-- Enchantress gets shredded --

Stijn Daneels
During Kuurns Metal Fest (November 26, 2016) I had an encounter with Enchantress. A kickass old school heavy metal band from the Kortrijk region.

There were of course the usual topics such as talking about Enchantress' beginnings, their ambition to present heavy metal in new and unusual ways, their love for 1980s heavy metal and finally me and the Enchantress guys fight over what's the best videogame franchise ever!

All pictures provided by Bianca Lootens from non-profit organization Stubborn Donkey.

BMS: Hello boys and girl! How did Enchantress begin?
Tim: I started Enchantress with my high school friend Frederic. Elizabeth went to the same school as we did and since we shared a similar taste in music (the jacket patches we were wearing said all we needed to know) I asked her to become Enchantress' drummer. Jochen and Sven joined us when their previous band Vampire disbanded. Both of them were very willing to do vocals and bass respectively. Shortly after our self-titled demo EP was recorded Frederic left the band and so Vincent took over the rhythm guitar duties.

Vincent: Yeah, Jochen very, VERY strongly suggested me to audition for the job and since I already was a fan of Enchantress in the past I didn't need that much motivation to come out and play for this awesome band.
BMS: Not to mention an original band, I haven't seen that many bands where the majority of the band members are male except for the drummer.
Elizabeth: I've already heard that comment many times, so get that self-satisfying "look-how-clever-I-am" smile of your face, Stijn! In fact, when Tim here first offered me to drum I declined because I didn't feel confident enough to play in a band yet. After all, back then I had just started out drumming and I wanted to practice a bit more. But Tim persisted and I'm glad he did.

Enchantress clockwise from top left: Elizabeth (drums), Tim (guitar), Sven (bass), Vincent (guitar) and Jochen (vocals).
BMS: Tell me, who is this Enchantress? Is she based off the DC Comics supervillain of the same name, now made famous by the Suicide Squad movie?
Tim: It was Frederic's idea for the Enchantress character. The Enchantress is basically the stereotypical devil-on-high-heels. A gorgeous looking but evil and sadistic girl that you love to hate. A bitch you wouldn't want for a serious or romantic relationship but who you would love to fuck long and hard if you had the chance.

Jochen: Most of our songs are about women. We love women, especially our lovely drummer here, who, for the record, did not serve as inspiration for the Enchantress character at all. No, Elizabeth is one sweet girl.

BMS: How did the production go for your demo EP?
Tim: We recorded the demo at my friend Pedro's home studio called Ultimate Dynamics Studio in four days time. Everything went very smoothly and Pedro helped us in making the EP sound heavy but sophisticated just as we asked him.

Elizabeth: And during the mixing process we went on creating our artwork. Jochen came up with the idea of an image of a beautiful and well-dressed woman looking in a mirror. But the woman's reflection represents her dressed in spandex and leather, showing her true personality. The artwork was made by Anatoliy Chernikov, a friend of my dad's. Both my dad and him are from Belarus and back in the Soviet era Anatoliy made hand-painted replicas of heavy metal t-shirts since the Soviet government prohibited selling Western metal band t-shirts. My dad asked Anatoliy to make a oil painting for the Enchantress demo cover art and we all are very satisfied with his work.
BMS: It's a beautiful cover. Now tell me, what are your future projects?
Tim: We're working hard on new material that will further define our sound. Although we'll remain an old school metal band, we do want to play around with various melodies and rhythms so we can show off our musical flexibility. We might do a medley of various famous metal guitar riffs or video game melodies, as long as it still feels like heavy metal.

Elizabeth: And another big priority for us is to go on tour. A gig or two in Japan would be beyond awesome!

Jochen: Yeah, after all, the best live albums were made in Japan. Think about Judas Priest's Unleashed In The East or Deep Purple's Made In Japan. Plus Japanese audiences are known to be fucking enthusiastic no matter what band they get to see.

Elizabeth: And for such a tour we're looking for a roadie, so if anyone's interested, come up and play!
BMS: I'll think about it. Touring with a band to a far away land for a couple of weeks certainly is something I'd love to do.
Sven: Another country where we would love to play in is Germany. The German metal scene has being around ever since the heavy metal genre was born and especially the more veteran metal fans there have a huge appetite for our style of music. I believe it's due to the fact that our sound is similar to the music they listened to in their youth.
BMS: What are your other activities aside from playing with Enchantress?
Elizabeth: I study political sciences in the University of Ghent and I do percussion for an orchestra.
Vincent: I'm working hard to become a gymnastics teacher.

Jochen: Tim and I are classmates and we're aiming to get a degree in social work.
Sven: I make my living as a transporter delivering medication to various veterinarians.
Tim: A friend of mine and me are working on a side project that will focus on psychedelic and stoner rock.
BMS: Elizabeth, you told me before this chat that you guys always rehearse before each show. How did today's rehearsal go?
Elizabeth: When we do rehearsals we play the full setlist for the upcoming show and we also work on some unfinished material and since Vincent here was stuck in traffic today we've had one of the best rehearsals thus far!

Vincent: Yeah, yeah! You can't resist pouring salt in the wound, huh?
Elizabeth: Ha, ha! Anyway, we take rehearsals very seriously. We recently banned all alcohol from our rehearsal sessions but still Jochen and Vincent do some weird dances and touch each other on various intimate body parts.

Jochen: Yeah, Vincent and I share much brotherly love!
BMS: Speaking about tonight's setlist, I loved how you covered Judas Priest's Desert Plains tonight but I hope one day you'll be covering the song Devil's Child.
Sven: Yeah, that song from the Screaming For Vengeance album is also one of our favorites! Anyway, we believe it's important to pay your respects to the bands that inspired you. Plus covering an iconic metal track or two during your show definitely spices things up during a gig.

Jochen: For me, Rob Halford is one of the greatest heavy metal vocalist of all time! Other favorites of mine include Bruce Dickinson of Iron Maiden and Klaus Meine of the Scorpions. Their mesmerizing vocals and larger-than-life stage presence have all played a huge part in my growth as a vocalist.

Tim: One of my personal inspirations is George Lynch, in particular the work he did with Dokken. Man, that guy has such a special style of guitar shredding, often replicated, never surpassed!

Elizabeth: The love for 1980s hard rock and heavy metal as a whole is one thing that binds all members of Enchantress together. And we all enjoy playing video games as well.

Tim: Yeah, especially Mario Kart Double Dash on the Nintendo GameCube! A game everybody here at Enchantress is obligatory to play! Mario Kart is the best video game series of all time!

Jochen: No man, Final Fantasy is the best video game franchise ever!
Elizabeth: Fuck no, GTA all day!
BMS: I've only got one thing to say: DOOM!
BMS: Is there anything else you would love to tell me?
Vincent: Keep supporting your locals!
Sven: Thank you for your time!
Elizabeth: We'll be releasing our first band t-shirts soon! Check them out!

Jochen: Thanks for the interview, man!
Tim: Next time we meet, you'll play Mario Kart Double Dash for the Nintendo GameCube with us.
BMS: Sure thing! I'll pick Bowser!

Enchantress - Beware The Enchantress