All Eyes on Her: An Interview with Sarah Jezebel Deva of Torn Between Two Worlds

It’s not very often that Alternative Control gets to interview someone who’s been as far in the metal world as Sarah Jezebel Deva. The UK-based soprano has performed on fifteen Cradle of Filth albums, and that’s just the start.

Now Sarah has rekindled a creative collaboration with former Antgoria bandmate Chris Rehn, in a duo called Torn Between Two Worlds. This outfit has recently released two singles and a video with more material on the way… As the PR wire puts it, “Torn Between Two Worlds have extended all the sonic colors on their established palette to dazzling effect. Sarah’s trademark vocals are beautifully complimented by opulent keyboards and majestic orchestrations. Drawing on their combined decades of experience Chris weaves a new, modern sound that is a telling sign of his outstanding mastery of the craft.”

But now we’ll let Sarah tell you the rest!

Thank you for doing this interview! Can you tell Alternative Control’s readers some highlights of your lengthy metal resume?

Thank you for wanting to talk! Well, I started with Cradle of Filth, then Therion, The Kovenant and Mortiis. I was part of COF for 14 years, Therion for six years, Mortiis also six years, and The Kovenant a shorter period, but we joined forces again at a later date for one show. Chris was in Abyssos, Sargoth, Evergrey, and Takida. And we are obviously associated with Angtoria, our first band together.

Your new project Torn Between Two Worlds released a single earlier this month, “All Eyes On Me.” Tell me about the writing process and inspiration for this song.

Well this is our second single! The first one, “The Beauty Of Deception,” was released in December 2020 and got an amazing response for many reasons. Chris and I finally reunited after many years of not writing together, but also I took many years out of music — again, for many reasons. I think so many were pleased to see us back, although writing under a new name and no longer part of Angtoria. This is a fresh start for us.

We started together in 2002, so it started with us and ends with us. The perfect team. Now after the brilliant response from the first single, we have the second single… All credit to Chris, he is mind-blowing. Phenomenal in fact.

“The Beauty Of Deception” and “All Eyes On Me” were actually written about 4 or 5 years ago, don’t quote me haha… Many things have happened over the years and I’ve forgotten! Anyway, the tracks were written, I recorded my vocals with my mate Dan Abela and life got in the way, the tracks were forgotten, Chris was busy with his studio and Takida, I was busy being mum and dealing with the death of my dad and another family member, my head was everywhere and yeah…. Years later we are here. Chris eventually found the vocals to “The Beauty Of Deception” and I rerecorded the vocals for “All Eyes On Me” at home.

What prompted you and Chris to revive your musical collaborations?

We never planned to be away this long. We never planned on there NOT being another Angtoria album, but truth be known, I was likely the main cause of that because I put COF first and I shouldn’t have. I think I was also comfortable being a backing singer because I was made to believe by some that’s what I was good for. Maybe I didn’t have the confidence to be a front woman?

Chris and Tommy had their own life and dreams and they also had families, so we all had different paths to take. Then people go in different directions, but Chris and I always seemed to move back towards each other… Our friendship is solid and the respect towards each other is 100%… We are on the same page and we have the passion for the music. We fit together musically, always have, always will. I hope.

I also think Covid-19 brought us back together fast. I got a set-up at home thanks to the support of many; my ace friend Mathias helped fund some of my equipment, I sold some stuff also and yeah, I now have a set-up! Chris knew and I think that prompted Chris to get the ball moving. As I said, we never intended to be away so long.

What inspired the name change from Angtoria to Torn Between Two Worlds? What worlds are you guys torn between?

Although Chris and I formed Angtoria, we didn’t pick the name. Due to circumstances, we have now distanced ourselves from this name, but NOT the music we wrote. We have chosen to write the same music, same style, same production, just under a new name.

You may one day see another Angtoria album, but it won’t be from us, the ones that 99% wrote God Has A Plan For Us All. As for the name Torn Between Two Worlds, it was the name of a track on the first demo Chris and I did together when we first met and is the ONLY track not released….. Yet! 😉

Tell me about the video concept for “All Eyes on Me.”

Well, the whole concept for the song and video is how we are judged for everything we do and say, and our actions — most of the time, blindly judged. I never understood how being a good person or trying to be, can get you attacked verbally by a stranger. I never understood how someone who claims to support you can wear that face for you, but behind your back wear a different face for self-gain, whilst knocking you down.

This song and video are based on how some love to knock the confidence out of people, find it cool to belittle and destroy people’s dreams. It is also about how it takes just one or a few people to wake you up, kick you up the butt enough, to where you regain that faith in yourself again.

You posted a quote recently from Fear Factory’s Burton C. Bell about toxicity in the music world.  How do you overcome negative experiences in this realm?

No one is perfect, there are always many opinions to many stories; in many situations, there is normally one person stirring up the pot. Then others shut up, turn a blind eye for the sake of their career and get on with it, or they join in and then suddenly the whole workplace that you love becomes toxic and screws with your mental health. Many won’t admit fault. Many hide behind their managers also.

I don’t think I’ve ever had a problem admitting if I’ve f**ked up, I have no problem saying sorry either, no problem admitting I “could” be wrong because I would be a liar if I said to you I’m perfect. I pride myself on treating people how I want to be treated, but some times I’ve taken a joke too far and had to deal with the consequences. I pride myself on respecting all life, listening to all opinions and views, and trying to view them with an open mind. I’ve also hated myself for having to cover up people’s disgusting behaviour, their lies, and their sick treatment of others. If there is money involved, forget having any morals. Don’t show your feelings, it makes you are target… Of course some bands get on well, haha … I hope.

So how do you overcome negative experiences? It takes time, much time… But you can start by not allowing yourself to believe the attitude of, “You are nothing without us”. What’s the saying? Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer… Use your head and realize when a situation or person is toxic and move on at the right time.

I allowed myself to stay (in a toxic situation) because I believed that if I let myself get treated like shit, I would succeed. Not the case! We are all music lovers and we put famous people on pedestals, why? Because they have written a good riff or lyric? I totally disagree with building up people’s egos. We are all in this for one reason, the love of music and NOT to prove we are better than anyone or deserve more respect than the next person. Sorry, bit of a rant, but I cannot stand egos and people who think they are better than someone else because they are famous.

I’ve seen fans treated like utter crap, until they are asked to part with their money…. Yup… I’m rambling now haha… I need to move on before I get threatened for speaking the truth and my mind lol. You know, I had a message board when I was about 20 years old. A guy called Bill, a fan, got in touch and helped build my fan base and make me realize I had one. I’m now 44 and some of the people from that far back are STILL by my side now, supporting me 24 years later. I’m so proud of that and grateful for them.

Curtis tells me you are a mom. How do you balance your musical interests and goals with family life?  I’m curious as I have just become a mom myself and am trying to figure this out!

Well I was absent for many years and now that I’m back, I’m struggling to balance it all haha. I never expected such a phenomenal response and I don’t think Chris did either. Because Chris has his studio, I’m doing 99% of press and it’s hard, but I need to do it for us, for the fans … Plus, sometimes I really do love talking!

Not all the time though… My son is my life… And the cats…. Oh and then the husband 😉 I don’t have much time, but just to let you know, my 6 year old doesn’t know I have a laptop, so I have to sneak into the toilet and close the door just to catch up on emails and get some peace!

In a perfect world, what do you see for Torn Between Two Worlds doing after this release?

In a perfect world…. More music…. And another EP…. Who knows!

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