July 2002 - GILLA BRUJA

First off, GILLA BRUJA aren't a new heavy doom band. Of course, they are heavy but they've integrated more grind and industrial elements in their crushing songs. There's also a small Sepultura influence and the result is a very intense and hard-hitting mixture. They have released their first album "Tooth And Nail"on the UK-based underground label Retribute and due to the reason, that I like it a lot I want to have more informations about this obscure band. Thanks to Chris of Retribute Records for passing the questions over.


Please, introduce yourself to the readers and give us a short insight in the early days of GILLA BRUJA. When have you formed the band, which line-up etc.?

Hi! Wilda - bass player and lead throat of the favourite sons of the lizard witch death cult Gilla Bruja. Gilla bruja was formed in July 98 with the idea to make the most evil unholy/twisted racket known to man, and indulge our liking for horror films, beer and weed.

The band-bio says that GILLA BRUJA is a Mexican death cult. What is this cult about? Are you interested in this kind of mystical occult stuff and where have you found the name?

The name was found in a very old book called the 'El morte es brujo'. The Gilla Bruja death cult is in fact a real thing, it is the cult of the lizard witch, from the 13th century, the members of the cult would surround the towns at night fall and slaughter and kill the locals, taking the believers and leaving the town empty by dawn. Incidents like this are still reported all over the world to this day, the town found empty apart from the body parts and corpses staked out on the outer limits.

I would describe "Tooth and Nail" as a very heavy and intense combination of grindcore elements and industrial elements with thrash- or death metal parts. But no matter how you name it, it's brutal and full of sonic details and there's enough diversity on it. What would you say is the driving force behind your sound?

We make music (like most bands) so we can hear the sort of thing we want to hear, and enjoy ourselves, plus its good to work out some of the frustrations of life in a productive manner rather than fighting in the streets. I guess we are a little selfish. We make Gilla Bruja music. No scenes to impose rules about what we can or can't do, just us doing whatever the hell we like. Complete musical freedom, plus when we arent making music or stoned we are just setting fires.

You've released "Tooth and Nail" on the UK-based underground label Retribute Records? What was the reason for this choice?

The guys at Retribute are good people, they work hard and believe in us, plus they are the only ones who will put up with our behaviour.

Aside of other influences, some of the songs of "Tooth and Nail" are reminding me very strong to Sepultura's "Roots" album. It's this kind of groove and vibe. Are Sepultura a big influence for you and can you agree with me?

Adam likes Sepultura so guess some of it has rubbed off on us, yeah I think your right they are an influence, but a bigger influence is stuff like Iron Monkey and White Zombie, Nail Bomb and Morbid Angel.

Have you used samples right from the beginning of GILLA BRUJA? Yeah, in fact we had more, in the beginning. Why do you use samples?

We love horror films and films like the Hitcher, so we wanted that sort of atmosphere, to tie in with the name. And it makes things a little more interesting. More atmosphere.

How do you compose the songs? Do you start with a main-riff and after that you're using samples or what is important for you when you are writing/constructing songs?

Most of the songs are composed by me and Adam, either with a drum pattern or sample. Then we usually get in with the band and hammer it out, (literally).

Do you see GILLA BRUJA as a political band? Is there any special philosophy behind the band? What are you trying to achieve with your music?

Gilla Bruja aren't political, our lives are hard enough without worrying about the rest of the world, har, har. But seriously no we aren't political. If there is a philosophy its probably pretty negative, all we want to achieve is to be able to vent our frustrations, and if that helps people and they enjoy it then great. If it doesn't then get out of our way.

The UK was always a good ground for extreme and intense music. There were a lot of impressing bands in the beginning of the 80's (Crass, Discharge, Amebix etc.) and of course, bands as Heresy, early-Napalm Death, Godflesh etc.What is your musical background? Have you been part of any sub-culture in the 80's or 90's?

We like Discharge and early Napalm/Godflesh but most of the guys and myself all live in real backwater towns, kind of like Deliverance country, that have had all the business sucked out of them, run down over grown places, most of us are kind of considered the local freaks, and loners. So there realy isnt any real scene, just groups of young people hanging round wearing black smoking weed...har har, many years ago there was a quite strong goth and punk scene but we are too young to be involved in that, but if its any help we have been mistaken for a biker gang before.

What's going on right now with the band and what are your plans for the next months?

Well we are going on tour in June with Devolved, then we are writing new material for the next album, then its gigs, gigs, gigs, to spread the word of the Gilla Bruja.

Thanks a lot for the answers! Thumbs up for your band and maybe any last words for the Cosmic Lava readers?

Many thanks to the brothers and sisters of the lizard witch, and we will continue too bring you the message of the Gilla Bruja to the faithful when we roll into your town.