– Hello, thanks for answering to our questions. What’s currently keeping HOUWITSER busy?
At this moment we’re in songwriting mode. We already finished eight songs for the new album and we have some more unfinished ones. We couldn’t do much shows because Ramon (bass) had to have two major surgeries on his back. So we started writing instead of touring. But there are a couple of nice shows coming up!
– First of all I would like you to make some history of HOUWITSER, as you are the only founder member remaining.
Aad and I started Houwitser back in ’95 as a fun side project of Sinister. We recorded a demo on a 4-track tape recorder and with that we got a record deal with Displeased Records for two albums. We did some festivals and gigs around Europe and signed a new deal with Osmose records. After two albums for Osmose the band silently died in 2004, but was reborn in 2007.
– Why the name «Houwitser»? Both it’s origin and name.
Houwitser is dutch for howitzer. A howitzer is a piece of artillery that has been used since world war 1. Nowdays it’s usually mounted on a tank as main cannon. We chose the name because we thought we had to sound like a blasting Houwitser!!!!
– And what are the main musical influences for the band?
We’re mainly influenced by old school death metal.
– You split-up some years ago and came back in 2007; what prompted your dissolution and what made you come back?
Actually I left the band before the recordings of ‘Damage Assessement’ because of personal matters. The rest of the band quitted after Osmose decided not to renew our contract with them.
But I still had contact with Stan and we both felt that we had some unfinished business to do with Houwitser. So we looked for some new members and started writing new stuff.
– In fact, this is your first full-length album since you guys came back so; how does it feel having a new HOUWITSER album in your hands?
It really feels good to be back again with this album. In my opinion this is the best album since ‘Embrace Damnation’!
– And how did you feel while creating it?
To be honest, I really hate recording hahaha! But writing it was great! Everyone was very eager to create a very brutal album.
– Though your latest «Bestial Atrocity» was releasd past 2010 I would like to get a bit into it so, first of all; how has its feedback (both from the fans and press)?
‘Bestial Atrocity’ got some good reviews in the press and the fans I’ve spoken about it really liked the new stuff.
– And how could you describe this album with just a few words?
45 minutes of absolute Houwitser brutality!!!!
– Now that it has been some time since it came out and I gues you have had the chance of listening carefully to it; is there anything you would like to change?
Everytime when you come out of the studio you say: ‘This is the best we’ve ever recorded!’ But after a while you discover some things that could have been done better or different. Like next time I want to use a different microphone setting to record the guitars, because I think the guitars could be more heavier sounding that way.
– In this effort we can find guest artists as Mike vanh Mastrigt and Kam Lee, so I would like you to tell us a bit about it; how did you cmae up with the idea, why did you choose them, what did they brought with their cooperation…
I wanted to re-record an old song and ‘Shredded to Pieces’ was allways one of my favourites of the first album and I thought it would be cool to let Mike do some of the vocals on it. So we just called him and asked if he wanted to do it. He stopped singing like 4 years ago and came in the studio to do his part and allmost blew out the speakers of the studio monitors!
Kam we met at the Fuck The Commerce festival in 2008 and we stayed in contact. We wanted to do something else with ‘Sledgehammer Redemption’ so we asked him to do some vocals for that. We mailed him a rough version of the recordings with only drums and one guitar (!) and a week later he sended his vocal recordings back to us.
– And how was the songwriting for this album? I mean if you follow any concrete pattern as writing the music first or so, also if its a team-work, an spontaneous process and if you changed something on it after all these years without recording a new album…
Sometimes song are created spontanious while rehearsing, but the most songs were written by me and Richard. Richard lives near me so we often get together to drink some beers and play guitar and at those moments most songs are created. A lot of the riffs are actually combinations of seperate riffs from the both of us!
– After «Damage Assessment» you disbanded and finished with Osmose, you then released «Sledgehammer Redemption» EP independently, but later you signed with Sevared. How’s working with them like? Specially in comparison with a big label as Osmose is.
Actually we haven’t heard much from Sevared after we got our cd’s and shirts! So it’s totally opposite from Osmose, who let us know what the sales were like every other month.
– And how was releasing that EP independently? What are the pros and cons of this?
The ‘Sledgehammer….’ EP was at first only for promotional use to get labels interested, but a lot of fans wanted it so we had to do that independent release for them.
– Metal scene in Holland has always been huge and seems to be growing constantly, but how do you see this scene as an «insider»? Any bands you would like to suggest?
For a country this small we have a big scene indeed. Sometimes when we do a gig in Holland it seems like everyone in the crowd is a metal musician! But the clubs in Holland seems to avoid booking Dutch bands. They rather book foreign bands who they think attract more people. So that kind of sucks! But after years of playing the Dutch clubs I rather go to other country’s.
– HOUWITSER has been trough different experience during these almost 15 years of existence. What have been the best and worst moments for the band?
The best moments where everytime we got a new album in our hands and the most of the gigs we’ve played. The worst moments were, in my opinion, the split up and one gig in Germany where there was absolutely nobody because the promotor didn’t do his job…….. (f*ckn’*ssh*le!)
– And what’s left for HOUWITSER? Any goal you haven’t reached yet?
Our next goal is to finish writing the songs for our new album and unleash it upon the fans. And ofcourse some touring to promote the new album!
– Finally, what are your near-future plans? After almost a year since your previous «Bestial Atrocity»; have you already started working in an upcoming album? As I guess some people may be wondering if you guys have came back to stay.
As I already mentioned, we’re in the middle of writing our sixth album and we’re really here to stay!
Also we’re planning to do some shows in Russia, Germany, Belgium, Czeck Republic and hoefully some more country’s.
– That has been all, thanks once more for your time. If you want to add some final words; feel free to do it.
Thanks for the nice interview an to all of you out there who is into old school death metal: check out ‘Bestial Atrocity” and come over when we’re playing in your neighbourhood! Check our website www.houwitser.nl for up to date info about Houwitser.
Oh and while you’re surfing on the Houwtser homepage please check out my other band ‘KhaoZ’ at www.myspace.com/khaozofficial.
Horns up and stay brutal!!!!!