The Return of the Witch
Montreal's NECRONOMICON goes since 1991, but the first time I encountered them in 1999 when they released "Pharaoh of Gods" debut with a mysterious Egyptian DM. Many years have passed and many fans certainly have forgotten them as suddenly there appeared forthcoming "The Sacred Medicines" album then. For some years they again fall into the abyss of the past and after six years, the witch has returned with the CD "The Return of the Witch." Musically, they slightly shifted, all albums sound differently, which is today no self-evident. They have never had luck for labels, as they have always to change it, but perhaps this time they managed to choose the right choice and get into the track. The questions were answered by vocalist and guitarist Rob "The Witch" Tremblay.
Why took the creation and release of a "Return of the Witch" album so long?
Well first because we have been on the road for a good part of the time in 2005 /2006 and after that we had to find a bass player since the previous one we had (Dominic) left not long after the recording of the Sacred Medicines, we were touring with a session musician and he expressed to us wanting to put some more time on his own projects. After getting D with us we went on the road again, after a while and some out of control personals event that we had to fix, we went in studio and of course some other things happened. After finishing the album we had to deal with the starting worldwide economic situation that affected most labels and doing so forced us to be more patient in dealing with them......but at the end everything is back to normal and thatís what really matter.
How are you satisfied with reviews of the new CD? What is there different compared to the previous "The Sacred Medicinesíí?
We are satisfied enough yes, and yeah it is different from Sacred, in fact all our albums are different because itís the way we work, every album have a different concept and texture. Critics are critics, those are made by people who have certain taste and in any case you canít please everyone, some likes technical stuff and others not, the thing I think itís stupid... itís when people that donít like our kind of music past comments on what we do, that a big sign of immaturity, taste canít be discussed, itís a fact, but saying bad stuff about something you already donít like itís pathetic.....what can I say thereís morons everywhere even in metal. So after all critics are nothing more that personal opinion about something and is not reality.
You are now going to the Canadian tour, which bands will you go with? Are you using the keys, choirs and female vocals on live shows? Have you ever played in Europe?
No we havenít played in Europe yet but itís something we are looking for I can assure you. We have Black Guard and Blinded by Faith that are opening on some shows but they donít do all the concerts, Iím not sure to remember the others bands and in Halifax itís the 2 days metal fest but would be a long list to recall all of them. We are working on getting a new agent in US for now but itís not all easy because of what I said earlier about the economic crash, a lot of people are losing money and everything is really hard in the industry now. We use play back sequencer for live performance, so no K board or female singer (we were doing that a long time ago) our drummer is playing with a click track to be sure everything is on the right time frame. Itís been many years we do that now.
Why have you choose "Return of the Witch" as the name of CD? Have you seen the horror film Blair Witch Project?
Itís totally not related to that movie, in fact I think none of us have seen it, I donít even know what it is all about. The name of the album is about the concept of the universal omega energy that dwell in everything that live and need to be awaken for human race to become one with all again and take their role among the gods.
Once you have been more concerned to Egyptian themes, now are you not so much interested in? Are you somehow influenced lyrically also by H.P. Lovecraft?
The Egyptian concept was specific for that album, like I said we have a different concept on every album. Itís not that Iím not interested in that, it was for that album, maybe weíll come back on it for another album later, Iím not sure but who knows. Lovecraft was an influence when I started the band, and I still like some of his ideas, but itís long gone about the lyrics context.
Your lyrics have some mythological influences. Which mythology do you prefer? What about Sumerian mythology?
Actually we are more about spiritual rites and traditions than mythology, I donít know much about this and less about Sumerian, I think I know more about Cthulhu mythos than anything else hahahahahaha! The band MAIN concept is about spiritual awakening and self believes than mythology, if I can say in OUR mythology we can become gods our selves.
ďLilithĒ song is quite unusual, who has written it? ďNecropolisĒ is also special; have you wanted to try something gothic? What is the lyric about?
Iím the one wrote it, I always liked to have some atmospherically songs that does necessarily include drums and guitars, Iíve been doing that on all my albums so far and like it a lot. Necropolis is about what we are as human being with god like potential hidden among the mere mortal of the masse that represent society, we are like dead for them, nothing, none living creatures, but in fact we are more than they will ever be or even understand. I donít think I was trying to do something gothic, in fact I had that song in my head for many years, music come the way it is...I donít try to do something like this or that, I do what comes to me.
Do you think it is better to play guitar solos without rhythmic guitar, backed only by bass and drums? Some reviewers mentioned your solos sound like heavy metal, what are you talking about?
Well the only reason we do that itís because I want to sound as close as possible to live, I know some people donít like it but at least it sound honest. On this album thereís a rhythm guitar on 2 solos I think and the rest is just with the bass and drums like we always do, I wanted to make a bit different. Well I havenít been reading these critics but I think its cool if they said that, I donít consider myself like a good guitarist but I think I do what have to be done the way it need to be and thatís the most important.
Why did you decide to highlight the bass drums? Have you wanted to achieve the most brutal and dynamic sound?
Actually I havenít noticed that, itís probably the guys in studio who did it , I havenít listen to the album very much so I canít really tell you but in any case these days good and fast drummers are always put a bit more in front than before.
You have shot video for the song ďTime Is NowĒ, is it your favorite track? I think this is your first clip, what was the shooting?
No itís not our first clip but itís the first to be shown since one we did before has never been finished. We decided to do that song because its punchy, catchy, simple and not too long, I like better things like that, some people put too much content in their music and for my point itís just some showing off, I have nothing to prove and music is made to be listenable and enjoyed, so for me the groove is more important than technique.
Are you still happy you chose NECRONOMICON as band name? Yet there are other two bands with the same name in Japan and Germany.
Yeah I know, but Iím still happy because itís the perfect name that describes what we do. When I decided to call the band Necronomicon, I didnít know about the German band, and the Japanese one is way more recent than us. The real meaning of the name is: Things that are related to death practices, customs and laws; and itís why I called my band Necronomicon.
Are you looking forward the new GORGUTS? Which their album do you prefer? What do you say to new Canadian AETERNAM band?
I didnít knew Gorguts were back and anyway Iím not into that band at all so no favorite album of them is on my list sorry. I heard about Aeternam name one or two time but nothing else so I canít say anything sorry.
Havenít you sometimes been thinking about recording cover track? Would you choose any Death / Black Metal band, or some old Hard Rock?
Yeah I thought about it. From my point I was thinking about some Celtic frost, Destruction, Bathory or Sacrifice, maybe a Judas priest one, but I wonít probably do it because I think thatís already a lot of people are doing it itís a bit .....I donít know outdated....maybe Iím wrong but anyway we never know.
Each of your albums was released under a different label, so do you think it is always better to sign only one album? Will you release next album under Napalm Records?
I hope weíll be staying with Napalm yes, itís just by some really not cool circumstances that we ended with different labels for every album and in a way itís better like that because Napalm is way more professional and itís exactly what we needed. Everything is good when you change for better so no reason to stick with labels that donít respect you or try to make you things too far from what you just to fit in a trend.
Ok, that's all from me, thanks for the interview. Can you write your current top 5 albums?
Not an easy question since I donít listen any music these days and in fact itís been months I havenít listen to any kind of music.......
Rob 19. 7. 2010 Storm