Album of the Month

Both perfect and perfectly bleak, Hangman's Chair unflinchingly face up to the dark side of human existence.
(Read more)

Featured debut

Classic revisited

Random band

LA band Ancient Spell merge Trad/Epic Doom with Heavy Metal and some clean/Death vocals, often ending up sounding like a somewhat aggressive harsh-vocall...
(read more)

Devil's Witches aren't willing to relinquish their anonymity, but they are prepared to explain why that is, and what the band is really about...

Interview with Devil's Witches.
"Devil's Witches appeared from nowhere in around mid-2016, and the full-length debut, 'Velvet Magic' dropped in March 2017, with the vinyl release selling out in a matter of months. Clearly, this anonymous solo project has struck a chord with fans of the modern retro Stoner sound, and Matt set out to find something about what that might be..."

1) Could we start with a formal introduction for our readers? Who are you, and where are you from?

When I did the first ever Devil's Witches interview with Mari Knox for Doomed & Stoned I told her that I didn't want to talk about myself. I'm interested in creating a world that exists outside of mine. I have no desire for fame or praise and just seeing people connect with Devil's Witches universe is exciting to me. I want the magic and mystery to live on. Unfortunately that's hard to do in the Internet age and many people believe they've found me and know exactly who I am... but it's all just layers of the same illusion.

Devil's Witches - 'Velvet Magic' (Official):

2) How and when did you get started and what would you say have been the main motivating factors behind starting Devil's Witches?

I started exactly a year ago but I've been making music for over 20 years. The best place to understand my motivation is the name. 'Devil's Witches' has multiple meanings for me and it could take up an entire page just on that. The simplest form is that it represents misunderstanding. The Devil is a widely misunderstood character and so are Witches. They are the nominated bad guys and girls in far too many cultures around the world. I believe that goodness and evil exists outside of whether you're a Devil or a Witch. It's only semantics. Social construct forces us to see things from only one perspective. It was my inspiration to challenge these perceptions through music and that result was Devil's Witches.

3) What were your main influences when starting out and have they changed any since?

My influences are hard working, visually minded people and they don't have to be music related. In fact many are filmmakers from Russ Meyer to Jess Franco, Jean Rollin and Tinto Brass. Over the years my influences haven't changed. I've only now got comfortable enough to honestly display them. To express yourself honestly in art is difficult, simply because, when it is critiqued it's not just a painting or song people are bringing down it's you as a person. Many reviews have written lists of music they believe have influenced Velvet Magic. Most of it is wrong. It's interesting to read though.

4) You are relatively new to the scene, how have Devil's Witches been received generally?

The postive response from critics and fans alike has made me speechless. I did not expect such a unanimous response. I thought a few people would enjoy it and it would have a modest digital release on Bandcamp. It's really beautiful how all kinds of people have gave Velvet Magic a home.

Devil's Witches - 'Apache Snow' (Official):

5) Devil's Witches have a fairly striking use of imagery or aesthetic. How important is this, compared to the music and where do you draw your inspiration from for this?

Imagery is half of everything. On par with the music. To me bad imagery can destroy what you hear and good imagery can elevate mediocre music - it's that important. My inspiration is woman, pure and simple. I don't subscribe to the belief that men and women are the same. I believe they are equal in polarity. Both have unique elements to bring to life that are just as important as each other. I just happen to worship what women bring more so than men. Throughout media strong women are always represented as masculine figures. They can only be the hero if they are basically men who look like women. In real life women don't work this way. I want to have a female protagonist who's success isn't based on how much of a man she can be. If I was in trouble I would much rather have the voodoo woman on my side than anyone else. Usually female sexuality is represented as something that is subject to a man's. The voodoo woman's sexuality and indeed all women represented in the imagery is their own. They are in control of their sexual destiny. They are completely in touch and at peace with themselves sexuallly. The Tinto Brass movie 'Paprika' is a huge influence on this. I can watch it every day and never get tired. Debora Caprioglio is a God in that film. Her character becomes so sexually strong that it's breathtaking.

6) Velvet Magic, your debut album, has been out a little while now. What were some of the ideas going into both the music on the record and the recording process itself?

My idea was to create a musical movie. An album that had a clear purpose beyond just writing songs. Each song can exist on it's own but together they are a narrative led journey. I also wanted to celebrate female sexuality and turn traditional modes of thinking about what a saviour is. There are other occult ideas present but they are for the most inquiring of people to study for themselves.

7)Do you have any essential pieces of equipment you use in the studio?

Haha well that's part of the magic isn't it!

8)The Cherry Napalm EP came out fairly soon after the album. Were these songs leftovers from the album sessions or was it a beast of its own making?

The EP was not leftovers from the album. It's part of the entire story. It was written and recorded specifically to complement Velvet Magic. I always had this idea of character driven music so Cherry Napalm is the recordings of the US soldier protagonist. It is his musical diary. The decision for the stripped back production and single guitar and voice was deliberate.

9)What inspires you to start work on new songs or compositions?

Almost anything can inspire me from my own interests to coversations and even contemporary pop media. I'm not the kind of person who is dismissive of anything without first studying its potential for depth. With this mindset you can find all kinds of ideas in places most would turn up their noses.

10)What do you think are the 'magic' ingredients that go into making up Devil's Witches?

That is difficult for me to answer because I'm just trying to embrace what excites and interests me. It just so happens a lot of other people are feeling it too. I think sexuality liberated women are up there. It's something that everyone can get excited about. There is a surprising number of women who adore Devil's Witches. Some parts of contemporary thinking would lead us to believe sexualised women are victims but I think the opposite is true. Taking the power of their sexual freedom and using it for their own benefit is one of the most beautiful and liberating things a women can do. I'm seeing a lot of female fans getting excited about that. But I also think sexualised women scare some people. A woman who is proficient at casting her sexual magic is a threat to men and women alike. To women, she can take your job, your husand, your fame, she can even take your spot in a busy line and get served first. And to men she can control you, subjugate you and even emasculate you and turn you into a love sick puppy. But ultimately she can change the world for the better also if she wishes. It's truly remarkable.

11)Do you have any plans for the future? Would you consider playing live at some point?

I get asked about live all the time and it's really not something that feels right to me at all. Playing live would be about me and that's not what Devil's Witches is at all. I've considered many ways of bringing a live show to people but I just can't see bookers getting behind it. If open-minded bookers are interested then feel free to contact me about taking this risk.

12)Are you now, or have you ever been involved in any other musical endeavors?

I have been involved in many musical projects and they are under many names. There is music across the Internet that I've done going back over a decade. For now Devil's Witches is number one. A lot of the other stuff was very dishonest music. I was trying to outsmart myself and the listener with complicated songs and ideas. Most of which aren't even my true passions anyway. I just thought that's what would get me praise and adoration. When I gave up that ego quest and started Devil's Witches I got all the praise. It's funny that. They say when you reach satori or enlightenment then there's nothing left to do but laugh. Now I know why.

Devil's Witches - 'Charlie Got Me Killin'' (Official):

13)The last words are all yours....

I am very grateful that people have embraced Velvet Magic. I read all the posts online and it's very humbling how much it has connected for so many different reasons. There is a guy on instagram called 'Baron.blood' and we can message for hours about the ideas and meaning behind Velvet Magic. He has been to University and studied historical Witchcraft, Philosophy and Feminism. It's a real treat to have him praise Velvet Magic academically. Then there are those who find salvation in the voodoo woman during rough times and it's comforting to hear that they have pulled through. I am working hard on the second album but it will be a while as I don't want to dimish Velvet Magic by just rushing out songs that sound 'Devil's Witches'. Don't expect anything soon but know that it's in boiling in the cauldron. In the meantime keep bringing Velvet Magic to new people! I appreciate everyone who supports Devil's Witches!

Click HERE to discuss this interview on the doom-metal forum.

Visit the Devil's Witches bandpage.

Interviewed on 2017-07-14 by Matt Halsey.
Rotten Copper
Advertise your band, label or distro on doom-metal.com