INTERVIEW: Mark Abromavage Contemplates Riots at Punk Shows, Glass Blowing, and Imaginary Shreds w/Tony Iommi!

Pictured Above: Mark will murder you…. with hugs.

If you’re reading this site, you probably have at least a passing familiarity with Mark Abromavage. A fixture of the local punk scene almost from the start, Abromavage has served time as the resident axe-slinger for Malignant Growth and Fading Out, which he played in with his brother Chris, and the legendary Kinghorse. After a few years with the band Arch, Mark and Chris Abromavage are playing together again, this time in the punk furious Decline Effect. I wrote questions at Mark about stage fright, righteous music, and blowing glass. You can check them out for free on May 24th at The New Vintage with The Stonecutters, Imbroglio (from Dayton), and Savage Master.

Never Nervous: How has your relationship to guitar changed over the years? Is your playing in any way different between your earlier stuff with Malignant Growth or Kinghorse than it is with The Decline Effect?

Mark Abromavage: I seriously feel like my playing never changes, maybe a little more technical but overall I feel like I’m in a rut. Seems like there’s no a-ha moments any more.

NN: Who handles the song writing in the band? Is it jam based, or do you all bring in riffs and work them through that way?

MA: I think mostly it’s me that dictates the direction of the music, usually it’s me with the base of the song and from there we all add and build the structure.

NN: What is the best song you’ve ever written and why?

MA: That’s kind of a hard question with all the bands I’ve been in and all the songs I’ve written or should I say that I’ve been a part of. I guess it would be a song called “That” which is an instrumental. I just listen to it and it kind of takes me away to a quiet place.

NN: Tell us about this upcoming free show. Why is it free? Why should we be amped?

MA: The reason its free I believe is to try to get as many people to show up as humanly possible, these bands have played for money but nothing compares to playing to a packed house. A crowd over money any day. This is a very strong bill and may be the rock show of the summer.

NN: Have you ever been anxious about a show?

MA: Yeah I get a little anxious from time to time but I think the show that stands out is the show in Cali. when we showcased the Kinghorse album and had little time to sound check and the crowd was nothing but musicians and industry people as well as the head of the Caroline records.

NN: What’s the rowdiest show you ever played, and why?

MA: You know there have been so many over the years, maybe the Slamdek show with the riot against the bouncers or the skate park show with 600 people pack in that place and no stage and being on the floor with the crowd

NN: For that matter, what makes a good show at all? Would you rather people sit or stand without much movement, or that they flip tables and get riled up? Which is more fun?

MA: I would always rather see a crowd be up in my face and energetic than just standing around, a good show is by the time you’re done with your set the crowd is just as tired as you.

NN: If you could work with anyone that has ever been, who would it be and why?

MA: I don’t know if there’s anyone, maybe Tony Iommi, because I think his style is something I can relate to, the riffs, tone, and of course left-handed.

NN: What is the best prank you’ve ever pulled, or that has ever been pulled on you?

MA: I really don’t do pranks and people generally don’t prank me.

NN: Suppose you could change any one thing: what would it be and why?

MA: I think I would like to be right handed, because it’s a right-handed world and there’s lot of instruments that I can’t play being left-handed.

NN: What non-musical things (tv, books, etc.) get you excited?

MA: I work as a glass-blower so when I see techniques that I haven’t seen or I’m able to do something new, that’s what excites me.

NN: What have you been listening to lately and why should we?

MA: Lately I’ve been listening to old punk rock on Pandora like The Exploited or The U.K Subs this is what I grew up on and I think the music still is exciting, upbeat and intense.