enter the fold?
Ken Sorceron: After the departure of our last drummer I called him up and asked him to play on the record and he said sure. He’s always been in the fold in one way or another so it made sense.
You’re also a five-piece now. You’ve had quite a few members over the last few years. Think you got the right combo this time?
Ken Sorceron: We are a five piece live, yes. Abigail Williams is actually officially a two piece since the departure of our last drummer and anyone else is strictly session or live right now. We added a third guitar player live to make the layers present on Becoming a reality for live shows.
The tour schedule for Q1 2012 is intense. I guess the road’s the place to make it now.
Ken Sorceron: I guess. To make what though I’m not sure. [Laughs] Touring has been pretty expensive for us the last couple of years, but we believe strongly in working hard to earn a fan base in the live setting. We often get mismatched on a lot of tours we don’t fit on, but we aren’t going to wait at home forever for the tours that we would like to do and even if a small portion of the crowd gets what we do it’s enough for us.
Future look: What do you think 2012 has to offer Abigail Williams?
Ken Sorceron: I’m sure we will work on a new album later in 2012 and hopefully work out another album for early 2013. We already have a ton of material so we are already eager to record it.
** Here’s the new track “Ascension Sickness” off Becoming.
Abigail Williams – Ascension Sickness by Decibel Magazine
** Abigail Williams’ new album, Becoming, is out January 24, 2012 on Candlelight Records. Pre-order HERE, or find yourself on the set of Ancient Aliens.