USBMS would like to thank Abwehrschlacht for their time!
1. Can we start off by introducing our readers to the members of Abwehrschlacht and their roles within the band?
Abwehrschlacht consists of only two; myself, Falkenhayn on vocals and guitar and Ludendorff on Bass. The drum fire battery is provided by a machine to give us an industrial sound.
2. For new listeners from the U.S who have not heard your music before, how would you define your sound to them?
We play raw and hateful Black Metal exclusively, it is very much influenced by Burzum, Venom, early Bathory. That is not to say we try to sound like them, but they would be our biggest influences. It’s cold, grim and morbid, just the way Black Metal should be, there is no love here.
3.The band is fairly new according to your bio, starting in 2007. But some members are no strangers to Black Metal and creating music. In 92 your
band "xaztur" was active . Can you explain to us how has your previous band experiences transferred to Abwehrschlacht?
Yes, I was in the British Black Metal band Xaztur in 1992 on vocal and bass, then I formed my own project Immanis in 1993, in this venture I was also joined by Ludendorff who helped out on guitars. At the time he was not a proper member of the band and was more like a session player. But, you could say that we have played together since 1993. Abwehrschlacht came into being as I had had a hiatus from music for a few years and wanted to return to playing and recording, without returning to my previous projects. I approached Ludendorff, who had recording equipment and the concept of Abwehrschlacht was born. I couldn’t describe Abwehrschlacht as a continuation of the previous two bands, Xaztur, were a straight up Satanic Black Metal band and Immanis was more influenced by nature and paganism, Abwehrschlacht are influenced by the First World War. So lyrically the themes were all very different.
4. Tell us a little about your logo and band name its origin, Who came up with the name and the design for the logo?
The name Abwehrschlacht is taken from a 1918 German military doctrine of defence through attack. The concept was that an attacker would be drawn further and further in to a deep defence system which was stronger as the attack passed through each line, thereby wearing the attack down and ultimately blunting it ready for counter attack. I think German is a strong language for military terms and I liked the sound of the word and the fact that it is relatively unknown outside of First World War circles. The logo is just the name written in an Old English fontface, to keep it simple and emulate Burzum and Bathory’s original logos. I’m not one for fancy unreadable logos.
5. Lets talk about your self released cassette EP from 2010 entitled "Kaiser Schlact". How did the concept come about, and how did the recording process go?
Kaiser Schlacht is a collection of recordings from between about 2007 and 2009, this is because Ludendorff and I didn’t live in the same area so we could only record when we got together. It wasn’t the ‘traditional’ recording session that most bands have, but then we never do anything ‘traditional’ anyway. The first songs were recorded as a long single piece, but it was thought better to take the several sections and split them into individual songs instead. I then wrote two separate songs: Die Sturmtruppen and Meatgrinder and we recorded them. So we had these songs kicking around for a while and decided to release them on a tape with an outro. In the past I had been unable to release a professionally produced demo tape, but nowadays I was able to afford it, so I took the chance.
6. When speaking on terms of lyrics, Abwehrschlacht describes in the bio that, "The music and concept of Abwehrschlacht is based on the heroics and horrors of the First World War (1914-1918)."
Please explain in some detail what your lyrics are meant to express to your listeners about this period of time in history?
I won’t describe in detail all the lyrics, but overall I have a great interest in the First World War. It was the first modern war and the first total war and is still completely misunderstood by the public at large as a futile waste of lives. I don’t see it that way and I think to see it that way is a disservice to all the men of all countries who served and fought for whatever reasons they did. Abwehrschlacht is influenced by this period as it was a brutal war, by anyone’s standards and that is translatable into the brutality of Black Metal. It was a war of hatred, Black Metal is music of hatred. I hope that by listening to us it may spark off some interest in the period and make people do some research into the First World War and understand the brutality of it.
7. Take us into your music creative process, How do you create your sound from an idea to a completed song, and where do you record?
I don’t really have a process which I follow, but as the main songwriter in most cases I will write some riffs and try to form them into a flowing song structure. I then play them to Ludendorff who gives me his opinion on them and where things should go and if he has any ideas to add. There have been occasions where I have created a riff as we were recording and added it to the ongoing song process. Ludendorff runs a company making guitar pedals, so I leave the sound creation to him in that respect. He is also the one responsible for mixing the finished product. We record in Ludendorff’s place as he has a mini studio as well, so it makes production cheap. We have batted the idea of recording in a proper studio so we can mike up the amplifiers but we have yet to go down that route.
8. What are some bands, or musical styles that have influenced you guys, any band or person in particular that might have inspired you to make music?
As I’ve mentioned previously, Burzum, Bathory and Venom are massive influences, as is the ancient Black Metal scene of the early 1990s. We both like the sound of early Beherit and I think has certainly come across in our influences. Being involved in that scene has helped me in my creative processes; I am of the opinion that Black Metal is dynamic conservatism, there are rules to follow, but there has to be boundaries, we try to remain within those boundaries. Obviously from a lyrical point of view it has been the First World War that has the most influence.
9. Id like to ask what the Black Metal Scene is like in Yorkshire, as well as the UK in a whole? is there support for local more underground black metal/metal acts?
I have no idea what the scene is like in Yorkshire, to be honest. I don’t really think there is one, or not one that I am involved with anyway. Bal-Sagoth come from close by in Sheffield, but they are probably the best known band. In my home town there is practically zero support for bands, Black Metal, Metal or any music really. I have no interest in being part of a ‘scene’ even if one did exist anyway; I’m too much of a misanthrope for all that shit.
10. I haven't read any where that Abwehrschlacht have ever played live, but Can you express in detail a little bit about the energy that would be involved between the band and the audience? And what would one take away with them at the end of the performance?
You won’t have read anywhere about us playing live as we never have and nor do we intend to. Ludendorff has proposed it, but I am not too interested in doing it. Again, I’m too much of a misanthrope to want to parade around in front of people.
11. What direction do you see the music Abwehrschlacht heading in the future and what can people expect from the band?
Things are quiet for Abwehrschlacht at the moment, both of us are busy with other non-Black Metal projects, so it’s a difficult question to answer. We will get together and record again, possibly during winter, as that is always the best time for inspiration, but I can’t say much more than that. As I said, we never do anything by the book and that includes recording schedules and even writing songs.
12. Any final words for the readers?
Hails for the interview, very interesting questions, we still have copies of the Kaiser Schlacht Demo available (limited to 150 copies), £4 worldwide, including postage. Find our page on Facebook and get in touch for more details. Hail and War!!
For band info and contact visit