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KING WITCH

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Ergens eind 2015 werk deze Schotse formatie opgericht, na een eigen beheer ep "Shoulder of giants" wisten ze al snel een deal met het Franse Listenable te versieren.In 2018 verscheen hun debuut "Under the mountain" en brengen ze hun trots hun tweede langspeler "Body of light" ten gehore! We hadden een babbel met het koppel achter deze band, Jamie en Laura Gilchrist!

Written by Nico and quoted KING WITCH

KING WITCH

First off, 2 years ago you released your debut album 'Under The Mountain' (after a self financed ep), through Listenable records, how do you look back at this, (at the record, the response, the work with Listenable?)

JAMIE: It's been awesome playing all over Europe and seeing how many people have connected with that album, it was great to work with a label like Listenable who gave it the release it deserved. I still really like the album, obviously I'm going to say that I think the new album came out better, but I would say that! I think "Body of Light" works as an excellent follow-up, and I hope fans of the first album will be blown away!

LAURA: Listenable has been a great record label to work with. Laurent really cares about music and he really digs the band which is fantastic. They have helped us reach ears all over the world which is something we wouldn't have been able to do as well on our own. It has been fantastic going to shows and hearing people sing your songs. I'm really looking forward to playing "Body of Light" at shows and hearing people's thoughts.


I'm blown away, by the amazing artwork of the new record 'Body Of Light'. Which was once again done by Laura!  

LAURA: Thanks so much - really glad you like it. Many of the songs on "Body of Light" explore the unknown so images of space, magic, and the occult jumped to mind. The track Body of Light is VERY loosely based on Aleister Crowley's book "Control of the Astral Body" so I thought an image based around Astral Projection would work really well as the cover art. I usually come up with ideas then pass them to the boys to see what they think. Some ideas work - some don't but the guys were happy with the concept so we took it from there. I work as a Graphic Designer in my day job so I'm always happy to help when it comes to artwork creation. There is not a lot of money in the music industry these days so I think we are lucky to be able to do things like artwork and recording ourselves.


Under the Mountain was recorded by Jamie at his home studio, was this again with the case with 'Body Of light'! Are you a band that likes to keep things in its own hands...

JAMIE: No, with the new album we were lucky enough to get to record at a new studio called Deep Storm which is set in a beautiful location in the Scottish countryside. I co-produced the album with Kevin Hare who owns the studio. It was a great experience, the live room at the studio sounds fantastic and had a big impact on the sound of the album. I like to be involved in the production and mixing of course, but working with Kevin was great - sometimes two sets of ears are better than one! 


How does a King With song get created?

JAMIE: Usually I will have some riffs or musical ideas, and then we will work on them in the practice room, once it starts to sound like a song Laura usually puts her vocal ideas down.  Obviously it varies from song to song, but this is usually how the process starts.

LAURA: Yeah - I usually wait to hear the ideas Jamie has come up with and then I'll come up with a loose melody. From there I'll write lyrics usually based on how the song makes me feel.


What for you as a band is the biggest difference between the first and second record?

JAMIE: I think the writing process was a lot more fluid for this album - the songs all came together in one period of time without interruptions or lineup changes, I think that really helped us focus more on the quality of the songs. Also, we recorded and mixed it in one continuous session, which I found a much better way of working. Not going away and coming back to mixes a week later and forgetting where you were before makes a big difference.

LAURA: I think the album as a whole flows a bit more than "Under the Mountain" stylistically and lyrically. As Jamie mentioned we worked on this one uninterrupted so I think that has helped massively. I have a good feeling about the album and to me it feels like we get a lot more of our character across. It is everything that King Witch represents. Blistering riffs, dark moody passages and heavy metal glory.


Who would you name as some of the bands biggest influences ? 

JAMIE: I guess the biggest main influences on the band are probably pretty obvious; Sabbath, Purple and Zeppelin have always been big influences, as well as the likes of Candlemass and The Obsessed. As a guitarist I was really inspired by Rory Gallagher, Gary Moore and Robin Trower from an early age, as I grew older Hetfield and Iommi took centre stage: I was just obsessed with riffs, and those guys are the masters! 

LAURA: I agree with Jamie on our Influences as a band. You can definitely hear all of the above in there but I think we manage to have our own unique sound. Vocally I've always loved powerful vocalists like Messiah Marcolin, Dio, Robert Plant and Janis Joplin to name a few. I love how they can all create a sense of drama through their power and dynamics and they are really fun to watch.


Let's talk about the lyrics, how important are they and what's the favorite topic to write about?

LAURA: I think lyrics are very important. If I hear bad lyrics on an otherwise well written song I find it really off putting. The main concepts lyrically on "Body of Light" I guess are based around life and death and the question of what lies beyond. Magic, occultism, Scottish folklore and the human condition interweave this. I really just write about how the song makes me feel so I guess there are some personal elements in there too.


What can you tell me about my 3 favorite songs on the record : 'Body of Light', 'Solstice / She Burns' and the mindblowing 'Beyond The Black Gate'?

JAMIE: Laura is probably the best one to talk you through the lyrical themes. 'Body of Light' is one of the faster songs on the album, I love the outro that always reminds me in a weird way of Ozric Tentacles! It looks set to be a live favourite, we've played it a few times already and it went down a storm! Solstice I / She Burns' is kind of two songs, the clean intro (Solstice I) was always a separate part, but in recording it became obvious that it would work really well if they went straight into each other. She Burns has been around for a while, the main riff is just a monster. Laura's vocals on this track are awesome, and the second half is madness! 'Beyond the Black Gate' is just epic I guess, lots of light and shade. Our friend Matt Bartlett put some awesome keys down on a few of the songs, including this one. 

LAURA: "Body of Light" is a really fun one to play! As I mentioned earlier it is VERY loosely based on Aleister Crowley's book "Control of the Astral Body" which talks about Astral Projection. I find that kind of stuff really interesting. "Solstice I/ She Burns" is based on human nature and I guess personal experience. It's about the endless cycle of making mistakes and self punishment and doing it all again. I think everyone can relate to it in one way or another. "Beyond the Black Gate" is epic. It has fantastic dynamics. It's about always wanting and never being satisfied. It's also about the destruction of the psyche when you have everything you want / all the power but can't quite handle it. It then asks the question of what lies beyond. A bit of a journey :)


The band didn't go on full big (weeks or month long) tours, but some mini tours? Hard to get away from the job, too expensive or just fun this way? 

JAMIE: As a smaller band it just usually works out better to do shorter runs, often based around festival appearances. There's no real reason we wouldn't do longer tours, it's just always worked out to be the best way for us in the last few years. It's always a balancing act working around everyone's jobs, but we do the best we can!


You've been In Belgium a few times, name us some things you like about our country and of the places you played so far, what is your favorite?

JAMIE: We've played a few places in Antwerp, Brussels and even a private show in an incredible converted barn in the country! Music City in Antwerp is an awesome place, they really looked after us. Rockin Bull in Antwerp is also cool - especially if you're shopping for records! Obviously we have enjoyed sampling some of your fine beers, which are a lot stronger than we are used to, so we need to take it easy... It was also awesome exploring Brussels, a really beautiful city.


There are lots of doom bands around and most of them you can easily compare to others, but that's not the case with King Witch, I'd even like to state that King Witch is quite unique in its genre! 

JAMIE: I find it hard to describe the sound of King Witch, probably because I'm so close to the music, we never set out to be a doom band, although I can hear that in our music. There are elements of doom, rock and metal of all kinds in our music, I can't really think of an obvious band or two to compare us to either.

LAURA: It is hard to pinpoint what "kind" of a band we are because we are not trying to sound like anyone. You can definitely hear influences but I think we manage to have our own sound at the same time. It would be boring if everyone sounded the same :)


Something aside of the music if you please; your opinion on the Brexit...

JAMIE: Brexit is fucking bullshit. Boris Johnson and the tabloid media have lied through their teeth and unfortunately a lot of voters in the UK fell for it. It is a really sad thing that will have consequences for everyone in the UK. For musicians it will be bad all round. My only hope is that we will see Scottish independance in my lifetime. 

LAURA: Like Jamie the subject makes me pretty pissed off. The vast majority of Scotland voted to stay in the EU but the Scottish vote means piss all when it comes to UK politics as a whole due to our population. For that reason I think an independent Scotland is the only way forward for us.

 

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