Abaddon (Venom) drummer interview
Q. Introduce Yourself.
A. My name is Abaddon, founder and original drummer for the English thrash metal band Venom.
Q. How did you get involved in music and drums?
A. I have always been interested in heavy metal and hard rock from a very early age. Some of my favourites include: Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Pink Floyd and any band with a colour in its name (laughs). I became a drummer because we couldn’t find anyone else who wanted to do it.
Q. Where did the name Abaddon come from?
A. It’s Hebrew, Appolyon the destroyer was charged with creating humans.
Q. How did Venom Inc come together?
A. I was at a gig in my home town of Newcastle (UK) when Tony and Jeff got up to play a Venom track at a festival there. The promoter of a German festival called ‘Keep It True’ was there and was surprised when I did not get up with them. He saw an opportunity for this to happen at his festival some months later and it was only supposed to be a one-off event, but we have been getting offers to play ever since.
Q. As an original Venom member, what are your thoughts on Cronos releasing new music under the Venom name?
A. I lost interest in the whole thing for quite a few years, and Jeff was going through a bad patch and Cronos took advantage of the situation and took the name and my original logo. I don’t care what he does, I’m only interested in our situation now and where that is going.
Q. What is your favourite Venom album?
A. I think it’s common knowledge that Prime Evil is my favourite. Welcome to Hell started it, Black Metal defined a culture and sub-genre, but Prime Evil was a rebirth and a fucking great album to do it with.
Q. Biggest drum influence? (I too am a drummer and you are one of mine)
A. Cozy Powell and Ian Paice. They are the sound of my teenage years. Thank you for saying that about me, I guess it’s the same for you. These are the sounds I grew up too.
Q. In 1988, Cronos left Venom and was replaced by Tony ‘Demolition Man’ Dolan. How did this change the foundation of the band, and how did the fans react back then?
A. The band was reborn as I’ve mentioned, but most staunch fans didn’t like it. Hardcore metal fans don’t like change too much, but it was such a strong album, that we rode the wave generated by it.
Q. What was the reason for Cronos’s departure?
A. I’d already left after Calm Before the Storm and he was left with the nucleus of that band, the two guitar players I got in the band Jim Clare and Mike Hickey, so he just needed a drummer, change the name of the band to Cronos and continue. I told him that I was carrying on as Venom.
Q. After ‘Cast in Stone’ Cronos brother ended up drumming for Venom. How did this happen?
A. Because after the Cast album, and a subsequent tour, Jeff Eric Cook (Venom’s manager) and myself had a meeting and decided we couldn’t work with Cronos once again, so I wrote to him and sacked him. Next thing I knew Cronos and Jeff were working on the next album in Germany. They sent me the tape of what would become Resurrection to do the drum parts… I told them to fuck off. Cronos rang his brother he flew out and did it.
Q. Venom’s first albums are notorious for their sound quality. How were they recorded originally?
A. Very quickly on a shoe string budget. We were new to it all, the equipment was old and weary. The studio was not used to our infernal racket, mics, headphones, monitors were breaking, they just couldn’t handle the cacophony.
Q. I can’t wait for the Adelaide show, how is the rest of the band feeling to do an Australian tour?
A. Well of course everyone is pumped up, I think we’ve got a lot of likeminded friends down under, but we’ve got a lot to prove also. I can’t fucking wait man.
Q. Any advice for young metal musicians today?
A. Yeah…. Get together in a church or school hall and make mistakes. But enjoy making mistakes. Play from the heart like it’s your last chance at that fucking song. Then learn to laugh with your mates when it falls apart and then do it all again.
Q. Any drum tips for metal drummers?
A. Just get the best equipment you can afford, try lots of different cymbals and sticks and heads. Try other people’s gear if they’ll let you. Talk to others about technique and playing. Learn a few basic rudiments. BUT MOST OF ALL…….. HAVE FUCKING FUN!
Q. Final words?
A. I’m absolutely buzzing about being able to come and play for you guys. Oh, and come and say hello.
Text Copyright Jakam Kourasanis 2018. All Rights Reserved.