SINISTER – every letter is a cult. This year, this band around Aada Kloosterwaad celebrates an incredible 34 years on the scene. In that time, the band has managed to release 14 full-length albums, at least the first three of which can be considered something like the ” pillars of the genre “. You wouldn’t find a single moment of “stylistic hesitation” in their history. It is the purity of expression and the fidelity to Death Metal that makes SINISTER a a band in front of which it is an honor to bow. We will have the opportunity at the end of June in Topolná near Uherské Hradiště at the SYMBOLIC festival. It is an honour for us… to welcome the beast crowned by the tulips of death.
SINISTER – the band that forms the cornerstone of European Death Metal. With line-up changes, with a slightly different expression – yet this stalwart has been on the scene for more than 34 years. There isn’t a Death Metal fan in the world who wouldn’t immediately recognize your logo. How does it feel to know that you as a band have actually been there for everything important that has happened in the scene over the last 30 years?
Of course it’s great that we have been able to grow as a band and that we still matter. We are grateful that we can do this and that, despite line-up changes, the Death Metal fire has never been extinguished. We make Death Metal because we like it ourselves and we don’t have any rock star ambitions, so we keep our feet on the ground and do what we like to do. That’s probably why the band has been playing this role in the scene for so long. People in the scene love purity and music that is made with heart and soul.
Holland (Netherlands) has always been a country where Death Metal has thrived. I would say that in its time you had probably the strongest scene in Europe (ASPHYX, GOREFEST, PESTILENCE, SEVERE TORTURE, HOUWITSER, JUDGEMENT DAY, ALTAR, THANATOS, BEYOND BELIEF, PENTACLE, BURIAL, HAIL OF BULLETS, PLEURISY, GOD DETHRONED, PHLEBOTOMIZED, CEREMONY, DEAD HEAD, INHUME … etc.). How do you explain this? What made you guys so special? Also, I wonder how do you explain the fact that a lot of these bands still exist, release albums and enjoy fan support?
The Netherlands has a pretty good climate when it comes to developing talent. It is probably also part of the Dutch mentality to always look ahead and make new discoveries. To be the first, also with discovering extreme music. The Netherlands had built up a huge underground scene in terms of extreme metal in the eighties. This, together with good opportunities such as music schools, infrastructure and the opportunity to enter a rehearselroom with friends, meant that mentioned bands have been able to develop very early on. You can now see that the fragmentation of the music scene and sometimes the urge for quick success is playing tricks on young bands. They want the same thing as ‘the big boys’ within a year and when the fail, they disappear among the huge amount of bands. Besides the fun it means also dedication and that you really do it from your heart, otherwise you will not get there.
You are going to play at the SYMBOLIC festival. You have always been like at home in the Czech Republic as a band. You enjoy incredible popularity here thanks to your very frequent performances. I know that you play well here (it is understandable when you always get a great response). Our festival is known for inviting legends of the genre to its stage and longtime fans who love to reminisce about the 90s. So the question is : are you going to play any songs from the first three legendary albums “Cross the Styx”, “Diabolical Summoning” or “Hate” during your set?
Thank you for your nice words. It is true that we have a good fan base in the Czech Republic and surrounding countries. We always try to play a cross section of all the albums, of course playing the most songs from the albums we like the most. We always play 2 or three songs from the first albums. On the one hand they are great songs, on the other hand we are also somewhat obliged to our status. We usually make the final setlist a few days in advance.
Speaking of your setlist, You’ve released an incredible 14 full-length albums. Is it hard to choose the best few songs from so many to fit into the time allotted by the organizers? Do you argue in rehearsals about which songs to include and which to leave out? Do you have any favourite songs that other bandmates refuse to play?
We have a number of songs that we rehearse all the time, from which we can choose. As mentioned, it’s a bit of a cross section of our discography. But we will never be able to satisfy everyone 100%. Old or new fans, that makes a difference. First-time fans who would like to hear Cross the Styx and a very large group of new fans who only know the latest records. We try to provide everything. We intend to add more old songs to the set. However, there will also be a new album, so it is becoming more and more a challenge to put down a set that will satisfy everyone. A luxury problem shall we say.
Now I was thinking: I assume you are (like us) big fans of Czech beer. Do you go out after a concert to have a drink with your fans and exchange a few words about metal, or do you prefer to stay away from such pleasures? Either way, we look forward to your show and thank you for answering these “five questions for the headliner”.
Besides playing we also like a nice evening and drinking beer. We will definitely hang out before and after the show, we also enjoy watching other bands and chatting with the other metal fans. We will not let the chance of a great evening be taken away from us. We will see you!! Thank you for your interest and the interview! Cheers Sinister, Toep & Aad.