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BURNING WITCHES Lala Frischknecht: "We were just crazy girls who had the idea to play Heavy Metal and six and a half years later, we already have four albums.”

Interview with Lala Frischknecht from Burning Witches
by Thomas Kumke at 29 July 2021, 4:43 AM

BURNING WITCHES hailing from Switzerland have established themselves quickly into the Heavy Metal world and played the biggest festival stages in Europe. The all-female classical Heavy Metal band released their fourth album “The Witch Of The North” via Nuclear Blast. A good reason for Metal Temple writer Thomas Kumke to talk to the Witches drummer Lala Frischknecht about the band’s history so far, the new album and its concept, their inspirations, and their future plans.

Hello Lala, it is a real pleasure and I am really grateful to perform an interview with you for Metal Temple magazine. First of all I hope you, the Witches, and all your families are coming through this difficult year safe and well. How does the pandemic affect the band and how well came BURNING WITCHES through so far?

Yes, thank you so much for having us in your interview. We have a great year. Even after releasing the “Dance With The Devil” album at the beginning of the pandemic, we still made a great promotion for the album and we reached the US charts, the German charts, the UK charts, so it is a good sign and means that we did something good. Because of COVID, we did not have much of a chance to promote the album in live shows. I think we only had three or four shows together with Destruction. We are glad that we did it, because after that everything was totally closed and we could not play anymore. Then the lockdown started and we began working on the new album because we did not have anything else to do. We used to be busy, playing in shows and had some other activities where we see each other a lot, but it is totally different now. So we had our time and decided to make the new album. We are very happy with all the response, the positive response to “The Witch Of The North”. Many people say that this is a really epic album. It is a little bit different than the last one, because the songs have more dynamics in it. When it comes to songwriting, it has improved a lot since the beginning of BURNING WITCHES. Romana \[Kalkuhl] is the one who is making the songs and you can feel that we are learning with each and every album is getting better and better. Since the start of the band we did now four albums which is great, because when we started with this we just wanted to play Heavy Metal. We did not expect that all these things would happen to us and we would reach this stage. We were just crazy girls who had the idea to play Heavy Metal and six and a half years later, we already have four albums.

 With the pandemic, we are currently in some kind of roller coaster. Things are opening and closing again.

Yeah, the rules are always changing and in Switzerland it depends on the Kanton \[the federal state]. For example, we are located in Aargau, they have different rules and the case numbers are also different. If the case numbers are getting high, they would introduce some measures. Before we thought that we can already play. I remember some of our friends playing in a band, they scheduled a show and then later on, they approved it only for 50 people and then it was canceled. It is just so depressing, because we are so excited to play and then it is canceled. It is not only for us, it is also bad for the fans, because they do not see us and we do not see them.

Burning Witches is an all-female Heavy Metal band and was formed in 2015. You were there from the very beginning. Let us talk first about the history of the band. How did it all start?

It was Romana’s idea to have an all-female band, because it was her dream to have a band where all are like sisters and everyone can understand each other. When I auditioned for the band, I just restarted with drums, since I stopped drumming for about 12 years. Then I came to Switzerland and went to the drumming school for about three months. My coach at the time saw my potential and he suggested to join this band, because they were looking for a drummer and they want to play Heavy Metal. So I just thrived, because my coach said that I will not lose anything, I will just gain something. I will gain friends even if they will not like me, at least I would know some people here in Switzerland since I was new in this country. Fortunately, they liked me. That was the start. We were then complete, all five and we released our demo with 666 copies and all were sold. We got then recognized by Metal Hammer and Rock Hard magazine as a demo of demand. That was the start for us and then we continued to write songs until we produced our first album, the self-titled album “Burning Witches”. After that, we were getting exposed and we were playing gigs. We did not know that this thing could happen. Then Nuclear Blast called us up and they wanted us to be with them. For us, that was just like riding on the fast train.

That is a very good description. Besides JINJER, the Witches are probably one of the hardest-working bands in the business and you have with three EPs and now four full-length albums a very impressive discography so far…

Yeah, we really work hard for the band. I mean, of course we are an all-female band, but it does not matter whether you are female or male. The music is important, because once you cannot deliver good music people will not like it. Even if you look good and sexy, they will not like you if the music is shit, you have to deliver good music. We have a fan who is just nine years old. It is so unbelievable. The mother is sometimes sending us videos and the mother and daughter are singing “Hexenhammer” with the earphone. It is so priceless. As I mentioned before, we did not expect this. We just wanted to play Heavy Metal because we love Heavy Metal and it is so nice that we can touch other people's lives by doing our passion, doing our music. You play in the concert and you see their happy faces, all are smiling, all are happy and cheering up. Even if you are tired playing, when you see those people it gives you a lot of adrenaline.

BURNING WITCHES had a few line-up changes during their band history, most notably the change from vocalist Seraina Telli to Laura Guldemond in 2019 and most recently from guitarist Sonia Nusselder to Larissa Ernst. How did this affect The Witches and the band dynamics?

As a member of the band since the start playing for six and a half years, I have seen a lot of things. People come and go. All I can say now is we are so happy that everyone in the band now is working and doing so fucking hard to achieve the same goal and passion. Having a great teamwork and being a team player is the most important thing for us. Playing music in the band is not only 100% music; that is a fact. Even if you are very good in playing technical things, but you are not able to be a great team player, you will not last long. I mean, BURNING WITCHES is not just a band, we are a family. People come and go, but the lineup now really kicks ass. I mean, Laura is a great singer, she can do a lot of things with her voice, she can sing with aggression and she can sing melodic. That is what Metal music is all about, you do not have to sound jazzy. You have to deliver that aggressiveness in your sound, because you are not playing jazz, you are playing Heavy Metal. We are very happy with this new lineup, because Larissa is such an angel, such a humble person and not a snob at all, and she does not make mess on the stage. That is also important. I mean, people will see you, people will have fun looking at you. Of course, mistakes are normal and can happen any time when you do not expect it, but you must not mess up. If you deliver with a great stage presence and play your music that is fine and Larissa plays her guitar very well. This is the most important thing. Before having Larissa in the band, we had an acoustic live session. We invited her to play with us and she played really good with the classical guitar. Playing classical guitar is not that easy, you really have to be good, otherwise it will not sound well and you cannot play the notes clear. So we asked Larissa to join the band and she did not think twice. She told us that she was jumping in her bed and she was very happy. The same as for Laura. When Laura auditioned for the band, she was singing all the old songs. It happened that we already had material for “Wings Of Steel”. Romana asked her to sing the new song and she just did it. I was amazed how good she is. It was the first time we ever made a song together with Laura. I remember after it was all mixed, I had goosebumps. I was not in the studio at that time and they sent me the link and I could listen to the mix. It was so fucking great. For me that was the one of the best song we ever made. The first show with Laura was at Sweden Rock and she was just shocked. She just came to the band and the first show ever with her was at Sweden Rock! She did so well, she only had two weeks to memorize all the lyrics and all songs. I mean, this is what you want in the band, this is the dedication, passion, integrity and how you deal with the other people in the band. It does not mean that you have to be very technical, but if you do not have this heart or feeling to deal with your bandmates, it will not going to last long because BURNING WITCHES is a family.

Lala, you are the drummer of the Witches. When did you start playing drums?

The first thing that I wanted was a guitar. I was in a Hardcore band in the middle of the 90s. Later on, I had a friend who was in a Thrash Metal band, and this band made me interested in drumming. That was the time when I have been listening to KREATOR and CARCASS and I was just wondering, how can they do that? For example, the first time when I heard “South Of Heaven”, it was like: how can he do this, how can he make those tom fills and the fills are so fast as well as the combination of slow and fast? I started to do research and doing some drumming on the pillow only with my hands while listening to music. When I had my 18th birthday, my parents asked me: what do you want for your birthday? And I said give me a drum set, I do not want this princess party shit. Just give me a drum set. That was the start and then I started practicing by listening for example to KREATOR and then applied the basic beats. I taught myself drumming.

You mentioned you had a 12 year break in drumming.

After a year, once I was able to play the basics and the double-bass drums, I joined a Thrash Metal band, but two years later, I went abroad and the drumming was finished for a very long time. When I came to Switzerland, I found BURNING WITCHES after around two years. At this point, I was only in the drumming school for three months. So, you can imagine how hard it was for me to come into a band where everybody can play very well. I was so shocked, because they were all professionals and they all looked good. I was a little a bit insecure at the start, because I did not have any knowledge about the music technically, about the notes and stuff like that. But once the music is in your heart, no matter if you are educated or not, you can do it. I always say this in my interviews, especially to the younger people and to the girls who are shy and have not much confidence, because they think they are not good enough. Just thrive, because if you have the talent just like me after not playing for 12 years and then joining this band, your talent will return. It will be there, you will not lose it, but the thing is you have to practice again and again. Do not be shy and show your talent to the world, because nobody can take it away from you.

How did you come to Heavy Metal?

It started with the Hardcore band and then I have been listening to Thrash Metal, Speed Metal, and Heavy Metal. Once you are there, you will explore many genres. I found that Heavy Metal is totally beautiful, because it has power, speed, melody, a bit of Rock, and it still sounds good. I mean the good thing in Heavy Metal is, that everybody plays and complements each other in the sound compared to other genres. In other genres you are focusing on the drummer because the drummer is so fast or the guitarist is doing some very technical stuff in the solo. That is why I love to play Heavy Metal, because you can combine many things to it. I told you before that in my second life I will be the drummer of a technical Death Metal band, but not today. I mean, I love Death Metal and I have seen many Death Metal bands.

and especially Death Metal opened up for females during the last 10 to 15 years…

Yeah exactly. When you went to a concert in the 90s, you did not see many females. There was once in a while a female bassist, or vocalist, or drummer and everybody looked at her, because it was so special. Today we are glad that there are many females coming and showing their guts, because females can do much more than having make-up, getting pregnant, and giving birth. We can grow and can do many things.

Personally, I think that female Death Metal vocalists often sound better and more brutal…

Yeah, because the female voice is high enough and they also can do the deep growls. Once you combine both, it sounds very brutal.

Are you sure that you do not become a vocalist in your second life?

No \[laughs]. I tried to do it, because Laura asked me to do backing vocals. I tried to do backing vocals in our live streaming, but unfortunately you cannot hear it. I am telling you, it is so hard to be a vocalist. I mean, I only do backing vocals and playing drums. It is so hard. For sure, she will ask me tomorrow again. I really love to do it, but I found that it takes a lot of practice, if you are a drummer and you have to sing. You usually do you do backing vocals at the end of the bar when you always play your fills. So, I think it takes a lot of practice.

”The Witch Of The North” is the new album of the Witches. How is the response so far?

We had great response so far. We ended up in the charts way higher, so it means something. We are in the US charts, in the German charts number one, and in the Swiss charts number six. I think this is the best album we ever made. As I mentioned before, we focused on every song and we wanted to be better and more beautiful, and a good example is “The Circle Of Five”. That is the first song that we recorded together with Larissa. “The Circle Of Five” starts slow and later on a little bit speedier. Then it comes to the part where there is a harmony between Romana and Larissa and then Larissa is also doing a solo. Then you have this catchy chorus when everybody plays together. It is just a good combination. This is a good example of a great song in the album. It has a lot of things and a lot of spice. It is like you just eat things and once you eat it, it is so good, you do not need salt or chili anymore, because the mixture of the food that you are eating is totally awesome.

”The Circle Of Five” is all about your own biography…

Yeah, the song is all about us. Laura wrote the lyrics and it was at the time when Larissa just joined the band. So we are the circle and the circle is complete. We are ready. We are ready to battle again!

 Talking about battles, as the title indicates, most parts of the album deal with the Northern mythology. Are Witches everywhere?

Of course, witches are everywhere. The story and the roots behind “The Witch Of The North” started when Romana made the riffs sounding like Nordic style and she had this thought that it could be a good title song for the album. It also lead us making it as an album concept. “The Witch Of The North” was the first song we ever made for the album and it sounds Nordic. That is why we came up with the idea for the album. We talked to Laura and she gathered some information and searched the literature about the Nordic mythology, about gods and witches. I mean mythology is different in every country and Laura made it as just like her own take of that mythology and combined it lyrically. It is also based on fiction, on warriors and slaves and something like that. The example of the mythology is the song “Flight Of The Valkyries” which is also available as video on YouTube. So this is about the Valkyries, the warriors. This is in the spirit of Odin, the god of the northern Gemanic mythology and in this mythology there is the belief of nine worlds, so we have a song called “Nine Worlds”. Laura likes this stuff. She likes books, she likes fiction. For example, the fiction is in the song “Tainted Ritual”. This is about the character from the fictional book “The Witcher” which is now also available as a series on Netflix. Laura is really good with the lyrics and she is also crazy during the recording, since she has a lot of ideas. She is really crazy.

 How does the song writing work?

Romana writes the songs. Actually, Romana always makes me nervous, because every time after releasing an album she will message me and send me a very short idea. Then she will ask me what I think about this. I will always tell her to enjoy our album first and play it. It happened when we finished “Hexenhammer” and also “Dance With The Devil”, although “Dance With The Devil” was special, because of the pandemic. We would then go to the rehearsal room, jam and we will finish this song until it will be a song. Then we will send it to Laura. Laura will send this back to us with the lyrics and all the melodic voices. It is always like that. Once when we are making the song, the solo is not there yet. Larissa will do the solo and will record it. Of course many things will happen and all this can change, even during the recording day. During the recording, you have to have ideas. For example, as for me, I am the first one who will record and I will play with a pilot. If I do not like something or I want to try something I will just ask to do it and we are just try it to see how it sounds. Changes happen many times until everybody is happy.

When do you add the drum parts on the songs?

Romana and I will make the song together, we will jump together and then we will see what kind of beat specifically fits there. As for me, I usually play with her rhythm, I just follow her in every song part, because I actually know whether I can make it faster or slower or a combination of both. She also gives me some ideas, because sometimes I do not know what to do. She is really good. Romana is a great songwriter.

The sound of the album is mostly the typical trademark Witches sound with traditional Heavy Metal from the 80s The songs vary a lot ranging from more epic songs to more straight forward and more aggressive songs. I also heard some Swedish inspired vibes…

There is a lot if you listen to BURNING WITCHES. There is a lot of influence because Romana is a fan of MANOWAR, JUDAS PRIEST, and IRON MAIDEN. I mean, if you are a fan of that and you grow up with this type of music, once you learn an instrument your influence will become automatically the sound of that. That is the reason why it is a mixture of many different genres of music. Sometimes I used to joke to Romana like: hey, what did you listen to today? Something like that. Especially when I heard “The Witch Of The North”. What did you listen to?

And “The Witch Of The North” is probably the song with the most Nordic influence…

Exactly. It is a special thing for me and also it is quite tricky to play because it is a six, eight. It is one of the hardest songs to play for me.

You recorded ”The Witch Of The North”? at the Little Creek Studio of V.O. Pulver as always. How did it work this time with the pandemic?

So only four people were allowed in the studio. Before the pandemic, everybody could come and then show some support. Unfortunately, I only could either have Romana or Damir \[Eskic] with me in the studio, because I want somebody to listen to the ideas that I have. Of course, they are all there and supporting us since the first album of BURNING WITCHES. Schmier \[DESTRUCTION] and V.O. Pulver are also giving us ideas during the recording session. Yeah, only four people were allowed this time, it was at least still possible to do recordings this time and we did the practicing in the band’s rehearsal room.

 You just mentioned V.O. Pulver and Schmier of DESTRUCTION. The Witches work with them for years. How large is their impact on ”The Witch Of The North”?

As I mentioned before, Romana is the one who is making the songs, but of course Damir and Schmier are there to ask something. They will give some ideas during the recording process, some backing vocals, some effects or something like that, since those guys know what they are doing. For example, we started with V.O. Pulver since the first album of BURNING WITCHES and we do not want to change the recording studio, because we trust him. He knows exactly what to do, he knows our sound and he has a good ear. Schmier and Damir also have good ears and they are music experts. We are very lucky to have these people. I think not having those people around us would make things quite difficult, because at first we are an all-female band and there are many competitors there. You have to be strong and those people make us strong and are fighting for us. Not only them, all our families, for example my husband is also helping us with the merchandise. I mean the families are supporting you in anything. For example, Schmier is a god of German Thrash Metal. They know exactly what they do and they are just fighting for us and we are so glad and fortunate having this great Metal family. They are friends for forever. If you are in the studio with them, you do not have much pressure and there is no reason to be nervous over recording, because you know the people, you know the place there since recording our first album six years ago. They always give us some good advice. Be strong and everything will be good.

My favorite track is “Flight Of The Valkyries“. What is yours?

It is very hard to choose. The song that always touches my heart until now is “Lady Of The Woods”.

There are many great songs on the album. Personally I like the more aggressive and faster songs. If you ask me about Judas Priest vs Manowar, I would go for Judas Priest. You have a bit of everything on the album and Laura interprets those different styles perfectly…

Laura can make a story out of these lyrics. When you listen to the songs, you will hear all the musicians and their instruments, and it brings you to the story of the album or of the song itself. The good thing is that the instruments are complementing each other in every song. As I said before, if everybody would be overplaying, it would not sound like a song anymore. It would sound like individual musicians. Our songs sound so beautiful, because everybody is playing to each other and the vocalist is singing to the instruments. So it is all connected, you will hear that in “The Witch Of The North”.

Traditional Heavy Metal is around for 40 years and I am sometimes wondering how a young band like the Witches can still come up with new fresh ideas, new riffs and melodies. It never sounds repetitive. Maybe this is one of the best things of Heavy Metal that it is never exhaustive…

Yeah, it is so beautiful. All the things are there, the heaviness, the power, the speed, the melodies, the harmonies. It is unstoppable, it is just like an endless story and you can do many things out of it.

Let us talk about something that is not around for 40 years which are the videos. The title song was released as video. How does the video production work from the idea to the release?

We worked with these guys from Poland, Grupa 13 \[BEHEMOTH, KREATOR, ELUVEITIE], who are well-known in making great videos. We told them about our ideas for the title song “The Witch Of The North” and sent them the lyrics of it. After all this, we traveled from Switzerland to Poland and there were a lot of people, at least 20 people doing this job and assisting us. They are really professional and all the things that you see in the video like holding a candle, the book in the fire, and the two guys with the masks fighting together were their ideas. We are happy that we did it and it is also a good promotion for the new album. Yeah, we are so lucky now that we have the social media and YouTube, that we can connect to the people and show something to people. It is so nice unlike in the 80s. We also made the “Flight Of The Valkyries” as video just to show to the fans that this is one of the best songs in the album. It is especially now important to connect with the fans because we cannot play concerts and we cannot meet them there.

You did more than promotion with videos. The Witches performed a live stream on the release date. How is playing a live show and nobody is in the crowd?

It was organized by the Wacken crew, from the Wacken Open Air festival. They are really professional. When we entered there, the stage was so great, so perfect. The feeling was a bit nerve wracking. When you play on stage in front of the audience you are nervous, but once you get on stage, you see smiling faces around and it gives you adrenalin. If you compare that to the live stream, only moving cameras are there and the lights. It is different. For me I did not get this kick compared to a real live show, because the people are not there and the energy is different. However, we enjoyed a lot because the stage was so great and all our monitors worked so well, you could hear everything. Once you play this one song from the last album, the backdrop would change. It was amazing. I remember when I was putting on my drums and checking it, Schmier was there and asked me to look in my back. When I turned around, there was this really beautiful backdrop. Amazing. Then I have seen the lights. They were so perfect. A really good organization, good guys. Yeah, we enjoyed it a lot.

Other bands told me that you have to be more focused in a live stream compared to a live show because every mistake will be noticed…

I do not know, It is totally different. I was more nervous, but yes once the guitar and all instruments are plugged in, everyone online can hear everything. So you have to play exact. That is true.

Traditionally, you have a cover song on every album. This time you covered “Hall Of The Mountain King” by SAVATAGE. What is the reason behind this choice?

We were actually looking for a cover and Laura came up with the idea to cover “Hall Of The Mountain King”. A great song, it was such a good choice and everybody was so excited to do it. When we practiced it, everybody loved it, because it is so groovy, so special, and so catchy. So we decided to cover it on the album. Then Romana asked Chris Caffery \[SAVATAGE] if he could play in the song and he did not think twice. He said yes and he said he would play the clean part, the rhythm, and the solo. So you will hear many guitars there, many rhythm guitars. When we compared this to the sound of the original SAVATAGE song, it is the same sound in the guitars, even the clean part. Chris was so happy and so proud of it.

Lets change topic. I want to ask you a few things and I want you to elaborate on this and we end up with 2 topics I want to discuss with you. You are one of those bands that are practicing in a rehearsal room and not online. I want to make your rehearsal room more attractive and let us start with some decoration work. You are a 5-piece band and I want to put 5 posters on the wall of the Witches favorite bands. What 5 bands would that be?

The poster for me would be D.R.I. For Jay \[Grob] it would be IRON MAIDEN, for Laura W.A.S.P, then for Romana MANOWAR, and for Larissa, it would be JUDAS PRIEST.

It is a wide range. Your choice D.R.I. is an interesting one…

Yeah, I told you that I was a Hardcore kid. D.R.I. is in the middle of Thrash Metal and Hardcore or Punk. For me, D.R.I. is really the music where all the good stuff is in there, that I liked when I grew up, so this band is unforgettable for me.

Now we want to add some albums to the rehearsal room. What would be the 5 most influential albums for the Witches?

For me, it would be “Crossover” by D.R.I., for Romana, it may be “Battle Hymn” by MANOWAR. I forgot what Jay’s favorite album of IRON MAIDEN is, may be “Fear Of The Dark”. I think Larissa loves the “Painkiller” album of JUDAS PRIEST. And Laura….I do not know any albums of W.A.S.P….

We talk about inspirations. Despite inspirations, the songs of the Witches sound never like a stereotype. They sound fresh, dynamic, and like very own Witches trademark songs. How far go your inspirations into your sound?

I do not know, because as I mentioned before, Romana is the one who is making the songs and I just follow her rhythm, combine it and then do my own thing. I do not know maybe as long as you are still listening to music it inspires you, but once you forget the music or forget about your roots and that what made you until now, maybe the inspirations are not there anymore? I do not know, it is difficult to answer.

Which drummers do inspire you most?

When I started to listen to Thrash Metal, I remember “Renewal” by KREATOR in the 90s. That was the first double-bass drum I heard from Ventor, the KREATOR drummer. And then it was “South Of Heaven” by SLAYER because Dave Lombardo is doing some great stuff there and I was just thinking about how can he do that and it makes me motivated. Of course, you cannot do it, forget it, but just try. Just try! Another drummer is Ken Owens, the former drummer of CARCASS. I think he had an accident and cannot play drums anymore, but he is doing now some computer drumming. These three are the drummers who most influenced me. I idolized Dave Lombardo for his fills which is impossible to play, it is crazy…

Talking about Metal of the 80s and beyond. I give you 5 legendary bands to elaborate: Let us start with KROKUS…

I am so bad in remembering names and albums. KROKUS, they play Hard Rock and they are famous in Switzerland. Unfortunately one member got unlucky with his accident. So they made their name and they are kind of special.

…CORONER CORONER, they play Thrash Metal, they are really good. We know the guitarist Tom \[Tommi T. Baron], we met him many times. He is a nice guy. We played with them maybe two years ago here in Switzerland. That was the first show that I had after my surgery. So, I cannot forget that show, because I was wearing my neck collar during the show. You can imagine me as Mr. Robocop.

…CELTIC FROST

CELTIC FROST have been here such a long time since in the 80s and they are well known everywhere. Tom G. Warrior. Great music and a bit of Punk influence. When you listen to that, it is so special, because the time is in the 80s and they could do many things in the 80s. We talked about KREATOR before, they did not call themselves Thrash Metal, they only called themselves Heavy Metal, because this was the genre at that time.

…Lets make a time travel…TRIPTYKON

TRIPTYKON, I went to the drumming school with the drummer of TRIPTYKON. During my early time with BURNING WITCHES, I was there with him for about two years playing drums and continuing learning some things missing in my drumming vocabulary. They play Doom Metal.

…ELUVEITIE

ELUVEITIE, they play Folk Metal and there are a lot of members there. I think they are eight or nine…

All those bands have one thing in common, there are from Switzerland. Metal in Switzerland has a long and rich history of great bands. What are the reasons for that and how does this influence BURNING WITCHES to continue with that legacy?

Oh, thank you so much. I do not know maybe because Switzerland is a small and neutral country. They were not involved in wars since long time ago. They have no enemies and then they are open. So maybe this type of mentality influences the artistic way of making music? I do not know. We are happy that there are so many famous bands in Switzerland and we hope that we will be one of them one day and that our grandchildren still remember BURNING WITCHES. I hope we will be the same as them. We are happy that we are getting more and more listeners and as I mentioned at first we did not expect it. So we are happy and we are happy being a Swiss band.

Well I think you are still the grandchildren of all those legendary Swiss bands from the 80s. I guess that history helps Swiss bands to be successful…

For example, I was born and raised in the Philippines and now living in Switzerland. When I was in the Philippines and we were doing gigs, it was just like the drums are there, just play it, the stages were small, it was all totally underground. Today, they are organizing bigger concerts but during my time, there was not much chance to get exposed in the way to show your music. You did not have much of a chance and now you are in Europe and you have much chances. Switzerland is of course a small country, but you have the chance to explore because you are in the middle of something, you can explore Germany, play shows in Germany, and you will have more listeners there. I think it is good to be in this type of country, which is the first world compared to the third world country where you do not have much chances.

It is interesting that you did not mention DEATH ANGEL as your influence…

DEATH ANGEL is one of my influence. It is so hard to choose, because I have a lot of favorites. The first thing comes in your mind is what is the first CD I got, what was the first song that made you a Metal head? So that is D.R.I. for me, this is the instinct that comes out right away.

Lets look a little bit ahead. Planning during these times is very difficult. You are confirmed for a few live shows already, the next one on the 23rd July in Oberhausen, then on the next day Kusel, both Germany, and then you are at the Swiss Metal Cruise at Lake Constance in October. What else can we expect?

Yeah. This week, we will play Area53 festival with DESTRUCTION in Austria. Then we are confirmed at Alcatraz in Belgium and we will play in Czech Republic at a smaller version of the Brutal Assault festival. They cannot do Brutal Assault now, because of the big size, so they make it smaller. That are the confirmed shows and we are happy about that. Finally, we can play in front of audiences. The last show we had in front of audiences was with DESTRUCTION last year in September. We have more plans, but as said it is hard to plan now since everything keeps changing. We thought that after the vaccine everything will be okay, but it keeps on changing. It is hard to plan.

Is there anything you would like to tell to your fans or the readers of Metal Temple magazine?

Thank you so much to all people who bought our new album “The Witch Of The North” or the previous albums and are always supporting us since day one. If you have not heard about “The Witch Of The North” album, just grab your copy and you will not regret it. All the things are there and you cannot ask for more. There are many great songs, it is a combination of slow and fast songs, it is not monotonous. There is a lot of spice in it. It has a great album cover made by the Chilean artist, Claudio Bergamin, and it is also nice to have it in the shirts.

Lala, Thank you so much for that amazing interview, I really enjoyed it and I am looking forward so much to see you live in Oberhausen and at the Swiss Metal Cruise. Thank you so much for that interview. I really enjoyed talking to you and I am looking forward to see you next week in Oberhausen.



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Edited 22 September 2021
 

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