Spanish version can be found via this link:- http://puroruido.blogspot.com.ar/2012/12/entrevista-kat-shevil-gillham-de-winds.html?m=1
"If you like styles like Crust and Death Metal in the vein of bands like Bolt Thrower, Autopsy and Cianide, more in the line of Celtic Frost, then you have to meet Winds of Genocide. And if you know Winds Of Genocide, then you have to know who is Kat Shevil, or Kat Gillham, a singer who owns a voice so powerful and disturbing, besides being a woman lucid, friendly and an amazing personality. And, last but not least, is an example of what it means to be free, what it feels sure of yourself and what it is to have what it takes to be and do what you want to be and do. With you, the Great Kat Shevil.
PR: Hi Kat, how are you? How is everything over there?"
Kat: Hey Manel! Things are Ok over here thanks, it is getting fucking cold, I love this time of year/weather - a lot of people hate it and stay indoors a lot but it is my favourite time of year to go walking when it's quiet and it's cold!.
PR: What have been doing lately Winds Of Genocide? This year released two splits, right? Have been playing outside the UK?
Kat: We have appeared on a couple of split releases recently, the most well known/prominent on being with Japanese blackthrash ragers ABIGAIL which was unleashed upon the scene by Witchhammer Productions (Thailand) in the early summer on CD, the other one is a 4 way split tape co-released by a couple D.I.Y. Crust/Punk labels based in Jakarta, Indonesia which also featured Diskelma from Finland, Satellite from Indonesia and First Blood also from Indonesia. Cool looking releases both of them!
No shows outside of the UK....yet! We have only played one show this year, a local show on the 10th of November at a small club here in Durham City with a few other local metal/punk bands, that was our first show in 14 months, first show with new drummer Matt, and our only show of 2012, it was a blast though, great crowd and we played a good energetic set! We also played 6 songs for the first time live that night including a few we have written for the debut full length album which will be recorded/released next year (2013). We have turned down quite a few gigs this year due to wanting to focus on writing material for the album...but I hope we will get some opportunities to play some cool shows both outside of the UK and within the UK in 2013!.
PR: The split with Abigail is a limited edition of 1000 copies. In the event that all copies are sold, will reissue? How are sales of both splits, with Abigail and Apokalyptik Horror In The Sound of War?
Kat: As far as I am aware the CD version will just be limited to 1000 copies. But for the vinyl collecting maniacs out there the split Hill be re-released on 12" vinyl sometime in 2013 via Doomentia Records in the Czech Republic which is great! Both ourselves and Yasuyuki from Abigail are very happy and excited about that, the cover art for the split (done by SICKNESS666) is just perfect for 12" vinyl! I am not sure how many copies of the split has been sold, we have sold quite a few of the copies we got sent from Jerasak at Witchhammer. The split tape is VERY limited, no more than 100 copies were made as far as I am aware.
Also a pro tape version of our "The Arrival Of Apokalyptic Armageddon" E.P. was released in a limited run of 100 copies by Doombringer Records in Indonesia (who also collaborated on the 4 way split tape with Brigade Records). That is a very cool looking little tape release too - those Indonesian punks are VERY Passionate and do a great job with such releases! APOKALYPTIC HAILS to the D.I.Y. Jakarta/Bandung Crust Punks! Fucking Maniacs!!.
PR: I think the best definition of what the music of WOG is, gave it the Metal Maniacs: "Imagine if Cianide and Discharge had a child." A fabulous definition. Nevertheless, it must be said, Winds Of Genocide is more than a mix between these bands. think Winds Of Genocide have both as Death Crust, but also find things of Hellhammer / Celtic Frost, Thrash, Bathory, Hardcore Punk in a Poison Idea, and to Crust /Grind in style Extreme Noise Terror. How and when did the idea of creating something so powerful and raw as you do? knew in advance that the mixture of influences and personalities would make the group sound like that brutal?
Kat: Ahh yes that first description you mentioned was coined by Mike Abominator who writes for Metal Maniacs over in the U.S.A. -Love that guy! He is a die hard metal punk maniac and has been a great supporter of Winds Of Genocide since the beginning, I was more chuffed than a Kam Lee wipeout with how he described our music! haha! And you have hit the nail on the head with your description and list of bands Manel! We are definetly just as much influenced by the old school Swedish death metal and stuff like early Bolt Thrower and old black/thrash metal such as Hellhammer/Frost/early Bathory as we are by HC Punk like Poison Idea, Severed Head Of State etc and the Scandinavian käng-crust-dbeat stuff and old UK crust punk like ENT, Doom, Amebix, Disgust amongst other things...
I would say the first time the idea to form such a band mixing such
styles together was around late 2005 but I guess the real concrete
vision and musical concept wasn't finalised in my head until early
2006 - I knew way in advance before any music was written how I wanted this band to sound, basically just a good varied mix of death metal and Crust - D beat - HC punk although it has slightly evolved and taken in some other influences along the way but that stuff is the main basis and core of our sound, Myself and Glynn (guitar) shared the same musical vision and we both wanted the band to sound a certain way and just mix up some music styles that we love, once we found Linus (formerly drums, now 2nd guitar) to join us in our quest to make some music who also shared both a love for death metal and crust/käng punk everything fell into place VERY QUICKLY and it was quite effortless to come up with the first batch of songs that perfectly captured our initial musican vision and we have continued to gain momentum and refine and hone our style and genre-bending throughout the past few years.
I personally wanted our music to appeal just as much to the crust punks as it would to the death/thrash/black metalheads out there and so far that has worked out exactly as I had hoped - we seem to have a lot of crossover appeal to both scenes and that's great! Most of us in the band have grew up listening to both HC-Crust-Punk aswell as various forms of extreme metal and have always gone to punk shows aswell as metal shows (thesedays I much prefer going to smaller crust/punk gigs than big metal shows though). We are quite a quirky bunch of individuals with very strong and sometimes fucked up dysfunctional moody personalities so I guess that contributes to our sound aswell as fucked up equipment, misanthropic mood swings, more alcohol than is probablys good for you and a want and love of playing FUCKING RAW AND BRUTAL AS FUCK!!!
PR: You, together with World Burns To Death, have given form to a new way of doing Crust: so called Apocalyptic Crust or Apocalyptic Death Crust. Do you feel comfortable with this tag? What is for you the Apocalyptic Death Crust?
Kat: Well thankyou for the compliment! A few bands have used the term "Apocalyptic Crust" in the past before us and before we even existed although I do believe I was one of the first people to start really throwing the "Death Crust" tag about, well especially "Apokalyptic Death Crust" which I came up with to give us an identity and to describe the band, but back when I first started using such terms as "death crust" and "apocalyptic/apokalyptic death crust" to describe the band I didn't really see any other bands throwing those terms around, it has only really been in the past couple of years or so that I have seen more bands describing themselves as "deathcrust" and blatantly mixing old school death metal with crust punk (although that is in no way a new or unique concept that only started in recent years, bands have been doing that since the late 80's/early-mid 90's we have just taken it a step further both musically and vocally).
The apocalyptic part of the description perfectly fits our lyrical themes - doomsday, armageddon, the downfall of mankind, nuclear war, chemical warfare, the four horsemen, the apocalypse and total blood, fire, death! The "death crust" part perfectly describes our music and vocals.
PR: Kat, let's do a bit of history. What are the most notorious
changes in you as an artist, from the time of Blessed Realm and
Morstice until today? As those experiences have helped you to become who you are as an artist today?
Kat: Well both of those bands were formed when I was VERY young back in the early 90's and were very important and fun times in my life, getting involved with both the underground death metal and doom metal scenes that were thriving back then, Morstice was formed when I was 15/16 and Blessed Realm a couple of years later. The music scene has changed quite a lot since those two bands first came out which was a long time before the internet and social networking appeared and took over, back then all communication was done by letter writing, phone calls or at gigs/parties...and a lot of shitty trends have came and went but a lot of shitty trends still exist today but I have always just started playing music in bands because it is what I personally love to play and hear, you can usually tell if bands are jumping on bandwagons and trends because a lot of them sound soulless and shit and well..you can tell a poser from a mile way either via speakers or in person! hahah!
Both those bands had a lot of bad luck attached to them though, we
didn't get the breaks I feel they deserved, for example both bands
split before having the opportunity to release a full length album
although both bands came close to getting albums out but due to
various reasons they never materialised, there was also in fighting, we were lazy with some aspects of promotion and made no merch except for demos, there was a lack of focus in both bands really and a general haphazard approach, I put it down to youthful naivety and inexperience in dealing with the music scene and "business" aswell as just generally. That is why when I formed Winds Of Genocide I was determined to make this band a much more focused entity from it's inception, from the lyrical concepts and themes to the music and general image and artwork - I wanted this band to sound and look how I wanted it to from the get go and both asthetically and musically that has worked out EXACTLY as I envisioned. I am older and wiser since my early steps into the underground/extreme music scene and being involved with bands but I am proud of what I did with both Morstice and Blessed Realm, both bands wrote some very good material and were doing some very unique things for a UK based band musically, I mean Blessed Realm was playing Doom Metal/Doomrock heavily influenced by bands like The Obsessed, Saint Vitus etc.. when it was probablys the most unfashionable form of heavy music to be playing at that point in
time and there really was no other (or at least many) UK or many other European bands who sounded like us but we were just playing what we loved with total disregard for trends and what labels wanted to sign and that attitude ran through into Winds Of Genocide's formation, I didn't care what music styles were hip or popular at the time, I was quite detached from the scene at that point, and especially social networking – I just wanted to make a mix of music styles I personally loved...as it turns out such a style has now became quite popular it seems but at least we can say we didn't hop onto any bandwagon and were doing "death crust" when it wasn't even a scene...now it has developed into a little subgenre of a subgenre! Which is cool to see!. If I could go back and do a few things differently with both Morstice and Blessed Realm I would but I can't so it is onwards into the future!
(a Discography CD of all the recorded Morstice material titled "Deathography 1992-1995" was released by Compilation of Death in Chile in late 2011 - Kat).
PR: I do not care to ask you about your decision to change your sex, as I'm sure you've been asked a thousand times. What I want to know is whether you have approached fans to to thank you for taking that decision. So, I wonder if there are people who consider an
inspiration, for which you serve as an example when assuming their
sexuality hidden or repressed. Someone has said this? Some feel that your action was an act of courage that pushed them to accept what we do not want to accept?
Kat: Well I have only really started coming across other transgendered individuals who are involved with and into extreme music over the past few years and a couple of them have said to me that I have been an inspiration to them which is VERY humbling and if my being open about being a transgendered female can help inspire other people to come out and confront their own personal feelings and frustrations then that is a great thing. I am seeing more and more transgendered women (and men) coming out into the extreme music scene and being proud of who they are and that is so awesome to see, I am sure there is quite a few more of us out there, some who are not yet ready to deal with it in public but who might see interviews or read about people such as myself or Marissa Martinez (Repulsion/Cretin) and think to themselves "well if they are getting acceptance then I will do too" - so with us both being probablys two of the more high profile transgendered women involved in extreme music actively then that can only help others to find the strength to come out and be themselves, although in a male
dominated scene that is still rife with sexist pigs and narrowminded bigots it will never be an easy road for anyone to take but it is easier being a transgendered woman involved in this music scene Anno 2012 than it would have been 20 years ago that is for fucking sure!!!.
I really repressed my true feelings for a lot of years for fear of what people would think, what my bandmates would think, what the "scene" would think, what my family would think - now I just don't really give a flying fuck what anyone thinks about me or my being transsexual, I am out, proud and happy and if anyone has a problem with that then they can come and say it in person instead of hiding like a coward behind a computer keyboard like some wimps have done in the past years slagging me off and typing derogatory comments and making jokes about me being trans... I have one thing to say to those people - be a man and have the balls to call me a tranny or whatever to my face not via a message forum or on a social networking site in the safety of your home where I can't put a boot into your crotch!!.
The word "courage" or "brave" has been thrown about by people when
talking about the subject of my changing gender and transitioning but I don't see it like that, it is just something I needed to do, I needed to start and put right what I felt was wrong with myself and my life, I guess it takes a rather strong minded person to go through what I have already gone through but I have only realised that now things have settled down more for me and I can look back on the past years and think "fucking hell, how did I deal with that AND stay sane/alive!!" ...But there is always someone worse off than yourself, and there will always be people who live their ENTIRE lives repressing their own true feelings about their sexual identity and gender identity for whatever reason, I am just glad I have not done that to myself or am forced to do that to myself and if my story can inspire anyone out there then that is a bonus.
I am VERY GRATEFUL for the amount of support and encouragement and
strength I have gotten from people in the scene and fans of the band aswell as my parents and some of my family and a lot of friends that I feel very lucky to have behind me. It is a tough road for anyone to walk down and there is always someone just waiting to shout some abuse at you or possibly worse who for some reason are "transphobic" in some cases because they are repressing their own real feelings and sexual/gender identity so take it out on others who have lifted that burden from their shoulders and are enjoying life on their own terms, my philosophy is BE YOURSELF - NOT WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINK YOU SHOULD BE!!! BREAK THE CHAINS!!.
PR: Speaking about individual freedoms, you believe that at some time it will finish this big business that is the war? Or do you think that they will look for new ways of using it, since always, in benefit of the powerful ones?
Kat: There will always be warmongers and power pigs, people who will find ANY excuse to start a war or to commit an act of terror or war...that is just an unfortunate human trait, you have people who lust for power and all the trappings that come with it, and people who advocate the killing of people who are not like them who kill without conscience and show no remorse for the taking of innocent human lives and the destruction of peoples land and property, the world is full of fucked up individuals who like to oppress peoples freedom of expression and freedom of thinking, who will wage war on those who do not share the same beliefs as them and who are willing to commit acts of cold blooded murder to hurt those who do not follow their way of life and thinking and who oppose their fucked up ethics. It is a sad but true fact that until this planet is finally fully destroyed by mankinds greed, stupidity, ignorance and arrogance that there will always be wars in one form or another, be in on a more global scale or urbanised warfare. There will always be human beings who have total disregard for other human beings lives and who will not think twice about taking other lives and using whatever weapons they have at their disposal - fucking fascist power pigs. As long as there are religious fanatics and corrupt politicans playing their dirty power games then there will always be war and countless peoples personal freedom will be compromised and oppressed across the world.
PR: Kat, do you take care of your voice in a particular way? Your growls are really powerful, and fit perfectly into the group's sound. I mean, your growls seem to bring winds of genocide! Hahaha. But it would be nice to know how you manage to sing that way. Using breathing techniques, preheating, etc? Or you just go into a rage?
Kat: Thanks for the compliments! I follow no special particular voice care regime to speak of I guess I am just lucky I can growl and scream for hours without it really affecting my voice/throat, I don't do any pre gig/rehearsal breathing or whatever techniques...my only pre gig-rehearsal preperation is drinking a few lagers or ciders!! I will not usually growl or do vocals when I have a very bad cold, I try to avoid having to growl/scream when I have a virus that is affecting my throat as that can cause some damage...I became a growler by default as when Morstice first formed I couldn't play an instrument so thought "what the hell I will give this growling/screaming thing a try, it can't be THAT hard!!" luckily for me I turned out to be rather good at it and
possessed a strong voice to enable me to do such vocals on a long term basis and over the years I have just refined my vocals...when I first started death growling again after many years of not doing them it was abit hard on my throat for the first few Winds of Genocide rehearsals, I hadn't done such vocals in a band since 1994 and the first Winds of Genocide rehearsals were in late 2008/early 2009 but after a few practices I was growling and screaming like it was 1993/94 all over again! It's like riding a bike I guess...once you learn you don;t forget although if you haven't done it for a while you will be abit shaky!
How do I sing this way - well I just open my mouth and gullet and go WOOOOAAARGHHHHHHH!!! There is techniques to avoid shredding your vocal chords like making sure you growl and scream by pushing up via the diaphragm but to achieve such deep growls you have to do that anyway! If you just try growling/screaming without the pushing up technique you will soon start to experience problems and fuck your throat/vocal chords up - it is not as easy as a lot of people think, there is a certain art to doing it properly and making it sound powerful and with a lot of depth. You either have it or you don't it is not something you can "learn" like playing drums or guitar in my opinion. I do tend to just go off into my own little death growling/screaming world when we play live and just go off it and just put the throttle down on my vocal chords and I guess in a way turn into a complete possessed maniac for however long the song/set is!!.
PR: Kat, have thought about recording a full length album in the near term? Or prefer to keep editing Eps and splits, for now? I ask as a fan of the band, because I'd love to have a full length of you in my hands.
Kat: We are currently writing material for our debut full length album which will be titled "USURPING THE THRONE OF DISEASE" and will be released by PULVERISED RECORDS (long running Singapore based extreme music label) sometime in 2013. We have a bunch of songs written for it already which continue in the same vein and style overall as our previous material, a good mix of death metal, blackthrash and crust-käng punk! We haven't made any major changes musically or style wise!!. I can't reveal any songtitles yet though or when and where exactly we will be recording the album at...but we should have it all recorded and mixed by mid-late summer 2013!. Keep an eye out for press releases via the label and our band pages for more info on the album!. Splits and EPS are cool but having a full length album released is a personal dream come true goal/aim of mine and something I would like to achieve at least once in my lifetime with a band! So it shouldn't be TOO LONG until you can have a Winds Of Genocide full length album in your hands! I can say that the artwork for the album is being done by Mark Riddick who has done art for a lot of great bands that I am into, everyone from Grave and Autopsy to Slayer! Hopefully the album will be out by this time next year - I fucking hope so anyway haha!!.
PR: What are the vocalists you admire and why. I know you like Tom
Warrior and Kam Lee, but I guess both D-Beat/Crust, in Kangpunk, Death Metal and other styles, you must have singers who have made, or at least, being woken admiration
Kat: Kam and Tom are two of the more obvious influences and vocalists who I admire but there is a lot of vocalists from both the death metal and crust/punk scenes that I have a lot of admiration for, some of which are Johnny Hedlund (Unleashed), Masse (early Hypocrisy, now Dark Funeral), Nicke Andersson (On Entombed "Clandestine" album), Jorgen Sandstrom in the old Grave days, Per Boder (Macabre End/God Macabre), Barney Greenway (Benediction/Napalm Death), Dave Ingram (Benediction), Karl Willets (Bolt Thrower) etc aswell as female death growlers Duch as Dana Duffey (Mythic), Sharon Bascovsky (Derketa), Alicia Morgan (13), Corinne (Acrostichon) etc.. and crust-punk vocalists such as Jonsson (Anti-Cimex/ Wolfpack), Jeppe (Disfear), Adam (Masskontroll), Cliff (Driller Killer), Micke (Wolfbrigade), the various vocalists in Doom, Dean and Phil (R.I.P.) - Extreme Noise Terror/Death Dealers, Tompa Lindberg (Disfear/ Skitsystem), the list goes on....I also have a huge admiration for Tom Angelripper (Sodom), Jeff becerra (Possessed), Mille Petrozza (Kreator), Quorthon ( R.I.P. - Bathory), Mika Luttinen (Impaled Nazarene) etc..also vocalists like Johnny Morrow (R.I.P. -Iron Monkey) and Mike Williams (EYEHATEGOD) – just vocalists who know how to unleash a good deep death growl and/or scream like a fucking possessed maniac, who can unleash pure feral agression without any pitch altering effects and who can both growl and scream and alternate between both within their vocal style. There is so many great vocalists out there though with great powerful voices/styles that I admire and have been peronally influenced and inspired by...I could go on for fucking pages!! Those are just a few that immediately spring to the forefront of my mind.
PR: Could say that Winds Of Genocide do things in the DIY way? I know some of his works have been published through Witchhammer Records and Brigade Records, but that does not mean working under the orders of any label. But you better tell me how you work.
Kat: Well we are actually signed and under contract currently with
Pulverised Records so our current situation is a lot more professional than I ever envisioned! but we don't have a band manager or booking agent, I take care of all the interviews directly, all the shows are booked directly through myself and the band, we currently pay for our own merch to get printed like patches, shirts so we are currently dealing with things on both a more professional level and also on more of a D.I.Y. basis. I mean attitude wise we haven't changed, I guess we have to approach things differently and more professionally now we have a record label behind us as when it comes to recording the album we will be working within a budget given to us by the label and using other peoples money to record with instead of our own (for a change!) so that is cool, I mean we can just go into the studio, record the songs and make sure we hold up our end of the deal by making a great album then the label will take care of the distribution and promotion and making people aware of the albums and the bands existence, they can reach much more people than we could ever hope to on our own so we would have been idiots to refuse the offer we were given late last year! So far both the Pulverised guys have been great to us and very approachable and easy to work with...so we will see where this album takes us! It is a VERY exciting time for the band though as this record deal has given us opportuntities that we wouldn't have had before and will open quite a few doors for us within the music scene I am sure.
PR: The demo Apokalyptic Death Crust is something I want, whatever
the cost. That is handnumbered, and have been published only 200
copies makes it an object of desire and obsession for me. But is
achieved the demo today? Have you thought about re-editing?
Kat: Yes you are right it is handnumbered, very limitied and WILL NEVER be repressed again! It is just a very rough raw sounding live in the rehearsal room recording done on an old fucked up four track
recorder!!. We actually couldn't believe it when Jerasak at
Witchhammer Productions contacted us in the old Myspace days and said he wanted to release those rehearsal tracks on a pro tape! But we were like "Well...what the fuck..Ok sure..go for it!!". Still makes us laugh and smile when we talk about it though as there was never any intention for it to get released it was just there for people to get a ROUGH idea of what we sounded like..our first demo is really "The Arrival Of Apokalyptic Armageddon" recording, we just made it look very pro done and marketed it more professionally and than you would a normal demo. It is just a posh looking demo recording hahaha!
PR: Ok, Kat, we finished. What is next, from now on, in the life of
Winds Of Genocide? We see you in South America someday?
Kat: Next up full length album, some gigs somewhere in 2013, then alter that who knows?! Would be great to play South America someday, if someone wants us over there badly enough and we can sort out the logistics to make it happen then we will come! But it is not a cheap thing to do so it might take a while yet before we can make it that far to play shows but never say never!
PR: Well, that's all. Many, but thank you very much for your time.
Hopefully someday come play in Argentina. And if you do, I want you to know I do not get angry if I'm invited to play The Arrival of
Armageddon Apokalyptic with you hahaha
Kat: Thankyou very much for this GREAT interview Manel - it has been an absolute pleasure to answer these questions, very enjoyable! Apokalyptic Hails to you and the people in South America and Argentina who have supported Winds Of Genocide so far you guys rule! to those reading this -Buy our split with Abigail, buy our album when it's out, check out our blogspot page and/or facebook for updates and band news...watch out for the debut demo by UNCOFFINED too, a Doom band featuring myself on drums/growls and Glynn on guitar -MORBID DOOM METAL OF DEATH!!! It will be titled "Ritual Death and Funeral Rites" and be recorded early 2013. Watch out for the debut Winds Of Genocida album dropping like a fucking dirty bomb on the scene sometime in 2013! The new material is sounding explosive! If you come and sing that song with us at some point then you have to unleash pure aggression and join with me in doing some Tom G Warrior death grunts! ONLY DEATH GRUNTS ARE REAL!!! UGH! RIDE UPON THE WINGS OF ARMAGEDDON!!!
Youtube video for our song "INTO THE DARKNESS OF ETERNAL NUCLEAR WINTER" from the Abigail/Winds of Genocide split.