Hell Spawn



Hell Spawn » Interviews » ABSOLVA

This band should be well know with all Hell Spawn readers, for they've reached a few album of the month spots here. Of course the guys are great musicians and next to that probably some of the kindest people around. They released their fourth record "Defiance" last month a real asskicker which made it to our album of the month yet again! Time to have another chat with the man behind this band, Chris Appleton!

Written by Mr. Hell


First off congratz with the new album, which I personally think combines all influences from all previous Absolva albums, agreed?

Thanks very much, yes I am extremely happy with the new Absolva album 'Defiance'. We haven't released a studio album for 2 years, the influences combine everything we have done before and more... Co-written by myself & my brother Luke Appleton from 'Iced Earth'. I think it is the best album we have done to date. 


 Cool to see that the 'Alien womb' has returned to the front, but the art referrred to the previous cd cover is also present but in the back, is there any connection there?

We always like to have a link there. Judas Priest have their priest logo and symbol, Iron Maiden have Eddie. We have our Absolva logo, and we like to link our themes and our 'Alien womb' Absolva symbol is our thing. Plus I always wanted a white cover. 


 You nearly finished a Blaze Bayley record and you were back into the studio for a new ABSOLVA record, next to all that you also book all your own tours, do you ever sleep ;-)

4-5 hours sleep a night if I'm lucky haha. I find it hard to relax, my mind works over-time all the time even if my body isn't. I'm a musician, this is my job. So recording music and playing shows, and doing all the stuff to make that happen is what I do. If I didn't put all the background work in, the rest of the work wouldn't happen. 


 Talking about Blaze you produced "Endure & Survive" the second part of the Infinite Entanglement trilogy, it must feel good that Blaze had so much confidence in you?For I remember Blaze telling me you also put together the setlists etc... How do you work on music with Blaze on tour or in the studio and is it Blaze that gets the final say?

Absolva is my band, and ultimately even though I work closely with the lads and especially my brother Luke, at the end of the day, it is myself, that has the final say. When I work with Blaze same thing. Blaze puts a lot of trust in me, in the studio as producer and live, setting up his monitors and stage plan, and writing the setlists. But again, when i'm with Blaze, its his name on the albums & tickets, if there's something he does or doesn't want, ultimately he gets the final say. 


 I know in Absolva, it's you and Luke that write most of the stuff, so is it you who has the final word there what gets on the record or not?

Yes, myself and Luke are brothers in arms. We were writing together closer than ever before on this album 'Defiance'. Every song was co-written & arranged, we sat together for hours working on each piece. But if there's something I didn't like, it myself that says 'yes' or 'no'. 


 If I am not mistaken, this is also the the first time an Absolva album is recorded in the same line-up as the album before! This means you finally get "THE" ABSOLVA line up! Karl has really deserved his spot hasn't he!

Well Spotted! It is true. We have found 'The' Absolva line-up. Luke is now a permanent member of Absolva. Which is great he can work side by side aswell as working in 'Iced Earth'. 'Karl Schramm' on bass guitar, has well and truly deserved his spot. He is a great musician, and great asset to the team. This is a band & a formula that really shakes the ground! 


 We all know Luke is also playing Iced Earth while you guys do the Blaze stuff, does that mean that everything concerning Absolva will now be booked around Luke's free dates with Iced Earth? If not tell us how you are going to resolve this!

Not really. It all depends on what's going on at a certain time. We're trying to work it like, when we tour with 'Blaze Bayley', hopefully it falls in the same time as when Luke's touring with 'Iced Earth'. Then when we are not doing either of those projects, we all come together to do 'Absolva'. 


 Seeing everything for the recording off "Defiance" went pretty quick, well quicker than before, it doesn't sound like a rushed album at all! Was there anything different?

We wrote the songs in a very short period of time. But it was not rushed. We spent a long time crafting each song. But we are not lazy, the days and nights are long. We have a good work ethic.  


 If I am not mistaken you and Luke did some co writing this time for the first instead of separate?

This is correct. We worked on songs together before, but not in this much detail. The standard way we used to write Fury UK albums or the previous Absolva album "Never a Good Day to Die", is that I bring a bucket of songs to the table, and so does Luke, and we pick the best of the bunch. But on this album, we both spent the whole time sat next to each other, maybe with stuff that we had already started, riffs & melodies, vocal ideas, but we learnt so much from over the past few years, Luke working with 'Jon Schaffer' of Iced Earth, he's done 2 albums with him now, and myself, i've done 2 albums with 'Blaze Bayley', who of course has experience working with the master songwriter 'Steve Harris' of 'Iron Maiden'. So myself & Luke have gained this great experience from working with these top-line guys, and we feel with what we already know mixed with this we have something very special. 


 Personally I think this album has some off the best choruses in the ABSOLVA history, they are really catch as hell, you worked hard on this?

The chorus, can MAKE your song or KILL your song. I make sure every single Absolva song has a chorus that has a big hook. Something that is catchy, something you can hum, something your cant get out of your head. We made special effort with this album, with tempos & lengths, so everything is exciting. The excitement has to be there, and high energy for every song!!! 


 Also your vocals seem a little more melodic? Agreed?

My vocals improve on every album. But working with Blaze & Luke in Iced Earth, we have improve our vocal harmonies. Nearly every song has to have a vocal harmony. It is as big and as important as guitar harmonies. They are just so effective even if you don't know they are there. 


 While you are out with Blaze you then only play guitar, don't you miss the singing? Or is it, good to be concentrating only on the guitar-parts?

I enjoy it. I like not being the lead singer in the Blaze band. We have a set formula and high energy performance. Very old school. Plus I do a lot of backing vocals & harmonies in the Blaze band. I sing in the higher register, Blaze sings in the mid range as does Karl. So the combination of the 3 voices on a chorus is massive!!


This album also has a kinda off a  coversong on the new album (first time ever right?)! For your brother Luke and our dear departed friend Wizz, started a band Dance With The Duvel, who only recorded one song, "Reflection". Which is the ending song on the record and sung by Luke, a real nice suprise and one hell of an awesome tribute!

Yeah man, its kind of a cover song, but because Luke wrote it, and it never appeared on a CD or album or anything, we thought it we be a good thing to do, especially seeing as we are dedicating this album to 'Wizz Beauprez' of 'Wizz Wizzard'. This song 'Reflection' Wizz sang on with Luke, as acoustic version for their side project 'Dance With The Duvel'. Now this song, appears on the album as full-metal version, myself & Luke sharing lead vocal duties. 


 The album is going to be a 2cd with finally the song Harsh reality released which you premiered last year, is this song a left over from the NAGDTD sessions?

It was held back deliberately from the NAGDTD sessions. We wanted to bring out another track for another tour after the album tour. It worked well!!


 The rest of cd2 is filled with live and acoustic stuff and even a drum solo from Martin, really cool stuff, where did you get the idea to do this? An extra for the fans?

I wanted to do something really special for this album, marking the 5 years Absolva. Giving the fans lots of content & value. A double-album is still a great thing. 2 discs. I love it. 


Well seeing the Blaze tours are becoming pretty huge that kinda has an impact on Absolva, for I heard normally the band is laying pretty low for 2018. But seeing that there will be no blaze album in 2019 does that mean that will be a HUGE year for ABSOLVA?

Absolva will be touring a lot more when we have completed the trilogy of albums with Blaze. There will be a different touring cycle set in place. Both projects will remain active and very busy, but the timing on the touring will be slightly different. 


 Anything left to add???

Thank you very much and also big thanks to all our Absolva fans out there, for your help, love & support. I love you all!!! Thank you for enjoying our shows & listening to our music. Regards Chris Appleton. 




Related Items

CD of the month


Cd van de maand mei 2024

Previous CD of the month

The Road To Oblivion
Dutch Music Works
Cd van de maand april 2024

  • CCN Systems NV
  • Instath BVBA
  • Combell NV
  • Knowledge BVBA NV

© 2002-2024 Hell Spawn, all rights reserved.

Hosting and customn CMS made by VideoStore.be and Igor VC