Thursday, February 19, 2015

"Dark, heavy, passionate, lots of reverb." | An interview with LA WITCH

© Moni Haworth

LA WITCH. How did this band name come about and how did you girls come together to form LA WITCH?

IRITA: The first time I met Sade, it was like a blind date. I had been jamming with my best girl friends at the time, and we were looking for a singer. A mutual friend suggested Sade, and sent us her Myspace music page. She came into our room at Downtown Rehearsal, and we hang out and played, and that was it.

We jammed together for 6 months, and we never really came up with a name. The week of our first show we were forced to choose, because they had to put a name on the flyer. There were four of us at the time, and we all had long, dark hair, and "Witch" just really stood out to us. We looked pretty witchy.

Ellie joined about a year and a half ago, after we lost our original drummer to New York. She had played with Sade in a two-piece band in high school, where they had won Battle of the Bands.

LA WITCH has been described as "haunted surf rock", "dirty distorted country", "psychedelia"...among many different coined terms. How would you describe LA WITCH's vibe to the unsuspecting listener? 

IRITA: Dark, heavy, passionate, lots of reverb.

Your debut EP is doing really well and you are just finishing up a mini tour. Are there plans in motion to get started on a full length? 

IRITA: We're planning on releasing a 7" in the Spring, along with a full-length cassette sometime in the late Spring or early Summer.

There are a lot of really rad Rock n Roll, Garage and Punk acts around at the moment, particularly in LA. Who are some your personal faves? 

IRITA: As far as really garage Death Valley Girls and Topanga Patchouli. We played with this band called Creep Beat on tour in Santa Rosa and they were rad. A friend went to Poland and brought back a cassette by this band Kaseciarz, I fell in love. It's so relevant to what's happening in California right now, but with a decidedly more Eastern European twist.

© Russell Thomas

What is it about rock n roll and rock n roll culture you love the most? And what do you think keeps it fresh?

IRITA: Really just the music is the best part, that classic guitar/bass/drums combo. I love hearing bands' interpretations on rock and roll, mixing it with difference genres and influences, the possibilities are infinite.

There's this shitty thing where the media labels bands with females in them as a "girl fronted band" or "girl band" rather than plain and simple a Rock n' Roll band. How do you you girls combat this and do you think this is something that will ever change?

ELLIE: I agree, it's a shitty thing that the media does. Because you're right, it really is just a band. We get thrown in and compared to all these other musicians and bands just because they are women. More than half the time we don't even sound anything alike. 

IRITA: For me the only thing downside to being labeled a girl band would be that people think you can't play your instrument, that you don't know what you're doing. But being a musician who also happens to be female isn't really that much different, and there is really a great sense of community and camaraderie among female musicians. We've met lots of really inspiring people who have supported us and given us great advice, like Lucy from Tashaki Miyaki and Julie from Deap Vally. 

© Kristen Cofer

Do LA WITCH communally write music and lyrics or do you individually have your own parts and meet in the middle?

IRITA: We all have ideas or riffs to bring to the table that influence the direction or sound of a song. Sade writes all the lyrics and most of the songs, and Ellie and I write our own parts. We all work together to tweak a song's structure.

When it comes to writing lyrics and the band ethos. What themes etc do LA WITCH touch on and whats important to the band?

SADE: Most of our songs are about love and heartbreak. More importantly, it’s about the sound and mood of the music that’s being delivered. Words just help define that feeling.

Whats next for LA WITCH in 2015?

IRITA: We are playing some West Coast dates with Deap Vally in April. Desert Daze and Levitation/Austin Psych Fest are in May, and we'll be playing some Midwest dates around that. We'll be back on the West Coast in June for a really rad festival that we can't say much about yet, but it will definitely be rad. We're going to play with one of our favorite bands who happen to be reuniting this year, so it's it's gonna be a good one for sure.