Every October, I run my ‘Halloween Horror Celebration’. At the end, on Halloween, I attempt to do something special for my readers. Does it always work? Not even close. As with life in general, sometimes events conspire to stop even the best laid plans. Let’s take this interview as an example.
I was scheduled to attend a concert with A Pale Horse Named Death, Texas Hippie Coalition, Butcher Babies, and headlined by Danzig on his 25th anniversary tour. Needless to say, I was excited. Then, my mother had a stroke. At that point, I realized that making it to the show, which was a two and a half hour drive, was going to be a no go. There was no way I could leave town while my mother was in the hospital.
So, on the day of the show, October 23, 2013, I called Sal and we ended up doing a phone interview, the first part of which is published here. After getting the interview, I set my digital recorder on the counter and went and picked up my three year old son from daycare.
As soon as we got home, like a magnet to steel, my son rushed right for the digital recorder, grabbed it before I could stop him, and started pushing buttons. I heard beeps and clicks and more beeps; the dreaded sounds of deletion. My heart broke. I took the recorder from him, set it on a shelf, and left it alone. All I could think was that my interview with Sal was gone. My interview with one of the founders of one of my favorite bands of all time, Type O Negative, and the founder of my Album of the Year winner, A Pale Horse Named Death, was gone.
In preparation of other interviews that I have set up, I pulled the digital recorder off the shelf to dust it off. I then found that my son miraculously hadn’t deleted the interview. So, here we are. The interview with Sal Abruscato, conducted via phone on October 23, 2013.
As I called Sal, he was in the process of putting on coffee. I asked him how the tour was going so far.
I’m doing everything. We’re all doing a lot of different jobs aside from playing on this tour.
I was surprised when I contacted your publicist and he told me my contact was going to be Sal. I was like ‘the Sal!?’
Yeah, I gotta do everything myself, Matt has to do everything himself. We are multitasking and wearing a lot of different hats just to make the tour work, cause we know it’s important to break the ice in the United States. In Europe it’ll be a little easier for us, we’ll have people working for us.
You guys have a pretty decent sized following in Europe, right?
We’re a little bit bigger than here, you know, we’ve already done two tours over there on our own. We’re a little bit more established. We never got to tour, we never had the right situation in the United States on the first album. This time around, we’ve popped our cherry.
How has the crowd reaction been here in the US?
We have actually been really surprised at how many people are waiting at the beginning of the night to see us play. What happens, is it’s a lot of fans who have been following us since the first record, and then we have people coming up to us who have never seen us or heard of us before and their coming up to us and buying the CD saying ‘You guys are great. I’ve never heard of you until tonight. You’ve got a fan now’. So we know that whatever we’re doing is working to definitely get people converted. The best part of being out there is getting new fans, not only play for the existing ones. We’re getting more fans by playing these bigger shows with bigger artists.
I’m a big Type O Negative fan, since Bloody Kisses. (At this point in the interview, I regaled Sal with the story of how I discovered A Pale Horse Named Death. You can read about it here, in my review of the album.) You were one of the founding members of Type O Negative, and you have Johnny Kelly in the band, who took over for you in Type O. How has the fan reaction been? Do you have the Type O fans coming out?
Definitely, there have been a bunch of Type O fans showing up with Type O shirts and then there are fans who are just on their own with us. Type O Negative fans just gravitate to us. It’s pretty cool because they are getting a big kick out of it; me and Johnny signing their stuff. It’s pretty neat to them to get their old catalog stuff from older records and get us to sign it all. It’s definitely cool and I’m really happy , I guess honored, that they’ve embraced the band.
How do you feel personally about the obvious comparisons between the two bands? When I did my review of the album, I tried to avoid the obvious comparisons, but I failed miserably.
It’s not a bad thing. Me and Peter (Peter Steele, deceased vocalist for Type O Negative) started out by being into the same kind of music when we started Type O; we were into the ’80’s goth, we were into (Black) Sabbath, and all that stuff. I take that as a compliment. My roots come from the same place. I loved the music we were doing in Type O, and I wanted to come back to doing what I really liked and back to where I come from. I was part of that start. That depression that we all had, so that just kind of comes with me. When people like to compare, it’s like a tribute and an honor. Like when they compare us to Alice in Chains, I couldn’t ask for a bigger compliment. There’s not many bands out there that could pull that kind of stuff off. I didn’t really shoot for that, it’s just what I do, and just happen to be categorized like this. I don’t own any Alice in Chains records, I have a ‘best of’, but I wasn’t super infatuated with them. I don’t think they had a big influence on me, but I seem to linger in the same music range and register. To me, it’s better than them saying I sound like a band that sucks.
And here we end part one of my interview. Part 2 will be up shortly. Until that time, enjoy a couple tracks off of A Pale Horse Named Death‘s Lay My Soul to Waste.