Abigail: the Sluttiest Band in Japan, or Just the Funniest?
Once hailed as “The Most Evil Band In Japan” by someone — possibly themselves — Tokyo black-thrashers Abigail have a long-running obsession with sex. When guitarist, vocalist, bassist and mastermind Yasuyuki Suzuki started the band in 1992 with drummer Youhei Ono, they adhered to black metal’s tried and true lyrical traditions of Satanism and blasphemy. But their 1996 full-length debut marked the dawn of a greasier direction. Titled Intercourse & Lust, the album paved the way for future carnal fixations: 2002’s Sexual Metal Holocaust EP, 2003’s Forever Street Metal Bitch (featuring “We’re the Pussy Hunter” and “Hey Slut!”) and 2010’s rip-roaring Sweet Baby Metal Slut (featuring “Tokyo Pussy Girl,” “Satanic Hell Slut,” “Teenage Metal Fuck” and, greasiest of all, “Sweet Bloody Cunt”). The band’s latest, The Final Damnation, keeps their collective erection aloft with “Sex & Metal” and “Sweet Baby Metal Sluts,” which you’d think would’ve been on the Sweet Baby Metal Slut album, but isn’t for reasons explained below.
Anyway: Abigail and Suzuki’s other band, Barbatos, played at the Metal Threat Fest in Chicago back in July. “It was great shows!” Suzuki enthuses. “I was very fun drink beers with friends and bands. Sure we hope back to USA soon!” Due to the language barrier, Suzuki asked to do this interview — like all of his English-language interviews — via email. Our Japanese being considerably worse than his English, we were happy to oblige.
Why does Abigail deserve the title “Most Evil Band In Japan”?
Who said it? I don't remember it. But there were no crazy evil metal band like us in 1992. I think Abigail and Sigh only.
Which band do you think is the most evil band of all time — and why?
Bathory! Bathory established original black metal sounds. That screaming vocal is really cool! Sure, I love Viking-era albums, too. Exploring new music style every albums. I really enjoyed all albums.
According to the Internet, Abigail have 23 live albums. Why so many?
Really? I don't refuse [any] offer, so I think that [is why] there are so many live albums. But recently I'm releasing live albums from H.M.S.S. Records only. This label is very special for us.
What do you like about live albums?
Yes, I love live albums because there is new discovery. Drum speed [on] almost [all] live albums are faster than original album. Hearing other new cool songs, different lead guitars, out sounds vocals. My favorite live album is Bulldozer’s Alive … in Poland. Drums is faster and Andy [Panigada]'s lead guitars are better than original album!
You named Abigail after King Diamond’s second album. Do you know if King Diamond is aware of this? Or if he’s ever heard your music?
Yes, I taken the band name from King Diamond second album. This is my favorite album every times. If King ever heard our music, it's no problem! If he listen our albums, I think he say too much punk! Ha ha. King is top artist.
The theme of sex has always been a big part of Abigail. Why is this important for you to include in your lyrics?
It's simple because I influenced from '80s black metal bands like Venom, Bathory, Bulldozer, Sodom, etc. These bands' lyrics are writing about sex and Satan. It's best for black metal.
How would you describe your relationship with Satan?
To read Venom, Bulldozer, Bathory lyrics! Ha ha.
Do you still read porno mags for lyrical inspiration?
Yes I still love porno mags and movie. But I'm not diehard collector recently. Tired get collection.
What’s your favorite porno mag?
Recently? There is no good mags. Japanese porno mags were really great 20 years ago.
The Final Damnation is your first full-length since 2010’s Sweet Baby Metal Slut, but you’ve put out tons of EPs, splits and live albums in that time. Why did you choose to focus on those releases rather than a new full-length?
I told you last question I didn't refuse any offer. Also I love release the split 7” EPs. I think it's best for promotion stuff for the band. I forget to put out the full album. Ha ha.
What do you like best about your new album, and why?
I think new album The Final Damnation is our best album. New album is back to our roots fast black metal days. Then production is brutal and best.
What’s the inspiration behind the new song “No Pain! No Limit!”?
This lyrics writing about Japanese pro wrestler Jun Kasai. We are printing collaboration T-shirts with Mr. Kasai. I decided his tribute song for his future fight. He is famous death match pro wrestler in this world. Singing by Japanese language. I thought this song like Japanese hardcore after listen recordings.
What or whom inspired your new song “Whiskey Coke and Bitch”?
This song is inspired from NWOBHM. D-beat, melancholic lead guitars with simple guitar riffs. Lyrics by Japanese. I'm singing like Japanese rock star Kiyoshiro Imawano.
Why is the song “Sweet Baby Metal Sluts” on the new album rather than the Sweet Baby Metal Slut album?
This song is composed four years ago. I forget [I] recorded this songs. So, I decided use this song for new album. I like this title.
How would you describe the Abigail groupie situation?
It's normal. Ha ha. There are many Abigail groupies in here. Always supporting the band. Great!
Which country has the best groupies, and why?
All countries best. World Abigail groupies are sexy and kindly.
How do you think Abigail have changed since 1992? Do you feel differently about the band today than you did back then?
Yes we are changed everything since 1992. Sounds, looks, skill, attitude, etc. I think future is best. I don't want back to 1992.
Your drummer Youhei started the band with you. How has your relationship with him changed over the years?
I have good relationship with Youhei [for] 30 years. He is not changed. But sometimes lazy. Ha ha.
I’ve heard you work in a factory when you’re not making music. What type of factory, and how long have you worked there?
I'm working factory distributing the DVD movie and porno to shops. Working eight or 10 hours for six days in one week. It's hard work.
What do you like about the job? What do you dislike?
I like the job. It's needed active for the bands. We are not pro bands. But recently very hard get long holidays for overseas shows. Very scary talk with boss about long holidays. Ha ha.
What’s the status of Tiger Junkies, your project with Joel Grind of Toxic Holocaust?
We got offer from Metal Threat Fest for play first show. But it's canceled before signed contract. Maybe next year play first show? Hells Headbangers will re-release the Green Tea or Die! 7” EP. Anyway, this band is still active.
Last but not least, what are your top five albums by Japanese bands?
Sigh, Imaginary Sonicscape
Sniper, Open the Attack
Dancer, In the Beginning ...
Gorgon, Out of the Best