SARAH JEZEBEL DEVA – The Outsider Vampire
The name of Sarah Jezebel Deva is commonly associated with that of Cradle Of Filth: for twelve years (1996-2008) Sarah accompanied the British vampyres live with her voice in what is recognised as their golden age with records like “Dusk And Her Embrace”, “Cruelty And The Beast” and “Midian”. But Sarah didn’t just do this, she also followed Therion, Mortiis and The Kovenant live. After many years of silence she is back with her old project Torn Between Two Worlds, we reached out to her and we discovered a caring wife and metal mother;)
Hi Sarah, it’s such an honour to host you on our website, and thank you for the interview! After years of silence, you came back with the Torn Between Two Worlds project. Has the pandemic had an impact on the creative process and what are the main issues of the songs?
The pandemic actually had a major impact on me personally, when it comes to music. If it hadn’t happened, I wouldn’t likely be singing again. Apart from not being able to see Chris and be in the same room as him, he did everything to help me and get me to this point, in fact many people did. I guess people believed in me and I know how badly people wanted to see Chris and me get back together again and write. Being home forced me to learn Logic Pro X and hit the record button and, because of all the time Chris and others put into helping me, I am at this point. Since Covid, we have done four Torn Between Two Worlds songs, I’ve done three Mortiis songs, two guest slots and one remake of the song “A Sign Of Sublime”. Ten songs in twelve months after eight years of silence! I am proud!
As on your solo albums, you just released a pop cover. How do you choose them? What are these songs’ features that you appreciate the most?
Are you talking about “Hello”? It’s a brilliant song. Chris and I were huge fans of the original track and it’s so powerful. It was also a challenge for me, at least I didn’t know if I could do the song vocally and I ended up surprising myself. We believe if you do a cover, it’s got to be totally different or exactly the same, we think we added something to it, we think we made it a bit more powerful, but overall we are extremely proud. We didn’t set out to do a cover, it was just an idea and we are glad we did it.
You “grew up” as a vocalist for some important bands (The Kovenant, Mortiis, Therion, Cradle Of Filth), contributing to their success, and actually your music is currently mainly based on non-lyrical vocals. How would you explain this choice?
I do what comes naturally and what fits. I have no agenda, no set way, I do not use a certain style because it’s cool, I don’t sing a certain way to please or to fit in with what’s cool right now, I just do what I do and hope it works and hope it fits. So far, in all the songs I’ve done this year, apart from Carnified (band) and Mortiis, there have been no need for ohhs and ahhs and I am glad. One band I can’t wait to work for again though is Hecate Enthroned. The last album I did with them, I sang on three tracks and absolutely loved it. Brilliant guys. I have been very lucky, from Angtoria to Therion, I have been given many chances, but I’m still not fulfilled ;)
London has always been a frame/cradle for many musical scenes, from gothic to classic heavy metal and it is itself a multicultural city, how much did it affect your musical training and debut?
It never affected me in any way and I’ve never had any training, I am self-taught, which I may add I do not recommend! I used to see a singing teacher for a while, called Tona De Brett, she is an extremely famous vocal coach, helping singers from many bands and acts including the likes of The Prodigy, Ozzy Osbourne and so many more. In fact, after searching how to spell her name correctly, I just discovered that she died this year at the age of ninety. She was absolutely brilliant and helped me get my confidence back by helping me to warm up my vocal cords properly. Sad to hear this piece of news. I live far from London now, thankfully. Too much crime. You don’t have to be in a big city to make music and be heard ;)
You recently collaborated with Lindsay Schoolcraft and with Carnified. As for Lindsay, it’s worth noting how mutual esteem overcomes any kind of competition. What can you tell us about these collaborations?
Lindsay is one of the biggest reasons I am singing again. She reached out to me a few times in the past and I kept the conversations short and she knows why now. Once she left a certain situation, we started talking and we connected fast. Singing together was gonna happen and I’m honoured to call her my friend. Good soul. Carnified was the first band I worked for once I had my little musical set-up sorted, they were the first session/guest spot job, my experiment to see if I could do it on my own. I was worried, of course. I didn’t think I could do it on my own, but I did and it’s because Chris helped me through everything.
In your opinion, considering the current metal scene, which characteristics and qualities should a singer have both as a backing vocalist and as a lead singer?
I don’t know if you want me to be honest or paint it up like some fairytale life style. Things have changed a lot since I started music. I would like to think it’s less sexist, but I wouldn’t know. I would say, don’t be too quick to believe everything you hear, don’t be quick to believe all the promises. Have a business head on also. Be thick-skinned and don’t feed the trolls or take anything to heart, in fact, don’t read the negative opinions… opinions ain’t facts!
Talking about your private life, what do you do in your free time?
I work, raise my son, run my home, moan at my husband and just do normal things, haha We live near some amazing beaches, so when we have time, we are on the beach, but the days go by so fast. Any spare time, it’s music.
Concerning live performances, have you got any shows planned?
No shows, no plans. Too busy with home life. We both work, so our son comes first, oh and the cats ;) But never say never, right? I am meant to be singing for Mortiis on tour when he goes out with Mayhem. UK shows only though. Again, let’s see how things work out with the human pandemic ;)
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A special thanks to Alessio and Pol for the collaboration.