INTERVIEW: Abel Raise The Cain | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Many bands aim for a sound that can fill a big room without simply being loud, but Teessiders Abel Raise The Cain manage to create an atmospheric rock sound that’s big on sweeping, emotional build up and low on skimpy filler. They’re not so hot on quick three-minute thrash-fests but love slow, brooding build ups that inevitably end in a cathartic crescendo. They’re currently gearing up to release their latest single Black Swans, another emotionally charged, anthemic epic rock piece, which is released on Monday 27th July.

Ahead of the release, we talked to the band about Black Swans, what it’s like to have such a “big” sound and more.

Congratulations on the release of your new single! What have been the inspirations behind Black Swans?

Thank you, it’s good to be back releasing records again and doing an interview with the same publication that were the first to feature our very first single, so thanks for having us back! Black Swans was originally inspired, at least lyrically, by a friend of mine who sadly took his own life some time ago. It’s about the feeling of everything and everyone being against you and the feeling that you’re losing a battle, being at the end of your tether and in a position that leads some people to think that they can’t take anymore. Quite a heavy subject for a single I know but it’s reality; every song we write is always based around something real, the chorus is a message to say that if I could ever bring you back I would, and this time you wouldn’t be alone.

Like your previous singles, Black Swans has a very orchestral undertone to it; what draws you to using strings so frequently in your work?

The main reason is, (and I’m sure the band will agree) when I say we adore them, I love the sound of strings and I can’t really envisage us, at least at this point in time, ever making a song that doesn’t contain them. There’s no other instrument that evokes emotion in the same way; they add power and depth and they fit our songs and sound perfectly. The orchestral undertone is a cornerstone of our sound, and that is echoed throughout the EP.

Has the introduction of violinist Saerla Murphy helped to expand your sound?

Definitely 100%, always wanted to play with a violinist in the band, so we were lucky to run into her. She adds a lot of beautiful melodic lines that weave their way through the songs, she adds depth, melody and emotion, she adds the cherry on top of the music. She’s an amazing player and her playing takes our songs up a notch; everyone says so.

Is Black Swans representative of the sound on your forthcoming EP as a whole? 

As a whole, yeah definitely. We wanted to create a sound rather than just a load of completely different songs on the same CD, as one piece of music that ebbs and flows, all coming from the same place, on the same page. It will be one complete sonic soundscape punctuated by different melodies and lyrics, but in terms of the sound yeah, people can expect more of what they know of us: all out, epic, emotionally charged songs that build and build to towards a crescendo. Although, there is one on there which is a bit different for us, but as a whole we have stayed loyal to our sound. I think that’s what people expect from us and at this point that is what we love to do. In the future though? Who knows. I’d like the sound to evolve from record to record and maybe at some point put something completely different out that people wouldn’t expect from us, but for now this is where we are and we’re happy.

abel raise the cain 2

“every song we write is always based around something real”

When can we expect the release of the new EP?

We intend on being quite busy over the next few months, so we will be officially releasing Black Swans on Monday 27th July, the second single Hideaway on 7th September, the third single on 12th October and the EP For Strangers Only on Sunday 19th October. So there’s a lot going on at the min and we’re really excited.

You’ve supported the likes of Happy Mondays, Primal Scream, Dexy’s Midnight Runners and Catfish and the Bottlemen on tour, who all have quite different musical styles. Do you think your sound appeals to a wide set of music fans? Do you think there’s something universal about it?

I’d like to think that it does appeal to a wide range of people and I think in some respects it does. We always have a really good reception at festivals and all day events from a wide variety of people, which is great, and we’ve received messages of support from people all over the world, so I think the sound is quite universal. But then again, I think our songs may be too serious for some people. We don’t do the three minute long upbeat thrash along thing, and some people don’t have the patience to listen to a song which slowly builds and doesn’t really explode until the 4.15 min mark; some people can’t handle intense emotion in music and would rather listen to something they can dance and go wild to. That’s cool if you’re into that sort of thing, but it’s not for us, people are just different, A great lyricist once said “music divides us into tribes, you choose your side and I’ll choose my side.”

On the whole your songs are incredibly atmospheric and expansive; do you envisage that one day they might be played in a similarly big environment?

Thank you, that’s exactly what we aim for in the creation of the songs. We want to build an atmosphere, a sonic soundscape. I think our sound definitely works better on the bigger stage. We have a few festivals booked in this year and would love to expand on that next year. So yeah, the bigger environment the better, bring it on we’re ready!

Abel Raise the Cain release Black Swans on Monday 27th July.

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