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HOUWITSER – Interview with Theo

Necrography: Houwitser started in 1997 by an idea of drummer Aad (SINISTER/THANATOS) and guitarist Michel (ex-SINISTER). After they had written a bunch of songs they asked Theo and later ex-SINISTER vocalist Mike to join them. They released their debut cd DEATH BUT NOT BURIED in the spring of 1999 through DISPLEASED RECORDS. Also a 7″ was released. Both were done with Mike. The second album came onto the world in late September 2000 and it is called Embrace Damnation, it is also available on picture LP. Arjaan DJORTZZZ is the vocalist on this one, he replaced Mike. In November 2000 SINISTER bass player Alex joined the band as their second guitar player.

HOUWITSER is the name of a canon, if I am not mistaken. Could you tell us more about it?

You are right… it is a middle distance canon used in World War two. That is all I know. I am not the right person to answer this question. Michel is really into that kind of sh!t.

Jon ZIG is responsible for the coverart. I assume it is the same ZIG who did the cover-art for Path of the Weakening (DEEDS OF FLESH). How did you get in touch with him? Tell us more about this guy and his work!

Yeah, it is the same Zig. Besides DEEDS OF FLESH he did artwork for DYING FETUS, VILE, PROPHECY, SINTURY, DISGORGE. We all were very impressed with the covers he did, so we decided to ask him to draw ours too. I contacted Erik from DEEDS OF FLESH and he gave me Zig’s phone number. I contacted him and he immediately said yes. We gave him our ideas and he came up with this really sick concept.

How come Holland had and has so many great brutal Death Metal bands? ALTAR, ASPHYX, CENTURIAN, PESTILENCE (R.I.P.), GOD DETHRONED, GOREFEST (old), SINISTER and now HOUWITSER, this cannot be a co‹ncidence, can it?! There seems to be a geographic pattern in Death Metal, how else could we recognize a difference between US Death, Dutch Death, Brazilian Death & Swedish Death in advance? How would you explain this phenomenon?

There are a lot of talented Death Metal musicians in Holland… they all know how to make brutal Death Metal and they play their instruments very well. I know that there are bands with musicians who cannot even play their intruments, so you understand that their music sucks!!!! Especially some from Germany make me laugh. Yeah, you are right that there is some geographic pattern in Death Metal. KRISIUN and REBAELLIUN from Brazil… both sounds close to each other… very fast and brutal, American bands like DISGORGE, DEEDS OF FLESH, BRODEQUIN… they play typical US Death Metal. The Swedish Death Metal bands using a lot of melodic parts and double guitar riffs in the songs. I do not know how come… maybe they influenced each other.

Did HOUWITSER have problems with censorship in some countries due to the explicit coverart, inlay, …?

Yep… our album has two covers… it is banned in some countries… especially in Germany. They do not want our CD in the shops with the original cover. I think it is f*cking great.

What happened to HOUWITSER‘s former vocalist Mike?

Well, things did not work out the way the rest of us wanted. He is a cool guy and a great performer but unfortunately that is not enough to make it work. I do not know what he is doing now.

Suppose you could shoot a video-clip or even a TV-commercial to promote HOUWITSER. How would it look like?

We already shot a video clip with LOWLIFE MEDIA. We did Feeding on Fools and it was recorded in BAROEG CLUB. It turned out really great. A lot of different flashing parts and things like that. It will be broad-casted very soon on TMF. Next month there also will be a program about HOUWITSER on the Dutch national television.

Why the “hidden” track?

It just came there for fun.I do not know why we did it….

There are a lot of samples on Embrace Damnation. From which films are they taken?

The most are from Discovery Channel. I think there is only one from a movie and that is Cobra.

Compose the ultimate CD

vocals:Djortzzz –guitars: Michel and Alex – bass: Me – Aad keyboards: f*ck off! – logo: HOUWITSER logo cover-art: Embrace Damnation by ZIG – studio: EXCESS studio – label: ……………………..!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! come back to that later

Is internet a good or a bad thing for the underground?

When you are a busy person like me, the internet is the best thing that happened to me concerned my work for the bands and MASTER OF BRUTALITY zine. But I can imagine that people like it better the old way with letters and flyers.

What do you think of the fact that demos are released on CD instead of on tape now?

I do not know. I think the tape has its own charming, but hey, we are going to 2001, things changed… the scene changed too. We cannot stop that.

You played in the FRONTLINE (Ghent, Belgium). How do you look back on it?

It was great… the place was packed and people were getting crazy. I am going to play there in March with THANATOS again. Looking forward to that.

Do you like the way of living while touring?

Yeah. I do not have any problems with that. It is really bad for your health, but I like it a lot. It is better than my regular job.

Tell me more about THANATOS and JUDGEMENT DAY. What is priority: HOUWITSER, THANATOS or JUDGEMENT DAY?

THANATOS and HOUWITSER are my priorities… I do a lot of gigs with both bands, I make CDs with them, we got good record deals and things like that… That is not how the situation in JUDGEMENT DAY is right now, so I put this band on a lower level. It is f*cked up for the other guys, but that is how I see it. For information about THANATOS, I guess everybody knows this band already and JUDGEMENT DAY you can check out the websites…

Any last words you want to share with the readers?

Yeah..people can check out our website… It is really cool. You can find all information about the band there.

Thanks Theo & HOUWITSER!