Abrahma’s ‘Through The Dusty Paths of Our Lives’ debut was The Jibbies & Loond Show’s Album of the Year of 2012; a heady blend of ‘70s prog-tinged classic rock and modern stoner. Singer/guitarist/songwriter Sebastian Bismuth was kind enough to get in touch from France shortly before heading out on a European tour with Small Stone Recordings label-mates Wo Fat and update our duo regarding both where the band came from and where it might be going.
J&L: Let’s start with the biggest news at hand… ‘Through The Dusty Paths of Our Lives’ has, rightly, earned great reviews. What were your expectations for the record when you finished it, and how does it feel to get the kind of reception it has?
Seb: To be honest we weren't waiting to have the reception we finally had.
When we finished the album, the band felt a little bit lost. You know, we all had heard the songs a thousand times, so it was difficult to really know how it would be accepted by people.
It has been a real pleasure to read the first reviews, and even more to see our album in the 2012 tops
J&L: One of the things we both love about the album is its epic feel. Each song rolls perfectly into the next. How much focus was put on making a classic album as opposed to simply writing great songs?
Seb: The album was written and recorded in two weeks. We had previous ideas, but everything was really written during the recording process, so we did not really reflect about this epic feel at the beginning, even if we tried to put a kind of overall “vibe” in each song.
But during the overdubs, we wanted to make the album rolling like a book, with chapters …
So we tried to add some ideas and themes. Seems like it worked!
J&L: You guys produced the album yourselves. It certainly worked out well, but what was the thinking behind choosing this path?
Seb: Yes before our signing with SMALL STONE RECORDS, we produced it by ourselves. It wasn't really a choice as we did not have a label before recording it, but anyway we loved the process of being our own boss for our first release.
J&L: How did Ed Mundell end up participating? [Mundell played lead on ‘Big Black Cloud’; Ed.]
Seb: I’ve been a huge fan of Ed for years. And when we recorded the album, I wanted him to do a feature on a song. I contacted him via Facebook, and he was ok to do it. I was like in a dream when I received his answer.
J&L: Is there a vibrant scene for your type of music in France?
Seb: Yes, the stoner, psychedelic scene is growing everyday here, and a lot of bands are becoming more and more famous even outside France (Crown, The Socks, Loading Data, Los Desidentes del Sucio Motel, Glowsun, Rescue Rangers). I'm sure we'll have even more French bands signing on foreign labels soon.
J&L: Are the Colins brothers? What’s that like? Lots of fights?
Seb: (Laughs) Yes, they are brothers. And no, they are really not fighting.
That is even a little bit strange. If I was playing music with my brother I think I would go insane!
J&L: You sing in English. Is this to maximize your potential audience? Klaus Meine and the Scorpions, for instance, chose to perform in English from very early on for exactly this reason.
Seb: Yes, this is a reason. But I have also to admit that I'm not really good at singing in French. I always had listened to music in English so it’s really easier to write songs with a melody in English. French is a pain to sing, trust me
J&L: How did you guys hook up with Small Stone?
Seb: Just after the mastering of our album, we sent an e-mail to some labels. Small Stone was in our choice of labels we wanted to contact and also the first to answer. Seems like this was good luck, as nobody in the band believed we would have the chance to sign with such a great label.
J&L: The live clips of the band seem a lot more like straight-forward rock, but the songs still stand up very well. Do you feel pressure to try to recreate the vibe of the album? Or is it more just a matter of going on-stage and rocking out?
Seb: Usually we like to give a little bit more energy to our songs on stage, even if we try to recreate a psychedelic vibe, I think that it is always cool to rock out on stage. But songs like ‘Headless Horse’ or ‘The Maze’ are also here to give a more “stoned” atmosphere to the set.
J&L: You’ll be playing DesertFest in April, something we’d both love to make it over for one of these years. Will this be your biggest UK show yet? What are you most looking forward to about it?
Seb: Yes it will be our biggest UK and even European show. When we confirmed it was one of the best days of my life (laughs). I hope that people will enjoy our music and show. I am so impatient to be on stage and share it with such great bands as Dozer, Lowrider, Wo Fat, Deville, Pentagram…and so many more.
J&L: Are there any plans to come across to the States and play?
Seb: Yes, we are working on it, but it seems like we'll maybe wait for the second album to be released before heading over. Coming to the US to play our music is one of our childhood dreams, but we have to organize it well before, so we don’t lose a lot of money.
J&L: Well, thanks Seb. Anything else you’d like the world to know about Abrahma?
Seb: Not really, but I wanted to thank you, J&L, for your support, and all the people over there which make this Abrahma story a dream comin' true. We'll never thank you enough . THANKS FOR ALL!
Wo Fat + Abrahma, ‘Lost Highway Across Europe’ 2013 Tour
Apr. 20 – Roadburn Festival - Tilburg, Netherlands
Apr. 21 – White Trash - Berlin
Apr. 22 – Vera - Groningen, Netherlands
Apr. 23 – Combustibles – Paris (with Cough and Witch Mountain)
Apr. 24 – Usine - Geneva
Apr. 25 – Vortex - Siegen, Germany
Apr. 26 – De Pit - Terneuzen, Netherlands
Apr. 27 – DesertFest – Camden, London
Abrahma is --
Seb Bismuth: Guitars & Vocals
Nicolas Heller: Guitars
Guillaume Colin: Bass Guitars
Benjamin Colin: Drums