Witches, the first band in France with female guttural voices


An old interview that we put here for archive purposes

This year Witches will celebrate its 30th anniversary. The band started in 1986 and I did an interview with Sibylle, the first female with a guttural voice in a French band, back in 1993 and I already liked the furious thrash Witches produced back then. And now we’re in 2016 and the band, and Sibylle still produces furious thrash. With their latest effort, “The Hunt” Witches proves that thrash is still alive and that everybody needs to hear them as it is a great album. I had a little digital chat with Sibylle who does the vocals and guitar for Witches since 1986.

Witches latest effort “The Hunt” is out since September 2015 so it has been on the market for a few months now, how where/are the reactions on this EP?
The reactions are really great. A lot of people like this new EP.  We had several reviews on the web, in the air, and in the press. And all were really positive. That’s great! Thanx a lot for that! A lot of distributors have trusted us and before the official release of “The Hunt”, they ordered the CD. So now “The Hunt” is available in France (Seasons of Mist, Adipocere, Holy Records, Osmose prod, Kaotoxin, Metal Beret Distribution) but also in Holland with Fenriz NL and in Italy with Punishment 18 Rds. We also distribute it and all our merchandising on our website www.witches.fr andwitchesmetal.bandcamp.com 
It has been eight years since the release of “7”, what are the main differences between “7” and “The Hunt” according to you?
First, the line-up changed. Let me introduce you Jo on Drums (ex Disaster, ex Insain), Olivier on Bass (ex – a lot of bands and still in a lot of bands !) and Lienj on guitar (Desarticulate, ex Kaemorph). And with them, the music became more violent and more speed!
The artwork on “The Hunt” looks great, who designed it? Was it designed with a certain concept in mind or was it that you accidentally stumbled upon this artwork?
Stan W Decker did the artwork. It was not an accident (laugh).  I worked with him once before, for another band I played with. I found his drawings really interesting. So it was him we called to do this artwork! We spoke a lot about what we want. And work a lot together until he did this great job as we wanted! The artwork represents the whole music, all the songs, we need a special atmosphere on the artwork. Not static but violent. This represents The Hunt of the song called “Riding and Hunting”!

Looking back on all the releases Witches has done I noticed that the logo changed a few times throughout the years, what were the reasons for changing it a few times?
Yes, you’re right, we change several times.  One logo for the first demos (1988 and 1989), which was used again on “Aggressive Symphony” in 2014 because it was the release of those demo-tapes on vinyl.  Two others for the two demo-tapes in 1991 and 1993.  Then one more logo for the 2 albums. In 2014, Witches line up changed, and we decided to have a logo that represents our music much better than the old one. 5 logos in 30 years, not that much! Each of them represents a period of the band.
Witches have been around since 1986 and disappeared in 1999 to come back in 2006, what was the reason to quit in 1999? And what was the reason to reform again in 2006?
Well, it was not like a split of the band. I mean, some of the musicians had different projects besides Witches. Our way followed different paths some times. Then, when I decided to do another album, I looked for musicians who have time to dedicate to Witches.

Witches are playing live a few times in France I saw on your Facebook page, any plans to play outside France this year?
For the moment, only shows in France are confirmed – mostly in Paris and its area but also at the great festival HELLFEST.  We have some contacts outside France, but for the moment, no shows are planned outside France. Anyway, we just did a European Tour with Venom inc and Vader in September / October. So we hope to have foreign shows planned. But if you have some contacts who want to book Witches, just let them know we are available and will be happy to play in their country!
And speaking about playing live, I guess Witches has done many shows in the thirty years of existence and played with a lot of other bands, what was the best show ever Witches played? And are there differences between playing live back in the days and now, has the audience changed over the years?
Yes, that’s true, we played some great shows! Every show is different! As I just told, we recently played for the European tour of Venom inc and Vader. Those days were really great souvenirs for us as we were living 100% music, we discovered countries where we never played in, venues we didn’t know and played with bands/musicians who are really great! So the whole tour was a great show!
Of course, the other shows of Witches were great too. I remember a show in Lille in the north of France, just after the release of our 1st album, the show was sold out, all the people knew the lyrics of all the songs and were singing. It was totally crazy! The different of playing live back in the days and now… well…. It is not a question of time! Neither a question of an audience! I mean, Some people are totally crazy, some like listening!
It is a question of having fun playing the music you like! So nothing is different for me, because music is my life!
Last one, future plans? Another thirty years perhaps?
This year is the 30th anniversary of Witches! So we are preparing old and new stuff to record!

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