WITCHTRAP – Metal Army March
- by Olve Kolden
- Posted on 21-05-2012
Witchtrap from Medellin, Colombia was formed in 1992, several years after the 80’s thrash metal wave had subsided. If you have not heard of them: it is one of the most old school thrash metal band around, I promise you. The sound is more ’78 than ’86. The trio has just released their third full length album and here are some words from one of the Uribe brothers, the drummer Witchhammer.
Hello Witchtrap! We need to spread the word about Old School gems like Witchtrap! Can you first tell me who is in the band now, and who are the founding members from when you started in early 90s?
Witchtrap is now:
Enforcer: bass, Burning Axe Ripper: Guitar and Vocals, Witchhammer: Drums
the foundng members are:
Burning Axe Ripper, Slayerblade(bass), and (me) Witchhammer, anyway the bassplayer got into the band in 1994.
You have several releases through the label Dirty Sound Records, which also released your new album "Vengeance Is My Name" on January 23, 2012; I know this label is the band’s own. Do you prefer to have your own label because the it’s easier to gain control of sales, and no one tells you how to do stuff in studio?
Umm, of course to work alone with the band and own label is the right deal for a band to get good equipments and instruments, having into account we started with nothing, I mean we had no instruments and stuff you know.
Anyway we do write and compose our songs and music as we love it, we have not condition from anybody and if the label doesn’t work with our stuff we don’t care about and then another label will be interested too. DSR it’s in special to get our stuff into our country because you know labels give little payment but give to a band good spreading and distro out there in Europe, Asia and North America.
You are very true to your own way to make Metal through your recordings up through the years. Can we expect the same old feeling on your new album?
Well, we have our mind stright to our likes not to the fashion, I mean we have written stuff from early 90’s and all our stuff just like "when Metal was Metal"in early 80’s, it doesn’t mean that another stuff not be Metal but we think the best written Metal was done in early 80’s and it’s about our likes, that’s whay we are Witching Metal. So you only can expect from Witchtrap the only same feeling as you ave heard before from us.
Your Thrash is also very riffy, how do you make your songs, are they built up around the riffs and then the bass and drums are following or do all three jam the way to new songs?
Yeah exctly we do first the song on guitar riffs and then we fix the dums, then lyrics and after all the bass is written to make a good assembly and get this special sound of 80’s that we love to do.
Hells Headbangers made vinyl releases of "Witching Metal" and your 2006 album "No Anesthesia", is that also planned for "Vengeance Is My Name"?
Yeah they’re gonna do it for sure and the vinyls is one of the special formats we love, so you must be fast coz you know, this stuff is sold out faster throuhg HHR. they ever do amazings issues on vinyl, you know
You seem to be fond of making vinyl releases, in my opinion vinyl is the best format for Metal playbacks! Do you think there will a resurrection of the vinyl in the future?
Hey man I’d love to that makes it real ASAP. Vinyl is the only way of music keeps a special essence so seems vinyls have been getting place in the sellings around the world.
The amount of South American undergound bands are surely old school and not to forget extreme. But in my opinion Witchtrap also add an very natural sound which makes your Metal seem both true and disctinct. What were/are your influences, from the first demo "The First Necromancy" (1997) up to present time?
All our influences are based on: old Venom specially, and NWOBHM, and other heavy metal bands such as: Anvil, Running Wild, Warrant, Tyrant, Twisted Sister, Riot, UFO, Raven, Acid, Picture, first Razor album, etc between other bands that play similar.
Witchtrap started with Thrash Metal at a time when it was not so popular as now; were there any living Thrash inspiration sources (bands, artists) around you at that time or was it just by listening to your old influences in cassettes and vinyls?
It was after rehearsal when we had a banda called Dark Millenium where we played Death Metal style, so B.A.Ripper came with a riff and he wanted I played a simple riff on drums tu-pa, tu-pa so after that we took an idea to play old school sound as we have done from the begining as nobody have done in those years of Death Metal Rising in early 90’s.
The debut "Witching Metal" mini album (2000) and your debut full length album "Sorceress Bitch" (2002) was through NNYDA/Malignant Productions and Hell Attacks Prod. Who are/were behind these labels? And was it an easy task to release these earliest records?
The guys behind those albums are guys from Cali (big city in Colombia that has given a lot of support from the Witchtrap’s begining, anyway Danny from NNYDA is a guy from Cali who lives in USA, just ike the guy behin Hells Attacks Prod., of course maniac they were the rightone labels for starting with Witchtrap.
You have worked with several labels releasing and rereleasing your records, the most known to me are Hells Headbangers and Iron Bonehead Productions. How did you come in contact with those labels abroad of Col, and how is it to work with them? You have also worked with a Japanese Grind/Death label (Obliteration Records).
Yeah we have worked with many labels outside of Colombia, but to be honest almost all of them have get in touch to us by their self, they ahve showed their interest to work with us, furthermore all has been under a good deal and respect in a fair deal for both sides, total true and respect to all of them who has given us their total support.
Listening to Internet, many newer Old School underground Thrash bands makes their riff much more fast and sometimes simple, how do you view that? Would you tell them to broaden their horizons and listen more to old Heavy Metal instead of just being speed speed speed thrash speed all the way?
Any band can do everything as they want, if I give an opinion that could change their style, and actually I won’t that, but if they want to do it, I think the best ideal is not be influenced by old Thrash bands such as Slayer or Destruction or something like this because their sound will be in retro style, I mean Slayer sounded like as they did it because their influences were Heavy Metal from lates 70’s and very early 80’s, do you got it??
In Europe there are many over-/underground Metal record labels at the present. How is the situation in Colombia about that, or in Latin America in general? And how is the possibilities for newer bands to get access to studios or finances to record their Metal?
In Colombia that has change severally, to record right now it’s cheaper and easy that 90’s and early 2000’s, and of course there are many underground labels, and some bands have realized that is easy and chep to release their own albums, the only thing is getting the distro, but now internet give us this place to do it easier. and home studios are gettin big place right now in Colombia as we have done few month ago.
Do you play often live? Are there possibility of coming to Europe and play?
We play couple times per month in Colombia, about Europe, what can I say, ummm we’d love to flight to Europe for sure but when the promoters realized the flight tickets prices are expensive, they leave their interes to bring us to Europe, hope some day we can do it and meet all this amazing culture and terrific Metal scene you are to share some beers and Witchtrap show to thrash until you bleed.
I look upon Colombia as a land with much violence, killing, kidnapping and so on; is that a trouble for Metal bands and fans to travel around in the country to play/watch concerts without getting robbed and injuried?
Not really, all those stuff it’s affect rich people and politician, not poor people as we are, and I have to say all about Metal it’s far away of these Colombian shitty stuff.
Ripper and Witchhammer are also together in the Heavy Metal band Nightmare who have released at least one record, I am right? Please tell me more about Nightmare!
Well I just left the band few months ago to get focused only on Witchtrap but the band is keeping straight to next album and now they have a new drummer, in fact they has two albums they are "High Speed Venom" and "About To Explode" and this one "About to Explode" was released through our own label DSR and some rereleased on vinyl through Heavy Forces Records from Germany.
Several of the old Thrash legends have reunited, they have got a lot of attention in media and from the music business; but they don’t sound like The Golden 80s. Witchtrap started long before the Thrash Revival; do you feel any hate towards the music business because they are concentrating on these reunions (f ex Onslaught, Sacrifice, Exodus) instead of bands that have been around constantly? And because the industry are pushing the lame (newer) work of these big names upon the people instead of true Old School Metal?
I’ll be honest, and I dedicate a Baron Rojo song to those reunited bands from 80’s: "Tratan de Volver los Desertores del Rock" (try to return the desertors of Rock), that means what I think about.
Thank you for this inteview and Hail Metal! I leave it for you to write som final message/warning/or whatever you want to say.
Thanks to you for giving us this place to spread about our Metal thoughs, and hope someday we can meet you in Norway or Europe, to all your readers keep the flame, keep the Metal alive and bang your heads till break your necks.
Stay Evil, Stay Ugly, Stay Metal
United We Stand in the:
METAL ARMY MARCH!!!