By Rusty Coffinnails

If you're contemplating a lonely ride through a fog-choked landscape of withered trees and abandoned architecture, consider A Pale Horse Named Death as musical accompaniment. The creation of former Type O Negative drummer Sal Abruscato and Seventh Void guitarist Matt Brown, this band carries on the gloomy legacy of Type O and other uplifting acts such as Alice In Chains and Black Sabbath.

But Pale Horse is not just a "tribute" or "knock-off" act. It is beginning to establish its own legacy, without reliance on icons of the past. The band's debut "And Hell Will Follow Me..." managed to touch a nerve in Goth/doom fans and now the second album "Lay My Soul To Waste" strikes even deeper. There's just something about these guys that summons up the morbid creep in everybody.

Being somewhat of a morbid creep himself, Wormwood's own hearse-driving scribe Rusty Coffinnails had a graveyard meeting with Mr Abruscato where they commiserated over whiskey and discussed the pedigree and passion of that Pale Horse Named Death...

WORMWOOD CHRONICLES:  On the band's Facebook page and web site, in the bio it says that you are not afraid to plumb the depths of darkness that humanity is capable of. The darkness of humanity has long fascinated me. But in your opinion is there a root cause for that darkness and hatred?
SAL ABRUSCATO There are some demons that linger from childhood and through out my 20's that just fester in me. So one way to deal with it is to write music... not specifically about me but I release personal emotions into it and it is somewhat therapeutic.
WC: The name of the band A Pale Horse Named Death...what is that inspired this name?
SA: I was looking to create a very dark sounding album and pondering names when I was watching a history program on the Bible and Revelations. They spoke of the 4 Horseman and one of them being Death who rode a pale horse .I just did a play on words in my mind and came up with A Pale Horse Named Death. There you have it.
WC:: On your latest album "Lay My Soul To Waste", the song "Growing Old" took  a few times for me to "get it" but then  it hit me like a ton of bricks because I am growing old myself. I'm close to 50 and this one was a kick in the chest reality check. Was this reaction your intention? How do you confront this reality yourself?
SA: Yes, it was my intention, I myself am having issues with getting older and it sucks. I felt a song like this relates to anyone growing old including myself so I wrote it as realistic as possible, it is something we all cannot avoid.
WC: The song titled "Shallow Grave" is about killing your girlfriend and burring her in a shallow grave. What was your motivation for that one? Was it taken from a real experience?
SA: It's another classic subject that every man and woman goes through. The rage of betrayal is powerful ...powerful enough to kill people, in some cases. And yes, it has a connection to some personal experiences.
WC: The song "Day Of The Storm" has quite the apocalyptic message to it and with all the war, pollution and so on, was it inspired from observation or as a kind of a warning? Do you see a way out of the present darkness?
SA: Yes, it's a warning, mankind is it's own worst enemy. We are destroying the planet, killing each other off. Climactic shifts are going to determine if we can survive. We are so lost when our cellphons go down...imagine if the sun was blocked by ash and we lose all our food resources! Complete mayhem and self destruction leading to extinction or leaving the planet. We are the ultimate parasites. We can only hope the changes we do make are not too late.

WC: Do you have a favorite song to play, one that makes the band come alive? Do you have a not so favorite one as well?
SA: I love all the songs but I have some favorites, I do enjoy playing "Killer By Night" at rehearsal,  thats a fun song. "To Die In Your Arms" is another one. Honestly, I enjoy playing them all and that's a good thing, I believe. It's rare to enjoy all the material, all the of the time.
WC: So do you guys have a favorite place to play at? And do you prefer a large stadium or a small theater setting?
SA: We prefer anywhere, we just want to do good tours and build the band up with fans. Of course, playing large rooms are much more accommodating in space and production but we are a new band so beggars can't be too choosy
WC: : After your time with Type O Negative and Life Of Agony, I have to admit when I first read about APHND my first reaction was "Oh no, another band that sounds just like...." but I was blown away by the distinctive sound that you guys have. Did you have to work at that or did it come natural?
SA: A lot of it is natural, we just know what we want to hear. Me and Matt Brown have been doing this for a long time and we have had years to fine tune our abilities. We also like spontaneity, we mess with gear and experiment and those become beautiful moments as well.
WC: Now that you are writing your own material do you ever spend countless hours and days writing something only to later think it is crap,  can it and start over? Or have you had them just fall together and be perfect?
SA: I have had some songs fall right in to place in a matter of hours and go real smooth and sometimes I sit on songs for 6 months before I finish them. I learned that patience is important because forcing yourself to complete or write a song all at once can come out not that great. You need to feel the transitions, melodies and parts come together naturally, that it sits and feels right. So there have been times where I will track 2 musical parts and then open it months later and it all comes together the way it should have naturally.
WC: So when you are not making music what to you do with your time? Do you have any hobbies or other time vampires?
SA: I am with my wife and 2 daughters, I enjoy working on home renovations, gardening, landscaping. I do it all from electrical, carpentry and welding to plumbing. I like to constantly experiment and learn new things. My hands are full and then I am in a band which takes a lot of time since I am still self managed.
WC: If you could have dinner with any three people from history, who would they be?

SA: Pontius Pilate, Jesus and Satan should be interesting conversation.
WC: What was the last CD/release you got just because you wanted to hear the band?

S: Queens Of The Stone Age "Like Clockwork"
WC: What was the last live show you caught just because you wanted to see the band?

SA: I can't say, last concert for me was my own show . I rarely go out, I am so busy that it's been a very long time since I saw a band. Couple of years at least... sorry!
WC: In your musical history, is there any "Spinal Tap" moment where things went wrong  that you could share with the fans?
SA: I was at a festival with Life Of Agony and the AC unit on the tour bus caught on fire while Alan was sleeping on it but that's more scary than Spinal Tap! So many times arriving at airports and guitars would not show up or baggage would be missing and you'd have to run out and buy underwear for a few days. Driving across the country to San Francisco from Vermont only to find out your manager never booked you a hotel...ugh!!!
WC: Any last statements for the faithful?
SA: Thank you so much for your support, we need you to help us grow so keep spreading the word.