December 2009/January 2010. English translation.
Interview by BjŲrn Springorum
Which type of faith is spread in the Voodoo Church? And has it been the same faith ever since the beginning?
I have always treated Voodoo Church seriously. And the musicians who have had significant contributions to the band feel the same way. The attitude in our song writing has always been the same in that we want to put out the very best songs we can. Iíve felt that when the EP was first released, there was nothing else like it at the time. Itís the same way Iíve felt when Unholy Burial was release and I feel the same now with Eminence of Demons. Also the bandís attitude regarding Voodoo Church is a very professional one. We donít see ourselves as just another weekend band.
Why does a band release a legendary EP and then vanishes for more than 20 years from the scene?
After the EP release and all the live show that we did after that, we decided to take a break. One reason was because Bob Reimer and I were tired of the drug problems with other members. We never intended to take a long break but it happened. Life took over. And even though it was my intention to bring Voodoo Church back together, things just kept happening that pushed it back. Being involved with music never left me. Bringing Voodoo Church back was always on my mind.
And then you did the amazing thing and returned full force with your Deathrock hallmark with your 2004 ĄUnholy BurialĒ. Did you reckon with such an effect?
The timing was just right. Once a deal was made with Strobelight Records to release Unholy Burial, we had a few short months to write and record all the material for it. It was a busy but very fun time and we worked right up to the end to meet the deadline. I think that sense of urgency translated well into the recordings for that CD. One of the goals we had for Unholy Burial is that we wanted the CD to sound bigger than the EP.
In which way had the scene changed since you released your first EP?
Back when Voodoo Church and Christian Death were playing in the clubs, there was no strong Deathrock scene yet. The look of Deathrock today and the current variety of Deathrock song styles did not quite exist back then so itís very interesting to see how much it has grown and evolved. And I feel that kind of evolution is wonderful because you canít grow healthy as humans when you only live in the past.
Measured on your beginnings, five years almost sounds like an extremely short interval between two works. Do you consequently consider this break as a rather short one?
Sometime five years seems long and sometimes it seems short. We did not intend to wait five years to release Eminence of Demons. The first steps of putting this CD together came shortly after playing the WGT festival in 2005. Our target then was to release another CD at the end of 2006.
What did you spend the past five years on? Didnít you simply feel ready for a new Voodoo Church album or did the long break have other causes?
There were some changes after we started writing new material. The guitarist at the time, Brian Elizondo moved to the other side of the United States for personal reasons. This was the start of some delays. We also ended up taking our time writing and recording. Then we started asking some friends to join in on the recording so scheduling that took some time as well. The next thing we knew, so much time already went by.
Now you return with ďEminence Of DemonsĒ. When did the album mainly come to life?
It slowly came to life over time. The original concept we had for the CD became something even more better. Everything really started to fall into place during the mixing and mastering. Thatís when all the details came through.
Which things, topics, emotions or thoughts inspired you to your songs this time? Scary fiction or scary reality?
There was more real life experiences in the songs on this CD than any other. I wouldnít say they were scary but just real life with my own touch added to it. We will not just put out any song unless it meets our standards. The songs have to have a specific level of quality. The darker topic and emotions are just what comes natural for us.
Are there certain atmospheres or settings that are especially inspiring for you to write new songs? Like certain films or booksÖ?
Our songs never really get inspired directly by films and books. Usually the song writing for me starts with the music. Once the mood of the music is created, it then inspires me to write words that reflect my feelings.
In which way did your outlook on the deathrock scene and your musical attitude change over the past years? In which way did Voodoo Church change in your eyes?
Some people would like to think that Iím relying on my past reputation from the EP, but that would be completely incorrect because who I was then is not who I am now. My musical attitude has matured over time and so has my song writing. For me itís not about the past but about now and tomorrow. Weíve all entered into a new age and I believe you have to go with that to achieve success. A successful person takes on challenges and embraces it.
Even with only two albums itís possible to talk about the typical Voodoo Church sound. What are the most important characteristics when it comes to a VC song?
With the two CDs and the EP, there has always been the sound of powerful guitars. Voodoo Church has always been about big guitars. I think the connection with my vocals and the powerful guitars is what makes it work. The songs also must have a certain element and emotion or else it just wonít work. I wonít settle for a song if it doesnít have just the right touch. And most importantly, the song must kick ass!!!
Still, Tinaís vocals are one of a kind and one of the prominent characteristics of that band. That voice has a special impact and enchants at once. Would you regard this as an important key factor as well?
Thank you so much for the kind words. A part of me is in every Voodoo Church song that has been released. From the first EP to Unholy Burial to Eminence of Demons, Iíve always been a part of each song. No one else has ever been involved in Voodoo Church on that level. Both Bob Reimer and Randall have been amazing to write and work with. For Eminence of Demons I did experiment with my vocals more with harmonies and attitude. I also feel that a band should have a signature to have some kind of advantage over the next band.
Deathrock often fails with a singer unable to transfer these creepy, emotional, passionate and, oh well, fucked-up, atmospheres. But Tina is one of the rare specimen mastering this art. Would you agree?
I have heard many Deathrock bands that seem to lose potential because of the vocals. One Deathrock band who has strong vocal qualities is Bloody Dead and Sexy. Itís just something that has to come out naturally and not forced. A vocal style is something you either have or donít have. I do put a lot of passion into my singing. When I sing Iím also feeling the music around me and we just become one entity.