Winter Of Sin

interview with R., June 2008

Before starting this little interview please give us a short introduction of yourself?
Hi there, I’m R. guitarist in Winter of Sin. I started up this band several years ago, and C. and D. soon joined me. Shortly afterwards the line up was complete, and the rest is history, haha. (Check our web-site and read the bio if you want to know the rest). Is that short enough?

Anything funny or interesting about your fellow band members?
Well, not much. Our former singer was named Wokkel, after a kind of potato chip, but he’s no longer in the band. We do have a professor of psychology in the band, and some WoS-members are currently also active in other bands, for instance Krocht, Gheestenland and As it Burns, to name a few.

The band started around 1998. What were the goals for the band then? What did you not do for reaching that goal?
Our goal then was simply to play music that we all liked, and to play live as often as possible.

On your first two demos there were doom influences. Why did you leave them behind? What was the reason for playing more aggressive?
Yeah, quite a bit has changed since the first two demo’s. We’ve had some important line-up changes (first on drums, and quite recently on vocals), which resolved some conflicts as far as our musical style is concerned. At first, we were integrating quite diverse musical preferences into our music, which resulted in a somewhat ambiguous mix of musical styles (predominantly black and doom). In the current line-up, differences in musical preference are very small. Moreover, all WoS members have found ways to express any remaining musical interests through other bands and projects. This has enabled us to now focus primarily on more aggressive and sophisticated black metal. We plan on taking this to further extremes in the future.

Did you had the chance to play live shows in that era? Can you remember who the crowd reacted on a starting band?
Yes, we’ve played several live shows back then. Most metal fans reacted quite positively. As long as the music is OK, and the presentation is alright, the crowd usually reacts in a positive way (besides spoiled audiences).

Do you support starting bands yourself? Do you help them in one way or another if you can or if they asked you?
Yes, we support starting bands as well. If we need a supporting band to complete the bill we do not hesitate to ask a starting band. And it’s nice to meet new bands as well.

Do you have any parental advice for youngsters who want to start a band?
Be yourself, and have fun creating and playing your music. Don’t be scared to make mistakes when playing live. Mistakes will happen no matter what, and not worrying about it spares a lot of distress.

And then there is an offer from the CCP label. How did they came to you? Were they the only one or just offering the best deal?
We did our recordings for the “Woest” album, and after it was finished, we send it out to some labels. CCP Records came with the best offer so we decided to accept the record deal with them.

Your debut and your new one have a Dutch album title. Why this? How do foreign people ask for it in their record shop?
We simply liked these titles. These titles came up naturally, we didn’t purposely aim at using Dutch titles. I’m actually quite interested in how foreigners would pronounce these titles. Dutch is a terrible language to master, so that could be quite interesting (if a conversation sounds like people are about to puke, then they are probably speaking Dutch). I believe that Razernij is written phonetically as raz ^rn ?i , but I guess that won’t be of any help. Razernij means RAGE in English, so maybe that would be an option. Alternatively, one could simply ask for the first or the second album of Winter of Sin, hahaha.

On ’Razernij’ you also use Dutch lyrics is this because it is easier to express? Is there a concept on the album?
We used Dutch lyrics because some songs were asking for it. It’s a natural thing, but sometimes lyrics come in English as well, it depends on the song and the person writing the lyrics I guess. There is a concept on the album, that begins with the uprising of an evil force, and moves onwards to devastation, annihilation and complete domination (for example, the titles of the last two songs, Overheerscher and Zee van Haat, respectively mean Tyrant and Sea of hate).

Also the songs are a step higher in aggression. Is this because of the 'natural' band progression or individual progression?
It’s in part a natural progression of the band, and it’s also an individual progression. A lot has to do with the fact that D. is now writing the music. This also forces others to individually progress. In addition, G. is experimenting more and more with the key arrangements (for instance by using samples as well).

You stated that the third full length will be even more extreme and sophisticated. How can you predict this? Are you already writing new material?
Yeah, D. has written quite a few new songs already. The concept for the new album is now largely structured, and it’s primarily a question of working out the new songs with the rest of the band.

How do you gonna promote ’Razernij’? Waiting for the label or are you seeking ways yourself? Do you like giving interviews?
Promotion is primarily the task of the band. Our label did some advertising for the latest release, and they are sending promo’s to the zines, but for the main part we will have to promote Razernij ourselves, by playing live, and doing interviews. I enjoy giving interviews, it’s a great opportunity to promote Winter of Sin.

What are the most boring questions you have to answers?
So far, your questions are ok. Questions on musical influences can be really annoying, particularly if we are compared (this has happened on several occasions) to Swedish melodic death metal bands and/or Dimmu Borgir, only for the fact that we too have a keyboard player. We feel that our music has absolutely nothing in common with Swedish death metal, and our keys are totally incomparable to bands such as Dimmu Borgir.

Of course you are not busy with music 24/7. So what do you like to do in your free time? Some intesting hobby or fascination?
I have several activities beside Winter of Sin; in my free time I’m building and repairing guitars. I’m also creating band logo’s (so if a band is looking for a logo: contact me). I’m also writing reviews for a magazine and doing interviews as well.

Europe is dominated by Euro soccer. Do you follow it or not?
Yeah, I did see most of the games, and so far the Netherlands are doing great.

So how is touring the upcoming months? Some cool tours or festivals? What can people expect when you are on stage? Also throwing something in the audience like 'the golden condom’?
We just did a short tour with Taake and Cirith Gorgor, and played at Sodom Open Air. We do have some upcoming gigs (a.o. with Arkona), and we’re always open to festivals or live venues abroad. We are energetic and aggressive on stage. Our new singer, J., is quite disturbed/psychotic on stage, so that can be quite entertaining. Also expect some fire here and there (if allowed by fire regulations...). Hahaha, no golden condom, only hate and aggression. I don’t think that anyone would be interested in making use of such a golden condom...

And are deaf people getting discount?
A discount?....We would charge them extra, hahaha. We play quite loudly, so they should feel enough of the music.

Coming to the end is there something you wanna state? Let it be political incorrect if you want.
We are a non-political band, so fuck any political statements in or about the Black Metal scene.

Last rites?
Thanks for this interview, support the scene and visit our site.
Interviewer: twansibon
Jun 1, 2008
Next interview: Welkin

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