WITCHES is like a blast from the past. Back to the days of paper fanzines. As they are still active and has a new record out I had to interview them. ©2015 Anders Ekdahl
I remember WITCHES from the 80s and all the cool fanzines. What happened to you guys back then?
-As you might know, in the 80s we recorded 2 demo tapes, the band was maint to be an all female band but we never find a girl drummer because we were playing too fast for her (laugh!). My brother Alex helped us by playing drums for 4 years with us. Then I moved to Paris to find new musicians and there began the 2nd era of Witches. I mean Witches not as an all female band but with guys ! 2 demos tape, full albums were then recorded and some shows mainly in France.last year, for the 25th Anniversary of the 2 first demos a reedition of those was done on vinyl !
I know it is impossible to compare then to now but what is different today compared to back in the 80s/early 90s?
-The main difference between then and now is INTERNET ! in the 80s we were sending our music on tapes by postal mail. we were writing letters. it was a bit slow and very expensive ! especially with southamerica, japan, and so far away countries. Now all is so fast. you transfer you music, your informations etc… instantly by email. it is better for that ! the possible negative point of that, is that information is a bit buried somewhere beneath a mass of informations. too many informations kill information. you sometimes don’t know where to have The information !
You have released a couple of records. What kind of reception did they receive when they were released?
-we have quiet a good reception for both of the 1st albums. “3.4.1” was quickly sold out. the label have to do a second edition. I have found a few ones left. but not a lot ! So that is great because a
lot of people ask me as they want to have it !
What was the French metal scene back in the 80s like? I remember it as very NWOBHM influenced.
-well, it depend of the bands. of course we listened to NWOBHM bands but we were a bit more into Germany bands, like Kreator, Destruction, Assassin, Sodom, etc… who played faster !
Why do we see a new WITCHES record now? What have you been up to before this new record?
-it’s been quiet long, about 8 years, between the last album called “7” out in 2007, the members of this line up have different musical projects and our paths diverge. So I found new musicians to record this new album. and go on tour with Venom inc and Vader !
How do you feel that WITCHES fit in in today’s metal scene?
-Well, Witches will continue to evolve as time change. we included in the music more power, more speed. there is more intensity in our songs. as it is live. People seems to like it so I think it fits quiet well. our music is how we feel it, it is us ! and people feel it !
How did you kand a tour with Venom Inc through Europe? How much of a touring band has WITCHES been in the past?
-Witches toured mainly in France in the past. few shows in foreign countries around France. Last year we met Tony Dolan in a french festival playing with Mantas in M:Pire of evil, we were not playing the same day, but we promise to do at least one show together ! a few months after we managed to play in another french festival the same day and we promised to do a real full tour together ! after about one year, here we are !
Back in the days I always thought that there was a humorous side to the band with silly titles and “strange” art work. How do you view your approach to music back then compared to today? Is humour still important?
-Humor was our way of living at that time. we were young, we were playing for fun, our guitarist did all the artwork, it was really fun. I always thought you have to enjoy what you do. and especially music. Humor is still in us. but less in the lyrics and the artwork. So I can say that lyrics and artorks are more serious now than before. but we are there to enjoy what we do. it is not because we are more serious that we are too serious (laugh!)
How important are lyrics and artwork today?
-as I just say, it is more serious now, or the artwork we worked with a professionnal designer called Stan W Decker. he often works for famous bands. I knew him for years so I decided to work again with him for “The Hunt” artwork. and he did a great job ! About the lyrics, I work a lot on the meaning, the images, the way to write and say the words but also on the rhythm. One of the songs was written by a friend of mine who wanted to work with me. Serial is written in French. so the pronounciation give another sound to the all whole song. (I already wrote some songs in French, on the 2nd album, but
this time I wrote only in English, because It cames like that)
What does the future have in store for you?
-Next year will be the 30th anniversary of Witches. So we will do something special for that for sure ! be connected to keep you informed!