Abasia doesn't care if fans dance at its live shows, but the Houston band would prefer them to stand still and listen to the lyrics, like these from its song Fieri Infragilis:
Where does it all begin/Second coming long since fade/Ground begins to shake/And the apple falls.
Abasia's thought-provoking words combine with hypnotic melodies to create the songs that vocalist Kris Strick says are a reaction to a ""lack of depth in most of today's music.""
Strick formed the band in 2001 with Justin Howard (drums), Allen Oliver (guitar), Aaron Cobb (bass) and Mike Hererra (guitar). Years later, the band continues to rank connecting with fans on an intellectual level as its top priority.
""Our songs are laden with metaphors. This, we believe, allows the listener to find his or her own special meaning within the music,"" Oliver says.
Cobb adds that they want fans ""to get the feeling they are listening to something with a much more epic sound. Listeners don't always have to settle for music that is dumbed down for a pop generation.""
The genre Abasia has chosen to explore also helps to make its music deeper than the average ditty.
""Modern progressive rock is theory based. It's about chord structures, advanced chord structures, time stops. It goes back to the basic fundamentals of music,"" Strick explains.
The band has only a three-track demo and is fine with its limited discography.
""We only release a few songs at a time because we want our CDs to reflect our current style. It takes years to arrange the music the way we want it, and if we tried to release a 14-track CD, by the time it was out, our style may have changed,"" Strick says.
Most of Abasia's following is born out of live shows, but don't expect any sort of theatrical quality. The members request low lighting or better yet, no lighting, onstage during performances because, according to Howard, the band ""wants people to see a group of individuals who work well together as a whole. I don't care for the idea of people showing up to see a frontman/vocalist who stands in the light or a guitarist/drummer who is more concerned about his own image (than) to mesh well with the collective output. For me, creating good music hinges on every member's own ideas, as a group, not just as individuals.""
Strick also says band members ""want fans to know us for our music. Not what we look like.""
But who are they trying to kid? Members don black from head to toe and a few sport devilish goatees. Strick's undeniably vampirish appearance — jet-black hair against porcelain-white skin — recalls any character in any Anne Rice novel.
Given the deep thought the band says goes into its lyrics, one would think its name might have some profound meaning to them; Abasia is a medical term meaning impaired muscular coordination in walking. Not so, Strick admits:
""Someone threw it out as a suggestion to us when were looking for a band name. We liked the way it rolls off the tongue so we took it.""
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