Posts Tagged ‘The Wytches’

When The Wytches hit the road in 2017 they were self-admittedly touring with “absolutely nothing to promote”. Having amicably parted ways with their label Heavenly Recordings following the release of 2016 album “All Your Happy Life”, the band were left with no long-term plan. As such, the departure of drummer Gianni Honey last year came during a hiatus for the band. Frontman Kristian Bell was left needing conviction “to even do another album”.

It was illustrator Sam Gull – a long-time collaborator of the band, and personal friend of Kristian – who gave The Wytches the push they needed to get the wheels turning again. “In many ways,” Kristian says, “he was kind of the one who told us to just do the album”. With their new-found drive to create, the band recruited drummer Demelza Mather (formerly of Projector) – who they met when she was working behind the desk at a rehearsal studio – to replace Gianni late last year. “She smashed it completely. She was the first person we auditioned, and we knew straight away”.  With a new line-up, the band set out writing material to match. Their upcoming third album “Three Mile Ditch” was mercifully finished “a few months before the pandemic”, but with the uncertainty of Covid and subsequent factory delays, the album ended up being pushed back twice. In hindsight, Kristian feels this was a positive move. “When there aren’t any gigs and the album is released with nothing else going on, it puts more focus on the music itself”. Like the rest of us, The Wytches have truly been starved of live music. They played just three shows with the new line-up before the pandemic led to mass cancellations, including “loads of cool stuff” the band had pencilled in. With that in mind, you can only begin to imagine the release that was provided by two socially distanced performances in Walthamstow mid-October. 

“It was a lot of people’s first gig for a long time and that made it really special”, Kristian said. Of course though, the nature of a socially distanced show meant the usual vibe of “getting into it based on how much the audience is into it” was flattened. “All I could really go off was some guy tapping his foot on the front seat”.  

Three Mile Ditch is the first album The Wytches have released themselves via their own label Cable Code Records. Without the influence of an external label, the creative juices flowed: “the DIY approach made us more passionate to put the hours into the finished product”. It’s been a long break between albums. And why? Simply, The Wytches “didn’t think we would have been able to fill that four year gap with material.” Personally, Kristian “struggled to write music for a long time” and despite the band “continuing to be solid and writing new material” through that period, the break could have actually been a good thing. In Three Mile Ditch, there’s a “freshness and excitement”.

Self-releasing has also seen the band strip back their team and “start being a bit more prepared and thinking more efficiently”. This extends to time spent in the studio: as younger people during the making of their previous albums: “we took studio time for granted…with the first album we were touring the songs for a long time before we got signed” but with the second album “we were on a label and had time in the studio and maybe weren’t so prepared. It didn’t feel as solid before we went in”.  

Now, the approach in the studio has changed again. 2014’s Annabel Dream Reader engineer Luke Oldfield continues to be a mainstay, although this time they recorded in Luke’s own space, Tilehouse Studios. In the sessions for Three Mile Ditch, overdubs and additional pieces were planned out in advance of recording; less concern was given to writing something that could be emulated live. Kristian used to be “really bothered if things weren’t as organic and raw as they could be” but with these sessions, his main concern was, simply, “making the album as good as possible”.  

With the band’s hiatus and subsequent album delays, Three Mile Ditch has felt like a long time coming – not just for The Wytches, but for their dedicated fanbase too. “One thing I really noticed is we still have such a lovely fanbase: I honestly didn’t think anyone would be that bothered anymore. I think it’s really surreal how much they’re still into it and how fans that were there from the start are still here” Kristian wonders.  

There’s a sense of excitement for the future of the band in a post-Covid world. “Music lovers must feel a bit deprived” Kristian muses, “when people do come back round there will be a wave of energy for live music again”. Despite the uncertainty surrounding the industry at the moment, Kristian has faith in The Wytches’ fans: “if we have to tour the album a year after it comes out then we’re quite confident there’ll still be interest there. The fans are just so good”.  

Three Mile Ditch will be released 13th November via Cable Code Records.

The Wytches announce their third album “Three Mile Ditch”. The album features the recently released single “Cowboy” which marked their return after four years away and to celebrate the announcement they share new single “A Love You’ll Never Know”. The track is accompanied by a music video by Mark Breed and he explains,

“The music video format was a long process. Making the set was incredibly fun with Kristian crafting most of the miniatures. I then had to film the green screen band performance within the set before recording the edited version onto my VHS camera. Finally I shot the finished edit inside the view finder.” The album recorded with Luke Oldfield at Tile House Studios will be released on their own label Cable Code Records on Friday 2nd October.

“This is the first thing that I’ve ever been proud of for longer than a week,” says The Wytches frontman Kristian Bell of the band’s latest album Three Mile Ditch. This sense of vigour and enthusiasm coming from Bell about the band’s third album is matched by its contents. The album is an explosive collection of 10 tracks that weaves seamlessly between gut-wobbling monster riffs, swampy rock, slick surf, and finely tuned songcraft. It’s also the result of a band coming back from the brink of collapse.

The band’s early trajectory was a steep and speedy one as they quickly established themselves as one of the country’s most exciting and pulverising new bands. Major festival slots stacked up at places such as Glastonbury, SXSW, Reading and Leeds, and British Summertime with the Strokes. As did the tours across the US with METZ, traversing Europe with Fat White Family and Death Grips. They garnered support from BBC 6 Music, DIY, MOJO, NME and more. However, when the ascent to the stratosphere is moving at such a speed, there’s a risk of burning out and imploding, and the band came close to this.

They were on the rocks for a while, unsure of themselves and if the band should – or even could – go on. “I had it in my head that this kind of thing only really happens once and to try it again might be a big waste of time,” Bell reflects. However, despite the difficulties, the powerful pull of the band was too great to ignore.

“We had an album’s worth of songs that was some of our best material. The mission became to complete a Wytches album rather than get The Wytches back on the touring circuit. This album helped us make the decision to try it again.”

Whilst the album is bursting at the seams with hard rock screamers, with hooks and riffs so infectious they burrow deep into the brain, there’s also other more nuanced elements at play. Bell’s love of classic songwriting from Bob Dylan to Elliott Smith via Big Star’s Alex Chilton can be heard reverberating throughout the record; the result is a blend between his honed and subtle knack for songcraft and crunchy, eruptive bursts of noise.

A leaving member left them feeling they couldn’t face introducing a new drummer and teaching them all the new songs so they simply pounced on their momentum and took on that role themselves, sharing drumming duties. Joining the two, was a familiar face in Mark Breed. “It was the first time Mark was present for most of the recording sessions. Mark was our original bassist before we moved to Brighton. He decided to stay in Peterborough to focus on his own work and a few years later re-joined us on guitar and keyboard. He added a lot of depth to the song arrangements. Also, I think when he saw things were starting to fall apart, he stepped in to help bring back the band dynamic we were missing.”

For Bell, the band has never felt more vital or alive and that’s come with a degree of confidence and assuredness when looking to the future. “Early on a few negative comments would be enough for me to disassociate from my own work. But you grow up and you mature. I never felt like I could stand behind what I was doing all that much but with this album I really can.”

The Wytches. Out via Cable Code Records.

After four years away The Wytches return with new single Cowboy, Recorded with Luke Oldfield at Tile House Studios, the track has been released today on their own label Cable Code Records . Cowboy is The Wytches‘ first single to be heard from their new line-up.

The band’s first two albums, Annabel Dream Reader and All Your Happy Life were released in quick succession, both coming out in the space of two years. Quickly gaining attention as as one of the country’s most exciting new bands, The Wytches bagged festival slots at SXSW, Reading & Leeds and Glastonbury, and toured with bands METZ, Fat White Family and Death Grips across the US and Europe.

Following the departure of their drummer and the band coming close to ‘burning out and imploding’, front man Kristian Bell explained: “We were disheartened by the whole thing.

“All the work that goes into getting a band off its feet and into the public felt like something we’d have to try all over again.” Luckily, after a few years away, Bell, alongside bassist Dan Rumsey and guitarist Mark Breed, began demoing together again.

He added: “We’ve come back feeling re-energised and rejuvenated. We were going through the motions but now things feel right again.” Speaking of their new track, Bell says: “It’s a song about attempting to return to a better state of mind. Cowboy was a holding place title as it seemed like a riff that a cowboy would enjoy.

“It had 4 or 5 different verses and structures before the final recorded version and by then the name had stuck.”

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Having been rattling the DIY scene with their distinctive distortion, The Wytches If you are just currently getting familiar with Fat White Family, The Growlers and Blood Red Shoes the band have been busy casting their spell far across the county touring frequently after the release of their debut LP “Annabel Dream Reader”, which was released via Heavenly Recordings.

The Brighton via Peterborough trio have made their trademark heavy guitars and raw recordings that go some way to capture the DIY power of their live shows. The live to tape production favoured by the band can’t help but transport you to those dark, thrashing toilet venues where only this kind of music can be conceived.

Lauded as being one of the highlights of  last years Reading and Leeds Festival, with a superb frontman in Kristian Bell their album was recorded entirely on tape in just two days.

A group with a strong following won over through clutch of outstanding shows , Brighton based alt. rockers The Wytches . Building on a series of excellent EPs and singles, The Wytches crossed over to a bigger audience with their 2014 debut LP Annabel Dream Reader, produced by Bill Ryder-Jones.  Follow up All Your Happy Life (2016), produced by Bad Seed drummer Jim Sclavunos received further praise, with DIY Magazine stating the group had case ‘another stellar spell’ in an 8/10 review.
Ahead of their tour next month, the quartet issued new single Double World, especially for Halloween.  Approvingly described as ‘Excellent stuff… Fetid surf-rock torn to shreds by the sharks of rock ‘n’ roll’, the track whets the appetite for the band’s new LP. Following the release of their new album ‘All Your Happy Life’ through Heavenly Recordings, The Wytches share new video for ‘Ghost House’.

Filmed on Halloween 2016 at The Lock Tavern, Camden by Tom Ladlow and Mark Breed. The Wytches are on tour now, remaining dates are:

November 2017
07 Leeds Brudenell Social Club
08 Glasgow Oran Mor
09 Nottingham Rescue Rooms
10 Birmingham 02 Institute2
11 London Electric Ballroom

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The Wytches recently played a sold out Halloween party at London’s Moth Club, Brighton noise-mongers The Wytches are back with not one but two new tracks! , released for the special occasion.

They’ve shared two versions of new tune ‘Double World’, which has been released on Heavenly Recordings. The first is a sub three-minute hazy and eerie odyssey, while the ‘Sludge Version’ does what it says on the tin, taking the track, ramping up the heaviness.

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Vocalist Kristian Bell explains: “We recorded the track a few months ago but felt it was quite different to the direction we’re going in with the writing for the next album so we thought it would make for an interesting Halloween special”. The Wytches are also set to head out on a UK tour throughout November and December.

Listen to ‘Double World’ and ‘Double World (Sludge Version)’ and see all of The Wytches’ upcoming tour dates below.

NOVEMBER
23 Peterborough, Met Lounge
24 Reading, South Street Arts Centre
25 Riverside, Newcastle
26 Tunbridge Wells, Forum Basement
27 Tunbridge Wells, Forum Basement
28 Bristol, Louisiana
30 Hull, The Polar Bear

DECEMBER
01 Manchester, Soup Kitchen
02 Liverpool, The Shipping Forecast
03 Sheffield, The Plug
05 Birmingham, Hare V2
06 Swansea, Sin City
07 Cardiff, Club Ifor Bach

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We’re speaking with Kristian Bell, singer/songwriter for the Wytches. We’re discussing the U.K. band’s sophomore release All Your Happy Life and its overt influences, from hardcore punk to dark metal. We’re also talking about the myriad wonders of Paul McCartney’s Ram, the Monsters Of Folk project, Australian psychedelic septet King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard and Alice Coltrane’s outstanding third solo album, 1970’s Ptah, The El Daoud, which Bell’s been listening to a lot lately. In sum, a conversation that ranges among all the components of the Wytches’ heady brew, a mix of styles and reference points that are all the more impressive when you consider how young a band Wytches is, individually and collectively.

All Your Happy Life is both an extension of the Wytches’ clangorous thunder and a rewarding progression beyond it. Annabel Dream Reader, the band’s 2014 debut, received solid notices, with many reviewers noting the deep well of dark late-’60s psychedelia from which the music drew. Yet that description clearly touched on only one aspect of the music (the Wytches themselves cheekily suggested “surf doom” as an alternative). Though it often sounds as hard as their first record, All Your Happy Life is more expansive musically and in terms of production.

“I’ve always loved albums that move among different styles,” says Bell. “It makes for a more interesting record. On Annabel we went for a heavy garage sound.” (Bell, along with Coral’s Bill Ryder-Jones, co-produced that record.) “But we wanted to layer the music on this one live in the studio. We made a conscious decision not to stylize it much beyond using basic amp settings.”

Over two sessions in 2015, Wytches recorded at The Chapel in Lincolnshire with Tim Morris, and Toe Rag with Luke Oldfield. The material from the latter, including the pounding “Ghost House” and “Can’t Face It,” works familiar sonic territory, but the Chapel sessions with Morris yielded lighter, more spacious music, of which “Crest Of Death” and lovely album-closer “Home” highlight some of the softer, spacier influences in the band’s approach.

The shifts in tone and approach have caught Wytches some flak from less flexible listeners who’d prefer their metal relentlessly heavy, but Bell and Co. are committed to mixing up their approach as they continue making music.

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“We all have really opposing tastes,” he says, “but there are a few preferences we all share, like hardcore punk: Blacklisted, early AFI, that kind of thing. ‘Can’t Face It’ was our take at a hardcore gang-vocal, all of us gathered around one mic. It was very nostalgic, like something I would have done at age 14. Some people do want the music to stay heavy and energetic, which I love too, but I always like it when bands switch up after their first record. There’s a lot of trippy music happening now, in both England and America, all kinds of unexpected and unorthodox methods you can apply. We played with King Gizzard in Liverpool, and it was so great to watch that crowd. Older fans standing next to 14-year-old kids, everybody enjoying it. No one has to feel weird.”

To celebrate all hallows eve they released a brand new track and suitably spooky video, feast your eyes on ‘Double World’…
Two versions but one tune. ’Double World’ and ’Double World (Sludge Version)’ were released digitally through Heavenly Recordings on October 31st.

About the track, lead singer Kristian Bell explains, “We recorded the track a few months ago but felt it was quite different to the direction we’re going in with the writing for the next album so we thought it would make for an interesting Halloween special.”

The release coincided with their Sold Out Halloween party at Hackney’s MOTH Club which has kickstarted their UK Tour. Both tracks were recorded in Kristian’s Garage, and ‘Double World’ comes with a suitably Lo-Fi and eery video directed by Wytches own Mark Breed. 

The WYTCHES – ” Crying Clown “

Posted: February 9, 2017 in MUSIC
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Two-thirds of the band The Wytches are in a metaphysical boutique in front of some very anatomically correct candles when lead singer Kristian Bell says that occult stuff actually makes him kind of uncomfortable. I am secretly relieved that the tarot reader on call is not available to do a reading for the guys, as I have obviously misjudged where the Brighton-based band’s interests lie. Bell’s assertion comes as kind of a shock, as the band’s debut LP, Annabel Dream Reader, was full of references to pendulums, gravedwellers and, most terrifyingly, crying clowns — but it’s a darkness, it turns out, that the band tempers with self-awareness and humor.

“It’s supposed to be taken with a pinch of salt,” Bell recently told MTV News, standing in front of a rack of tarot cards (a deck of which he later bought for his girlfriend). “We like to be quite deliberate about how dark it is because then that makes it funny for us. The theme — the lyrical theme — is always quite sad or whatever. You kind of put it on this big platform and make it this big grand and destructive song — it’s just funny to us.”

Listening to the record, however, is anything but funny. Since forming in college in 2011, the band has been consistently putting out tunes that sound something like Nirvana’s Bleach,

Bell and drummer Gianni Honey had previously played in bands together when they were younger, but they found bassist Rumsey by posting a flier up at school for their “dark grunge surf lounge” band. Several EPs and a contract with Partisan Records later, and the description morphed into the term “surf doom,” .

The phrase, however tongue-in-cheek, is fitting, though. Bell is really into doom metal and likes the way surf rock sounds when slowed down to the creepy point — it sounds violent, he said. And kind of evil. Consequently, Annabel Dream Reader teeters on the edge of hard, but is replete with enough catchy choruses and screamable one-liners (see: “You sit there and laugh while my dignity collapses” in “Wireframe Mattress”) to make it palatable to those who don’t dig metal.

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Thanks to Overlooked,