INTERVIEW + ALBUM PREMIERE : Colombian Old School Veterans – Witchtrap
As many modern metal bands are striving to play it technical and make metal more intricate and complicated, bands like Colombia’s Witchtrap are proudly waving the old school flag. Having released 3 full lengths and a series of EP’s and splits, Witchtrap’s music has some not so subtle nods to the old guards like Venom, Motorhead, Sodom etc. The band’s most recent full length effort ‘Trap the Witch‘ originally came out last year through the band’s very own Dirty Sounds Records. This album is now being given a wider release courtesy of Hells Headbangers who will be releasing CD, Vinyl and Tape formats of the album on the 11th of November.
Impressed by the denim and leather based old school metal attack, we talked to the band’s drummer Witchhammer about the band’s history and the metal scene in their native land of Colombia. Also, we have ‘Trap the Witch’ streaming in it’s entirety below! So put on your battle jackets, crack open a beer and get lost in the old school charm of Witchtrap.
Transcending Obscurity (Shrivatsan R): Hey guys. How are things in the Witchtrap camp?
Witchtrap (Witchhammer): Hey, thanks for the support! Well, right now the band is working hard in booking dates in different countries as far as local shows in Colombia too. besides we are thinking on re-press our two demo tapes this time on CD format under our own label Dirty Sound Records, which is to be done in 2017 to celebrate 20 years of both demos that were recorded back in 1997.
TO: Your album ‘Trap the Witch’ is set to be released again by Hells Headbangers. How did this re-release happen? Did the label approach you guys?
Witchtrap: As we have been working with Hells Headbagers Records for long time ago, they have shown real support to our stuff, so after the album ‘Trap the Witch’ came out on September 2015, they were interested on doing a pressing of this. So we were always ready to work with them, and it’s clear that they have been very close to the band. Everything with them has run on perfect words and fair deals to both sides, by which I mean both band and label.
TO: You have an old school, rock n’ roll sound on Witchtrap. Tell us about the appeal you find in old school metal music.
Witchtrap: I like metal and find that it has changed a lot because nowadays because it has been combined to other kind of music or styles making metal lose its originality and own style. That’s why I find and think metal deserves to be played in it’s own culture and style.
I’m hooked on metal in 80’s days and early 90’s and the metal sound was a totally culture outside of other trends. So I don’t understand why the metal is mixed or combined with other kind of music. That’s why Witchtrap sounds like the early days of metal, without compromises nor new approach as nowadays bands. We are the 80’s metal alive band. That’s it!!!
TO: Witchtrap has been around for about 14 years now (edit: 23! My math powers have failed me!). How do you think the band has evolved over the years?
Witchtrap: 14 years? Nah, little bit wrong. We have been around 23 years as we started the band in 1993. The fact that we were recorded or pressed our first demotape in 1997 or even recorded and pressed our debut album in 2000, doesn’t mean that we were active from these years you imagine.
The evolution of the band has kept all the time, the style and way of composition, all music and lyrics are as the early days of the band. The only thing we think has changed is the music production on studio, because we have fixed our own home studio and now we can do better quality sound than those first demos or albums. You know with low budget it’s hard to do a good quality recording, mixing and mastering for an album in only 4 days and this is actually a pain to every musician. Now since 2006 after ‘No Anesthesia’ (2nd album) we are taking enough time trying to get a better quality sound and have a good music production. As far as the newest album is concerned, we have taken more than 3 months, compared to early days where we only took 3 or 4 days. That’s the difference and the evolution in the band. Of course the performance on stage has changed, cause the experience give us more cleaner sound and better developed stage presence to give more energy to the crowd.
TO: Is there a prevalent old school thrash / heavy metal scene in Colombia? What are some other bands in the vein of Witchtrap, that you’d recommend?
Witchtrap: Yes, of course. There are hundreds active bands in old school style, I love and like them a lot and support them, as many other styles. I think Colombian Metal has tons of awesome bands in different subgenres.
Bands I like a lot: Nightmare, Savage Aggression, Dirges, Sobibor, Legacy, Warthrash, Steel Hammer, Terror, DeathKult, No Mercy, Esquizofrenia, Thrash Kommand, Guerra Total, Runner Hell, among many others.
TO: Your lyrics seem to indicate a fascination with the occult, Satanism etc. Where does the inspiration stem from? Is it from personal experiences or literature / movies etc?
Witchtrap: Yeah exactly. Just pure fascination. We took inspiration in metal lyrics about occultism, from bands such as Venom, Possessed, Bathory, Hellhammer, Destruction, Sodom, etc, and those lyrics introduced us into literature and movies about this kind of things. Then came tons of ideas that we use in our music.
TO: Dirty Sounds Records is your own record label, which you’ve been running since 2005. What made you want to start your own label to promote your bands? What does the future of the label look like?
Witchtrap: Well, this is because the work those labels were doing, we can do it the same way. They even get more spreading, we know they give us a decent spreading out there, but we were doing it as the same way. So after having saved enough money with the early stuff of the band we started our own label to obtain more resources to make our band keeps economically sustained. Then we have the best part of licenses, without having to share royalties between both parties. But we know and we are very thankful of them to have gave all their support to the band. Even we use to be very close to all those labels that have helped Witchtrap to be the band that it is nowadays, into the underground.
TO: Do you have plans to tour outside of Colombia with Witchtrap in the future?
Witchtrap: We always are looking for finding this plan, hoping it becomes true. I think any metal band in Colombia thinks about it. Right now we are gonna visit next weekend in Guayaquil-Ecuador and on December we are gonna do our very first stop in Mexico, to set up a small but decent tour in Mexico around 6 cities. And why not more countries to come if we find good, serious promoters. we’d love to visit more countries in Europe, Asia and Oceania. We will see what happens.
TO: Thank you for the time guys. Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Witchtrap: Life is too short to be spending time in obtaining money from normal jobs. Life, it’s waiting for you. Be happy and enjoy your life. Engage yourself with the things you really like to do. So, don’t spend your time making other people become rich and happy with your dreams. Go and destroy your fears, and finally start to live your real passion.
Metal it’s my passion, have you asked yourself what’s your passion?
Your Metal Brother, Witchhammer
Stay Evil, Stay Ugly, Stay Metal!!!
United We Stand in the:
METAL ARMY MARCH!!!