With Wacken XXX looming up to stomp its big metal footprint on Germany again this summer, we’re taking a look at a bunch of the bands who are hitting its iconic stages for the first time. Today’s feature is quite a meaningful one for me. Waaay back in the olden days, I bought a 7″ single with a free sew-on patch which I proudly wore on my jacket. It was one of the first two or three singles I ever bought. The single was “Black Bone Song” by Zed Yago, and frontwoman Jutta Weinhold is back with the recently-revived Velvet Viper. It’s been a huge privilege to share a few emails with a woman who is one of the reasons I’m actually into the music I’m into!
We are from Hamburg and Hanover, Germany.
Before you get sick of being asked… where does the band name come from?
It is just fantasy. Velvet Viper is an enchanted princess! Way back in time in the Egyptian area, the last Pharaoh Cleopatra went to the river Nile to catch a few vipers. She did not want to live any more. She was out to commit suicide, to die a fast way.
Dead set on doing so she put the snake box into her vault built of hundreds of stones. All the serpents bit her to death but one did not. This viper took the crown from Cleopatra’s brow and put it on its tiny snake head. It took her several days to dig herself through the cold stone grave into the light, into freedom.
There is only one Viper who never killed someone: The Velvet Viper. That’s what the legends says. The almighty snake mother told this story to her descendants over and over again, and again, and again. It’s true! Believe me! Till today the Velvet Viper has never killed a human and has a mark on its head which looks like a crown. That’s why the Velvet Viper is called the enchanted princess.
After a rest period Velvet Viper is back. To tell us her stories, the old and new ones! Let’s follow the snake mother and let’s never forget the things behind…
Describe your music. Who are your musical influences?
Once I called it “dramatic metal” now with Velvet Viper we name it epic power metal. Our main influences are obviously the many great bands of the 70s and 80s like Rainbow, Maiden, Sabbath, but we pick up good stuff everywhere and mix it in if it fits.
Velvet Viper is the successor of my first metal band, Zed Yago.
Do you have any particular lyrical themes?
Yes, poetry, literature, fantasy and mythologies but we don’t forget the basics of all rock and roll.
What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?
This year is my 50th stage anniversary. We started again after a break last year with the current Velvet Viper CD Respice Finem and we played about 25 shows for that album.
What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?
I came back on stage after many years (25) with my Zed Yago songs and the audience sang the songs with me, so they have not forgotten it!
What, if anything, are you plugging/promoting at the moment?
Holger Marx, our guitar player and composer, and I are currently working on the new Velvet Viper album. The producer is Tommy Newton and the release will be in October with Massacre Records.
Other than Wacken, what are your plans for 2019?
We are in the middle of the recordings for our new album and will play a couple festivals in summer: Wacken, the Headbanger’s Open Air, Hard Summer Festival, and in autumn/winter we will start the promotion for the new album.
What are you most looking forward to at Wacken this year?
Playing shows is always the most important thing in the music business. We play songs from Respice Finem, some Zed Yago songs and old Velvet Viper plus one or two songs from the upcoming album.