INTERVIEW “OCCULT BLACK METAL ZINE”
1. Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the band members since the split of the band?
Since 2004, WITCHES’ SABBATH has been freeze due to different reasons. The main three original members of the band have been involved in side musical projects and there were important changes in the personal lives of us. Anyhow, the band was never declared defunct. There was a meeting in 2008, when the EP of the DEAD was written and recorded. The project did not have enough time for promotion and again the band was stopped. We feel that our time have arrive again, and WITCHES’ SABBATH is again alive!
2. Recently you have released a new ep, how would you describe the musical sound of the newer music and also how does it differ from the stuff you have released on the past?
All the works published by WITCHES’ SABBATH is different from the previous one. Since “New World Plague” (Necromance, 2004), we have introduced death metal influences in our music. The “EP of the DEAD” is an evolution of our previous work, and introduces a most “modern” sound with samples and electronic sequences. Anyhow, the essence of the music is extreme.
3. Your older material that I heard while the death metal influence was always there the music seemed to be more black metal influenced and had keyboards, what was the decision behind going for a more brutal death metal approach?
There was not a single reason. At that time we have influenced by bands as Myrkskog or Zyklon, and we decided to introduce this kind of spirit in our music.
4. What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the newer music?
Despite the evolution of our music, the lyrics have maintained the same essence: dark words, desperation, nonconformity, depression, anger…
5. This is going to be the last recording released, what was the decision behind the split?
Eduardo Salazar and Luis Henríquez, the formed members of the band, now play together in other music projects. WITCHES’ SABBATH is always alive in our minds, and now we have the opportunity to make plans regarding to the band because we are in contact again after some years. We have talked several times about the rebirth of WITCHES’ SABBATH. Moreover, people ask us about the fate of WITCHES’ SABBATH, because the band was never dissolved. Nowadays, we have time and strengths for WITCHES’ SABBATH, and we will try to be in the extreme music scene again!
6. What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Witches’ Sabbath?
Eduardo Salazar named the band in 1997 absolutely influenced by the books we were reading at that time. We were 17 years old! Among several names, WITCHES’ SABBATH implied something dark, a meeting not permitted, regardless of the provisions of the common teachings. We liked it!
7. What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?
It has to be taken into account that we live in a small island lost in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. In 1997, there were not internet and was very hard listening this kind of music. Black Metal was absolutely unknown, and there were not much followers of this type of music. The voices caused a deep impression in the audience, together with the blast beats played by Jesús Ojeda. At that time, it was very difficult to find places for our performances. Anyhow, a lot of people still remember that shows and talk us about the impact caused. Thereafter, we introduced face-painting and other black metal concepts in our shows. We had the opportunity to play with Kreator, and maybe it was one of our more remember shows.
8. This was the first release to be put out in 10 years, can you tell us a little bit more about the gap between releases?
After the “New World Plague” album, there were deep changes into the band. Jesús Ojeda and Luis Henríquez left the band due to personal requirements. Although some efforts were made and new members entered the band, the spirit of WITCHES’ SABBATH was definitively lost. Although the band made some performances with alternative line-up, the project was finally stopped. In 2008, Eduardo Salazar and Eduardo Rodríguez (who was also part of the band from the beginning), contacted Luis Henríquez to record the “EP of the DEAD”. Some promotional pics were even taken, but we have no time to publish it. Thus, the years have passed and after 10 years, Eduardo Salazar and Luis Henríquez play together in different music projects. The re-emerging of WITCHES’ SABBATH was only a matter of time.
9. The new ep was self released but you have worked with labels, how would you compare the DIY approach to working with a label?
The “Darkness Kingdom Coming” album, initially self released, was re-edited later in a professional format by OAKEN SHIELD / ADIPOCERE RECORDS. The “New World Plague” album was edited by Necromace record in 2004. However, in both cases, the music was recorded by the band on produced by WITCHES’ SABBATH. Thus, we have absolute control of our own music and sound. It was a pleasure to work with Adipocere Records and Necromance, and we are very grateful for the support shown to the band!
10. On the ep you did a cover of Danzig's "Dirty Black Summer" what was the decision behind during a your own version of this song?
Glenn Danzig is one of our most important influences. The music and attitude of “The Misfits”, “Samhain” and “Danzig” has been very important for us. “Dirty Black Summer” is a well-know song of Danzig, and we decided to make a public acknowledgment of the role it has had on us. We took the song and changed it into death metal… And we liked it!!!
11. On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of black and death metal?
We started at a time in which the contacts and feedbacks were made by letters and the music was shared by cassette! We know that we were known in south America and east Europe. Moreover, even with the band into the hibernation chamber, we receive messages and likes in the facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/witchessabbath) from people far away! We feel very fortunate for that.
12. Are the band members going to be doing any other musical projects after the split?
Eduardo Salazar and Luis Henríquez are involved in a horror punk project named CREEPY (https://www.facebook.com/creepypunk). Together with Ignacio G. Bonilla, who played guitar in WITCHES’ SABBATH during a long period, they are involved in a stoner-doom band named CRIMSON STONE (https://www.facebook.com/crimsonstoneofficial). Eduardo Rodríguez has a death and trash fucking metal project named The Hole (https://www.facebook.com/theholeofficial). As you can see, we do not get bored!
13. What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
We are influenced by different styles of music, from 70 to nowadays. We listen a lot of music, and maybe for that reason, we have different side musical projects to unleash our tastes. Since Queen, The Beatles and Pink Floyd; KISS, Misfits and Black Sabbath; Metallica and Sepultura, to Emperor, Dark Funeral, Marduk, Darkthrone or Mayhem!!! All of them are listening nowadays!
14. Does Occultism play a role in your music?
To some extent, there is always some influence of occultism in our music. Maybe not directly in our lyrics; but definitively, there is an influence in our music.
15. What are some of your non musical interests?
We are not interested in all the commercial music played in the big radio stations. We think that is music without a soul or a real feeling. Although we respect, we not pay attention to it.
16. Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
We feel very happy for being alive again! Thanks to you and all your readers for being interested in WITCHES’ SABBATH. We are preparing new material which will be a back to the roots and will be published soon!!! Do not hesitate to contact the band for anything you want to know about us. Support the underground and live your own way!