Be Not Betrayed is an extreme metal band from Johannesburg,South Africa. I took time out on Sunday afternoon to talk to multi-instrumentalist Jethro about new music,faith and getting married.
Jeffrey: Hey, hope you’re doing well. I want to start this by you telling us your name and role in the project?
Jethro: Hi there, thank you for having me. My name is Jethro and I am the only member of Be Not Betrayed.
Jeffrey: You’re welcome. Glad to have you. How long have you been playing music? And which instrument are you an expert in?
Jethro: I have been making music since late 2009. My instrument of expertise is the guitar.
Jeffrey: What are you biggest musical influences and how does that affect your sound?
Jethro: I think my musical influences vary with time. I generally stay within a black metal sound with Be Not Betrayed. Bands that are currently influencing me are bands like Antestor, Slechtvalk, Extol, Drottnar and such. These bands can at times shape my sound and how I write riffs. I prefer not to be a carbon copy, but I also prefer not worrying too much about how bands influence me.
Jeffrey: What is the history of Be Not Betrayed? What gave you the vision to start it?
Jethro: When I was getting into metal and beginning to play guitar, starting a band seemed like the only logical next step. Being from Johannesburg meant it was not exactly easy to find like minded people, so instead of waiting I began my own band by myself. Be Not Betrayed currently has an ep and single to its name, which were both extremely DIY. A debut full length is currently in the works which will have more of a professional sound.
Jeffrey: What is the meaning behind the name Be Not Betayed?
Jethro: Be Not Betrayed is a name with Christian meaning about uncovering the truth.
Jeffrey: How would you describe your sound to someone who randomly stumbles upon your music and is curious what you sound like?
Jethro: I’d probably want to sum it up simply as extreme metal and hope they’d enjoy it
Jeffrey: What are some of the perspectives you like to take when writing lyrics?
Jethro: I like to write and use words from the Bible, but I also want to write lyrics that relate to regular life – with meaning. My best perspective I believe when writing is my own, when I am most honest with myself about hard things.
Jeffrey: In 2014 your released your debut EP In Spirit and In Truth and in 2015 a single, how was the writing and recording process for it?
Jethro: I recorded the 2014 ep in late 2013, it was really my first legitimate release. I used an old Pentium computer and the barest minimum. I had purchased a R120 microphone from Game and used it to record everything, save the drums which were done on a trial of BeatCraft. I generally write the music before the lyrics, but I have an idea of what words I will use in each song more or less before composing. The 2015 single was recorded in mid 2014, it was experimental of new recording techniques and some software. I had initially thought not to release it, but changed my mind. It is effectively a stand-alone song. I have generally had a battle with having decent gear to record with, the old Pentium has almost died on me a few times – as well as causing other mishaps.
Jeffrey: What’s your favorite song in your discography and what’s the meaning behind it?
Jethro: That is a hard one. I’d say my current favourite song or songs are ones that are unreleased. Amongst older material, some stronger songs are tracks like Wise Sacrifice which featured on the United We Skate Benefit compilation. The meaning behind Wise Sacrifice is straightforward, almost quoted scripture saying to follow Jesus involves self-sacrifice
Jeffrey: Can you briefly talk about your other music projects, past and present?
Jethro: Past, I have been involved with projects such as Bismoth, Begotten Plagues, Ithiel and others which either did not get very far or did not release music. Present, I am involved with Autocracy, a technical death metal band that debutted on Riffs and Chugs TV (youtube channel) on a video called “Can a squier metal?” Which was featured on GearGods website. It will also feature the vocalists of Those Who Endure and A Body Divided. As well as a technical grindcore project called Suid, which has an ep in the works.
Jeffrey: Being a faith-influenced metal band, do you ever get backlash from fellow Christians or non-Christians?
Jethro: I have had backlash from both Christians and non-Christians.
Metal with a Christian message will always be the subject of debate for people who don’t understand it.
This has never slowed me down though.
Jeffrey: Would you mind briefly sharing how you came to have faith in Jesus?
Jethro: I was mostly raised with Judeo-Christian values, but I was truly born again close to when I started playing music. It was funnily enough from reading a Jack Chick comic I had a personal experience with God, but bands like Impending Doom, Antestor and Crimson Moonlight made me examine myself and my beliefs more thoroughly.
From there I have simply been uncovering as much as I can about God and the Bible. I came to the understanding that Christ is the only answer in this broken world.
Jeffrey: What’s next for Be Not Betrayed? You’ve spoken about writing an EP and full-length, how’s that going?
Jethro: Well the EP is still in the thinking process. The full length is mostly written and mainly waiting for the funds to fall in place
Jeffrey: Are you a full-time musician? If not, what do you do full-time?
Jethro: I am not a full-time musician. I am a student at a theological college and I do odd jobs on the side.
Jeffrey: When you’re not doing music, what do you like to do with your free time?
Jethro: I like to spend my time on the quality things in life, which are God, family/my wife and friends. I also enjoy attending shows with good company.
Jeffrey: You got married to your girlfriend last week, how’s the new experience?
Jethro: It is pretty incredible, I am blessed to have her accompany me in this new part of life.
Jeffrey: Awesome! That’s all the questions I’ve got for you today! Thanks for doing this! Any final words you’d like to share?
Jethro: I appreciate you having me, it has been my pleasure doing this. The debut album is set to hopefully come out 2018, at which point maybe I can come again onto your website. Until then though, God bless.
Jeffrey: My pleasure. For sure, I’d be happy to have you again. God bless you as well.
Check out their free ep: