Catching up with Jeff Lohrber
Way back in May 2012, Murfie was lucky enough to record a podcast with the band Enabler, a harcore/metal/punk crossover band from Milwaukee’s Riverwest neighborhood that is making quite a national stir. [Click here to listen to the podcast!]
With a few more tours under their belt, as well as an upcoming trip to Australia, the time is right to catch up a bit with the band’s frontman, Jeff Lohrber.
How’s everyone in the band doing?
> Everyone’s good! We’ve had some personnel changes since the last time we talked. Greg and Andy both had to leave due to their commitments to Misery Signals and Fall Out Boy, so we have a guitarist by the name of Eric Dunn and a drummer by the name of Chris Zugschwert. Most of us have been busy with home life and jobs.
What’ve you all been up to since last time we talked? (May 2012!)
> Well we put out our second LP All Hail the Void in July of last year as well as a new EP titled Shift of Redemption this past April. We’ve done 4 US tours and a European tour. This band is constantly in motion.
I hear you’re going to Australia soon—tell us about that!
> We are touring Australia in July with the band Urns. We’re doing about 11 shows on the Southeastern coast. I’m really looking forward to it. I feel like I’ve done more interviews in the past month regarding the Australian tour than ever before. People seem very excited to see us in Australia.
What’s the music scene like there? Is it similar to the U.S.?
> I’m not really 100% sure to be honest with you. I think it’s similar to the US, but on a smaller scale. There are less cities in Australia, it’s just not as big of a country, and most of the country is jungle or desert. I’m assuming it’s similar to touring Canada, where there are some amazing cities and amazing bands, but it’s just a lot more spread out than the States are.
Is there anywhere else that you’d really like to tour someday?
> We’re looking at hitting Southeast Asia next. We’ve had offers to play in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, etc. and we were actually trying to make it coincide with the Australian tour, but one thing at a time. I would really love to be able to play Japan as well as South America at some point.
Last time, you mentioned that a few of you in the band are vegan. How’s that going?
> Well the newer members are not vegan, to each their own. Amanda is very into being vegan and will always be, I eat 99.9% vegan but I’ve found myself giving in to the veggie patties at Subway once in a while with the excessive amount of touring that we’ve been doing.
I tried quitting cheese, but I can’t! Any advice?
> I never really had this problem except with pizza, which Whole Foods and Ian’s have actually made this pretty easy (the vegan mac n’ cheese pizza at Ian’s is choice). Cheese is a hard thing to replace, so I just found other things that I would eat instead, which was actually good for me. When I decided to go vegan, I was at a point where almost every meal was a frozen cheese pizza, so I definitely needed a change of diet, and luckily I found other foods that were just as cheap and easy to make and I didn’t have any problems. I can relate with cigarettes though, I would love to quit, I’ve tried time and time again, and I just fail miserably every time.
Besides the Australia shows, what are Enabler’s upcoming plans?
> We are playing This is Hardcore Fest in Philly in August and doing a short tour around that, and then this fall we are going to be tracking a new record!
It’s starting to get nicer out…are there any summer activities you’re looking forward to doing?
> I really miss going running in the winter, I like biking up to the park and reading from time to time, and of course I love a good barbecue, etc. Winter seemed to last exceptionally long this year, so it’s nice to just get out of the house and have it not be miserable outside!
Are there any new bands that you’re really digging right now?
> Agrimonia, Nails, Darkthrone, Ghost, Integrity, and Portal have all put out records this year that are awesome. The new Black Sabbath record is actually really good as well.
What are some of the best summer albums of all time?
> I don’t know if I would describe these as summer albums, but I love driving around with my windows down blaring these records full blast! Led Zeppelin – IV, Deep Purple – Machine Head, Judas Priest – Painkiller, Dead Kennedys – Fresh Fruit, and Cannibal Corpse – Bloodthirst.
Describing your music, your band has stated that “The world is f***** and this is the soundtrack to its demise.” Any advice for us folks regarding that? :-)
> Well I’ve always looked at this band as an outlet for my frustrations. There are just so many wrongs in this world that we have so little power to make right, and I have to be able to vent these frustrations or else it’s just going to build up inside of me and I would turn to violence. There are so many just wrong things happening at all times, and my advice to any angry or frustrated person out there would be to find some sort of creative outlet and let it flow into whatever you choose to create. Essentially then you are creating something positive with your negativity, because if you just try to ignore all of the negative things in life, they will catch up to you and the aftermath will be ugly for yourself and the people that surround you. As a fan of heavy music, when I was a kid and discovered hardcore/punk music and heavy metal, I related to it, and I knew that I wasn’t the only person that felt this way. It’s important to know that you aren’t alone, and it’s important to be creative in times where so many people are so destructive.
Thanks again to Jeff Lohrber for catching up with us here at Murfie, and for sharing words of wisdom! You can learn more about Enabler at facebook.com/enablermke.