– Hello and, first, thanks for taking your time. How’s everything going in the band’s lair?
Hellzabet: Hi Queens of Steel. Thanks a lot for thinking about us and taking the time to listen to our music. We are happy to answer all your questions. Our lair, Caverna how we call it, is at me moment quite messy. We just came back from the tour in Brazil and had already a show in Germany at a beautiful location inside a barn surrounded by green fields and a great sunset.
-‘Gvla’ means gluttony. One of the 7 deadly sins. How did you come up with this word as the band’s name? Does it have any deeper significance or was it more of an aesthetic choice?
Hellzabet: Once we had already a few songs and started thinking about playing live, it was end of 2019, we brainstormed a few names. Honestly, we did not have many ideas and gvla was one of the first ones that came to our mind. I am pretty sure it was Filious idea. I believe that it is important to be honest to ourselves, more than being honest to others, and that it starts by admitting our own “sins”. I do not see them as sins, I see them as part of being a human person. I think we can be better humans if we know that they are part of us, so that we have them reasonably under control, not to hurt others.
Filious: Is our favorite sin.
-And why Black Metal? What does it attract you from this specific form of expression?
Hellzabet: I was drawn into Black Metal since the first time I heard it. I can’t explain what happened in my brain, I fell in love and this one is forever. The depth, the melancholy, the darkness, the screams, the fast double bass, the blast beats, all resonated into the complex feeling I had during my teeny times. I never wanted to do anything else. I knew that is what I wanted. It took a long time, but I am here now.
Filious: BM is natural to me.
-Your debut album was ‘Gvla’. Your newest one is ‘Ira’. Two of the 7 deadly sins. What’s the connection between them both and the whole idea behind the latest one?
Hellzabet: Yes, the plan is to continue the story of the deadly sins. We chose Ira (translates to Wrath) for this second album because of the new war that broke here in Europe with the invasion of Ukraine.
Filious: We hope to complete all 7 seven sins as Albums someday.
-The cover album holds a lot of symbology. Please tell us a lit bit about these symbols and their meanings.
Filious: This Album is a part of a Drawing called IRA made by Pieter Bruegel the Elder and we decided to use it because of the similarity with the First Album’ s drawing style. The drawings really leave a lot of space for imagination, they are meant to represent different sides of Wrath/Ira in war. Detailed interpretation we leave to you as the observer of the art.
-Aesthetically it keeps the pattern of your previous release with this monochrome medieval engraving aesthetic. Is this cohesion something conscious?
Filious: Yes. It is planned that all Albums have this same style of drawing.
-Lyrics match with the whole Black Metal imagery but, is there something else to them? More depth?
Filious: The lyrics are mostly related to my fascination for ancient cultures, feminist thematic, and other pertinent subjects:
Impure spirits – demonic invocation; Sacrificial stone – Aztec ancient ritual; Valv – Is about Hell; Ira – rage of the four elements combined; Queen Anathema – Hate for women in power; Ode to Tlaloc – Aztec sacrifice; Maleficivm – trade of the soul for power.
-This is the “rage” album, and it shows. There’s rage and also vengeance. Is it a response or reaction to something less spiritual than what it looks like here? Vengeance toward what or against who?
Filious: The Album is just showing a blink into what anger can do. In this case, war. It is not aimed at anyone or anything. We feel anger sometimes, which is normal. Like Hellzabet said before we know we can feel wrath, but we are against acts of hate and vengeance.
-There’s also a lot of solitude, that feeling of only having ourselves. Are we alienated a whole?
Filious and Hellzabet: Music has a different impact on everyone. No specific feeling was meant to be projected. Our music is an expression of ourselves, but if people can find some relief by hearing our music, it will be great to hear.
-In fact, Black Metal has always advocated for liberation and individualism, so it’s very ironic that there are still nowadays a lot of bigoted behaviors in the BM “community”. Are these kinds of attitudes that are based on traditional ideas that annul one’s individuality, compatible with this rebellious spirit BM is meant to be about?
Hellzabet: Yes, that is a shame. We do all we can to stay away from bigots. We are not teenagers anymore; we do not do BM as a rebellious attitude. We do it because we love it and have fun with it. But for people that think all BM is bigot, maybe we do look like rebels (:D). A woman (even white) and a Mexican doing BM in Germany. Sounds funny to many people, yes. We live surrounded by people that have nothing to do with those discriminatory ideas, and we intend to keep it that way. I hope the RABM bubble grows.
-For example, in ‘VALV’ you sing «Burn religion, Nothing is Sacred, Sodomise a Priest«. How much is this something against spirituality and individual believes and criticism against established religions as a dogma and the Church as a structure of power?
Filious: I dislike the Catholic Church because was forced from birth to follow these rules and behavior without being able to question anything about it. I don’t care what other people believe in; that is their personal choice. The part ‘’Sodomise a Priest’’ was inspired from an event happening in USA in October 2020; where a Priest contracted 2 Dominatrices to do their job at the Altar of his Church.
-Everything here is quite ritual-like. Is there anything ritual-like to the process of creating and performing your music?
Filious: When allowed by the venues we burn candles and herbs to “clean” the air and build a small pagan altar with candles.
Hellzabet: I am a 100% atheist and have not so much interest in occultism and religion. I am a scientist and spend a lot of time trying to understand nature. What I can say is that I think all religion puts women on a slippery slope because it leaves equality to men to decide, so they usually decide for no equality. I do not criticize people’s beliefs, because we really can’t choose spiritual beliefs. However, yes, organized religion is rarely fair to us women and tends to put women against women.
-‘Queen Anathema’ is an ode to a powerful and lethal feminine deity. Sacred femininity in its most primal and fierce form. How do these kinds of concepts translate into today’s scenario or how can they resonate with Metal? Is it just blasphemy and a suiting imagery or also a statement, an act of defiance?
Hellzabet: Even if the lyric is not directly about it, I would very much like that the metal scene becomes less and less controlled by toxic masculinity. I also hope that women feel inspired by my performance (even if I am not the best drummer in the world, I don’t have to be). That all women and anyone in between until men feel represented and feel refreshed by the notion that things are changing, there is more space for us and we can do it.
-What earthly women would be for you an equivalent to this ‘queen anathema’? What were/are your role models?
Filious: The song was written thinking about “The Queen of Babylon” and she was pure evil. No other human can be compared to her now.
– And finally, what’s next for GVLA?
Hellzabet: This year was already quite exciting with the tour in Brazil. Time to start writing material for the new Sin. This summer we will play a few gigs in Germany and probably also a small tour in Spain in November, hope to see you there.
– That’s all from our side, thanks again. If you’d like to add some final words, feel free to do it.
Thanks a lot. It was a pleasure. Keep doing what you are doing.