– Hello and first of all, thanks for taking the time. How is everything doing right now with the release of your debut album?
Hello, thanks for having us! We have spent a lot of time finishing the record and it’s a great relief that it’s finally out! A couple of days ago we had a release party at Revolver in Oslo with the help from our friends in Resonaut, and it was such a blast!
– As I said, you have just released your first full-length album, so I guess most people won’t kow about you yet. Due to this, how and why did PURPLE HILL WITCH born?
Purple Hill Witch consists of a doom metal groove machine on bass, a thrash/death metal dickhead on drums, and a heavy metal maniac on guitar & vocals. When we started jammin’ together four years ago, we kinda just met each other halfway I guess, and decided to form a filthy doom band with a touch of NWOBHM and all the other good stuff!
– Last 2013 you toured Europe with LORD VICAR; how affected this on the band? Did it open new doors for PURPLE HILL WITCH?
Touring with Lord Vicar was in many ways a dream come true for us, really! We had such a great time, and what a great bunch of guys! Playing every night was not something that we where used to (at all), but it was a hell of a lot of fun and I think we grew on it as a band. Seeing those doom masters rock out every night, plus the whole touring experience, was very inspiring to us all!
– Also last year you release your first official material, the «Alchemy» EP. How did that release work? It came out through The Church Within Records, the same label that is now unleashing your album so, how did they get interested in you guys?
We started talking to Oliver (the boss man at Church Within) when we where in the demo stages, and he turned out to be a great guy, so we kept in touch. We recorded Alchemy kind of spontaneous with the help from some friends without any official release in mind, but it turned out quite good, so we figured we should show him the tracks, and he said “Hell yes, let’s do this!”.It’s the perfect label for us, so we are really grateful for that.
– Now digging into your album, «Purple Hill Witch», I would like to start with the cover artwork, as it perfectly depicts what your music is all about. Was this something important for you to get with it?
That’s exactly what we wanted it to do, so thanks! I really think that a good cover is kind of important, especially since it’s usually the very first impression one get’s of an album. It’s made by Kristian Valbo (drummer of Obliteration and Spectral Haze), and we basically just sent him the lyrics for one of our songs (Final Procession) and said «paint this!», and that’s what he did!
– Musically it seems like you draw a lot from the darker NWOBHM and bands such as WITCHFINDER GENERAL, WITCHFYNDE, PAGAN ALTAR, ANGEL WITCH… But we can also find hints to SLEEP, PENTAGRAM or BLACK SABBATH among other different elements so, what could you say have been the most influential bands when it comes to build the sound of your band?
Spot on! I think just about all of those bands that you listed have been a huge influence to us. Added to that, are small hints of everything from Creedence to Sarcofago! It’s nice to mix things up a little bit, so that it won’t be just another Black Sabbath copy, you know!
– And talking about such, do you think what we find on the album is your definitive musical personality or is it hard to say being this your first album?
Our songs are mostly based upon drunken jam sessions, so I guess we’ll never know exactly what our next song will sound like. But one thing is certain though; we will continue to invade your ears with old school doom assaults, and we’ll never make an overproduced album recorded with a metronome!
– Your sound is strongly rooted in the 70’s and 80’s, and you have managed to get a really organic and thick sound, fitting with your style and influences. How easy is to get a natural sound in 2014? How did you work on the whole production process? It has a certain live vibe to it.
Thanks, we’re glad to hear! The whole recording process was quite easy and straight forward, actually. The whole thing (except for the vocals) was recorded live in the studio, and it took us about two or three effective days. It was important to us that the album had a certain spontaneous vibe to it, and too much nitpicking and excessive production tends to ruin that, you know!
– All songs mix different elements, getting a really enjoyable final outcome. Is creating something entertaining something you strive for? I’m not talking about keeping things interesting for your listeners, but also for yourself both as musicians and songwriters.
That’s the very reason why we like to mix in stuff from different genres! We really don’t wanna be yet another Sabbath or Pentagram clone, even though some people probably thinks that that’s exactly what we are, haha.
– On line with the previous question; how do you work on the songwriting process? Due to the wide range of different influences (from Doom to Heavy Metal, Hard Rock or Stoner) I wonder if it’s a team effort?
Yep, it’s definitely a team effort. It often start out with one of us a having a riff, or an idea for a song and we jam along and it just comes to us, I guess. It’s all about having fun, we just go where the jams take us!.
– For instance songs as the epic lengthy closing track, «Purple Hill Witch», sums up what this album is all about and embraces everything done on it; was this why you self titled it? And was this the idea you had for the last song? Or did it just come out naturally?
Purple Hill Witch was the first song we ever wrote together, so it was actually more like the band was named after that song, rather than the other way around! Because it’s the title track, and the fact that it’s so long and has an extra «jammy» feel to it, we thought it would be cool to have it as the closing track!
– It also caught my attention «Aldebaranian Voyage (into the Sun)” the only instrumental song on the album. Did you have in mind you wanted to have an instrumental track or do you let things flow on a natural way? Anyway isn’t the average instrumental tune on a Doom Metal album; it has no accoustic passages you keep it Metal and electric all the way.
«Aldebaranian Voyage” was initially intended to be an intro, actually. But we just kept jamming it out, and suddenly the whole thing turned out to be over three minutes long, and we figured that that’s a little bit too extreme for an intro, hehe.
Slow, fast and filthy!
– You are hailing from Norway, a country where there are lately coming up a lot of interesting new bands into different Metal styles, from BLACK MAGIC to MABUSE or from CONDOR to DEATHHAMMER but, are there any other more Doom-oriented bands over there? Which such a strong current Norwegian Metal scene, do you think is easier to not go unnoticed? Moreover it also seems to be an urge for «old school sounding» acts.
There are lots of great bands coming out of Norway these days, that’s for sure! Not only have we shared stage with Deathhammer, Black Magic and Condor, but Øyvind (our drummer) also plays drums in Condor these days (and Kristian also plays live guitar in that band). Kristian have known Salsten from Deathhammer quite a long time, so before our demo even came out, he asked us if we wanted to support them one night, which gave us sort of a flying start, I guess! As for doom metal bands, I would recommend High Priest of Saturn and Resonaut!
– And finally, what are your near-future musical plans?
We’re gonna spend the summer writing new songs, and play some shows and festivals here in Norway! We are also working on some European tours.
– That’s all, thank you once more for answering our questions. If you want to add some final words; feel free to do it.
Rock hard, ride free!