From L to R
JAY WILLIAMS (Drums) / ELI PRINSEN / JOHNNY BOWDEN (Guitars)
A talk with
ELI PRINSEN (Vocals / Guitars)
(Questionnaire by STEFAN)
METAL TO INFINITY
Prinsen, singer and guitar player for US Metal band The Sacrificed is the main
man I’d like to ask some questions right now. Lately I wrote the review for
their new album “2012” and was quite impressed with all the beautiful works
added to the tracklist – enjoy with full force was the only way out for m!.
Don’t beat around the bush and let’s find out what Eli has to tell us about
The Sacrificed and other things in life!
Hi there Eli, what’s up at the moment in Florida brother?
A: Hi Stefan, it's really hot here right now and i'm actually celebrating my birthday today!
Bill from Roxx Records sent me the new effort from The Sacrificed entitled
“2012” – man, this is a great one to me but before we discuss that album
I’d like to go back in time, more especially to a time long ago – where the
decision came from you wanted to be a musician… a singer / guitarist to be
I've had a deep love for music for as long as I can remember. I started singing
when I was 16 years old, it began when I was singing background vocals while
playing drums for my first rock/metal band "Split-Second".
I really loved doing it and began to strive to improve my limited vocal skills. I started taking voice lessons with Jim Gillette and then I met vocal maestro Al Koehn in Largo, Florida. I studied voice with him in the early 90's and continue to use his teachings to this day. As far as guitar is concerned, I started playing in my early 20's because I wanted to help write music for the bands I was in. I write and record guitar tracks in the studio, but I prefer to concentrate on the vocals in live situations.
Who were your idols back then? What made them so special to you?
Bon Scott from AC/DC for his incredible ability to give his all to every song he
ever sang, he was unique. He had powerful, raspy vocals and was an awesome
"story teller" as well as a great showman. Not your typical "chick-magnet"
lead singer, Bon was a real "rock star".
also loved the voices of Rob Halford from Judas Priest, Michael Kiske from
Helloween, Geoff Tate from Queensryche, Bruce Dickenson from Iron Maiden and
Brad Delp from Boston.
I always loved these guys vocal abilities and qualities. I really loved the guitar harmonies of Boston and Iron Maiden and I think that is reflected in some of The Sacrificed's songs.
What to tell about your first band ever?
A: Actually, i've been playing in bands since I was 13 years old! To be completely honest with you, my very first band was called "Galaxy 4" it was a new wave band (how embarrassing!) I played the synthesizer. We sounded like a mixture of Devo and Berlin.
On the inside of the new CD you’ve written some kind of a ‘thank you’ list
– persons in your life you really praise – first on the list is Jesus Christ
followed by your wife, kids and others. A statement please.
A: Mine was the last of the "special thanks" to be written so I included a number of other entries which could have been "The Sacrificed would like to thank" but I just put them in mine. Also, i'd like to add that while I was editing the list, I accidentaly deleted my stepson, Buddy Hickman. I didn't catch that before it went to print so I guess this is an opportunity to say thanks to him!...Thanks Bubba!
Can I say that you are a true defender of God – praising and obeying the words
of The Almighty… what does it means in a man’s real life? How would you like
to describe the world of today and what about the future as seen through your
A: A personal relationship with Christ is the most important thing in life. Knowing Jesus and having salvation gives a sense of security even in a world that spins out of control. I remind myself daily that this life is only temporary. As far as the future goes, we're not promised tomorrow, so sieze the day.
As a Christian playing in a Christian Metal band – I guess that must be a
great feeling to spread the word of God by playing your favourite style of music,
A: Absolutely! Singing praises in church on a Sunday morning makes you feel great, but putting all of your passion into it in your favorite style (mine being metal) is an incredibly powerful experience..every time.
About Christian Metal – well, I'm a fan of this type of Metal since a very
long time. Bands like Sacred Warrior, Recon, Heir Apparent, Holy Soldier, Barren
Cross, Tourniquet, Stryper, Queensryche, Gargoyle, Bloodgood, Saint, Angelica
and tons of others… one by one Metal diamonds to me! Which bands can be
announced as your favourite bands Eli?
A: Saint, Haven, Deliverance, Sacred Warrior, Recon. I love the classic Christian metal bands. Also, Queensryche, Boston and Iron Maiden.
Did you experienced the early days of White Metal yourself?
A: Yes, I was lucky enough to be a part of this "golden age" of White Metal. I was turned on to Christian metal when a buddy of mine told me to check out this band he'd been listening to. I took the tape from him and was blown away! I couldn't believe i'd never heard this band before, they were awesome! It was Saint and the album was "Time's End". Within a few months, I had formed my very first Christian metal band, Sealed Fate.
Here in Belgium not so many individuals are hooked on this type of Metal but we
don’t care at all – what about the nowadays American scene actually?
A: Here in the states there are a ton of metal bands in many different styles. Alot of screamo and "modern style" stuff. Actually, i've found that I keep finding awesome stuff throughout Europe where the heart beat of Classic, Power metal and Progressive metal still beat strong. In fact, our 1st album, "The Da Vinci Hoax" sold more copies over seas than it did here at home, especially in Germany.
Some bands to mention worth to check out?
The Sacrificed! Hahaha! No really, check us out.
Also some other Christian bands in our area that are up an coming are: Neighbor of the accused and Achilles last stand.
Back to The Sacrificed – when the band has been formed? Who came up with the
idea and what were the main goals to achieve?
A: The Sacrificed was formed in October, 2005 by myself and Johnny Bowden. Initially we were only going to record one track together (which was "Altar call") but the writing and recording went so well that we went on and finished a demo album "The Da Vinci Hoax". Actually the goals of The Sacrificed are to send messages of hope and forgiveness not only to the unsaved but also to fallen Christians. We've all fallen short in some area of our lives. We shouldn't judge one another but encourage one another and help one another. Ask God for forgiveness and forgive others.
Will you introduce Johnny Bowden and Jay Williams, the other guys in The
Johnny Bowden has played guitar on the 1st two albums. He is a gifted song
writer and plays just about every style you could imagine. He was the guitarist/vocalist
of a punk band called "The Undisputed" and he plays a plethora of
different styles of music in his solo project "Johnny 5 and the sound
Jay Williams joined The Sacrificed in 2007 just after the release of "The Da Vinci Hoax". Jay has been playing drums for most of his life and has played in Christian bands like "Electric Warfare" and "Fortress". Jay has a true passion for the drums, he plays DW Drums with Zildjian cymbals.
Checking out the line up as shown on the new album, I can’t find back a bass
player… how come?
That's because the bass is played by both Johhny and I on different tracks. I
just thought it was easier to just say "guitars" rather than say for
Eli Prinsen: Lead and background Vocals, Guitar, Bass, 12 string guitar, keys,Pipe organ, etc.
I don’t know for sure if “2012” can be announced as The Sacrificed debut…
help me out of my uncertainty.
A: "2012" is our full length debut CD through Roxx Records. We released an independent demo album called "The Da Vinci Hoax" in 2007. It was also remastered and released with the first 100 pre order sopies of "2012".
There is quite a story to tell about the release of this album, right?
Originally, the album was going to be entitled “Victorious”… I’d like to
know some more about that Eli?
A: We were really excited about the track "Victorious" at the time (We only had recorded two of the new tracks for the album at that point) It was the title we were going to use until we saw all the internet and movie hype of the 2012 doomsday "prophecy". We decided to change the title of the CD to "2012" to hopefully attract people to The Sacrificed in the hopes that some lives could be changed.
The original version was loaded with ten songs – the version as been released
through Roxx Records counts a few works more and I can only be satisfied about
you know. Where the collaboration between Bill from Roxx Records and The
Sacrificed came to be?
We had started some promotions for "2012" before it was even completed.
We were going to release it indepently as we did with "The Da Vinci Hoax".
accociate of Bill's had purchased "The Da Vinci Hoax" and told Bill
that he should give us a listen. Bill was led to ask who we were going to
release the album with. I told him that I was waiting on The Lord for that
answer. Three days later Bill offered us a deal with Roxx Records and we signed
in November 2009.
We had discussed a date for the release which gave us time to complete the album. We had time to either re record some of the tracks we had already finished or record some of the new material we were already working on. We decided to go with the new tracks. We were a little nervous about the production on the first tracks we recorded in different studios in 2007 matching the better production of the new stuff we recorded in 2009 and 2010, but Steinhaus Mastering did an amazing job and we're happy to have been able to offer more tracks this way.
The title of the new album “2012” speaks to my imagination. It would be the
end of the world but according to my own meaning I don’t believe a word,
honestly spoken. I’d like to hear your statement please.
It reminds me of when the world was nervous about Y2K. Everyone was so sure that
the computers all over the world would crash at midnight when 1999 became 2000.
Now people don't even think back on that, it's just a silly memory. I even saved
an old bottle of water that I bought as a joke, it was called "Millenium
As far as the 2012 prophecy goes, I know it's scary to think about but why be scared? Think about the people who have lost thier lives in car accidents or from heart attacks or any other unforseen means of death, they had no warning at all. At least if the prophecy were true, we'd have time to "change our evil ways" so to speak. So I guess in that point of view it could be seen as a positive. I truly don't believe Dec. 21st, 2012 will be any different than any other day other than the fact that there will be alot of nervousness among people who don't know Jesus.
Did you read my review as already posted online? Are you agree or not with the
words I’ve wrote?
A: Yes, I read it. Thanks for giving the album the attention that you did. We appreciate it. I agree with what you wrote and I welcome you to review the next one when it comes out.
Did you received some other reviews from European webzines / mags up till now?
A: A few, it's still early.
Do you mind to guide us through a few of the lyrical contents?
talks about the various doomsday prophecies all over the internet. Some are so
far fetched it's not even funny.
is a reminder that our freedom has never came for free not only as an American
but that the bloodshed of Christ was shed for the freedom of humanity.
Return is almost word for word out of the book of Revelations, it's pretty
promise of tomorrow speaks for itself, we could live to be 100 or we could die
path to righteousness comes from the part of us all that wishes we could go back
in time and correct all of our mistakes.
heaven gives a message of hope to those who've lost someone and also to
ourselves for the future of our souls.
deals with the ridiculousness of the practices and teachings of scientology.
is a spin on the rapture with some praise.
concede is a from the heart cry for help in a time of need.
is the same as I concede, leaning on God, The Father.
Saved is a song that tells the story of gaining salvation and the joy that follows.
In which ways you guys are dealing with the promotion of the new effort
A: Roxx Productions has done the bulk of the promotions, we also do some promotions through Myspace.
The cover song entitled ‘Slay The Wicked’ sounds amazing brother – taken
from Deliverance early years, I can’t get enough of these guys as they were
playing back then. Albums like ‘Deliverance’ and ‘Weapons Of Our Warfare’
– be sure I'm really proud to have these in my collection. What made you to
cover a Deliverance song?
A: The Christian metal realm teamed up with Roxx Records to put this Deliverance tribute album together. Once we signed on to be a part of this we were asked if we would do "Slay the wicked". We leaped at the chance to cover that one because it was both Jay and my favorite Deliverance song! We got so many positive reviews and comments about our contribution that decided to add this to our own album.
Do you any idea on the band’s nowadays situation?
I believe they are going to be playing a special performance at the Up from the
ashes" HM magazine show in California in August.
I know there is more information on this at www.roxxrecords.com
The Sacrificed live on stage – what about your experiences while pleasing the
crowd with a live act?
A: There's nothing like speading The Word through metal...period!
What is your ultimate ambition as Metal musician?
A: It's been a truly rewarding experience throughout the years. I'll continue serving The Lord in this manner as long as I can. Knowing God has used me to make a difference in someone's life is awesome.
If there will be one thing in life you really want to get rid of – what would
you like to mention?
A: My love for Big Macs! LOL! I really should eat better! But seriously, I just want to stay in God's will, that's the best way to stop looking back on the mistakes in one's past and start looking forward to an eternity in heaven.
What are the future plans for The Sacrificed?
A: We've begun writing for the third album and we're extremely excited about it!!! Better overall production this time around, it should be incredible.
Well, let them all come to reality Eli – I wish you and the rest of The
Sacrificed all the very best! Congrats with the awesome, new album once again
and we’ll keep in touch by the almighty forces of US Metal!
Thanks brother, it was my pleasure!
Stay in touch and God bless!
TO MTI INDEX