Interview with Abrams bassist/vocalist Taylor Iversen | By Thomas Pizzola
Denver, Colorado-based power trio, Abrams, play a style of modern metal that is sludgy, melodic, and packed to the brim with emotion. On their sophomore full-length, Morning, out now on Sailor Records, the band—which features bassist and vocalist Taylor Iversen, guitarist and vocalist Zach Amster, and drummer Geoff Cotton—had one simple goal.
“Like any band ought to do, we wanted to improve our sound and our musicianship,” Iversen says. “We did so primarily through highlighting dynamic changes in each song’s sound, but also through new vocal approaches that challenged both Zach and myself. This provided a lot of sonic depth and diversity on the record. We also wanted to show ourselves and our fans that we are still evolving, and with Morning, I think we give a really good indication of where we are going as a musical entity.”
They also had the intention of making this album different from the previous one, their 2015 full-length debut, Lust. Love. Loss.
“It’s a much more focused entity,” Iverson says. “That’s what happens when you spend all that time poring over every little feel change and transition on the album. We examined each note and each word we played or sang. There was something inherently ‘rock ‘n’ roll’ about writing and recording Lust. Love. Loss., flying by the seat of our pants, but we didn’t want to repeat that with Morning. We wanted this focus. We wanted to put the care and attention into every little detail. What came out was something more polished, more whole, and more mature than its predecessor.”
The new album—which features guest vocals from Phil Pendergast of Khemmis—was also written during a trying time for each member of the band, and their personal struggles manifested themselves in the lyrics.
“When the three of us—Zach, Geoff, and myself—started writing Morning, all three of us were fucked up emotionally and mentally. The writing of this record really played out like therapy for all of us,” Iversen says. “Geoff was just overcoming the recent loss of his mother, I was going through some weird heartbreak, and so was Zach. All of these themes are explored on the album. Ultimately, it developed a sort of balance surrounding the bright brilliance of every new day’s morning and the dead pessimism of every done day’s mourning. First, it’s good, then it’s bad, then it’s good again. Rinse. Repeat.”
Morning provides the listener with an emotional catharsis. In that respect, Abrams have definitely reached their goal of making heavy and moving music. Aiding in their triumph is the supportive music scene in their hometown of Denver. There is a strong sense of community amongst the city’s bands, and Abrams’ peers have their backs.
“It’s always hot to talk about how vibrant and powerful the music scene is here, and I think there’s a lot of truth to that,” Iversen says. “We’re all friends, and most of us try very hard to take care of each other and watch out for each other’s best interests. Everyone here likes to see Denver bands succeed. If you’re lucky, you’ve got people around town trying to elevate you any way they can. Not every city has that. That’s a huge thing for independent or DIY music in any scene.”
Abrams Tour Dates:
August 3 – Wichita, KS – Elbow Room
August 4 – Springfield, MO – Outland Ballroom
August 5 – Madison, WI – The Wisco
August 6 – Milwaukee, WI – Riverwest Public House
August 7 – Hamtramck, MI – New Dodge Lounge
August 8 – Pittsburgh, PA – Black Forge Coffee House*
August 9 – Philadelphia PA – The Fire*
August 10 – Wallingford CT – Cherry Street Station*
August 11 – Brooklyn, NY – Lucky 13 Saloon*
August 12 – Dover, NH – The Dover Brickhouse*
August 13 – Boston, MA – O’Brien’s Pub*
August 14 – Washington D.C. – DC9
August 15 – Columbus, OH – Hamptons Underground
August 16 – Cincinatti, OH – Junker’s Tavern
August 18 – Lawrence, KS – Frank’s North Star
August 19 – Denver, CO – Streets of London Pub
* with InAeona
Photo by Chanelle Leslie