Bloodstock 2012 Interview: Witchsorrow

At Bloodstock 2012 we had the opportunity to catch up with Witchsorrow and talk to Necroskull (guitar and vocals) and Emily Witch (bass).

Among all the international acts here, you’re one of the local/national bands. What does that feel like?

Necroskull: It’s pretty good. There are actually a lot of British bands here, like Evile, Winterfelleth and Orange Goblin.

Emily Witch: Anaal Nathrakh tonight.

Necroskull: Yeah and Benediction. As much as there are foreign bands like Nile, it does feel like a very British festival. It feels like a festival that grows bands as well. Like Evile – they got signed from their performance on the unsigned stage. They’ve become a part of Bloodstock, I guess. It does feel like there’s a lot of support for home-grown talent. It’s great that they have the unsigned, New Blood stage.

It gives bands a chance to be heard. And that’s the thing, people do go check it out. At some festivals you see bands playing to nobody, but here, they make the effort – they do their research on who they want to check out.

It’s been about 3 months since ‘God Curse Us’ released. How has the response been?

Necroskull: Yeah it was released in May. It’s been pretty good! I don’t know how it sold, but we check out the HMV store on Oxford Street in London and the numbers keep going down and down of the number of copies they have.

Emily Witch: It’s nice to be playing the new stuff to the people and the album went down well yesterday. We’ve got a fast, Judas Priest-type one which went down really well. It’s translated quite well.

Necroskull: When we were writing it, we just stopped doing gigs and started writing it and then we decided not to play many of the songs until the album had come out. Now that we’ve spent three or four gigs, it finally feels good to play the new stuff. We worked on it for a long time and then we were holding off to actually playing these songs live.

Emily Witch: We were kinda road-testing some of them to see how they would work live. So that’s been quite cool to see.

What has majorly changed since the last album?

Necroskull: Well, we have this lad playing drums now – Matt.

Emily Witch: It’s more focused, I think.

Necroskull: It is more focused because the first album’s songs were written not with an album in mind, really. A couple of them were, but it was the songs we had. With this one, we wrote them all in quick succession, so they all came in the same period of time, from the same head space. ‘God Curse Us’ feels a lot more complete as an album, I think. The first time we got into a recording studio, so we weren’t quite sure what you do and don’t do in there. This time we were very prepared for what goes on in the studio, so I couldn’t think of anything else we could have done to it. I felt totally idea-ed out by the end of it.

Witchsorrow has played at Bloodstock almost every alternate year. You played at Bloodstock in 2008, 2010, and now in 2012.

Necroskull: Four years ago we were on the New Blood Stage; two years ago we were on the Sophie Lancaster stage, and this year we’re on the Sophie stage again.

How has the Bloodstock vibe changed since four years ago, if it has at all?

Necroskull: I remember when the first couple of years that they were doing it outdoors…

Emily Witch: It felt quite small.

Necroskull: Yeah, it felt quite small. And there seemed to be a lot of German power metal bands and things, whereas now the main stage line-up reads like ‘Name, name, name, Alice Cooper’!

Emily Witch: It’s got quite a niche thing now.

Necroskull: That was unthinkable a few years ago. It has experimented as its grown, but it hasn’t sacrificed any core values. The unsigned stuff is much bigger, and the bands on the Sophie Lancaster stage are bigger names. It still has that feeling of being a very fan-friendly, supported festival.

Emily Witch: You still see the same faces that you saw, the crowd are still the same hardcore metal fans who will just go and check out anything and everything, and it’s great.

All these years that you’ve played at Bloodstock, you’ve shared the stage with a lot of big names but is there still some other band on your wishlist, who you would want to play with?

Necroskull: To play with Black Sabbath would be awesome!

Emily Witch: Somebody like Vitus as well.

A lot of your music has been described by fans and critics as ‘traditional doom’. Would you agree with that tag? What is Witchsorrow’s aim – to pay homage to doom or become a well-known doom band?

Necroskull: Total celebration of doom, really. Emily and I have been listening to bands like Cathedral, Electric Wizard, Sabbath since were 14 or 15, and we’d be constantly obsessed with it.

Emily Witch: It’s our take on it, isn’t it?

Necroskull: Yeah, the whole point of the band was that we were obsessed with it and wanted to play it ourselves, I suppose; make our own music. It’s a big celebration of all those great bands and all the things that are brilliant about doom. We’ve got that same sort of vibe, just wanting to do metal for metal’s sake, really.


One Response to “Bloodstock 2012 Interview: Witchsorrow”

  1. It’s good to hear the thoughts on how one band perceives another. I think you will be hearing a lot more from Witchsorrow for some time.