Hiya, thanks for joining us today. What made us want to start Abnorm?
Abbie started writing for this new music project, which we ended up titling Abnorm because she’s always dreamed of being in a band. We considered calling ourselves Abbie and the Norms, but we wanted a more rock and roll name. Abnorm started as Jamie, Abbie, and Matty, just wanting to get together to make music, play live gigs to share our cracking music with the world, and just have fun as best pals do.
Who are the members and what is our musical history?
So there’s Abbie (frontwoman/bassist), Abbie actually has a Masters in Music but it was mostly written essays rather than performance or composition. She’d never actually written a song before starting the Abnorm project.
Jamie Budge (lead guitarist) started playing the guitar at 14 and met Matthew at a gig, together they’ve been in multiple bands together, they come as a duo, absolutely inseparable.
Matthew Middleton (rhythm guitarist/bassist) got his first guitar when he was 8, played in a bunch of bands with Jamie, but his main musical influence is definitely Taylor Swift. She’s his idol.
Michael Bull (drummer) learnt how to play drums during lockdown and is already incredible, Michael plays the guitar for a bunch of other projects too.
One question we’re sick of being asked?
We’re fairly new to the whole idea of interviews, but one question that keeps cropping up that we really don’t have an answer for is: ‘what’s your ideal gig?’ cause we’re pretty much happy to play anywhere and everywhere. We’ll let you know after we’ve played Wembley.
Do you sign up to any Conspiracy theories?
This is a really cool question. I’m not sure if there’s any we agree on – we all believe there’s alien life in the universe, which is why we released ‘Everything Temporary’ (E.T.) To us, it was about extra-terrestrial life and how important it is to remember that we are tiny blips in a massive universe. We also collectively have a bit of a fascination with cults, I think we definitely watch too many documentaries.
Useless party tricks?
Jamie’s party trick is having too many bucky bombs (Buckfast tonic wine and Jägermeister) and not making it till midnight before keeling over. Sinking bucky bombs as a group – I think that’s our party trick.
The most fun we’ve had on stage?
Abbie’s favourite gig so far has been supporting Venus Grrrls at Head of Steam because she’s a big fan. But as a group we enjoy playing Bobiks, it’s such a nice venue, we definitely play our best there – it’s such a nice vibe.
Worst on-stage experience?
We’ve had a few technical difficulties before but nothing super disruptive. Like a mic cutting out suddenly, Jamie breaks a string, or Michael’s drum pedal breaking. We just pick up where we left off and crack on, as the professionals do. Nothing crazy yet, but ask us again in a years’ time.
A fact about us that people would be surprised?
Probably quite a few. This is Abbie’s first time in a band. And her first real music project – so this is us just getting settled in stylistically. We don’t take ourselves too seriously, we like to have fun and do normal activities together as friends. But we love Abnorm, it’s where we can come, vent our rage, be ourselves, and make loud noises together.
If we had to describe our music to an alien?
Dududulldlduduudd. Nah just kidding – catchy angry music for cool angry people.
What makes us stand out?
Matty reckons it’s cause of his six-string bass. Matty and Abbie swap bass during the set too which is pretty cool. We just have good songs and a whole load of passion for them.
What is pissing us off the most right now?
Michael: Climate inaction.
Jamie: yeah, what they said.
Our favourite song to play live, and why?
Matty: Good Riddance because them power chords on the bass sound filthy.
Abbie: I love singing the riffs in E.T., sometimes I feel like I’m on another planet and everything is gonna be ok.
Michael: Our song “In No Particular Order” because the stop and start verses sound sick, pretty cool riffs in there and all.
Jamie: Our new song “Electrolyte” because it’s always good to try out new material.
Our new single:
“Good Riddance”, which is available to stream now, was recorded, mixed, and produced by Alex McArthur at Blast Recording studios. It is our third single to be released and we’ve been making it for nearly a year.
The thought process of our new single:
Abbie wrote Good Riddance when she was feeling homesick. She was having a pretty terrible time at work and wanted to vent it out. Abbie grew up in Hartlepool, by the sea, and so wrote Good Riddance originally as a 6/8 sea shanty. She listened to quite a few sea shanties when she was younger and was heavily inspired by The Young’uns. It turned into more of a grunge rock ballad the more angry she got, and when she brought it to the band – that’s when it really took off.
Biggest learning curve writing Good Riddance
Probably transferring Good Riddance from a sea shanty into something a rock band can play on stage. Abbie managed to maintain the changes of intensities and the waltz-like feel to it without compromising its authenticity. It’s still a song that means so much to us and we can all apply it to different things in our lives that make us really mad.
Would I change anything now it’s finished?
Abbie drove poor Alex up the wall during the recording and production of Good Riddance. We definitely maxed out the amount of revisions he usually allows. We just wanted it perfect. We wanted it how we could hear it in our heads and we didn’t stop until we achieved it.
Plans for the next year?
We’ve got some crazy cool support slots coming up with some of our favourite bands we love to watch. The first that’s been announced is a Ten Eighty Trees gig at Independent, Sunderland on Saturday 19th February.
Anything we would like to share with the world?
We are really cool, you should listen to our new single “Good Riddance” and come and see us live if you get the chance.