GRAVEHILL "The Curse of Abomination"

By Derelikt Waugh

For all of you ignorant slob-jobs out there who don’t know nothin’, Mike Abominator is the front beast/lead growler for an unholy mob of rabble-rousers called Gravehill. Gravehill has just unleashed their latest offering to the gods of death (“Death Curse”, Dark Descent Records) and let me tell ya, it’s a goddamn RAGER (for further details, please refer to my review)! Mike’s an absolute nut job, a totally dedicated metalhead, an infectiously entertaining fella…and a Hell of a nice guy! Yours truly just had the opportunity to speak Mr. Abominator about the new record and some other subjects that will most definitely make your average poser squirm in fear. Without further hoopla, let’s get down to the bloody business at hand… 

WC: Hey, Mike! First off, I just wanna tell ya what an extreme pleasure it was to review the latest Gravehill album, “Death Curse”. It’s truly a killer! Secondly, it’s an honor to have this opportunity to pick your rancid, festering brain! How are ya?

Mike Abominator: Mighty Hails to you Derek, you total fucking maniac!!!!!! Great news that you like the putrid stench that is "Death Curse"!!!!!! And the honor is all mine sir, I assure you. I'm good today. I'm currently enjoying a rare day off and trying not to be as rancid and festering as I usually am. But it's hard when you are a big smelly fucker like me! Hahaha!

WC: In terms of the latest Gravehill album, how do you think it measures up to past Gravehill offerings? I know it’s probably a tad bit difficult to answer this question without being a little biased, but do you think it’s your best material?

MA: I know it's a cheesy fucking thing to say, but I really do think it is our best material that we have done so far. I think that Gravehill was in top form on "Death Curse" and this has been the line-up that has been the strongest and now, we’ve delivered our best album. I do think that the past Gravehill releases were strong in their own right, but with "Death Curse", we were much more of a "FIST" so to speak. Everyone was on the same page and we also wrote and recorded it at our own pace with no pressures or deadlines. Every situation is unique, but this album just came out better in my opinion. It's a better album as a whole. Not just a collection of some cool songs and some filler.

WC: There are a few killer guest appearances from some legendary death metal musicians on the new album. Could you tell us how those cameos came to be?

MA: Let's just say that we are lucky motherfuckers! Hahaha! We met Kam Lee at Central Illinois Metal Fest in 2007 when a few of us Californians made the trek out there for that, including Thorgrimm and I. Kam was awesome and so down to earth! We became friends and kept in touch. When Massacre came out here in 2008 to play the Los Angeles Murderfest, Kam came to our studio and hung out with us the Friday night before the Saturday Fest appearance of Massacre and Denial Fiend. We were able to get his vocals down for "Ravager" (which appeared on our "Metal of Death" debut EP) and became really good friends and kept in contact ever since. This time, thanks to computers and technology, we were able to get his vocals down for the song, "Unending Lust for Evil". I have known Chris Reifert since the demo/tape trading/fanzine days of old and we have been friends ever since. I’ve been waiting to get him on a Gravehill song for years now and we finally got it done! Chris pukes on the album closer, "The Ascending Fire".  Once Autopsy got back together we were able to meet the mighty Eric Cutler finally and become friends. And he bloodily graced us with a guitar solo on "The Ascending Fire" as well. What a fucking honor to have all three of these legends on this album! I mean, shit, I can die a happy man now! Hahaha! We were also able to get Kam and Chris in on a couple of cover song surprises for future sickness to be unleashed. I wanted to use and abuse these maniac's throats as much as possible, so we could torture some fucking ears with this shit!

WC: For those not in the know, could ya tell us about your other project, Dirty Mike & The Boys?

MA: Dirty Mike & The Boys is a band that I started to get some of my punk/hardcore blood spewing out there. Heavy Metal is obviously my main love, but I also grew up with and have enjoyed many of the classic punk/hardcore bands over the years. So I grabbed a local friend Jorge to play drums and my old friend Bruce to play bass. We recorded the "Soup Kitchen" demo with this line-up. Then CC DeKill/Gravehill joined us on guitar and we did the songs for a couple of splits coming out shortly with the bands Destroy the Humans from Argentina and Disslate from Mexicali/Baja, California. We also have a split coming out with Severed from Chicago (Tom from Cardiac Arrest is in that band as well) and a killer three way split coming that should be huge that I can't speak of right now. Sorry! We have had four local shows so far. It's a fun band to fuck around with. It works really smooth. It's funny how Gravehill is a bit different and is run more as a business at times and can be serious. I mean, we do have fun as well, but metal can be serious business and punk/hardcore can be loose and care free at times. Sometimes it's good to just let loose and what not.

WC: Do you consider Dirty Mike & The Boys to be just as important as Gravehill, or is this just a project that you do strictly for fun?

MA: Gravehill is my main band for sure at this time. Dirty Mike & The Boys is for fun and we have ridiculous amounts of it! Hahahaha! For the time being, Dirty Mike is a "side project", but we will see what the future holds.

WC: I think CC DeKill and Hell Messiah have truly added an exciting new element to Gravehill in terms of guitar pyrotechnics. How do you think they stack up compared to past members of Gravehill?

MA: CC DeKill is the best guitar player that we have ever had and might be the best guitarist in our region! The dude can rip. No bullshit. Listen to those solos on "Death Curse"! They almost don't fit our ugly ass music! Hahaha! They are too good! Hell Messiah is more of the rhythm player for now, but is working on his solos and will be doing more in the future. Hell is actually one of the best bass players in our region, but we had Corpse on bass already, so we asked him to play guitar in Gravehill, back when they both joined in 2012. Both CC and Hell are killer band mates and have been GREAT additions to the Gravehill line-up. I’m not ashamed to say that they have been two of the best people that we have been able to get in this band. Their songwriting and ideas have also been huge. I think they worried about trying to "fill in the shoes" of the past guitar players. But I think they are a better fit in the long run for us. We love Bodybag and Matt, but obviously Exhumed was their main priority. AND with great reason! ANYONE would prioritize Exhumed over Gravehill, especially with the business aspect and wanting to tour and do as much as those guys do now. But for Gravehill, CC and Hell have gone above and beyond the call of duty time and time again. I also want to assure people that these fuckers aren't just some slouches that we picked up off the street. They might not have the notoriety of the last two guys, but they can hold their own with the best of them.

 WC: I think you’re a terrific death metal vocalist and a damn fine lyricist. Who are some of your biggest influences in both departments?

MA: Thanks brother! You are a sick man and need to have your head examined! Hahaha! I'm usually very influenced by very dark subjects, obviously (stories, books, movies, history, all the sick shit that happens in the world). Heavy Metal has been influenced by the devil, regardless if people want to admit it or not, since the beginning, so Satan and Hell are always great subjects. I usually try to paint a picture with my words. I’m not trying to sound all pretentious and “artsy-fartsy”, but it's fucking true in the end! Hahaha! I just try and let out my anger and aggression in the band. I think I would be dead or in prison if not for being able to scream and growl! Haha! I'm an avid reader, so books and poems always come in handy. Just life and experiences in general can be such a great inspiration. Serial Killers are also interesting to me, Just the fucked up and darker side of our existence as a whole. As far as vocalists that influence and inspire, I would say that my main influences come from the founding fathers. More of a Lemmy/Cronos guy for sure. Throw in Kam Lee, Paul Baloff, Tom G., Chris Reifert, Unkle Tom, Snake, Wagner Antichrist, Tom Aryaya, Scott Carlson, LG Petrov, The Baron, Black Winds, Martin Van Drunen, Dean & Phil(RIP) from ENT, John Tardy, Tompa and the list goes on and on..................

WC: Dark Descent is currently one of the greatest labels as far as putting out quality, underground metal releases. Have they treated you and Gravehill fairly over the years? Do you think you guys would ever consider leaving them for another label?

MA: Dark Descent rules! You are 666% fucking RIGHT! Matt has been nothing short of legendary as far as how he has treated us and helped us. We are proud to call him a BROTHER, not just our label guy, he is FAMILY! For now, we don't have a need to leave and no one else wants us! Hahahaha! I guess Matt is the only fucker crazy enough to put out our shit! We have had "flirtations", I guess you could call it, from other labels, but nothing serious and it turned out to be a waste of time anyways. They were considered "bigger" than Dark Descent, but in the end, I think we belong on the underground level anyways. Getting lost in the shuffle over at a large label would be fucking frustrating. It's already entertaining enough to watch these stupid flavor of the month bands get signed and think they are all hot shit and get out there and disappear within a year, being "in bed" with some of that shit would take away the fun of watching them fall on their asses. Anything is possible, but we are 666% happy with Matt and Dark Descent. Matt works his ass off to deliver his product and is a total FAN of metal, he is the real deal. WE FUCKING LOVE YOU MATT! THANKS FOR PUTTING UP WITH US AND PUTTING OUT OUR GARBAGE "MUSIC"! Hahahaha!

WC: How did the killer cover art for “Death Curse” come to fruition? Moyen is such a sick artist! He’s definitely one of my current favorites operating in the field! If he had declined, what other artist might you have gone with? Who are some of your other favorite artists?

MA: Thorncross (Moyen) is a legend. I think we all grew up with seeing his work with Blasphemy, Beherit, Incantation and countless others all over the place. It was insane to get to work with him. We had tried a few years ago to no avail. Then he said yes this time when Thorgrimm hit him up. He has always been one of my favorite artists and it was an honor to have him do one of his BEST pieces for our album cover! If he told us to fuck off, then we would go to our stable of friends that we know and have worked with. Our awesome friend Mark Riddick is always great. He does most of our shirt designs and makes us presentable. Putrid Matt rules. We have been trying to work with Chris Verwimp for a while now, but so far no go on that end. Some of my other favorite artists these days are Dennis Dread, Nev, Joe Ravager, Vincent Locke, Dan Seagrave, Jason Roberts, Toshihiro Egawa, Christina Casperson, Kam Lee and so many more. I will always love the art from the likes of Pushead, Derek Riggs, Frank Frazetta, Boris Vallejo, etc.

WC: What bands have you been digging lately? Are there any particular bands that you and Gravehill have dreamed about touring with?

MA: I can't stop listening to a couple of albums from 2011 right now: Miasmal's self titled and local L.A. band Icon of Phobos’ self-titled. Cemetery Lust and Bones are also in heavy rotation. I have been blasting a lot of my old stuff, a lot of old favorites like Detestation, GBH, Electro Hippies, old Paradise Lost, Abhorrence, Los Crudos, Massacra, Sore Throat, Morbid, Urgehal and many more. Axegrinder’s "Rise of the Serpent Men", Samael’s "Worship Him", Discharge’s "Hear Nothing.....", Impaled Nazarene’s "Tol Compt....", Carnage’s "The Day Man Lost" demo, Hellnation’s "Thrash Wave", Slaughter’s "Strappado" and stuff like Dio, Repulsion/Genocide, Funeral, Nihilist, Impetigo, Roskopp, Nuclear Death, Exoto, Bloody Phoenix, Black Sabbath, Mob 47, Flegethon, Priest, Maiden, Ripping Flesh, Darkest Oath, Exciter, Master/Deathstrike, Phlebotomy, Merciless, old Supuration, Dishammer, Black Hole of Calcutta, Ligeia, Black Torment, Ancient Rites  and newer demos by Corrosive Carcass, Femacoffin, Old Coven, Beyond, Absconder and Goat Felch. These have all been on my recent playlist. I found my pile of stuff that is still hot from being blasted. Hahaha! We have toured with Cardiac Arrest before and get along so well with them that they would always be our first choice. Witchaven are very much the same, Night Nurse as well. Those three bands are our blood brothers and we all work well together as a team and get along very well. The Deceased tour was a dream for sure! They’re great guys and great band. That was a blast! We would love to hit the road with the likes of Autopsy, Cianide, Nunslaughter, Asphyx, Mordbrand, Mutant Supremacy, Unholy Lust, Horrendous, Nausea, Ghoul, Bone Sickness, Graveyard(Spain), Midnight, Coffins, Undergang, Morbid Flesh, Bloodfiend, Weregoat and the list goes on! Obviously doing a tour with Exhumed would kill, as those creeps are family as well.

WC: What does the future hold for Mike Abominator? Are there any projects/secret confessions that you would care to divulge some information about?

MA: I'm surprised that I'm still waking up in the morning man, so that's a bonus! Hahahaha! I just want to keep doing this until "the fun" dies. Until then, there are some doomed people out there! Gravehill really needs to get over to Europe. So we hope we can do some shows over there by 2015. We aren't getting any younger damn it! Hahaha! Maybe some shows in Mexico, Canada, South America, Japan before we all die during The End of Days. If I told you my secret confessions, they wouldn't be secret anymore! I would also have to kill you. But I don't keep secrets, secrets are for posers. So are confessions! ARGHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!! No new projects to speak of. Keep track of Gravehill and Dirty Mike & The Boys online at facebook. That place can be a cesspool, but it's FREE!!!!!!! For now! Hahahaha!

WC: What’s your favorite beer/brand of adult beverage? Additionally, which kinda booze makes you vomit uncontrollably?

MA: Well, I had to stop drinking actually in 2010 because I liked adult beverages WAAAAAYYYYY too much (among other things) and I didn't want to continue the tradition of alcoholism in my Irish family. So yeah, I'm boring and sober now. I’m just a regular, lame, cleaned up asshole these days. But when I did drink me some adult beverages, I pretty much liked ALL beers and booze that I could get my hands on (the cheap shit and the good shit). My tolerance was pretty high back then, so I rarely puked. But when I did, that meant I usually drank a lot and it was close to alcohol poisoning. Funnily enough, I would have to say that my favorite all time beer is Tecate. I know some think it's just Mexican piss water, but it's cheap and it isn't horrible tasting. It goes down smooth and didn't really fuck me up the next day after too many. My favorite booze would be Jack Daniels. Shots or a good ol' Jack & Coke would be fine by me. Too much Jack is quite the horrible, dry heaving experience the next day if you aren't careful! Hahaha!

WC: Well, I think that about sums ‘er up for now, Mike! Thanks so much! It’s been a pleasure for me and hopefully not an absolutely horrific, testicle-twisting torture session for you. Got any last words for the boils and ghouls out there in Wormwood land?

MA: Hey thanks for twisting my balls brother! Hahaha! Nah, it wasn't too torturous. I guess I just have to get used to people wanting to talk with me about shit! Mighty Hails to all of the freaks at Wormwood!!!!!! All of you creeps who made it through this disgusting chat, feel free to hunt me down on facebook as well. Just no POSERS or dumb fucks looking to see what color my shit is, see pictures of my breakfast, or ask me stupid questions about my views on politics or my favorite folk metal band. Also, keep in contact with Gravehill and Dirty Mike & The Boys online on facebook as well. I will leave some links at the bottom of this interview for more band links and shit. Mighty Hails to our worldwide HORDE OF DEATH!!!!!!!!! GO GET "DEATH CURSE" ON APRIL 1ST YOU SICKOS!!!!!! Thanks again Derek!!!! YOU RULE BROTHER!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Gravehill Releases:


Gravehill and Dirty Mike shirts:


Dirty Mike Releases: