Ashley/Cryptic Inscriptions: Thank you Mallika for taking the time to do this interview. First off give a brief history/description of the band Abnormality?
Mallika:Thank you for interviewing me. Abnormality formed in late 2005 and features past members of Goratory, Sexcrement, Teratism, Revengeance, and Iranach. We are from Massachusetts and we play a mixed style of death metal, brutal with some technicality and groove in the vein of Origin, Suffocation, older Cryptopsy and Morbid Angel.
Ashley/Cryptic Inscriptions: I read in an interview a while ago that you have been singing since you were young, what other styles of vocals can you do?
Mallika:I took traditional singing lessons as a child, and did chorus through middle school. I also recently took some singing lessons from an opera singer. It was fun and I learned some good breathing techniques.
Ashley/Cryptic Inscriptions: Grunts, growls, screams and pig squeals, so why this type of vocals?
Mallika:Death metal is a passion for me. I love the challenge and the creativity that goes with growling. It was natural for me to gravitate towards it.
Ashley/Cryptic Inscriptions: How is it being part of a scene that is male dominated?
Mallika:Most of the time I don’t even think about it, if you want respect, whoever you are, you just go out and earn it. I haven’t really had a tough time myself being a woman in the scene. Sometimes I’ll get meat-head comments but I don’t let it bother me. I love the New England metal scene, there’s an abundance of good metal bands, good friends, and we support each other.
Ashley/Cryptic Inscriptions: What would you tell the critics that say women can’t be successful in the metal scene, that their vocals just aren’t that strong enough?
Mallika:I would think that they are simply uneducated, because there are numerous talented female metal vocalists [also guitarists, bassists and drummers] and there has been for decades. I could make an enormous list but I’ll keep it short and say check out Mythic, Acrostichon, Nuclear Death, Estuary, Putrefied Beauty, and Cerebral Bore.
Ashley/Cryptic Inscriptions: What do you and your band mates want to get from your music?
Mallika:We want to make intense, brutal music that challenges us. We want to have fun and see where it takes us.
Ashley/Cryptic Inscriptions: What do you want your fans to get from your music?
Mallika:We have an awesome, supportive fan base that we are grateful for. I suppose we would hope that they enjoy the music and that they get where we are coming from, musically and lyrically.
Ashley/Cryptic Inscriptions: I know you did the artwork for 2007’s “The Collective Calm in Mortal Oblivion” LP( which I personally happen to love) so tell us are one of those artists that has to be depressed or angry to get your artsy side going or do you sit down and let the awesomeness just fall out of you?
Mallika:Well, outside of the band I’m a professional artist, and I’m usually creating something. I only need some inspiration to create art. For the cover artwork, I let the music and the concept of the album drive the painting.
Ashley/Cryptic Inscriptions: I know pretty much the whole band collaborates on the lyrics and the music writing, do you think this makes you guys( and gal) a much stronger group?
Mallika:Collaborating on everything makes the writing process slower, but we think in the end it makes for more diverse and interesting music. The mishmash of our unique styles and influences is what makes Abnormality.
Ashley/Cryptic Inscriptions: Back in 2005 when you jumped on stage with Teratism to do a cover of Sepultura’s “Desperate Cry” did you ever think that would leave you to being the front woman of a new band?
Mallika:In 2005 I was looking for a new band, and Jay offered to have me do a song with Teratism to help me find a band. In the end, Jay and I joined forces and Abnormality was started. I didn’t think that was going to happen exactly like that, but I was serious about joining another band after the last one I was involved in broke up.
Ashley/Cryptic Inscriptions: So far in your career have you met all the goals and expectations?
Mallika:I always have big and small goals that I work towards. I feel like I am just starting to achieve some of them. The biggest goal for now is I want to do a national tour with Abnormality, and eventually tour internationally. It’s also a dream of mine to one day play Maryland Deathfest.
Ashley/Cryptic Inscriptions: Obviously we know you like death metal, but what other kinds of music are you into?
Mallika:I like some classic rock and hard rock like Alice in Chains, Stone Temple Pilots, Led Zeppelin, and Jimi Hendrix, some old country like Johnny Cash and Roy Orbison, some blues and folk like Janis Joplin, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, some Jazz like Billie Holiday, Frank Sinatra, and Ella Fitzgerald, and sometimes I listen to Tori Amos and Bjork. I also like classical music and Indian classical music.
Ashley/Cryptic Inscriptions: How do you think the age of technology that we are in helps the music scene? Do you think that it makes people less likely to come to the shows since they can watch the shows for free on youtube and download the music anytime they want?
Mallika:I think this age of technology is definitely of a benefit to bands. It’s easier to have your music heard, and to spread the word about shows and fests. I think the people that would rather stay home aren’t going to go out to shows anyway, but at least they can support your band by buying your music or merch. Going out to shows is very different than watching a band on youtube. You get totally enveloped in the music and energy, you get to see friends or meet new people, and you can drink and have a good time.
Ashley/Cryptic Inscriptions: When can we expect to see a full length from Abnormality?
Mallika:We are scheduled to record at the end of August of this year!
Ashley/Cryptic Inscriptions: Any last words, thoughts, demands, any upcoming shows/tours?
We have finished our summer shows and we are now focusing on our next record. We have something in the works for a longer tour next year, and we will release more details as they develop.
Thanks again Joe and Ashley, stay brutal!