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 Post subject: INTERVIEW WITCHCRAFT, 20. 01.2007., VERONA, ITALY
PostPosted: Sat Feb 24, 2007 12:55 pm 
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INTERVIEW WITCHCRAFT, 20. 01.2007., VERONA, ITALY


MASTERS OF VINTAGE


An old nightmare of mine finally took a concrete feature, shaping in members of a band from which I haven’t heard even an accord yet. This four peace from Sweden was so reserved, so modest that I needed a spanner to drag every single word from their mouths. Intuition is whispering me about importance of this doom rock band for ram shackling time that we are living. So, slightly caught by panic mean while my English was reducing on beggars found of words, I’m breaking talking about recent interview with Orange Goblin. Yes, there is something worse then to interview 4 hobgoblins talking contemporary. Going to interview a musicians, which leaves to their music to talk for them! But, I’m inviting a bassist Ola Henriksson to join to the rest of the sabbath ‘cause too distant from Dictaphone. I wasn’t helping guys at all, really. Already seeing finalized interview as a pile of naked bones – I found so heavy to articulate mine in a decent questions.

Preparing for interview, I visited web pages of your label. It’s curious that your releases are coming out on vinyl first and then on a modern supporters. Well, I seen Witchcraft described as masters of vintage. I think it’s nice idea for interview’s title, what do you say?
MAGNUS PELANDER (guitarist, vocal, mastermind): WELL, IT’S OK. WE FEEL AT EASE.

Ok, correlated to your love for retro sound & imaginary, what instruments are you using during your live exhibitions?
JOHN HOYLES (guitarist): I PLAY ON FENDER STRATOCASTER, AND WHAT ABOUT AMPLIFICATOR AND STUFF, WE USUALLY BORROW THE REST OF A EQUIPMENT FROM OTHERS BANDS. SO, SOMETIMES IT’S ORANGE, BLACK, OTHER TIME MARSHALL…IT’S ALWAYS DIFFERENT…
MP: I PLAY A GIBSSON ES 137 GUITAR...
OLA HENRIKSSON (bassist): …IT’S A FENDER JAZZ BASS – 62 REISSUED...

A recent Us tour of Witchcraft last almost about month. I noted that you added a few more shows in already short time? How was the receiving?
JH: YES, WE DID 23 SHOWS…THERE WAS MORE PEOPLE THAN WE EXPECTED TO COME. IT WAS NICE AT NEW YORK, THEN TEXAS/AUSTIN TOO...

(Of course, they didn’t waste compliments on themselves. Nobody tells me a word about Bobby Liebling alias PENTAGRAM arrival in “Empty bottle” at Chicago, who wanted to “check” up a Witchcraft potential. Not only, this legend considered worthwhile to share a stage with this Swedish rockers during their performance of one cover. Naturally, I found this detail later & ”accidentally”, so, give an eye on you tube or www.stonerrock.com SITE!)

Did you have similar experiences as this American tour from beginning of “being” the band?
MP: WELL, WITCHCRAFT EXISTS FROM 2000...(there was a few second’ pause and gazing of crossed looks)...YEAP, AANND THAT’S ABOUT IT, HA, HA!
JENS HENRIKSSON (drums): WELL, THERE WAS A LINE UP CHANGE IN THE BAND, AND THEN I ARRIVED IN, SO…
JH: …MAGNUS RECORDED OUR FIRST RELEASE, HE ALSO PLAYED IN OTHER BANDS…THEN WE REJOIN TO THE BAND, WE RECORD ANOTHER ALBUM AND JUST CONTINUE TO COME OUT AND PLAY.

You also made a branch European tour, you visited Slovenia also, is that right?
OH: YES, WE WERE ON TOUR WITH ORANGE GOBLIN ON 2004…

Tied for your last release, album “Firewood”, I found very nice a front cover photo and your “family” portrait too…where did you make a photos?
JHe: IT’S A TIPICAL OLD SWEDISH FARMER’S HOUSE, MADE AT THE BEGINNING OF 19. CENTURY, I THINK. REALLY, IT’S LOCATED ON ONE OF THE OLDEST OPEN-AIR MUSEUMS ON THE WORLD, A PLACE CALLED SKANSEN. THERE ARE RESTORED ALL ASPECTS OF CULTURE FROM ALL PARTS OF SWEDEN.

Well, what kind of witchcraft you utilized during a creation of “Firewood”? I think primary on inspiration and song writing relation…
MP : YOU THINK ON INSPIRATION ON LIFE THAT I TRANSLATE ON MUSIC?
LIRICLY?
That’s right.
MP: WELL ALMOST, IT’S LIKE 80 PROCENT SELFEXPERIENCED STUFF, SOME STORIES ARE JUST MADE UP…(Magnus was sinking deeper and deeper into a sofa, on what I’m waking” him up by my desperate laugh) OH, I’M SORRY, I AM SO TIRED.

Don’t worry. Your host already warn me about last night that you have lost, so, I’m deeply excusing my self for disturbing you. (And here everybody, me included, burst out laughing. Maybe, there is a chance to not lose this interview too, I thought.)
MP: MUSIC…MEETING PEOPLE INSPIRITED ME TOO, OF COURSE…OR, TO BE IN WALK COULD BE AN INSPIRATION, YOU KNOW BY YOUR SELF, WHEN YOUR TAKEN BY YOUR OWN TOUGHTS…BUT USUALLY IT’S ARRIVES WHEN I DOING ALMOST REGULAR THINGS. OR COULD BE A DATING WITH CHICKS…

Except Black Widow or Pentagram, why did properly early Sabbath influence you so much? I know, I continue to torture you with same questions of other journalists, but my intention is to awake a curiosity of younger generation in this sense, can you help me?
MP: …THINK IT WAS IN ‘97. WHEN ONE FRIEND OF MINE PLAYS THEM ON ONE PARTY. ACTUALY, HA, HA, IT WAS AN AFTER PARTY, AND HERE I THOUGHT HAW THEY REMIND ME ON PENTAGRAM AND HOW CATCHY WAS THOSE WIBES…IT WAS ONE A BIT SOFTER THING AND I LIKED A SINGING STYLE AND WEARD LYRICS. AND I JUST, KIND, FALL IN LOVE WITH IT…SO, THAT IS THE STORY HOW I HEARD FOR THEM ABOUT… I’M NOT REALLY LISTEN TO THEM SO MUCH AS BEFORE.

…Because you already was “exorcised”?
MP: YEAH, YEAH, I PASS OVER IT, HA, HA…THEY MADE BEAUTIFUL ACUSTIC STUFF LIKE ON “NEVER SAY GODBY”. VOICE IS A LITTLE BIT DIFFERENT ON THOSE ALBUM…

Could you found a way to describe how did you live it?
MP: AAAH, IT’S HARD TO TELL NOW. I SHOULD PUT MY SELF IN SITUATION HOW I FELT THEN. IT’S A BIT DIFFERENT NOW. WELL, I WAS ATTRACTED BY THIS “WHINY” SOUND…
JHe: …IT’S SO FRAGILE…
OH: ...YES, SEEMS AS HE CRYING SOMETIMES…

After words, he influenced you ‘cause was so closed to your state of soul at the time?
MP: …YEAH, CRYING/WHYNING, BUT IN CERTAIN POSITIVE SENSE, HA, HA, NOT IN SENSE OF DEPLORABLE COMPLAINS. (Jens started to “cry”, provoking that I dare to definite as evening of (stra)ordinary folly.)

Ok, I’ll manage with care this your recommendation during translation. Thank you, I really appreciated. How you did it with firming a contract?
JH: MAGNUS SEND A MATERIAL TO FEW RECORD COMPANIES…

Specialized in doom or…?

JH: YES, LIKE ITALIAN BLACK WIDOW…ANY WAY, RISE ABOVE AND LEE DORRIAN LIKED US, ACTUALLY THEY WAS REALY ENTUSIASTIC ABOUT IT, SO, HERE WE ARE. THEY SIGNED US…FOR THREE ALBUMS.

…Pardon me, are all Swedish people so, hm, hmm… (Laconic, that’s I wanted to say, and here I started to curs silently my English. It was me a needy one of a spanner…)
WITCHCRAFT: LET, SEY WHAT YOU THINK?! (Sad four peace at the same time, laughing)

…Well, I wanted to say that you are really glittering silence; maybe it’s better to continue with interview, ha, ha… What is so special in Orebro to become an exclusive nursery of retro bands? Could you describe me your native place in three words? (Hà, I bet that this will be no problem, I thought!)
OH: WELL (says Ola pounderally, with obligatory velvet pause before he started to shoot), THERE’S A BIG CASTLE… AND A RIVER FLOWING IN THE MIDDLE…
MP: XXX?? XXYXZ (he is talking on Swedish and for a few instances a bunch started to think hardly, up to blow from a laugh, exactly two instances later)
JHe: THERE’S LOT’S OF MISERY…(well done, I asked so I go for it, I thought merrily. A skeleton interview and mystery was just berried under more crazier eruption till now). YEAH, WE ARE BRINKLING OF STARVATION!
JH: …IN OTHER HAND IT’S TRUE, IT’S A BORING TOWN WHERE YOU GOT NO OTHER CHOICE THEN TO PLAY A MUSIC MAYBE, … A POPULAR MUSIC, HA, HA!

There are other bands coming from your places if I don’t mistake, like Dead Man, Troubled Horse or Burning saviours…
WITCHCRAFT: YEAH, YEAH, WE ARE FROM THE SAME TOWN AND WE KNOW VERY WELL EACH OTHER’s.
MP: …SHALL WE SAY THAT IN SWEDEN, LOVE FOR THE MUSIC FROM ’60.ies OR ’70. ies HAS NEVER BEEN DARKENING. THERE WAS ALWAYS PRESENT A BANDS TENDING A RETRO SOUND. LIKE SPADES ON THE ’80.ies. THE ’90.ies WAS MARKED BY TWO VERY IMPORTANT BANDS. ONE IS A GARAGE, PSYCHEDELIC ROCK BAND CALLED STROLLERS, AND OTHER ONE HAD, AN FOR MID ’60.ies TIPICAL GARAGE SOUND, A BAND CALLED ROADRUNNERS.
OH: …I THINK THAT ONE OF POSSIBLE REASONS WHY IN OREBRO LIVE SO MUCH MUSIC ON A RELATIV SMALL TERITORY IS THAT, THANKS TO POLITICS OF A GOUVERMENT WE GOT A FREE REHERSEAL PLACES.
JH: …THERE ARE MANY ACCESSIBLE MUSIC SCHOOLS, AND IT’S NOT RARE TO HAVE A SERIOUS TEACHER THAT OFTEN IS A ROCK MUSICIAN TOO…

Aha, then there is a why that in part explain Orebro “hollow” mystery. I see Magnus fallen in sleep again! Is that correct that your new album will be issued on Easter (by the way, is “Crimson is your colour” his title?) And timing, is it intentionally?
(Just to not put at sleep you too, my dear mortals, did you know that children in Sweden pass them self for a little witches on eastern Maundy Thursday? I’m wondering if our four peace has grown up respecting these strange ancient rituals…)
MP: WE DON’T HAVE A TITLE YET, BUT ALMOST OF MATERIAL IS WRITTEN.
JH: WE GOT SOMETHING AS THREE WEEKS OF RECORDING AT STUDIO IN FEBRUARY, AND IT’LL BE RELEASE PROBABLY LIKE…FIRST OF JUNE, YEAH.

During of sound check, you mentioned another legendary but Italian this time, a progressive band “Il Balletto di bronzo”. Is there any connection with your new album and announced prog influences? I got to say that you are real monsters in positive way. You don’t have more than 26 each and I admire sincerely your curiosity. How did you reach this band, is it thanks to Lee Dorrian’s Italian background?
JHe: PERSONAL INTERESTS!
OH: DIGGING, DIGGING...
JH: HOUNTING OTHER BANDS NEED TO KNOW THE BEST ORIGINE.
MP: WELL, IN 90.ies (probably Magnus carried fifteen at the time) I LOVED TO COLLECT RECORDS... THERE WAS THIS GUY IN SWEDEN WITH HUGE COLLECTION OF RECORDS TOO…WELL, THIS MY FRIEND HAD NICELY USED TO SEND ME MIXED TAPES AND ON ONE OF THEM THERE WERE „BALLETTO DI BRONZO“. ACTUALLY, TWO OF THEIR TRACKS...(Magnus sang a refrain...)

I confess that I feel in shame. Confronting me with you that started so early to explore music of ’70.ih, I jumped with some delay in that train. But, I had a fortune to compensate missed treasure thanks to really special persons that considered worthwhile to share it. Actually, it was Paolo Catena that drag me on their concert…
MP: PAUL CHAIN TOLD YOU TO GO ON CONCERT OF “BALLETTO”?

Yes. It was on 1996. “Accidentally” exactly at Verona. So I can say “I was there too”.
MP: SO, YOU LIKE A RETRO SOUNDING BANDS?

That’s right. Only that I made a pause but now I’m back again…how about to turn on your new album?
MP: I AM A KIND OF A GUY THAT LIKES TO BE MYSTERIOUS AND I NEVER SAY ANYTHING. I DON’T TALK TOO MUCH IN ADVANCE!

Oh, today is really my lucky day!
MP: WELL… MAYBE I COULD TELL YOU SOMETHING…YOU KNOW, I CAN’T CHANGE! I GOING TO TELL YOU THAT ONE OUR NEW SONG WILL BE TITLED “THE ALCHEMIST”, HA, HA. (Just for the record and for who don’t know his “eminence in grey” or ex-Paul Chain/alias Paolo Catena, this poliedric obscure artist from Italy - has founded his music practicing alchemical philosophy). WELL, ACTUALLY I CAN TELL YOU SOME MORE. IT WILL BE VERY DIFFERENT ALBUM CONFRONTING IT WITH “FIREWOOD”. OUR TWO GUITARS WILL BE MUCH MORE, HOW TO SAY, “ORCHESTRATED”.

Is there something that you want to communicate to Croatian auditorium?
MP: IT’S REALLY COOL THAT CROATIAN PEOPLE LOVE “RETRO” SOUND TOO. WE REALLY HOPE TO COME AND PLAY THERE.

Thank you!
MP: Oh, don’t worry, it was no problem.

By: Olivera Milosavljevic

NOTE
Later that night I had an occasion to see what Witchcraft do on live for the first time. A rich and true sound of Magnus’s guitar still vibrate in my head, even there passed several days that I haven’t dare to put “Firewood” into a player. Still they’re turning over me a harmonious images of guitarist (maybe ‘cause of the way he moves on the stage, he’s reminding me on Sykes/Thin Lizzy and I hope that I wont be hanged for that, ha, ha), obscure” mad bassist which hair and strings became one, a perfect concentration and involving of a drummer.
Hm, I remember a refrain wrote by Magnus where he is singing about how they sold their souls to come where are they now… Maah, I don’t believe that devil puts on Witchcraft his fingerprints. Who gives back a long time ago loose feeling of freedom and is urging a vital lymph to flow again in withered trees – don’t sell his soul to anybody, what do you say!?

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