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Witch Fever On The Unbridled Power & Liberating Positivity Of Their Debut EP ‘Reincarnate’

Jack Rogers
Jack Rogers 2 November 2021 at 12.21

"To me, Witch Fever is the ultimate catharsis" - Alex Thompson



Just in case you're not already familiar, may we introduce you to Witch Fever. You're going to absolutely love them.

The band have just digitally released their debut EP 'Reincarnate', bringing together their musical and personal growth over the last few years of their development to a corrosive head. Musically melding the ferocity of punk and guttural depths of stoner and doom metal with the dizzying highs of hard rock, it's a caustic and cathartic release of emotion and electricity. Paired with a desire to empower through the lenses of fetish, feminism and artistic freedom, it feels like they are on the cusp of being a very special band for a whole generation of ears.

To dive into the journey so far, we sat down with the band to talk about their past, present and future and the lessons that they have learned along the way...

To consider where Witch Fever was when you started, what has the journey been like for you to reach the point that you are at now, stylistically and musically?
Alisha [Yarwood, Guitar]: "We came into it solely wanting to create music, and it was something to do on the side. But I don’t think that I was taking it as seriously as I do now. I didn’t have what the band is currently in mind when we started five years ago."

Amy [Walpole, Vocals]: "We didn’t really start with that much intention. Everything that has happened since has all been natural. Then we realised that there were many social issues that we thought were more important for us to be talking about. And the more and more we played and the more extensive a platform we got, we felt that it was right to start speaking about the important things to us. So it was never a thing of, ‘We’re a punk band, and we’re going to use our music to talk about this’. It just developed like that."

It’s a choice that you are faced with, really, to keep it just being fun or to make the band be the very thing that you stand for…
Alisha: "When you start like that with no real intention and then change as you go, you learn so much. Not even just about the band, about yourself as well. That’s such a cool piece of the journey."

Alex [Thompson, Bass]: "It felt like when I joined, there was no real responsibility, but as we progressed and as musicians, it started to feel like there is so much more to what you’re doing. You’re no longer just playing gigs. You’re making a stand."

So, where did this batch of songs that you have now start to come together? When did it begin to feel like what you wanted Witch Fever to be?
Alisha: "'Reincarnate' as a track, and a statement is one of the last tracks that we ended up writing in terms of the timescale of all of this. But when we wrote it, that’s when it felt like things clicked. It’s the one that made all of the rest of the songs that we had already feel tied together. It felt like a kick up."

Amy: "That and ‘In The Resurrect’ are the two newest tracks, but the other four are pretty old. Maybe even three years old. In many ways, this EP is us tying together what we have created over the last few years. Then it’s all about the album being this completely fresh and different sound. It feels like we have changed the way we write and are looking towards the album as well. The EP feels like a summation more than anything of what we have achieved."



There’s the other thing that as you have developed what you want to be talking about over that time, so much in the world has changed around you. So as you progress, you end up being fuelled in entirely different ways…

Alex: "To me, Witch Fever is the ultimate catharsis. And it has allowed us to bring those things and release them through this completely different energy."

So when you realised that you had completed this first chapter in the way you have, with a record deal and a vision brought to life, what did that feel like?
Alex: "I’m definitely proud of what we have achieved. Because we have only really released singles before, having this whole piece of work feels like there is a lot more depth to it than what we have done in the past."

Amy: "When you’re in the middle of it, you forget exactly what you have been doing. If you had told me three years ago that we would be signing to a major label, I wouldn’t have believed you. It’s all kind of crazy, but we are in the middle of it and just living it."

Alisha: "You think it’s going to feel like such a big thing, but it all felt so casual and right."

Alex: "I was on a family holiday in Dorset! You think all of these moments will be monumental, but because you’re just doing it, it feels normal. But the importance of those things really starts to sink in later."



What do you feel like the process up until this point has taught you that you are taking forwards into the future?
Alex: "I feel like we have found our confidence to experiment more and push ourselves. We have learned how exactly to push the boundaries of what we think a Witch Fever song is."

Amy: "This past year, we have picked up so much. The further that we have gone in, the more we have felt the pressure to live up to people's expectations. There’s so much more stuff for us to do and more responsibility that we have developed a different work ethic. It’s about learning how to manage all of the various aspects of being a band and being a musician."

It feels like one of the biggest things you have picked up is how to balance the searing emotion of the lyrics with the right sort of heaviness, which is how you have developed what a Witch Fever song is. What has it been like figuring that out?
Alisha: "I feel like we all keep each other in check a lot of the time. We all come from different tastes and scenes and elements of what we enjoy. That mix of different genres means that we can work together in a certain and special way."

Alex: "I don’t think that any one of us could come with a whole song written, and it would sound like Witch Fever. We all have our own thing that we bring together that stops it from going too far into one genre or style and keeps it in the middle. We balance each other in the way that we are all so opposite."

Amy: "I think that balance comes from us making sure that we have a lot of fun as well. We still don’t have an agenda, so first and foremost, we want to make sure that we enjoy what we are creating and have fun playing it. We appreciate that we can make the music heavy but still have an element of fun in there. It’s not all just, ‘Oh my god, the world is shit, everything is shit’. We’re still enjoying ourselves."

Alex: "Ultimately, I think that we are a positive band despite how heavy it gets. We want to be empowering and uplifting, and with the way that the four of us are, we want to represent that empowerment."

You want to speak up about the things that drive that empowerment that you may not be able to express in other places…
Alisha: "And all of that just comes out of us naturally."

Amy: "We’re not forcing any of our feelings, ever. This is just how we all are, and this is what we all like, so because of that, we will continue just to be ourselves."

Alex: "It does all feel very special to be able to do that. I feel very blessed that we have this network between us where we can experience and talk about all of those things together as well. I don’t know if every band has the sort of closeness that we have, where those experiences that we talk about are a part of our bonding and then turning them into something positive as a unit."

Alisha: "It’s a proper privilege to have something like that, and that we have, through that weird bit of life that we have all just been through. That time between being a teenager and an adult. It’s a nice thing to have and is a huge confidence booster."

It’s incredible when you realise just how much of an effect a band has on the other parts of your life…
Alex: "I never considered just how much the band has become a part of me and my life. Now I know that if I didn’t have Witch Fever, I would feel completely lost. I don’t know if I would even know who I was. I think we have all had points where we have had moments where we have felt down, but we have brought each other up because of how proud we should all be of our roles within this band. It’s a boost."

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