ThrashHead: Burning Axe Ripper and you are brothers is that right? Columbia is known for many different styles of music which is represented in its culture, Cumbia, Currulao, Joropo, Vallenato and Bambuco among others; how did you get introduced to metal?
Witchhammer: Yes we are! I was introduced to metal because I had homework about Rock History so I listened to some Metal stuff in order to complete my homework. After that I got hooked on Metal... my brother Ripper was introduced into Metal because of his schoolmates and he also had neighbors who listened to Heavy Metal too.
The curious thing was that we were listening to metal at about the same time but each one of us took different paths. Once we realized we were listening to the same style of music we decided we'd make a good team, together expressing our likes and feelings..
ThrashHead: Colombia has been torn apart by civil war and crime for several generations, but things are slowly changing both politically and economically. Medellin, the second largest city in your country, was famous for its the beautiful nature of the Aburrá Valley, the colonial architecture of some of its older buildings, art, literature, but much of that has been overshadowed and Medellin, unfortunately, is known for other things by people outside of the country.
Could you tell me what it was like growing up there? How was the metal scene; was it difficult for you guys being headbangers?
Witchhammer: Medellín has been a fucking great city and beautiful territory, the shit in Colombia, generally speaking, is because politicians want to make a lot of money and oppress the people, that's why the Guerrilla and cartels started halfway through the last century.
About Metal and how we grew up, it was totally hard. For example, to get a homemade tape of some album was a real odyssey for all of us; we had to go from our neighborhood to other areas, often, walking for more than an hour to the home of some Metalhead who had the LP we wanted and then wait while the owner of the album recorded the tape for us! In other cases, we had to play a recorder with the tape of the album we wanted and put another recorder with a mic next to it so as to record the album...we had to sit there in total silence until the tape finished recording! There are some homemade tapes where you can hear the far off motor of some bus or cars going by! hahaha
That could be funny for you, but it was the reality in Medellin, you know, to get Metal music here was very hard and when some store had them, these LPs were really expensive... too much for our budget because we were only high school students.
ThrashHead: What are some of your fondest memories from the Medellin scene? What were some of your worst?
Witchhammer: When Me and Ripper went to our first Metal show in 1991 it was the Masacre's Requiem live, there were many Headbangers with long hair, there was a really strong atmosphere and it was amazing...much more than we were expecting.
Another one, was when we played, with Witchtrap, in the cellar of a hardcore Metalhead 4 years ago, it reminded us of those old times in 80's Medellin.
The Worst, when Ripper and Me had to argue with our dad because he was against Metal music, our style of dress and how we look...but he lost the fight hahahaha!!!
ThrashHead: When you think of Columbia's future, what comes to mind?
Witchhammer: Colombia is pure shit....everywhere, unemployed people, closed minded people against Metal, against long hair, against anyone who is different than the crowd, and without a fucking future in a nation that has sold our territory to foreign nations.
ThrashHead: Your guys' first demo "The First Necromancy" was released in '97, but Witchtrap goes back a little farther than that right? How many years had you already been together prior to "Necromancy"
Witchhammer: We started as Witchtrap in 1992 or 1993 we can't remember exactly when we did it, but before that, we were playing together with "Enforcer" (our current bass player) in a band called "Dark Millennium" (a Death Metal band) in 1991.
ThrashHead: About a year before the critically acclaimed "Sorceress Bitch" was unleashed via Hell Attacks Productions, there was a side project by the name of Nightmare; the last LP "About To Explode" came out in 2010.
How did Nightmare come to be and are you still involved; does this explain why there was such a long wait between Witchtrap's "No Anesthesia" and "Vengeance Is My Name?"
Witchhammer: Well, Nightmare is Ripper's Band that plays Heavy Metal in the NWOBHM style.
I got involved with Nightmare because their first drummer left the band just a week before their very first show, so I helped to Ripper and Enforcer as drummer for this show; after the gig, I stayed into the band as member, in November of last year (2011) I left the band to focus and concentrate on Witchtrap only.
ThrashHead: Aside from Nightmare what were you doing between 2006 and 2012? I know Witchtrap released the "Nightmare of The Dead" EP and a couple of splits, but was there something else occupying your time?
Witchhammer: Yeah, we know people are asking why we took so much time in recording the new album, but the answer is actually quite simple, we were saving enough money to fix and start our own home studio; which is taking a long time for sure, even though we have not finish it yet, it's working fine, and that is why we took a lot of time between both albums. But now, with the new studio out of the way, you will be attacked very often by Witchtrap AAARRRGGGHHH!.
ThrashHead: Vengeance Is My Name seems to return to a style more like that heard in "Sorceress Bitch", is that just my imagination, or were you going for a slightly harder, raw sound?
Witchhammer: Ummm I don't know, we are writing and composing stuff from a long time ago, in fact, many of the songs that are in "Vengeance Is My Name" were composed and written at same time of "Sorceress Bitch" and "No Anesthesia", albums. Anyway the sound of studio version of each album could have given another taste of sound that our fans were expecting, but we think we are doing the same as we have always done from the beginning... maybe we our style has grown but actually we have done the same as always.
ThrashHead: American bands know what it's like to tour hard without any rest, sleeping in their vans and earning just enough at shows to reach the next town; but very few of them even have a concept of what it's like to live in Latin America, could you give us an idea of what it's like to tour in South America, were there some scary Andean roads you had to pass in order to get a few shows in Ecuador? Were there any times when your vehicle broke down in the middle of the Amazon or you found yourself staring down the barrel of a loaded cuerno de chivo?
Witchhammer: Hahaha, No actually, to travel in our country can be sometimes difficult, very hard to pass over the mighty mountains, but fortunately we haven't gotten into any trouble or had a bad time. In Ecuador, it was pretty easy going, but we haven't gotten to Peru or other Latin American countries yet. But, right now, in early may we are going to go to Chile...but that will be by plane....so hopefully in the future, travelling will be fairly nice without dangerous roads.
ThrashHead: Two questions; What was your favorite show to play and why? And, if you had a chance to choose who to tour with, who would be the bands you'd most like to play with?
Witchhammer: I think all the shows we have done are the best ones, I mean there's not really a special show to mention here.
Well, if we would be living in early 80's we'd love to play together with Venom, but we're living in another century right now, so we like to play with underground bands and bigger bands from our country such as Masacre, if we would be touring in Europe or United States we would like to share stage with Desaster, Gehennah, Nunslaughter, Witchburner, Bullet, Deathhammer, DTTW, Witchgrave, there are so many to be honest, but not with punk bands at all.
ThrashHead: With the release of the latest album, how do you feel with the direction the band is taking?
Witchhammer: As I told you above, we think we're doing the same as in the beginning, so the direction is the right one, and that's for sure. We are loyal to Metal, no compromises and we are pure Metal to the fucking bones, with no strange influences that destroy the Metal roots.
ThrashHead: Who are some of the other Columbian bands we should keep an eye out for?
Colombian Metal bands who are to my liking: Savage Aggression, Sobibor, Dirges, Runner Hell, No Mercy, Esquizofrenia, Criminal, Yog Sothoth, Legacy, Alcoholic Force, Enemy, Hellworld, Morbid Macabre and the mighty Masacre.
ThrashHead: What was your craziest "rock n roll" moment?
Witchhammer: I drank for more than 4 days at Metal bar in my home city called "Alcoholic Coma Bar" with all my friends, after those days the song "Heavy Drinker" came to my mind, I wrote it during the fucking hangover day after that party.
ThrashHead: What would you like to say to the legions of fans who have been with you since '97 and who are just know getting to know Witchtrap?
Witchhammer: First Hail to you and Nathan for helping us to show Witchtrap to all the readers out there, to our followers of Satan's Force you know we are loyal to Metal and to you, you know we will never deceive you, you can expect only Metal from Witchtrap and not shitty fashion stuff.
To our new Riot of the Beast legion, we have to say if you want to be respected by a band, you need to join our Lethal Thrashing Force and let your fucking head bang like hell, just as Metal deserved in our early days, just like when Metal was Metal!
Stay Evil, Stay Ugly, Stay Metal
United We Stand in the:
METAL ARMY MARCH!!!