Beginning in 2007 the UK’s Space Witch have grown by leaps and bounds since their self titled demo and with a handful of releases under their belt the June 9 release of their second full length Arcanum will prove just how much they actually have grown. They’ve crossed lines with doom, stoner and sludge metal but this time the band makes the best use of prog/psychedelic elements to create their most multifaceted sound to date but heavy nonetheless. We recently had the opportunity to ask Daz Rowlands (Guitar, FX) our set of Profile questions — read on to see what he had to say.
How did you first get into playing music and have you achieved the level of success that you always hoped to achieve?
We mostly started out in bands with friends when we were younger. These were influenced by the music we fell for during our teenage years and played a plethora of local shows for years. We didn’t meet until much later, through playing in local bands, and the rest, as they say, is history. To define success is to define a finite goal and what would you do beyond that goal? I think there is always more to do; more songs to write, more gigs to play.
What’s the most you have ever debased yourself to get your band onto a show, into a magazine or otherwise promoted, covered, debased and praised? If you don’t have a story please tell us any embarrassing story.
We’ve always gone in with the same attitude towards shows: book it, turn up, smash it and onto the next. We’ve never gone into a show through any means that would cheapen what the band, or promoter, is doing. In terms of embarrassment, we’ve had tables collapse, off-stage pitfalls and other technical problems which we now find hilarious.
What do you see as some of the great things happening in metal and what are some of the worst things happening inside the scene right now?
It seems to me that all variations of metal are coagulating into this homogenised super-state. You might have a band moving from a blackened thrash section into trippy prog, then into grind and back to thrash. This is exciting as it frees everything up to create truer, more authentic styles and new genres. The worst thing that could happen is musicians actively working against this process, instead of embracing it.
It seems that now everyone has a passion for some cause and that those people are very open about displaying their passions. This is probably a very, very good (and progressive) thing socially. What are some of the most important issues (social/political/humorous/etc.) for you and how do you insert those issues into your music? (This question is especially appropriate for you since your music is quite an outlet for your physical and emotional pains).
There are personal themes that work their way into the music; titles and motifs mostly. I think for all of us in Space Witch we seem to resonate with the concept of beholding the immensity of the universe, your personal inferiority when compared to vast celestial bodies and the hopelessness that accompanies it. For political or social causes we support, you’d have to talk to us on an individual basis.
What, or who, got you into metal and how old were you? How did your family take the news?
We’re a range of ages and we grew up throughout the various transformations that metal has gone through. Needless to say, it was late pubescence where such interests seemed to take hold but if it wasn’t for that, we wouldn’t be writing this interview.
What’s the stickiest you have ever been?
I would speculate that we’ve all had our run-ins with various adhesives and syrups from time to time. However, the details are not for print.
What advice do you have for aspiring music critics and outlets out there? How can we all better serve the genre in the eyes of a hard-working musician?
We would say to aspiring critics that they get out and attend as many gigs as humanly possible. Genre doesn’t matter, just listen to the music, buy the merch if you like it, and follow the band, support them. Contribute your energy towards the music you love and promote it as much as you can. It goes for anyone that feels impassioned by the sounds people create. Support them so they can do it more.
What’s your goal? You guys thinking world domination? Maybe saving a continent? Maybe invading one? Any interest in starting a cult? Do you guys have day jobs or hobbies you want to share? Whatever it is, please let us know.
We set short term goals for ourselves as more of a progress meter, so we can measure where we’re up to. As I touched on earlier what would you do beyond a limited idea of success or one goal, surely disband? No, we’re going to keep doing what we do till something happens that means we can’t, and then we’ll still probably carry on.
Finally, when you’re not listening to, writing or playing metal, what are some of your favourite albums to listen to currently? (Feel free to include non-metal)
Currently: Kamasi Wasington – The Epic, Run the Jewels – RTJ3, anything by Pulsar and Dmytro Bortniansky.