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Interviews Abhorrence

Interview with vocalist Jukka Kolehmainen

Interview conducted by Luxi Lahtinen

Date online: January 24, 2024

Live pics by Ms Cesar Little

One of the most well known and legendary Finnish death metal veterans, Abhorrence made their comeback in 2012 and since then they have played sporadic gigs mainly in their home country, with the exception of performing at the famous Kill-Town Deathfest VII in Denmark in 2019.

Fans have wanted new material from these legends and the band answered their calls by releasing a 5-track EP in September 2018, carrying a monster of a name, Megalohydrothalassophobic (I don't remember what on earth the title means).

Abhorrence has been quiet as of late, but that doesn't mean all the bubbling under the surface has stopped.

We decided to find out what's been going on in the Abhorrence camp and Mr. "Throattorturer" Jukka Kolehmainen took the opportunity to fill us in...


How's it rotting these days, Jukka? It's been a while since we last talked eh, 6+ years or something...?

Jukka: Not bad and it has indeed been a while. My kid is all grown up, life is evening out and I'm happy when I'm doing fuck all. It's -5 ℃ outside with snow drifting down, I have a mug of coffee in hand, and all is good.

Abhorrence has pretty much been keeping radio silence for quite some time now, so what's up with the band?

Jukka: We're not going to keep making noise in the socials just for the sake of it. Personally, I'm trying to distance myself from all that as much as possible. It's toxic as hell and you can't really have a discussion when everyone is busy making sure their view is represented in an overly aggressive manner.

We've been going to the rehearsals now and then, trying out new riffs, and have made a teeny bit of progress. We've played one gig at a private event since Kill-Town in 2019, so yes, it's been slow.

Waltteri moved to Sweden for his work in Opeth, so that limits our chances to play a bit, but that also forces us to make sure rehearsals happen when he is around.


What are your expectations regarding your show at Bar Loose in Helsinki, Finland, on March 29, 2024? I wouldn't be surprised at all if there was a full house that night...

Jukka: Personally, I'm merely expecting to perform and fulfill everyone's expectations. It's getting harder and harder for me to do live shows. It turns up my anxieties to 11 and my memory is failing fast, so it's not that fun for me anymore. On the other hand, I enjoy doing anything with the rest of the band, so that is on the other end of the scale.

I'm hoping people will come. The tickets are a bit expensive due to us having to cover all expenses (like Waltteri's travel and what have you), but I'm hoping it'll be worth it for people. I don't know if we'll perform new tunes, but we have a few cool surprises planned.

As they say, curiosity killed the cat, but what surprises? Any hints you can give out?

Jukka: No. Specifics are still open, and nothing is set in stone.


In September 2018, you released a 5-track EP, titled Megalohydrothalassophobic, which created quite a lot of fuss around the band, both good (gig opportunities, positive reviews, etc.) and bad (eh... well, some negative reviews?) How pleased are you still with that recording, now in January 2024?

Jukka: Very pleased. It was a direct continuation of the band's evolution, nothing to sulk about there. When it comes to the negative reviews the EP got, I only read a few that were properly written out. Most of them were whiney bits about not being 1:1 to the recordings from 30 years ago. Back then we did something that no one had done, to our knowledge, so our goal was to be unique and distinctly different from everyone else. We didn't have the money to make the production better or hire a producer who understood what we were doing, so we made do with what we got.

Today, bands that sound like we did back then are a dime a dozen. I mean, if you want to duplicate that old sound, you just google our gear from back then, record it with shitty equipment and you're pretty much there. All that info is readily available.

I hear you, Jukka. Did you record the EP using your own gear, or did you have to rent some of the gear to get the recording done?

Jukka: I assume you are referring to the new EP, but my answer applies to both; We used our own gear.

The studio (Moon Unit) had some gear, but I don't remember if those amps were used. Probably not.

Do you have your own personal standout track(s) on the EP that manages to give you some creeps, in a positive way, of course, and what makes this song so special for you?

Jukka: Yeah, "Hyperobject..." and "The End..." "Hyperobject..." starts with The Bloop, which was something I've wanted to use on a track for a long time. For quite a while, scientists didn't know how such a loud sound could be created in nature, which lends nicely to the "Cthulhu Sleeps in R'lyeh" vibe. Now they've figured out it was a huge chunk of ice scraping the ocean floor, or "non-tectonic cryoseisms originating from glacial movements." I love that sentence, by the way.

"The End Has Already Happened" is a massive track and could be our most psychedelic (and I love psychedelic music), which builds from start to finish. I nearly passed out at Kill-Town screaming this one, as towards the last few bars of the track I ran out of air in my excitement and just pushed through. It's all gloom and doom and acceptance that everything has gone to shit.


Have you had a chance to write new songs since then, and are all of you still enthusiastic enough to keep the band's name alive?

Jukka: We have written new stuff, yes. A few tracks need to be finalized and we have several song structures to build on, riffs that need to be put in order and so forth. Basically, rehearsal room work.

We would love to release a full-length album. It's been a long time coming, and we're not too keen on keeping the band alive just to keep it alive. I think we all feel something new needs to happen and we don't want to keep playing the old stuff until the bitter end.

Are you all as motivated and goal orientated as you were when you were working on the aforementioned EP?

Jukka: Yeah, the biggest problem is everyone is busy with their lives elsewhere. With the EP we managed to get momentum going and that helped a lot. Now we have the extra burden of Waltteri living elsewhere, but for how things are looking now, we're enthusiastic about getting it up to speed again.

Your drummer, Waltteri Väyrynen, has been a busy lad for quite a long time due to his involvement in many bands, especially since he joined the ranks of Opeth in 2022. What's his current status with Abhorrence, and how do you guys balance the time management with him between Abhorrence and Opeth?

Jukka: Same as with everyone else's time, we try to figure out the slots when we're all available and then make time for playing. Waltteri is still our drummer, nothing has changed there, apart from needing to plan a bit more carefully.

Everyone has a lot of stuff going on in their lives. Well, I try to minimize my stuff, reduce stress, and avoid stuffing my life with stupid rushing and bouncing from place to place.

Is there something that you'd still like to achieve with Abhorrence?

Jukka: The album, but other than that, no.

I would love to keep it a "fun with mates" type of experience, one that brings us enjoyment and doesn't imbue stress nor anxiety or any other crappy burdens into our lives.


Kill-Town Deathfest VII, in Copenhagen, Denmark on September 5, 2019, was the first gig by the band abroad since 1990. What kind of memories do you have from that performance?

Jukka: It's all positive now. There was a staff strike at the airport when we arrived, our gear was delayed until a few hours before our showtime and our merch was a true hassle to sort out, but most of that is sort of grayed out.

I remember feeling as if the whole festival was catered for us. It was so spot-on what we feel suits the band, the people were so into it, and this includes the staff as well as the audience. It felt like kind of return home or to those events we liked back in the '80s-'90s, except much better organized.

Was this show at Kill-Town in 2019 the last gig that you have played with Abhorrence, up to this very date?

Jukka: We played a private gig at Jussi's birthday, just three songs, while Jussi played in two other line-ups that evening. His night was full, we had fun, though, lots of friends and all that.


I am sure there are thousands and thousands of people around the globe who have hoped to see Abhorrence playing near their neighborhoods since the band reformed in 2012 (at least according to information that's available on the Internet). Do you feel that you could have done more gigs if each band member's life activities matched a bit more optimally?

Jukka: Sure, we could've done more gigs, but that could also mean the fans would get to experience grumpy adults instead of fired-up death metal dudes.

To elaborate, one has to understand we're adults and parents, with lots of adulting to do, along with careers and other interests. This also means financials come into play, as well as us missing work, not seeing our families, and cutting out on other things we have interests in. When you combine this with exhausting traveling and organizing duties, it just becomes another job. That's not fun.

Either way, none of us really want to tour for weeks on end in a van and we can't just fly to another continent for a single show, as the tickets would be stupid pricey or we would be paying for it out of our own pockets. It wouldn't be sustainable money-wise, nor physical or mental health-wise. And it would absolutely kill our interest.


How do you feel when someone recognizes you and comes to talk to you, to say, "You are one of my long-time heroes... I have always loved Abhorrence since day one!" Does this type of situation happen to you from time to time?

Jukka: I've not been called a hero, but yeah, sometimes that does happen. My car service shop's boss asked for the new EP. He insisted on paying for it and asked me to sign it. A few of my neighbors turned out to be fans and, in typical Finnish fashion, they never mentioned the band until years later.

I mostly get embarrassed, though, imposter syndrome and all that, but I've learned to take a compliment in the last 10-15 years. Well, to not look embarrassed at least and try to assume they're not taking the piss.

Abhorrence has a huge status in terms of creating the early Finnish death metal sound back in the late '80s and early '90s, despite being a short-lived act. What's your take on this subject matter when you, quite obviously, are aware of the fact you were a part of this crucial yet important movement?

Jukka: Quite frankly, my take doesn't matter. Other people decide these things. I won't deny it is nice to hear our contribution is appreciated and valued, that we've had a lasting impact on parts of the scene.

Is there anything that has been bugging you for all these decades, or that you've regretted that you never did with Abhorrence when the band first existed from 1989 through 1990?

Jukka: Not really. We could've taken the merchandise side a bit more seriously. I was a printer (hah, have fun googling and figuring this out, my fellow death metal kids) by profession for fuck's sake. I could've done silk screening at home by myself.


Before Abhorrence, you also did vocals for a band named Rebirth. What was that "mystery" band anyway?

Jukka: It was a speed/thrash metal band with me, Kalle and Jussi, aged 13-15. There was one mate of mine on guitar as well (greetings Mika). We just wanted to play metal and that was one iteration. We had a bunch of drummers in those bands, I think Unholy Fury was a later one. A few of them were just us playing Metallica and Slayer, but I think Rebirth was the first one that had few original songs. Nothing was recorded. It was quite shit.

Predicting the future is always a tough if not impossible task, but I'll ask anyway. What will be realistically in store for Abhorrence in 2024?

Jukka: A gig done in a professional manner, hopefully a few new tracks, but I'm not brave enough to predict recording those, too.

I would like to thank you, Jukka, for shedding light on some comings and goings of Abhorrence and, of course, let your future path be full of nice rewards and success either with Abhorrence or without. Now it's time for you to wrap up this interview with closing comments if you have any...

Jukka: Thank you! Once again, for all you've done for us mate, for the local and global scenes, too, over at least three decades now! I'll offer a deep bow and tip of the hat to you, good sir.

I'd also like to shout out a few bands I've been obsessed with lately (none are death metal, sorry for that). Check out Dhyana's Shikantaza album (, for fans of drone/doom the likes of Bong and Om). Slift came out with Ilion, a cool follow-up album to their awesome Ummon, as did Slomatics with Strontium Fields and Domkraft with Sonic Moons. Check them out.

Which reminds me, I am quite worried for Bandcamp and its future. It has been a great platform for small bands of any genre, let's hope for the best.

Anyway, go see live music, especially in the little venues and don't skip the opening bands! Support the bands! Support small labels! Support your local record dealer!

And thank you for reading all the way till the end. You're amazing.

Other information about Abhorrence on this site
Review: Megalohydrothalassophobic
Review: Megalohydrothalassophobic
Interview with vocalist Jukka Kolehmainen on March 10, 2012 (Interviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)

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