Abertooth Lincoln’s bassist Andrew Humphrey is running a little late. Humphrey currently lives in Oxford, which is about an hour from the band’s headquarters in Dayton. The rest of the band, Jacob Gandert on vocals, guitarist James Lampe, Josh Gandert on sax/keyboards, and drummer Mike Werthmann are already where we all agreed to meet up, which is where the band lives and practices. It is one of the most beautiful nights that has graced the Dayton area in the past few months. The weather has been miserable around the Dayton area, with the amount of snow that equals to what most mountain regions receive.
I met up with the band outside of the meeting place, which was located a little outside of town. As soon as Humphrey arrived, he quickly apologized for being a little late. Driving an hour to come and meet up with everyone and also practice shouldn’t call for being sorry. The band and myself entered the home, and quickly opened up the windows. This was an evening that shouldn’t be wasted with the cool air swirling around outside.
It was just four years ago when Abertooth Lincoln formed. At that time Werthmann, and Lampe were just coming out of their previous band, He Laughs He Learns He Loves. Along with Caleab Wyant (keyboard, vocals), Eric Rieper (sounds, vocals) and Matt Conner (bass), He Laughs He Learns He Loves just dropped their long awaited full length album which was titled Say Yes To Everything. The album, which featured a heavy concoction of electronica, punk and metal in each of the songs, took over three years to be produced and then be released. The making of the album took its toll on everyone involved. Becoming burnt out with playing the songs they recorded to the point where they hated them, disagreements, along with the direction of the band gave everyone the conclusion that it was time to move on. Shortly after the album release party concluded, He Laughs He Learns He Loves called it quits. “We spent way too long on one project”, says Lampe. “When it was finally done (the album) that now we can listen to and think it sounds cool, but by the time it came out we all couldn’t stand it.”
In the ending stages of the band He Laughs He Learns He Loves, Lampe ventured over to meet up with Werthmann, Connor, and Gandert among others. When Lample arrived at the apartment where everyone was meeting at, he noticed everybody was on the floor laughing uncontrollably. He was then handed a piece of paper that simply said ‘Abertooth Lincoln’. “We were just watching Aqua Teen Hunger Force, and they had Time Lincoln on there”, explained Werthmann. For those who don’t know anything about Aqua Teen Hunger Force, the Cartoon Network’s late night cartoon show centered on the fictional universe involving three fast food items: Master Shake, Frylock and Meatwad, who live together as roommates and frequently interact with their human next-door neighbor Carl Brutananadilewski. The episode that the guys were watching featured Time Lincoln, an fictional character loosely based on the ex-president Abraham Lincoln and is amazing ability of time traveling. While watching the show, and in the typical situation that happens when guys are hanging together, they got on the mindless topic of comparing Abe Lincoln to a saber tooth tiger. The conversation took off to where one of the fellas proceeded to say that the name ‘Abertooth Lincoln’ would be a great band name. From that moment, the wheels started to move. The guys thought the band name was just too good to pass up on. Josh Gandert was immediately into the idea of being part of the band. Abertooth Lincoln became a reality.
Abertooth Lincoln’s first album came in 201o with the release of Live In This You Fucking Roaches, followed by 2012′s Abertooth Lincoln Vs. The All American Beef Battalion. The bountiful fury with each strum on the guitar, along with the influenced love for prog rock, metal, and punk really helped mold Abertooth Lincoln’s cast to change directions from what they did previously. After Abertooth Lincoln Vs. The All American Beef Battalion was released, Rieper left the band. Jacob Gandert smoothly transitioned into the role that Rieper left behind. “He’s been our best friend for years. It just made sense that Jacob would join the band”, Lampe said. Humphrey joined the band just a little over a year ago when Connor departed.
Currently Abertooth Lincoln are in the process of recording their follow up to Abertooth Lincoln Vs. The All American Beef Battalion. The album, Osteoferocious, is being recorded in Dayton and also in Nashville with Eric Westmaas. Westmass, who is a close friend of Humphrey’s (both went to high school together), moved to Nashville after graduating from college, taking an internship and eventually getting a job at a sound engineering company. Recordings have been done in spurts, with the band traveling to Nashville for weekends at a time. Three songs are already finished and mastered. Two songs are being worked right now and 5 more are in the works soon.
Lyrically, Abertooth Lincoln focus on social issues surrounding them and the world around them. The band’s vision with their lyrics simply want to open up discussion, and spark something for people to get talking. For example, one of Abertooth Lincoln’s new songs that will be on the upcoming album “Medicaretastrophe” is a blistering and frantic look into the national social insurance program. “It’s about realizing how much you are paying even if you have health insurance to see a doctor for something. It’s kinda bizarre that you pay ‘X’ number of dollars a month for heathcare and you still get hit with a $200 bill you had to get a sandal for a broken foot”, Lampe explained. Another new song “Dreamy Kids” centers around trying to not to become stagnant, and the need to look all around yourselves.
Along with the release of Osteoferocious the band is working on having a comic book be dropped at the same time. The comic book will take place between the time of the band’s fictional character Abertooth Lincoln’s beings his war against The American Beef Battalion (a meat and labor replacement fleet) and his battle with the dreaded Osteoferocious. The band mentioned that readers will get the inside look on how everything came about. “We got about half of the first issue…half the script written. We got the storyboarding done for it. We are in the middle of doing the drawling the panels, penciling it in”, Werthmann says. The band hopes to have the album and comic book done in May at the earliest.