The Moscow concert of the legendary Dutch meat-grinders was promising to be very hot. And not only because it was plus 30C outside and all of the hairy audience packed in Moscow's Svalka that were literally melting from the unaffordably high heat, but simply because a concert involving these brutal death metal veterans could be nothing else but hot. Having lived through a very long press conference at which we've found out a lot of interesting starting from why the band returned back to Nuclear Blast from Hammerheart and what the band thought about Team Netherlands not making it to the World Cup qualification, as well as that Rachel works as a professional manicurist in a beauty-saloon, drummer Aad is a construction worker, bassist Alex is a school-teacher, and guitarist Pascal is not working anywhere at all, because he is studying So, as was said, having survived the press conference we moved to the band's dressing room to continue talking in a more private atmosphere Any female singer in a death metal band has to be aggressive on stage, but still remain a woman in life. Is that hard?

Rachel: Oh, I am always myself. I am not changing. I'm just I don't see it like that. It's just an act. It has nothing to do with personality. Who had the idea for the cover artwork of Creative Killings?

Alex: It was Aad.

Aad: Yeah I did. Well it worked out a little bit different. Most of the times I say to the guys that I have some sort of an idea for the cover, and most of the time they like it. So that's fine with me. And then this guy in the US who makes our covers, Alex sent him the ideas, so he made it for us. We liked it and that's how we got 'Creative Killings'. Bart van Wallenberg left the band last year, he was one of the oldest members and he wrote a lot of stuff as well. Was his departure relatively painless for the band?

Aad: We didn't have any problems, but he now has a family, he is a father of three children. So he had no time left for the band, so But he is still around, doing the lights and sound for Howitzer, we still see him, a lot of time. But, no we had no fights, it's just that he doesn't have the time for the band anymore. Well, what's your general opinion on such band rotations. Because I know sometimes it goes amicably, and sometimes it doesn't and you'd have all sort's of problems, like 'fuck you and don't play my stuff anymore' and shit like that. What do you think of this?

Alex: Well, we didn't have to go through any sorts of these problems, because in most of the cases the guys who played in the band just decided to quit themselves. If somebody goes like don't play my songs, I know it sucks, because it's still our show, and a lot of people would have enjoyed if you played this songs, but there really isn't much you can do about it. Traditionally it is considered that if you have a male singer in the band, he can walk on stage and start growling and no one would have a problem. At the same time as soon as you have girl at the mike stand everyone would start checking her out in a way: "Right let's see what SHE can do?". How hard was it for you to show that you are no worse than any of the band's previous vocalists, and did you feel any pressure?

Rachel: Well I saw the faces of the people in the audience, and I saw that they were surprised. But that was just after one song and then it was ok. But I never felt any pressure, because a band like Sinister would have never taken an unprofessional member in the band. So, I am doing my best. Did you take any lessons?

Rachel: No-no-no It's just natural?

Rachel: Yes. I am vomiting. :)) But I have been singing for quite a long time, it's 12 years now. And I have been listening to death metal for 15 years, so I grew up with this music. So I can sing Oh, I can't sing J I can't play the guitar, I can't play bass, I can't play drums. So I am trying to sing. Talking of which, I remember in one of the interviews you said that you were trying to sing with you belly, which is pretty unusual for females who in most of the cases sing with their chest. So was that hard to learn?

Rachel: No it's just better than singing with the throat. Cause when you sing with your throat it hurts more. If you sing from your belly you just use a lot of power. That is why I am keeping my hands like that, because I need the power. Question to Aad. What would you have said if somebody told that you were going to have a female singer in Sinister?

Aad: I would have said, that it would never ever happen. But now we are totally happy with Rachel, she does a really good job, she's got a great voice that perfectly fits with the music. The cover album - Creators of Brutality - as far as I understand is over for now, but what was the reason, why you wanted to do it in the first place? Cause Vader did a cover album, and then Illdisposed made 'Retro', and Six Feet Under made 'Graveyard Classics' and then you?

Aad: The idea behind it was that, when Bart left the band, we were hoping that we would find somebody new really fast. Although of course we didn't expect that we'd find Pascal in 3 weeks, we thought it was going to take much longer. And between this time, we wanted to make an album with our old guitar player from the first CD, and the most important reason was that people wouldn't have to wait for so long. So that they knew that Sinister was still alive. Cause we thought we would have to wait for half a year to find somebody new. And if we then started making new stuff it would have taken 2 years to record the new album. Rachel, also in one of the interviews you said that your main inspiration was stuff like Van Halen and Iron Maiden

Rachel: Well it wasn't something that inspired me. It was where I started. My neighbor had stuff like Van Halen and that's how I got to hear it for the first time. And then somebody else played me some Possessed and Kreator. Well since the album is called Creative Killings, you all must be professionals in the field. So now Rachel imagine that you are married to a really old and disgusting millionaire, you hate his guts, but even more so you hate his two favorite pets - a talking parrot and a Siamese cat. And finally you decide to gtet rid of the annoying buggers in a very special way - how?

Rachel: Well, the parrot I would flush in the toilet. And what was the other one? Oh, the cat. I'd put him in a sewer.

Pascal: I would have put it in a microwave. I think it's more funny.

Rachel: And the millionaire - I'd cut his dick off. Shit, that's inhumanly cruel! (everybody laughs) A sudden tornado has thrown all of the band to Senegal. So imagine, you are standing there in your black leather and chains, and it is like plus 40 Celsius outside, and there are only Africans around whose language you don't know What are you going to do?

Aad: I don't know. I really don't know. I think that I would die.

Pascal: I would just put some more clothes on for protection.

Alex: I'd get naked and do something nasty, or something. Just to relax.

Pascal: Me too. But only if there are some camels around.

Rachel: I am going to go with him (pointing to Alex) we would go and dance naked. You've become a completely cult band and manufacturers of FMCGs all around the world start approaching you with all sorts of Sinister endorsement proposals. What'd you choose slippers, show gel or maybe them long-sleeved shirts they use for people in funny houses?

Aad: I would go for the shower gel, cause we need it everyday.

Pascal: And then it would have a picture of me on it like (poses as a super-sexy glamour model) Fidel Castro - the famous Cuban leader asks you to write him a revolutionary anthem. Would you agree and what it would be?

Alex: We would take the song called 'Awaiting Absu' and we'd rename it to 'Awaiting Capitalism' Imagine you are being invited to do this gig, the promoter looks okay and the fee is pretty high, so you agree, but then as you arrive at the venue you find out that it's a gay club. Naturally all of the male part of the band starts getting those unwelcome advances. And now the question to you Rachel - would you save your men and how?

Rachel: (After a long pause) No, I wouldn't

Pascal: What I think she should do is take four wine bottles and she'd have to unscrew the corks out of it - and then we are saved. Okay, thanks for your time and have a great gig!


(July, 2002)

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