WYKKED WYTCH is a name that everybody into extreme metal should be familiar with. This band has been at it for some time now and with a handful of albums to their name there is no better time than now for an interview. Anders Ekdahl © 2012
What was it that made you start Wykked Wytch in the first place? What’s up with the spelling?
Ipek- I’ve been doing music my whole life and originally started out as teenager singing pop & opera in Europe. Then when I came to the states I became fascinated with Hard Rock & Metal and eventually formed my own group which became Wykked Wytch. Originally inspired by Mercyful Fate & Testament those bands made me want to sing metal. The unique spelling was not to confuse the band it with anything else. Now it is recognizable as extreme metal band fronted by the wykked one herself IPEK.
Is there any greater concept behind the band? How would you like for the band to be portrayed?
Ipek – The concept behind this band is a feel like female warrior being in a many metal battles and surviving. Made me stronger therefore the concept is a metal band that never surrenders. I care less how you portray the band, other than make music the way I like it: heard, heavy and nasty yet could be angelic at times. Looks can be deceiving.
For somebody who has been recording albums since 2000 under this moniker do you feel that you’ve achieved what you set out to do?
Ipek- I been recording since 1996 with the band’s first album “Something Wykked This Way Comes” and have no intentions to quit any time soon, WW It’s basically my baby and solo project and have gained cult following since day one, I’ve achieved a lot of stuff that I wanted to do, but there’s a lot room to grow still and many more goals to obtain. I say yes I have made my mark and not getting confused with $$$ signs (because haven’t seen any yet). As a musician I satisfy my needs each time I create an art and that is my goal and agenda. Some highlights have been touring with some of my favorite bands, worked with top metal producers & directors that I admired. Also having ‘Howard Stern’ playing my music and talking with him on his show. You should always continue to evolve as if you are never satisfied with your project. Always new and fresh ideas flowing around my head and that keeps me going. A predator never stops hunting just because he catches his victims each time. You keep on going!
What would you say has been your hardest set back that has set the band back instead of taking it forward?
Ipek- Hardest setback has been always band members. Sometimes band is desperate for finding good loyal members and so you settle with what’s available to you at the time because you need to continue recording and touring. You find out later that they were bad choices and don’t work out. Then to regroup and find the right people, you lose a few months or a year. It takes time to get back on track again and not to make same mistake. This is not a money making business for us, so finding hard working, hungry, motivated musicians on the same page as yourself is hard, especially since its extreme metal. You can always release an album every year with people who are not skilled or inspired but that is not my way. I rather wait till the time is right come back strong with great product even if takes a few years. I will never compromise my music just to have an album out. . Yes many line-up changes delays your dreams. oh well i’m still here very much alive and ready to KILL!
To me it seems like Wykked Wytch don’t get the same kind of deserved attention that other extreme metal bands get. Why are you considered less interesting compared to other bands? What have you done wrong to not get the same amount of media interest?
Ipek- Many factors involved in that. For one there are a lot more bands and labels out there than ever. We’ve never had a big push and never on a large label. For example having a bigger label behind you pushing the band and promotion and your album being available to in every country and nonstop touring definitely would help. We’ve done the best we can do within our means. Our last 3 albums were on an European label with not US distribution, so we concentrated on touring Europe with little or no tour support with limited promotion. Not the mention we live in male dominated society in music world females being treated as a sex object and not being credited as a credible musicians. It’s not until recently that more females have been in the metal scene. When I started I couldn’t even name any. Also Media underestimates the power of females .Women Musicians work just as hard as men so I can’t change the world but I can try to keep infect my own disease. I have done nothing wrong and i’m not about to sell out like some bands to water down my music or showing tits and ass to get media to respect me. The true diehard fans appreciate m y art and I care less about corporate whores whether they like me or not! My goal was never about cashing out rather playing music with passion. I can honestly say our new album “The Ultimate Deception” on Goomba Music is getting the best push than any of my other albums have so hopefully we will get exposed to a large audience with this release.
How pleased are you with your new album? How does it fit in with the other albums you’ve released?
Ipek- I’m extremely happy and satisfied with our new baby, we worked very hard to make it so the result is obvious. As far as how is it to compare to my previous albums? I think this album is the natural continuation from the last one ‘Memories of A Dying Whore’. Each album we’ve done is different than the rest, has to do with where were at the time and the members in the band. On this album ‘The Ultimate Deception’ we bring in a new guitarist/songwriter Nate Poulson, who brought fresh, modern, and technical shit on the table and made this album to a totally new dimension for the band. But also keeping in mind our past to make sure this still fits in to what we do. We believe in evolving each album and do not like keep putting out same album each time. With that said nothing much changed I have always maintained the integrity, quality of my music we just got more mature this time and decided to leave our comfort zone and expand our horizons.
You’ve been through some labels by now. How does this new one compare to the old ones?
Ipek-yes , I have gone through few labels and I am not about the trash anyone here so what’s in past is past with that we are moving forward. So far Goomba Music has been doing a great job pushing the release. The label knows that we have a following but never had the right push. That’s and that’s one of the reason why they signed us, recognizing the great music but also hard work and integrity of the group. They are doing their best right now to spread the word and pushing the album. The label has a job and so does the band. Our job is never done and we have to work hard to make sure that this is a success and we move forward.
Is the recording industry in such a distress that we hear reports about? How bad is it really?
Ipek- We all know how the music industry right now. The expectation for sales is not very optimistic even for the big bands but there are still true fans out there willing to buy rather than steal. You cannot rely on album sales or touring to make a living. Even the show attendance is even declining. People rather sit in front of the TV or computer than go out and see live music. In the old days people camped out in front of record stores when a big release would come out, now people sit in front of the computer to see when the album will leak. Maybe free downloading helps new young bands needs an exposure but band like us been around needs support and that comes from cd sales and tours. If you cannot produce an income from sales how can you tour? .
How much of a DIY ethic is there behind Wykked Wytch?
Ipek -Wykked Wytch has been DIY since its inception and still is. I’ve never waited around for anyone to do something for us. Always financed and booked my own shows, tours, promotion, etc.
Fans think making an album it’s free have no fucking clue how much time and money is involved to release an album. Our last album we released under our own label practically bankrupted me, combined with all the years of doing this., paying studio time, engineering, mastering, merchandise, adds, videos, printing, etc. Even with our previous releases on a label and this release our albums have been self-financed. .The label only can do so much for you and if you want more need to take into your own hands. My advice to new bands is if you want to dedicate yourself to a band, be prepared to do everything for yourself and spend lots of time and money. No one is going to do it for you. Rockstar fantasy days are long gone.
With a new album out how do you take it from here to get the maximum from it?
Ipek- Well we already started getting very favorable and intelligent reviews this time it seems like media is now realizing WW is a not a gimmick band and won’t go away. We are talented musicians doing music for love and passion and we are here to stay like it or not. Haters always gonna hate. Next month we shoot a video and fews month will start tour campaign and promote the album the best way we can. It’s up to fans to pick up the ‘The Ultimate Deception’ and enjoy it as much as we enjoyed making it!