Inquisitor is an awesome thrash band that has recently reunited and put a brand new release on Hammerheart Records and here is a interview with band members Erik and Wim:
First off I know the band first releases something in 1992 and broke up in the later 90’s and got back together and released something new in 2014. Out of the old line-up how many members are original members and what is the current line-up these days?
Wim van der Valk (WV): The current line-up is the exactly the line-up that started it all way back in '91. It consists of Alex Wesdijk on vocals, Erik Sprooten on guitars, Alex Bakker on Bass guitar and Wim van der valk on the drums.
Erik Sprooten (ES): 2014 saw the re-release of our 1996 album "Walpurgis - Sabbath Of Lust, so not exactly something new but it has been remastered.
How did the band originally form and did you go through many members early on?
WV: We only had a few line-up changes. When Alex Bakker quit the band in '95 due to some personal issues he was replaced by Hans Pos. Hans is the bass player that recorded the Walpurgis-Sabbath of Lust album in '95. When Inquisitor fell apart in late '96 I tried to continue with a new guitar player but we very soon found out that with a new guitar player the known Inquisitor sound changed much so we changed the name into Centurian and started again as a new band.
ES: To cut a long story short, Inquisitor was formed in 1991 by ex members of Desultory and I joined them on guitar.
What were the early practices like? Did you fool around with cover songs and stuff and was the band a serious one from the beginning?
WV: Fooling around is of course a thing most starting bands do in the beginning and we did as well, but next to some old school covers we started writing own music very soon. We recorded our first demo with only new material within the first year and a half. In those days Erik and Alex B. came up with loads of new material every week so we got plenty of new riffs and ideas to create songs with. From day one the band was serious but always had fun and great times while rehearsing. Next to playing in the band we also went to gigs and did hang out together. Those were awesome times !!!
How did you come up with the band name and also the cool band logo? Were a bunch of names thrown around before you came up with the name Inquisitor?
ES: We had a different name for a very short while, but If I remember it correctly, I think that it was Alex Bakker (bass player) who suggested the name Inquisitor. Since we (still) live close to the Dutch bible belt, we felt that we needed a name for the band which has a negative meaning connected to religion. The name Inquisitor suggests a connection to the inquisition, which we don't see as a positive chapter in history. The cool logo has been drawn by Wim.
In 1992 you released your first demo called “Blasphemous Accusations”. How did you come up with this title and how was it going into the studio for the 1st time?
ES: I guess the title is probably inspired by watching movies like "The Pit & The Pendulum" and "The Name Of The Rose" but I can't remember who and how he came up with that title. Wim and Alex Bakker already had previous studio experience with Desultory and we decided to record our first demo in the same studio where Desultory recorded their second demo. For Alex Wesdijk and me, it was our first studio experience. The recording sessions took one weekend I think. For me, my first studio session was very interesting, but I remember that I didn't like the result of my guitar sound.
Did you send this demo out to many labels or webzines at the time and if so what was the response like?
WV: Erik and I were fanatic tape-traders and followed the scene very close in those days and because of that had lots of contacts with Thrash/Death bands, magazines and fans around the world. So we send tapes out to these magazines, friends etc to spread our stuff. It got reviewed a lot because of that and the response was awesome. Not many webzines in those days btw LOL.
The next year you released our 2nd demo called “Your Pain Will Be Exquisite”. How much was this demo different from the 1st one? At the time was it easy or hard writing songs? Was it easier going into the studio for a 2nd time?
WV: Man, this was somewhere around 1993 or so, over 24 years ago. Most of the time I can't remember what I did last night haha. I remember after recording the first demo we just continued creating new stuff, so we just went on doing what we liked best. Of course after some time the band got better, played our instruments better as the years gone by. Don't know how much in terms of studio time, but we were satisfied after recording the stuff and especially the sound was much better. Also the cover was awesome....... But unfortunately it is lost.
ES: We went to "Beaufort Studio" again, and we knew much better how we wanted sound, so in that way it was easier. The overall sound turned out much better on the 2nd demo and we became a little bit faster too.
How was the response to this 2nd demo?
WV: The response was absolutely awesome.
ES: We got way much better reviews compared to the first demo.
In 1993 you released a split called “Crush the Holy Church. Was this a self-release or did a label release it? Who was the other band and was it a CD release or was it vinyl?
ES: A label called Hell Spawn Tapes released it with permission from us, so it wasn't released by ourselves. No,it was not released on CD or Vinyl, it was only released on a cassette, which was very typical during the early 90's. It's a live recording from 1993, which also features Desultory with a new line-up.
3 years later in 1996 you released your first full length called “Walpurgis-Sabbath of Lust”. Who released this and how was it going into the studio for the 1st time to record a full length release?
WV: The album was recorded in 1995 and released one year later by Shiver Records from Belgium. The recordings were the first we did in a really good studio; the RS29 studio owned by Oscar Holleman, a well known Dutch guitar-player and producer. Recording there was an awesome experience; he had top notch equipment in his garage and we had a great time.
How easy was it to come up with songs for this release? What are your thoughts on this release these days?
WV: Most of the songs on "Walpurgis - sabbath of Lust" were songs from both demos, next to that we wrote 3 new tunes.
ES: We are still proud on our debut CD and it sounds the way we wanted it to sound. After all it was our first full-length album and it's great to see that there's still demand for it.
Were you playing many shows around this time? Is there a good healthy underground metal scene where the band is based out of?
ES: Before we ceased to exist, we have done about 25 shows in about a five year period, which is OK, but it should have been more I think. In our area never was a big underground metal scene, but in later years (2003-2006) it was quite healthy for a while 'cause there was even a rock/metal-pub in my hometown.
How soon after this release in 1996 did the band break up or did you just take a break and what did the band members do with themselves during this time?
ES: About half a year after the release, Inquisitor slowly fell apart and wasn't intended as a temporary break. The reasons don't matter anymore, but our singer and Inquisitor went separate ways, and a few months later, I decided to join Ancient Rites. The connection with Ancient Rites happened because I was session guitarist for them on tour in the summer of 1996.
In 2014 you had your demos released on CD. How did this come about and is this release as well as your full length still for sale?
ES: In 2012 Hammerheart Records got in touch with me to ask if I was interested in re-releasing our one and only album plus our demos. And of course I was interested in that. It only took a while to get back in touch with Wim but after we reconnected, the re-release took a short time to happen. The 2CD version is still for sale, but I think that the LP version is sold out.
At what point would you say you found the Inquisitor sound and for someone who has never heard you what would you say you sound like?
WV: Our sound naturally happened, and in a way it was a continuation of the style of Desultory but more challenging, more technical etc. If you've never heard Inquisitor before we always refer to bands like Sadus, Dark Angel, (old) Kreator etc.
In early 2017 you released an EP called “I am Sick I Must Die”. Who released this and how was it going into the studio after being out of the studio as a band in over 10 years?
ES: Hammerheart Records released the EP "I am Sick, I Must Die" as a taster for the new album. Next to the title track, you can hear two cover tunes: Extreme Unction of which the original version is from Pestilence, and Perish In Flames originally by Dark Angel. We gave those songs the Inquisitor treatment. Inquisitor hasn't been in a studio for about 22 years, but despite of that the recordings went actually very good. Hammerheart Records recommended Toneshed Studios and we went along with it and it was absolutely great to work with owner Erwin Hermsen. To save money, I recorded my guitar-solos at home, which I will certainly do again that way next time.
Recently you released an awesome new release called “Stigmata Me, I’m In Misery. How did you come up with this title and how did you end up on Hammerheart Records?
ES: It was Alex Wesdijk our singer, who in the end came up with the title "Stigmata Me, I'm in Misery". He wrote all the lyrics and we felt that the title should reflect some of his lyrics.
Hammerheart Records released two albums of Ancient Rites in the past, and worked with them before so I was already familiar with them. As I already mentioned Hammerheart Records made contact with me in 2012 for the re-release. After the re-release Hammerheart Records was also keen on releasing new material of Inquisitor so we decided to continue our collaboration.
How did the songs come together for this release?
ES: In the past we created the songs together primarily during rehearsing. Nowadays when someone has a riff or an idea we record it first at my computer, and with those riffs and ideas we try to create new material. We mostly first create demo versions at home on the computer and those versions we replicate in real versions in the rehearsal room, where we can still make changes. Those changes will of course be updated on the versions on the computer. It's a relatively efficient way to create our songs.
How do you plan on promoting this release and do you hope to do some type of touring behind this release? Is there any live videos floating around on You Tube?
ES: We will do three shows in a row in March as support of PESTILENCE on their release shows for their new album Hadeon. And furthermore we try to get ourselves booked for gigs. We will probably do an own belated release show but due to circumstances this wasn't possible close after the release. Extensive touring will probably not happen but we will do some interesting gigs.Some live-footage can be found on our YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/c/InquisitorXtremeThrash
We try to promote ourselves in the best possible ways we can. Wim and I take care of the interviews, and we keep our FB page as active as possible. For the most part, Hammerheart Records takes care of the promotion and so far they are doing very well.
Please plug any websites you have.
Any last words and horns up for the interview?
ES: Thanks for this interview! Horns up! Keep on supporting the underground metal-scene! Metal will never die! Like our FB page and keep yourselves updated.
Interview by Chris Forbes (firstname.lastname@example.org)