RMN: Where are you from and what’s the origin of your band name?
COUNTESS: We’re from the Netherlands. The name ‘Countess’ refers to Erszébet Nádasdy a.k.a Elizabeth Bathory, known as the ‘blood countess’. The name was taken from the Venom song ‘Countess Bathory’.
RMN: Introduce shortly your band members and history
COUNTESS: The band began in 1992 and went through lots of line-up changes in the early years. Since 1998, Countess was essentially a one-man studio project, but as of 2013 we’re a real band again. The members are: Orlok (vocals and bass), member since 1992; Zagan (guitars), member from 1995-1997 and since 2013 again; Wolfram (drums), member since 2014; Herjann (keyboards), member since 2014.
RMN: What genre of music do you consider your work to be? Who are your major influences?
COUNTESS: In the early days, we played rather primitive, old school black metal, mainly influenced by bands like Venom, Bathory and Hellhammer. Through the years, influences from traditional heavy metal gradually increased in our sound; influences from bands like Iron Maiden, Manowar and Manilla Road. The style we play nowadays could be called ‘blackened heavy metal’ or something like that, but we prefer to just call it metal.
RMN: What are the main themes or topics for your songs?
COUNTESS: Most of our songs deal with history and religion.
RMN: Where have you already performed and do you have any upcoming shows?
COUNTESS: We played a selection of festivals last year in several countries, including Germany, Denmark and Finland. Our next show will be in the Netherlands in Leiden on May 24 at the ‘Doomsday Celebration’ festival.
RMN: Any last words?
COUNTESS: Thank you for the interview and your interest in the band. To anyone who enjoys real metal: check us out!