Thursday, May 25, 2017

Interview: Space Witch

As a young boy Dr. Who fascinated me, for a time anyway. Though, not a fan these days, the theme music has definitely left an indelible mark upon my psyche.

Perhaps it was the pinball game we played at The Silver Ballroom all those times?

Probably not.

Upon first, second, and third listens, Space Witch seems to be the band that should've been the soundtrack to that show. Not just because their music is reminiscent of Dr. Who's theme song, but because the music feels like Dr. Who and a hundred other Sci-Fi shows.

They took some time to answer my questions at the Glacially Musical Intercontinental Space Exploration Center of Greater Manila.

Check it out!

Glacially Musical: Thank you for taking some time for me today.

Space Witch: It is a pleasure. What do you want to talk about?

GM: In your track, Cosmonoid, the synths sound both like Dr. Who and a vocal melody. Were either of those things intentional?

SW: Not that it was intentional. More, our interests and influences appear in the music by osmosis.

Science fiction is a keen interest amongst us and it’s possible that Delia Derbyshire’s signature electronics became passively lodged in our collective subconscious, which in turn emerged through the writing process.

Cosmonoid is the catalyst for the album and the way the synth and guitar blends is partially to give the track a presence which sets it up for the forthcoming journey.

GM: So few bands use the synth. Black Sabbath made it pretty metal in Who Are You? What lead you to incorporate this into your music?

SW: Originally, it was the first drummer who had the idea to incorporate synth into the mix with a view to experimenting with it and drawing on influences in prog and space rock.

Central to the sound was the sludge/doom riffs but synth has been consistently featured in most releases.

There has been a number of lineup changes which has seen the focus on the electronics change but we would say ARCANUM is most confidant in its use of electronic swells and lead synth.

GM: I'm hearing tale that this album is going to be released on vinyl. Give us the skinny on that. Quantities, colors, etc.

SW: The new album ARCANUM will be released on vinyl, CD, Cassette and digital over the next few months.

First press of the vinyl will be:

 -100 Blood Red (50 of these will be available as a Die Hard Bundle including a Space Witch Slipmat and Plectrum)

- Exclusive - 200 Sea Blue – Limited Edition

 - 10 test presses We've heard a test press of the album and we feel our master has transferred really well to the vinyl format.

GM: How was the record recorded?

SW: We recorded ARCANUM at UTC studios in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire.

Tom Bath was the engineer and producer at the helm; it was great working with him. The process took place between April – July 2016 firstly recording live drums and then layering the other instrument track by track.

There were elements we found only at the studio that went into the final mix.

GM: Your songs aren't precisely short. There's an element of stoner, an element of drone, and the spacey synths. This makes it hard to really describe your music.

How do you describe it?

SW: Typically, we refer to it as Psych/Prog/Doom when we’re asked to define it. However, we have a difficult time pinning it down ourselves, especially in our imminent release.

It wasn’t the intention to create something hard to describe. We just let them come through and continue to experiment with the sound.

GM: What pictures appear in your mind as you play these tunes?

SW: Deep space exploration. Stars collapsing into themselves. Alien entities lurking on the peripheries of the imagination. Asteroid belts glinting in solar streams. You get the picture.

GM: What are the five most important albums of all time? 

SW: Joy Division – Unknown Pleasures

Electric Wizard – We Live

Black Sabbath – S/T

Hawkwind – Warrior at the End of Time

King Crimson – Court of the Crimson King 

GM: Do you find it more or less difficult to write music without lyrics?

SW: Vocals and lyrics should fit into the music like any instrument in the band.

There are genres where the music is driven by the lyrics but what we do isn’t really that. We try not to privilege one sound over any other; each has points where they come to forefront and then gives way other sounds.

GM: Tell me what we all needed to know, but I forgot to ask.

 SW: Thanks for this opportunity.

Our new album ARCANUM is released worldwide, June 9th on HeviSike Records.

Thanks to everyone that has supported us and love to our families and friends.

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