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Interview: Six Questions For Witchskull

Interview: Six Questions For Witchskull

Chris Cudby / Thursday 27th February, 2020 8:57AM

Canberra doom metal masters Witchskull are back in Aotearoa this March for a three date tour alongside Sydney psych-metal crew Potion, concluding at Upper Hutt's mighty Obey The Riff festival. Here last year playing with local heroes Beastwars on the launch tour for their chart-topping album IV, the team of Marcus De Pasquale (vox / guitar) Tony McMahon (bass) and Joel Green (drums) are veterans of Australia's heavy music scene, honing their craft in groups including Looking Glass and Armoured Angel before the trio's earthshaking formation in 2014. Chris Cudby caught up with Green via the net in advance of Witchskull's imminent return to our shores, grip the tour details here and scroll downwards to read their convo...


Panhead Custom Ales and Obey The Riff presents...

Witchskull (Canberra) + Potion (Sydney) New Zealand Tour 2020
Thursday 5th March - Whammy Bar, Auckland*
Friday 6th March - The Darkroom, Christchurch w/ Swamp Dweller*
Tickets available HERE via UTR*

Saturday 7th March - Obey The Riff festival, Upper Hutt
Featuring... Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats (UK), Beastwars, The Schizophonics (USA), Witchskull (Aus), Potion (Aus), Earth Tongue, Linen, End Boss 
Tickets available HERE via UTR

Chris Cudby: You were last in NZ touring with Beastwars on their album release tour in 2019, and you've played together in Australia with Potion too - how was the alliance between Beastwars and Witchskull originally forged?

Joel Green: We first played with Beastwars in Sydney back in 2014. It was our second ever show and we were blown away by them. We always said if we ever made it to NZ we would want to play with them, and luckily enough we were invited over last year. They are an amazing band and a brilliant bunch of blokes, so when we were offered Obey the Riff it was a no brainer for us. Nathan (Hickey) also helped us line up Auckland and Christchurch with Potion who we have played with a lot back home so we can’t wait.

You released your second album Coven's Will in 2018 following four years together as a band and 2015's The Vast Electric Dark. You've been posting photos from the recording studio recently - can fans look forward to more new releases on the cards soon?

We have just finished recording our third album and it will be coming out through Rise Above within the next couple of months. We don’t have an exact date, but we will be playing a few songs off it on this NZ tour. We tracked all of the beds at Toyland studios in Melbourne before doing all of the vocals and additional guitars etc at Goatsound Studios and we are really happy with how it’s turned out. We had Jason Fuller engineering and producing again which helped us achieve exactly what we were aiming for. It’s always good having him in our corner.


Witchskull's music seems to channel dark occult energies - what motivates you to continue to create such epic and intense songs? Are you currently drawing upon any specific inspirations?

There is definitely a strong chemistry between us when we play. Our songs tend to come from jamming ideas over a long period of time until they kind of arrange themselves. Marcus writes the lyrics and has an amazing knack for creating dark insightful themes that fit the songs perfectly. You would really have to ask him what inspiration he draws his ideas from? I think this album is his best work lyrically and vocally, so it will be interesting to hear what others think.


When Witchskull plays live, does it ever feel like you're actually participating in some kind of magic ritual on stage?

Without doubt. There are times when we finish playing and it feels like I wasn’t even there. Most of the time we’re in our own world, much like rehearsals but the energy from the crowd makes it something special. I think people can see that we are not just going through the motions, and we are truly committed to delivering our all. It’s the best feeling in the world when a band and the punters are on the same wave length.

Underground heavy music culture has a huge and dedicated community on a global scale, while receiving seemingly very little 'mainstream' media attention. You'll be playing at the second ever Obey The Riff festival - does it feel like it's a healthy time for metal right now?

We have been into predominantly underground music our whole lives so mainstream acceptance isn’t an issue. It has become harder in Australia because national broadcasters like Triple J have abandoned heavy music entirely. 20 years ago they would treat heavy music with the respect it deserved, not just push it onto a late night slot on Tuesday night. The fact that Beastwars had a number 1 album in NZ shows how much more respect New Zealanders have for real deal artists. We are over the moon to be playing NZ again. We were blown away by the crowd support and enthusiasm and can’t wait to play there again, especially at Obey the Riff. Wellington was great to us last year, so we look forward to seeing them again!

I think now is as strong as ever for the heavy music scene worldwide.

What can punters look forward to with your NZ tour with Potion in March?

Killer heavy riffage! Potion are absolutely amazing and we are stoked to be playing with some of NZ’s finest. Obviously we played with the likes of Beastwars, End Boss on our last visit and we played with Earth Tongue and Swamp Dweller in Melbourne late last year, so looking forward to seeing Bloodnut and Brackenwood Coven for the first time.

We’ve taken Sunday off after Obey the Riff to recover, so please come and have a beer with us, we’re friendlier than we look! Cheers.

Links
witchskull.com/
facebook.com/witchskull/

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Thu 5th Mar
Whammy Bar, Auckland
Fri 6th Mar
darkroom, Christchurch
Sat 7th Mar
Panhead Brewery, Upper Hutt







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