Here we go again… Last year we covered every band on the Hobgoblin New Blood and Jagermeister stages in the run-up to Bloodstock 2015. This year, we’re going one better and aim to have interviews from all the bands on those two stages as well as all of those on the SOPHIE stage prior to the event kicking off on August 11th. That’s almost 100 interviews to get online for you lucky people over the course of the next couple of weeks. I bloody love this job, but you lot owe me a beer at Catton Hall, right?
Thanks to all the bands who’ve taken the time to respond!
Witchsorrow – SOPHIE stage, Sunday
Simple things first – where are you guys from?
Hampshire, the greatest of all counties. Always looking away from London.
How did you meet?
Emily Witch and I are married, we met when we were teenagers and have walked the earth together ever since. We met Wilbrahammer when he was playing in a local death metal band. When our first drummer, Morrellhammer, left we asked if he fancied trying it. He is a rare find.
How long have you been playing together as a band?
It’s 10 years in December since our first gig. Which is a very long, satisfying time to be doing something that seems to be having something of a blossom lately.
Where does the name of the band come from?
It’s the most fucked feeling in the world. If you were accused of being a witch, you were dead before they got you to the gallows. Absolute misery, frustration, and a red-hot hate for the people making this happen.
What are your influences – individually or as a band?
The band is an extension of our deep love for proper doom metal, so we’re constantly hailing bands like Sabbath, Saint Vitus, Trouble, Cathedral, Electric Wizard, Solstice, Revelation, Reverend Bizarre, The Gates Of Slumber, Candlemass, Solitude Aeturnus. Doom that is proud to be true metal. It’s about more than how many fucking amps you can get on eBay or how many cabs you can get onstage (and I had a better vintage amp than most of these bands when I was 15 anyway – haha) – it’s about the dark underbelly of proper, true heavy metal.
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
True, traditional doom metal. I think something that sets us apart from a lot of bands who get called doom is that we’re so proud to be a metal band. Judas Priest and Iron Maiden are huge inspirations for us, but there are loads of bands who will go out of their way to deny an affiliation with anything like that. I find that totally bogus. I don’t understand it.
What’s your live show like – why should the baying hordes troop over to the stage you’re playing on to watch you?
Because you’ll get the heaviest, most impassioned heavy metal show of the weekend. Except for Twisted Sister. I think we represent something very heavy metal – we’re proud, defiant, gritty. I’d like to think that we’re an antidote to some of the sillier shit you get at festivals, where people start putting horsing around ahead of the music. This is doom metal for the hangover at the end of the world.
When/how did you find out you’d been selected to play at Bloodstock?
When we got invited to play back in February.
What sort of setlist can we expect?
Absolute heavy metal Armageddon. Raised fists. The biting of thumbs at an increasingly weakening, shit world. That sort of thing.
Which main stage band do you most hope you’re not clashing with so you can see them play?
Satyricon. I’ve seen them 8,000 times, but they’re always worth watching. Fortunately Venom and Paradise Lost are on other days, so I don’t have to worry about that. I think I’d have a diva strop if we clashed with either of them.
What are you working on at the moment?
At the moment we’re doing festivals. Then we’ve got a bit of a break before the madness starts again. I want to start writing new songs soon, I feel like I’ve got some music in me to write again.
What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done on tour?
I once wrote off a hotel bathroom after a big night out following a gig in Cardiff. I was very popular for that. And at Sonisphere we were on at the same time as Metallica, who’d shut off the service road to our stage. So Emily, the angriest I’ve ever seen her, managed to get a security guard to open the gate into the arena and was literally driving through it to the stage.
What advice would you give to a young band just starting out today?
Nobody gives as much of a shit about your band as you do, so nobody is going to do as much for you. I see bands who’ve been together five minutes with “managers” who just seem to tag along with them, or being thrilled that they’ve got a booking agent, who half the time is just forwarding an email rather than actively getting them gigs anyway. We’ve done a load of big stuff all off our own back, and it’s hard work, but I prefer it that way because any time anyone else has said they’d help us, I’ve spent just as much time chasing them as I would have sorting things out myself in the first place. Bruce Dickinson once said that he trusted that Rod Smallwood would saw his legs off if he thought it’d benefit Maiden. I’m the only person I’ve met so far willing to do that for Witchsorrow.
If you could be part of any 3-band line-up who else would you have on the bill? One band above you and one below – a chance to plug a smaller, unsigned act!
Van Halen headlining because I’ve never seen them and they’re the only legendary band left that I haven’t seen, I think. Then us. Then Iron Void because we’ve been playing gigs with them almost as long as we’ve been a band and I love them.
What stage / time are you playing at Bloodstock (if you have your slot yet!)
Sophie Stage, Sunday, hopefully when the rain’s pouring down and people are hiding in the tent.