Interview with Traverse the Abyss
Traverse the Abyss is a Pennsylvanian-based outfit that combines elements of metalcore, nü-metal, traditional heavy metal, thrash, hard rock, modern metal, and power pop. Earlier in the week I reviewed their highly-recommend debut album, "The Gamble of Life", and now it is my extreme pleasure to present this recently conducted interview.
Andy-Would you please introduce your band and tell us how you first came together.
Traverse the Abyss-Traverse the Abyss is Eric Abyss vocals, Iron Mike White Guitar, Seth Cardona Guitar, Mike Bnoc Bieniecki Bass/Backing Vocals and Nelson Negron Drums.The band first came together around April 2016 from members of Without a Martyr and Threatpoint. Eric, Bnoc, Iron Mike and Phil Luongo (TtA's original drummer) were the members of Without a Martyr, the band broke up at the end of 2014. Shortly after that Iron Mike and Eric joined a band called Threatpoint. After some time Eric was no longer part of Threatpoint and started to jam with Bnoc and Phil again. Shortly after that Iron Mike left Threatpoint and started writing music with Eric, Bnoc and Phil again. Although the members were the same as Without a Martyr, the new songs had a whole different style to it and decided it was best to go with a new name Traverse the Abyss.
Andy-I love your band's name! How did you settle on it?
Traverse the Abyss-We settled on the band name after a few weeks of brainstorming band names. Everyone was spit balling ideas, but none really clicked. Then one day Iron Mike called me (Eric) and said "Traverse the Abyss"and I paused for a second and said I like it, we presented it to the band and everyone was game with it. Iron Mike got the name from playing the video game Dark Souls, although we like to think of it as passing through dark times in your life. Life always has ups and downs and you must proceed through the bad to get to the good.
Andy-I couldn't agree more. Your debut album suggests a band where everyone listens to a little bit of everything. Is that the case or are these influences limited to just a few individuals?
Traverse the Abyss- That is definitely the case. everyone in the band has a very wide music taste. When writing we also like to approach each song with the idea of how can we make this song different then our others, but still have our sound to it. So that plays into having songs like "Aces High" and "All In" on the same album as "Bullets" and "Royal Flush".
Andy-There wasn't a lot of time between your formation and the album's recording. How in the world did you make it sound so professional and well thought out? I mean some of these songs sound as if they are longtime favorites of the band!
Traverse the Abyss-Well we were all pretty comfortable writing with each other since we were in past projects together. So the chemistry is there from the get go. The huge sound of the album was from JL studios, Joe Loftus is the man and is the reason our album sounds as big as it does. As for song writing and such, We like to try and do something different with each song to give our fans something fresh with every song. We really don't aim to sound like any band in particular, we just write what and how we like while a lot of bands till write specifically to appeal to a certain audience. We still toss up if it helps or hinders us, but at the end of the day we say screw it and keep doing our thing. Two of the songs on the album are recycled Without a Martyr songs "Diamonds" and "21 or Bust"that we really didn't get to push as much as we liked so those two were the first songs we rehearsed and then we wrote "Royal Flush" as the first Traverse the Abyss song.
Andy-How has the response been from your fans and other critics?
Traverse the Abyss- The response to our album has been pretty good so far I would say. We sold over 150 physical copies ourselves in a month or so of the release, put the album on Itunes, Spotify and Google Play. A great amount of positive response and a fair amount of negative as with anything.
Andy-Have any labels showed interest?
Traverse the Abyss- No labels yet, but we are a endorsed artist of Dirtbag Clothing. (Shout out to them) #dirtbag "wear it til it stinks"
Andy-Cool! Are you guys working on any new material?
Traverse the Abyss-We are working on material. We have some upcoming studio dates that we will be tracking new songs and aiming to have an EP release towards the end of summer/ fall.
Andy-I look forward to hearing it. What is the scene like in your neck of the woods?
Traverse the Abyss-Our scene is pretty tight knit up here. At times it can seem divided with genre, but not often. Mostly punk, metal, hardcore and covers bands here. Nonetheless, we have many talented artists and great bands in this northeastern Pennsylvania (NEPA).
Andy-What's the farthest you've gone for a show and do you ever come to Ohio?
Traverse the Abyss- The farthest I have ever gone for a show as Alabama I believe and probably California for Iron Mike and we have played in Ohio several times, these shows were with Threatpoint. With Traverse the Abyss we should be on the road by next year.
Andy-You'll have to let me know when you come to my part of Ohio (Cleveland/Akron). Who are some of the bands that you've shared the stage with?
Traverse the Abyss-Some bands that we have shared the stage with are Slapjaw, Glass Skeleton Death March, Threatpoint, City of Ember, Earthmouth, The Aegean, Corners of Sanctuary and many more.
Andy-You've added some new members since the release of your debut album. Why the changes?
Traverse the Abyss- We do have some new members Seth Cardona Guitar and Nelson Negron Drums. We have always talked about bringing in second guitar player to the band since formation. Around January a friend of ours referred us to Seth and it was a perfect fit, he came down our band room playing our songs for us without us showing him them. Although during that time our drummer Phil Luongo parted ways with us and we brought Nelson in to fill in and he was a solid fit and decided to stay with us.
Andy-Where can our readers go to find out more about your band?
Traverse the Abyss-You can find out more about us on our Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Reverbnation pages. Twitter @traversetabyss and Insta @traversetheabyssofficial. Don't be shy shoot us a message.
Andy-Thanks for taking the time to talk with us. I like to wrap up interviews by letting bands have the last say. Did we miss anything? Do you have any shout outs to give? Whatever it is have at it!
Traverse the Abyss-Nothing missed to me, great interview, thank you for having us.
We encourage you to stay updated and interact with us on our social media pages,that you enjoy our album "The Gamble of Life" and we hope to see you at a show soon, Tell a friend!
Andy-I will! Please let me know when your EP drops so that I can cover it.