WITCHTHROAT SERPENT

In a world were there are so many bands to keep track of I want to bring my two cents in presenting you to this interview with WITCHTHROAT SERPENT. Anders Ekdahl ©2019

we live in a world where there are literally millions of bands to check out. What do you have that sets you apart?
-We are not set apart, we’re part of a great and flourishing scene that is mostly “underground” and each band has unique tastes to offer. Still, someone recently told us our most distinctive features was the ethereal aura that surrounds every element of our music. Since witchcraft and spirits are seriously taken subjects inside this band, we try to incorporate their influence on us inside the songs.

How hard was it for you guys to pick a name? What had that name have to have to fit your music?*
-The name we coined has been carefully pondered. It is meant to reflect the close relationship between shamanism and sorcery. The serpent’s a symbol for transcendence, an ultimate apparition that drives you to real consciousness when you accept to dive down its throat.
In witchcraft, it represents knowledge and is a guardian of secrets. We personally consider it a metaphor for spells cast: just figure out a witch screaming her powerful curses as a snake would spit his venom. The throat connects them, thus the idea of our name.

What band(s) was it that turned you on to the kind of music you play? What inspires you today?
-No need to name the the godfathers of the doom stoner genre. Besides, we are mostly influenced by the works of Alastor or Uncle Acid, as well as old black metal and grunge acts, a bit, more surprisingly, by pop artists that gave us ideas for melodies.
As a bassist, Sleep’s style and Belzebong’s heaviness have a strong hold on me, while Yob is a kind of “guiding light” for emotion and consciousness elevation.
However, what mostly drives us is the will to develop our sound by regularly experimenting with new hardware. We’re like children having fun trying out new toys each time one of us gets a new fuzz pedal or snare drum!

What is the advantages/disadvantages of CD and vinyl these days of internet promotion where digital seems to be king?
-The only two disadvantages I can think of are the higher price and the need for to have a CD player or/and a turntable. Listening on the internet is less constraining and cheaper if not free, but nothing compares to the pleasure you have when you turn on your hifi amp, press play, see the LP turning, put the needle/stylus on it, hear the first cracklings, and get kicked in the fucking face by the analog record. It’s unique. It’s more than a question of quality or comfort. It’s just a matter of fucking raw old-school pleasure.
I didn’t even mention the satisfaction of building your own collection of CDs and/or LPs. It may be a bit materialist, OK, but so pleasing; they’re beautiful objects, they have a soul.

I use Spotify and Deezer but only as compliment to buying CDS (it’s easier to just have your phone or pad when your out) but I fear that soon music as we know it will be dead and buried. What are your worries as a band?
-Just take a look to the vinyl sales during the last years. They answer the question themselves.
We have no worries.
We’re not there to become rich or even earn a living. We don’t give a fuck, that’s just a matter of pleasure exchanged with our audience.

What part does art work and lay out play? Any message that you want to bring forth with it?
-Those considerations are really important for us. It’s not about carrying a message, but more like both underlining the sound work, and serving our identity. We want our records to look sexy, threatening, to be as alluring visually as they’re aurally violent.
That’s why we entrusted Andy Julia for every visual around Swallow The Venom. He’s really good for taking beautiful pictures of beautiful women, capturing dangerous auras, engraving ancient and occult scenery, making it immortal.

Is it a whole different way to promote a band today with all these social media channels? Or do you go about doing promotion the same way? Playing live and word of mouth.
-Social medias are just a new way of saying the same things that had to be told about us before. Once you’ve learned a few things about their details, you can use many interesting features, and enjoy their ability to spread the word far and add images to every message. Still, they have a kind of “artificiality” within.
But live playing is the best way to express yourself and be judged for your real abilities. That’s the real concrete promotion.

Do you feel like you are a part of a scene, locally, nationally and internationally?
-Yes, there’s definitely a French Doom scene, where bands touring together build great friendships and support each other. That’s a pretty cool feeling, the local crowds are often close and friendly people too. On the international scale, doom fellows seem to be same-minded. Even if we’re not a very “international” band yet, that’s a feeling we get with Spanish and English acts.

How much of a touring band are you? Is touring/gigging still a great way of spreading the word of the band?
-Touring really is the best way to “spread the word”. It’s exhausting and requires much preparation, of course, but it allow us to meet other bands’ audiences and gain visibility on important fests.

What will the future bring?
-Well, let me open a goat and look into its guts… Just kidding. We’re not that much into haruspicy.
The future will bring doom. I’m not allowed to say too much yet, but there’s an exciting tour in progress. Moreover, the writing process never stops, so… Let’s say we may record new heavy stuff. Anyway, we want it to hit harder and slower !

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