Thursday, April 17, 2008

Interview with John Hoyles of Witchcraft

Sweden's Witchcraft have been cranking out their 1970's influenced doom for several years now. They released their album "The Alchemist" back in the fall of 2007. I recently got to interview guitarist John Hoyles to find out more.

MM-What has been the response to “The Alchemist” so far?
JH-Its been great! Ive read some good reviews and we have received a lot of fan mail from people who are enjoying the album.

MM-How do you the new album compare with your previous albums?
JH-I think we have become better song writers and have worked more as a team. Also we had a proper producer called Tomas Hakava who also run the studio Up And Running Studios where we recorded. I also prefer the production to our previous albums the guitars and drums sound alot better.

MM-Was the writing and recording process any different for this album?
We had a longer time to work on the songs and having a producer who also knew his way around the studio made things a lot smoother.

How did your tour of the United States in late 2007 go?
JH-Touring the states was one the funnest things I ever done. We had no idea what to expect but when we got there the response was great specially on the west coast and New York. Also meeting Phil Anselmo and Down and Jamming with Bobby Leibling and Joe Hasselvander from Pentagram was surreal!

MM-Are American audiences different from the audiences in Europe? If so then how are they different?
JH-Not really. We have a bigger following in the US and people seem more into the music. It seems like the music we play is becoming very popular in the states thanks to bands like Wolfmother they are referring our music as hipster metal for some reason....

MM-Sweden has had a huge outpouring of death metal bands and more recently glam bands. Was it difficult for you emerge from that scene? Are there any great doom or stoner bands in Sweden that we should know about?
JH-There's a few bands about like Graveyard from Gothenburg who are really good and also a band from our home town Örebro called Deadman that play very psychedelic hard rock. They have just released an album on crusher records. Well worth checking out!

MM-What current bands do you like a lot?
JH-I'm really into the US band Danava who we are touring with in April. They sound like a mix of Black Sabbath and Hawkwind. They are really cool.

MM-You have a very fuzzy sound to your production. Is that difficult to reproduce live?
JH-I think we sound quite similar live. We have old amps and stuff so I don't think its that different.

MM-What do you hope to accomplish in 2008?
JH-We are going back to the states in August for a couple of weeks and are playing some festivals in the summer so I'm pretty satisfied. I hope we can finish writing songs for a new album.

MM-Is your material written to sound like a 1970’s album or does it just turn out that way due to who your influences are?
JH-Everyone in the band has been diehard fans of 60s and 70s rock music since we were 15 and I think its come naturally our sound and song writing.


MM-Obviously you are hugely influenced by early 1970’s metal. What do you made the music from that time period special as compared to music from other times?
JH-Not all bands were good back then but the ones who were sounded very honest and real also the production back then fitted guitar based music a lot better then the sound of today. I think there's a lot of good bands today but they are much harder to find.

MM-Choose the band from the following pair that you prefer and tell why.

Bang or Captain Beyond
That's difficult they are both such good bands. I Like Bang because they were one of the first heaviest bands around along side Black Sabbath and Sir Lord Baltimore and they have a great singer. Captain Beyond is brilliant because of the song writing and being amazing musicians. There first album is one of my favorite albums of all time.

Uriah Heep or Wishbone Ash Wishbone Ash.
Ive never really liked Uriah Heep I find them very boring. Wishbone Ash have some great songs and really good guitarists.

Candlemass or Saint Vitus
I'm not that fond of either. Ive never really liked the 80's and 90's doom scene. Magnus likes both really a lot.

Black Sabbath or Pentagram
Also very difficult, I cant really say which one I like the most.

***Thanks to John for doing the interview.

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