A Ripple Conversation With Josh Abbott, Vocalist From Fatality
When I was a kid, growing up in a house with Cat Stevens, Neil Diamond, and Simon and Garfunkel, the first time I ever heard Kiss's "Detroit Rock City," it was a moment of musical epiphany. It was just so vicious, aggressive and mean. It changed the way I listened to music. I've had a few minor epiphany's since then, when you come across a band that just brings something new and revolutionary to your ears. What have been your musical epiphany moments? The first time I put on a Linkin Park CD. I’m pretty sure it was Hybrid Theory, their first album. It was something completely different to the style of music that was out at the time and what I had heard before. It was completely innovative and fresh, combining metal, rock and hip-hop in such a way that just sounded HUGE. Just like the way you described how Kiss’ Detroit Rock City changed the way you listen to music. The Hybrid Theory album did the same for me. Talk to us about the song-writing process for you. What comes first, the idea? A riff? The lyrics? How does it all fall into place? We don’t have a specific process. We feel that it would make it too uniformed if we stuck to a specific songwriting routine. Usually Gareth will play a riff or Jordan will lay down a beat and we’ll just jam along, thinking of ideas on the spot until we have something that we think sounds really cool. Then we’ll build a song around that idea, going back and forth, chopping and changing parts, relentlessly analysing each part of the track until it’s finished. That being said we don’t truly believe a song is ever finished. There’s always room for improvement so we may come back to a song 6-12 months later and think “Wait. That bit can be better. Let’s do this instead” so we’re always thinking and always writing. Who has influenced you the most? It’s hard to pin down just one band each. We all have multiple favourite bands spanning across loads of different styles of music. One of Gareth’s top bands would have to be Fear Factory. Matt really likes Volbeat. Jordan is a huge fan of As Blood Runs Black and one of Josh’s biggest inspirations is Jacoby from Papa Roach. So bands like Slipknot, Fear Factory, Papa Roach, Linkin Park. These are bands that we all looked up to as kids and bands that we really wanted to emulate. That big stage feel! Where do you look for continuing inspiration? New ideas, new motivation? Everything can be an inspiration for new music. Personal life events, world events, other music, video games etc. Right now due to the tough times in the world our main inspiration is literally just making music together. Writing, recording, performing in a room with 4 really good friends. It’s just and extra bonus for us that we can share that with people across the world. We're all a product of our environment. Tell us about the band's hometown and how that reflects in the music? We’re mainly all from Chelmsford in Essex, UK. It doesn’t really have a reflection in our music to be honest. We all draw our main influences from our own personal lives, favourite bands and things that happen in the world. I can’t say that our hometown has really affected the music we play at all. Where'd the band name come from? We’re all huge video game fans so when it came to trying to come up with a name we were coincidentally playing one of the all time greatest games ever Mortal Kombat. I won a fight and when the words ‘FATALITY’ flashed up on the screen in blood I said “That would make a good band name” and it just stuck! You have one chance, what movie are you going to write the soundtrack for? Something with some cool fight scenes. I think our newer material has got that sort of vibe to it. Maybe something with Jason Statham, like ‘The Transporter’. Or maybe a new heavy soundtrack for THE greatest Christmas movie of all time, ‘Die Hard’. You now write for a music publication (The Ripple Effect?). You're going to write a 1,000 word essay on one song. Which would it be and why? It would have to be something long so there’s plenty to write about haha! How about ‘Save Me’ by Avenged Sevenfold. A nice 11 minute song with plenty of different sections to analyse with it all coming to a crescendo at the end. Sorted. Come on, share with us a couple of your great, Spinal Tap, rock and roll moments? Haha this is a question that’s come up a few times and I never tire from telling it. For one show Gareth, our guitarist decided to wear some old cargo shorts. He was getting into a power stance when his shorts decided to tear completely from top to bottom, exposing himself (yes his ‘little Gareth) to every single person in the front row…at eye level. I’m so surprised he didn’t get arrested for indecent exposure after the show as literally everyone saw it. This is why you’ll never see Gareth wearing old or cheap shorts on stage! Tell us about playing live and the live experience for you and for your fans? We love to give everything we have when we play live. Our fans know they will get high energy, tons of interaction, big sounds and one tired lead singer! We will play until we drop, but we won’t drop until we get off stage. We’ve had people approach us after a show and tell us that our music wasn’t necessarily their thing at the start of our set but by the time we’d finished they were jumping around like the rest of the audience! We really pride ourselves on that constant flow of energy and crowd interaction, that way we in the band have an amazing time with the people that come to see us. What makes a great song? Personal preference. A great song is all down to what each individual person likes. Some people like a catchy hook whereas some people like no repetition at all. You can’t nail down a ‘perfect formula’ because there isn’t one. If all people had exactly the same tastes then maybe that’s possible. But what a boring world that would be! Tell us about the first song you ever wrote? The first song we wrote as a band was self titled. It was back in 2016 when we’d first started. The band consisted of myself, Gareth on guitar (we didn’t have a bass player at the time) and our ex drummer Chris. It was pretty heavy compared to what we do these days. There was no clean vocal and the lyrics were pretty violent. I think I may have had some issues at the time haha! We still write heavy music but we have a more constructive writing process rather than just big riffs and angry lyrics haha What piece of your music are particularly proud of? I would have to say our latest single ‘The Lesson’. It’s a track that holds a strong message about the human race, how we can be better to each other and stand up for what is right. It hits hard, it builds really well and is pretty structurally sound in our opinion. I guess the audiences will have to make up their mind when they hear it as to what our strongest piece of music is. Who today, writes great songs? Who just kicks your ass? Why? Lin-Manuel Miranda. I have to say that Hamilton is one of THE best musicals ever made, plus he did wrote the music for Moana and plenty of other Disney material which by nature has a lot to live up to and he absolutely kills it! Vinyl, CD, or digital? What's your format of choice? Got to be CD, the audio quality is higher with CD than on vinyl. Digital is better quality than CD but there’s no physical copy to keep. Therefore CD wins. Whiskey or beer? And defend your choice Both at the same time. Let’s boilermaker it up. Do I need to defend that? I think we’re all in agreement. We, at the Ripple Effect, are constantly looking for new music. What's your home town, and when we get there, what's the best record store to lose ourselves in? We’re from Chelmsford, Essex, UK and this question makes me sad. Unfortunately independent record stores aren’t really a thing anymore in Chelmsford. There’s one or two like Intense records. If anyone from Chelmsford, Essex is reading this please correct me and tell me if there are other independent record shops. We would all love to come and visit. What's next for the band? So whilst we still can’t play any live shows we’re trying to keep our listeners ticking over by releasing a number of singles throughout the year. We’ve already released ‘Juggernaut’ and ‘The Lesson’ (which you can find on any streaming platform and free download on our BandCamp page) and we have plans to release a new track every 6-8 weeks until we can play live again. This means that there will also be a brand new album containing some of these tracks and some brand new unheard ones in the not too distant future. Until then we’re going to keep doing what we enjoy doing. Writing tunes that we all enjoy to play, performing passionately as and when we can and having a damn good go at smashing through all and any glass ceilings that come before us. Any final comments or thoughts you'd like to share with our readers, the waveriders? Yes! Thanks so much for the interview and whoever has taken time out of their day to read my waffling! We’d love for the Waveriders to check our new music out and let us know what you think of it and what you’d like to hear. You can stream our music on all streaming platforms and download our tracks through our BandCamp page and you can get in contact with us through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and on our website.