Ohio’s Enabler are slowly but surely gaining critical acclaim in the metal underground. Still relatively young at 4 years of age, Enabler’s “Road-Tested, Headbanger Approved” brand of punk/thrash infused metal is solid, punishing, and provides a great emotional release. Bonus Points: Cute female bass player!
Their latest album, La Fin Absolue Du Monde, hit the shelves on May 27th, just a day before the band found themselves supporting the mighty EYEHATEGOD and Cleveland kingpins Ringworm on a month-long rager full of chaos. I can’t stress the next 4 words enough: GO TO THIS TOUR.
At around the halfway point, I spoke with 2/3 of the band, guitar/vocalist Jeff Lohrber and bass/vocalist Amanda Daniels (because drummer Ryan Steigerwald was doing double duty with Ringworm… What a bad ass!) about the new record, the current (incredible) tour they find themselves a part of, and what’s in store for the band for 2014.
G- Hi there and thank you very much for taking the time to speak with Live High Five!
G- What’s going on with the tour so far and how has everything been? It’s a monster!
J- It’s been going great. We couldn’t ask for a better bunch of people to do a tour with. We were already pretty good friends with the Ringworm camp. In addition to that, our drummer Ryan is playing with Ringworm right now, filling in whenever their full time drummers couldn’t do it, for the past 10 years.
A– 10 years!
R- So, we are pretty good friends with them, and the EYEHATEGOD guys are just awesome.
A- It’s fucking EYEHATEGOD!
J- They’re a fucking amazing band, too. Just great. Very nice, too.
A- It’s just surreal.
G- Some pretty aggressive partying going on?
J- You know, it’s not more than it normally is.
A- Normal for a band on tour, anyway, whatever that means. (laughing)
G- For sure. What I also want to do is send shout out to the member who isn’t here right now and let’s talk about where everyone is from and everything.
A- Well, it’s just Ryan. He plays drums and he’s been filling in for Ringworm since he was in diapers, and that’s why he isn’t here right now because Ringworm is currently playing.
G- The double-duty drummer.
A- And that’s it, because there’s just 3 of us now.
G- Alright. So, the band is still fairly young, but I wanted to talk about how the band came about, when you first started getting together, and when you felt the need to really hit the road and start doing it.
J- Well, I knew going into this that we had to tour. When I started this band, this was not a new thing. I had been doing this for a while doing drums in a lot of different bands touring, and I had a band previous to this called Harlots, which was kind of my baby before this band. We did a lot of shows, probably over 300, and I played in Trap Them. I also currently play in Today Is The Day. I played in Shai Hulud, Dead To Fall…
G- You played in Shai Hulud, too?
J- Just for a tour.
A- We just played with them 5 nights ago. It was great!
G- I played drums in Zombie Apocalypse for a spell, so I’m familiar with Mr. Matt Fox, too!
J- (laughter) Matt’s awesome!
A- I’ve been listening to Shai Hulud since I was 15.
G- Right on.
J- So, when this band started, when I had been playing in Harlots, I wrote a lot of music. And when Harlots started to break up and we saw it going downhill, from then on out I started writing the material for this, or what would turn into this. I had been a hired drummer in a lot of different bands, but this was on the backburner, just working on it for personal enjoyment and writing songs that I liked and wanted to hear.
Finally, when I came home from the Trap Them tour, things didn’t go very well on it and it kinda gave me the kick in the ass to switch from drums back to guitar, because I had originally started on guitar.
About four months later, the initial lineup was formed, myself being the only original member, and when the first lineup was formed, we played our first show within 3 weeks. It was very quick.
And I knew that, you know, we play in a hardcore band and touring is essential for things like this. If we don’t tour, people don’t know who we are. There is no other form of promotion for a band like us. I had a lot of in’s from my past from touring, and we were on tour within our first 6 months of being a band. It was a very quick start, and it’s been a very fast-paced moving thing since then.
G- And steadily building because you have a lot of releases, which we’ll go over soon.
But first, you recently released your latest album, La Fin Absolue Du Monde, on Creator-Destructor / Earsplit Compound (What’s up, Dave and Liz!) Tell us about it… How do you feel about the final product, and what is it like working with Creator-Destructor and the fine folks over at Earsplit Compound?
J- Dave and Liz are awesome.
G- You know it!
A- Everyone we’re working with is fucking great. We’re just friends, and we work with our friends. And what we put out is something they’re proud of.
G- They LOVE you guys, too.
J- We’re very proud of the record. I feel from our last record, All Hail The Void, that was a little more produced album. It has cleaner production, and there are a lot of things that we learned on that record that helped us going back in for just a raw, loud record. That is a big thing, you know?
A- It feels like the band.
J- All Hail The Void didn’t feel like a band, a unit. It didn’t feel like we were making a record together. On this one, it really felt like we were making a record together.
As far as the record label thing, Creator/Destructor we had worked with before, and Dave we’d been working with for 2 years as our publicist and, we had had talks like ‘Hey let’s try to get a record deal’ and shopped around. We didn’t get the deals we wanted, and the deals we did get, we didn’t really like.
This whole idea got brought up, like… It just made a lot of sense. It’s so much easier. We’re working with people that like our band.
A- Our first release was on Halo Of Flies. He did such a good job with it that it just made sense to continue working with him… As his label grows, our band also grows. It’s a really awesome symbiotic relationship.
He (Dave) has a really cool goal in mind with what he wants to achieve with The Compound. It totally aligns with the DIY ethic we have, and we’re both really excited about what is going on.
G- The 2 of them, Dave and Liz, work 25 hours a day.
A- For real.
G- It’ll be 3am and I’ll get the “Roundup From The Compound” email, and it’s always killer.
So, you brought it up briefly, and I’d like to go a bit more in depth because this is not your first release.
G- You guys have a veritable shit ton of releases.
J- I think this is our 11th or 12th?
A- I’ve lost track.
G- And in a very short amount of time, too. You’ve worked with a handful of labels and it’s a tough situation in the music business right (as it has always been,) but it’s different now. What has your experience been like with some of the other labels you’ve worked with, and you’ve mentioned why you went with Creator/Destructor and Earsplit already, but how is it different from the other labels?
J- It’s been such a weird trip, you know? Starting from the beginning, Eden Sank To Grief was released on Andy Hurley’s…
A- Fuck City. (laughing)
J- Yeah F.C. Andy (Hurley)… He became our drummer later for a couple of months. He knew me before from other bands and from Milwaukee where we started the band, and he just liked the band from the beginning and put out the first record. From then on out, it’s been almost all friends. It’s been “Hey let’s do a split” with this band. People always want the scoop… ‘What’s the deal’ or ‘Who are you guys signed to?!’ For us, we work with our friends. We work with our friends’ labels and they are supportive of us and like our band.
And a lot of these labels, Halo Of Flies was mentioned, they put out a lot of releases. It’s our friend Corey who plays in the band Protestant and runs it out of his apartment in Milwaukee.
A- He’s awesome. Everyone is just really hard working and has a good ethic to them, I feel.
G- So obviously, going on the road with EYEHATEGOD and Ringworm is a huge feather for any band in the metal/hardcore scene and you’ve got a month with them… What’s up after that?
A- Arson Fest, and we’re playing The Fest in Gainesville.
G- You’re playing The Fest?!
J- Yeah. We played 2 years ago, too.
A- (laughing) What else are we doing?
J- We’re in the works on stuff right now, so we’re not sure what we’re doing. The big thing is we were on tour almost all of April, and we had 2 weeks off. Then, we went through Canada, played Maryland Deathfest, and now we’re on this. We haven’t had any breaks, so July is like a break. It’s kinda hard to figure these things out when you’re on tour, like ‘What’s our next tour?!’ We always have the backup plan of…
A- We’ll just go out.
J- Yeah we’ll just go out. We have that freedom to work on our own terms, but maybe something will come up. I have no idea right now.
And I’m also playing drums in Today Is The Day, and there is a new TITD record coming out in October on Southern Lord, so my whole plan was move back home where I basically have a room in my parents’ house, and just try to be out as much as possibly, you know?
G – For sure.
Now, I have a few questions left for you, but I want to know what is one question that has never been asked that you’ve always wanted to have asked and answer?
A- I never do interviews, so it doesn’t apply.
G- Well you’re here!
G- Come on now!
A- I don’t fucking know.
J- I’m just happy that no one is asking us questions about Fall Out Boy.
A- We could’ve had an interview totally without it! Way to go, Jeff.
G- I was always a bigger fan of Racetraitor anyway.
J- Yeah. Well that was the thing because, you know, Hurley was in our band and he’s a friend and we’re from Milwaukee and…
A- He just asked you a question about what you’ve never been asked that you want to answer, and you said the one thing that we hate!
J- You sound like such a fucking stoner right now! Jesus!
G- Well, how’s this: To all you interviewers out there, Shut the fuck up about Fall Out Boy when interviewing Enabler because they don’t want to hear it. Go read Teen Magazine or some shit!
G- But anyways, not to bash any other bands because they’re doing their thing.
A- No, they are very good at what they do and I enjoy seeing them live. They have a lot of excellent energy and funny stage manner.
G- Well, you guys find yourself on a pretty nasty tour right now and all the bands are great. I have 2 of you here, and if you could both put together a feasible 3 band dream bill to be a part of, or bands you’ve never played shows with before, who would you select?
G- Metallica is good.
J- Ok we’re going to go pretend we’re a band in 1986 and 1987…
A- No, 1985
J- … And we’re going to say Metallica, Slayer…
A- We need one more. Led Zeppelin?
J- They weren’t around in 1985.
A- I don’t care.
A- Kiss, because Ryan is not in the interview, We’ll say Kiss.
J- Even ‘80’s Kiss is great! I love it!
G- And how about 2 albums from each of you… 4 albums every fan of you should know about and why. Go!
J- Def Leppard High And Dry. Sepultura Arise.
A- I just… I’m trying to not think of my preference, but something people would like.
J- TragedyVengeance. Neurosis Through Silver And Blood.
A- Yeah Neurosis Through Silver And Blood. That’s a good one!
G- Nice. And to finish up today, you guys are on the road a lot, you’re doing the DIY thing, and you’ve done a lot of other projects and have been doing this for a while. You’re on the rise and there are a lot of kids who want to try to get in the van and do what you’re doing.
From your experience, what advice could you give some of the young kids out there that want to make it on the road, be in a band, and do what you’re doing?
J- Don’t give up.
A- Don’t stop. Don’t give up.
J- Yeah don’t stop and don’t give up.
A- Practice A LOT! You have to really actually practice.
J- You just have to go out there and do it because you want to do it, to play like you want to be there.
A- Don’t be a douchebag.
G- That’s a big one.
J- I was talking about this earlier with a tech/roadie/tour manager kinda guy. We were talking about how we have a mutual friend who is too aggressive on the business side. He doesn’t let things fall into place, and he’s too hungry to make it big. You know, you should be here to play what you want to play and what you’re happy playing. You shouldn’t give a fuck if… If someone thinks you suck, don’t fucking worry about it. It doesn’t fucking matter. It’s one person’s opinion. You probably think tons of bands suck. It’s gonna happen and it’s part of the fucking game. Don’t let it get you down and don’t worry about it. Don’t worry about what they’re doing, worry about what you’re doing, making your craft the right way. Worry about making the music you make right and how you think a band should sound. Don’t worry about fitting into subgenres, just think about what you want to do with your instrument, whether drums or guitar or whatever. Just worry about that and if you play it like you fucking mean it, things will happen to you no matter what. As long as you’re out there doing it.
G- Nice. Well that’s what I’ve got for you guys, so I just want to say thanks again for taking the time to speak with Live High Five. Again, the set sounded great (from outside) and travel safe, play well, and I look forward to catching up again in the future. Whatever you’re doing, keep doing it because people are digging it!
J- Cool thanks man.
A- Thank you!
G- A pleasure.