Enabler | Interview with Jeffrey Lohrber

Since the release of their acclaimed debut album "All Hail the Void" in 2012, Milwaukee’s four-piece Enabler have been constantly on and off the road, bringing their powerful and filthy crust-metal sound across two continents and who knows how many countries.
Guitarist and vocalist, Jeffrey Lohrber, recently took a moment out of his busy schedule to share with Scratch the Surface some of his road stories and the band’s future recording plans. Here’s what he had to say.

First things first, how are things in the Enabler camp at the moment? You have been playing shows with Early Graves and Weekend Nachos lately and before that you had an extensive European tour with Rotten Sound and Martyrdod. How did that go?

"The shows have been great for the most part. I've been playing in bands now for about 13-14 years, since I was a little kid, and touring for about 10-11 years. A good chunk of that time was spent playing or touring with bands that I did not personally enjoy. Don't get me wrong, there are some great people in some of these bands, but the music just sucks in my opinion. I love that with Enabler we play with primarily bands that I enjoy personally and musically. Rotten Sound and Martyrdod are both just killer bands, we've actually toured with Martyrdod twice now and they are like family. Weekend Nachos and Early Graves are both also just awesome bands and great people. We also just played a few shows with Dead in the Dirt who are fucking awesome. Just sharing the stage with people that you have mutual respect for makes all the difference in the world when it comes to touring."

Ever since the band has released their debut album "All Hail the Void" in 2012, you have been constantly on tour, driving across the U.S. and playing everywhere. Where are you going to get the energy to keep this relentless pace?

"Honestly, I don't think we've been as busy as you think. We all have jobs and have a home life that we have to maintain. We're not the band who is on tour 10 months out of the year. We're playing about 80 - 100 shows a year, and we try to make the shows we play count. We try to make sure that we're playing shows that we would want to pay to go to. I've had friends that have gone through the 250 shows a year lifestyle, and for the most part it got them nowhere. They weren't able to maintain their bands due to such heavy touring and they exhausted their fans by coming through every city in the states 6 times a year."

What's the weirdest thing that's happened to you on tour that wouldn't be incriminating to share?

"Our former bassist once was blacked out drunk and started jerking off while laying next to me and yelling his girlfriends name, this was after he passed out on the phone with her. I ran to the other side of the room. He then pissed himself and woke up in the van the next morning with no pants on. Maybe there's a reason he's out of the band and Amanda joined..."

What are your favourite and least favourite parts of touring, and being in stuck in a van with other guys for days in a row?

"Sitting in a van with your best friends to play shows every night all around the world is just straight up fun. I love live performance more than anything else in life. So I guess you could say I was born for this lifestyle. My least favorite thing is how exhausting the lifestyle can get, and how hard it is to recover when you get home. We're usually straight back at work the day we come home from tour, and our bosses all think we're on fucking vacation or something!"

"I personally love live performance more than anything else in life."

I noticed there’s an Australian tour schedule for July, are you looking forward to this particular trek? I believe it’s your first time playing there.

"Absolutely. Being able to travel the world doing what I love most is an absolute honor."

As mentioned above, you released your debut full-length, "All Hail the Void" a year ago and recently you have issued a new EP called “Shift of Redemption”. Why release an EP now, did you want to get some older material out before writing another record?

"The recording session for AHTV took about 18 days of tracking, and the producer / guitarist at the time Greg Thomas took about 3 months to edit and mix this record. I was very impatient, and also although AHTV is a record that I am 100% proud of, it came out a little more "produced" than I would have liked. The 4 songs for the Shift EP were written in the time that I was just waiting to hear AHTV, I was very frustrated at not hearing any kind of finalized product and basically having all the work tracking I had just done taken out of my hands. The idea was to put out some short and fast that sounded like a band playing in your living room where as AHTV is just a little to clean for my taste."

Regarding new material, I read that you recently recorded a bunch of new songs, are those destined for the next album? If so, what can we expect from this upcoming new work?

"We just demoed out 3 new songs with our friend Cole from the band The Crinn. The idea was to just get in the studio with our new drummer and lay down some new tracks to see how everything was sounding. We're very happy with everything and these songs will be released on various upcoming splits 7". I am knee deep in the dead with new songs right now. I really love all of the new songs, the AC/DC and Amebix influences are at an all time high, but it's hidden in there and the songs are very pissed and very melodic. I think if AHTV was Enabler's stamp in the heavy music world, this next record will make sure you won't forget that stamp. The plan right now is to track in November. Stay tuned..."

More info at: http://enablerband.com