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SPACE WITCH's Darren Lee Rowlands: "For us vocals are something we will try but only use them if it works. I foresee our future releases comprising of tracks with and without vocals."

Added 06 October 2017, 7:01 PM
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About a month ago, I had the privilege of reviewing Arcanum by the UK band, SPACE WITCH. It was one of my favourite albums of the year and I felt it was a breath of fresh air in Doom Metal genre. Metal Temple makes us discover so many bands and this was one the best kept secrets in the whole genre in my honest opinion. I have the honour of being able to interview Darren Lee Rowlands, the lead guitarist of the band.

-Jean-Francois Poulin, Metal Temple

Welcome to the Metal Temple, how have been the reviews for your new opus, Arcanum?

Hi and thanks for requesting the interview. We've been blown away by the reviews that have come in for our album "Arcanum", some of them were so detailed in the way they explained the vibe in the music and we appreciate the effort that has gone into writing them. We weren't sure how "Arcanum" would be received as it’s quite different in our opinion to what we've put out before. But the feedback we've received from reviewers and the people that have purchased the album has been immense and we're really proud how it’s been so well received. The term critically acclaimed has already been used in a recent review and it’s fair to say that the response has exceeded our expectations. The sheer volume of reviews was surprise to us with it receiving more coverage than our debut, but we owe that to our PR guys that worked on the project.

I detected some narration or maybe it was parts of a movie on this album, was it my imagination that you guys sampled something from a movie? I thought it was a nice touch and really something out of the ordinary from the genre.

It’s definitely your imagination at play here and it seems the music has taken you to a cool place! The narration or parts of a movie you speak about are not by design and we've definitely not sampled a movie. "Arcanum" is simply an output of our bands creative process, which this time round was a lot less constrained and discussed in detail throughout the writing of it. The process was very much a collaborative experience with everyone contributing instrumentally as well as contributing ideas for sections in the songs. Although "Arcanum" could be a back drop to an awesome sci-fi movie it feels more like a journey to me and listening to it seems to make you lose all sense of time (and space).

Your album cover is pretty wicked, you did the cover art from your last album?

The album artwork was done by the wonderful Adam Burke from Nightjar Illustrations and he painted a canvas based on a brief we gave him. We couldn't be happier with what Adam gave us in return. The concept was based around a Witch being born out of a Sun resembling a kind of rebirth in terms of the boundaries we freed ourselves of whilst writing "Arcanum". We love everything about the artwork and in our opinion it fits perfectly with the sound track, the colours, the brush strokes it is very detailed and textured in deed. We'd be very keen to work with Adam again on future releases.

As for the limited editions of the last album, where did you guys get the idea to have coloured vinyls (Blood Red and Sea Blue)?

The colours of the vinyl were picked by HeviSike Records. Both colours work really well with the album cover being an off white parchment type colour. I think the red links in well with bands logo with it having a heavy red influence, but I love my blue copy of the album it works really well when it’s pulled out the cover or on a deck.

Any plans on touring outside of the UK and Europe?

We've spoke about doing a tour but the logistics and balance of work/life doesn't permit us to tour this year. Maybe that will change next year, never say never… But for this year we've got about 12 shows booked so we're pretty busy to be fair.

Which bands would you guys love to tour with?

I can't speak for anyone else in the band but from my perspective I'd love to tour with the likes of HAWKWIND, longevity and never compromising what they do. They deliver an outstanding live show in my opinion and although we don't sound anything like them we've drawn influence from them from the get go by using electronics in our sound. I think our vocals that we've recently introduced may also be HAWKWIND influenced in the future.

What were the bands that influenced you and drove you to start up SPACE WITCH?

ELECTRIC WIZARD, SLEEP, UFOMMAMUT and THE CAPRICORNS. I guess at the time they were the kind of thing I was listening to at the time I formed SPACE WITCH. I must admit I didn't really start the band because of the music I was listening to it was more to let out a creative release to help me deal with life issues I had going on at the time. But those bands did influence me and my writing in the early days of SPACE WITCH having that psych heavy instrumental edge to our sound.

Any plans on having a singer on the next album or you guys are concentrating on the instrumental music for the time being?

As you're aware we introduced vocals for the first time on our latest release "Arcanum". It was more of an experiment than a conscious decision to definitely include them. But our electronics guy stood up to podium and experimented with them. For us vocals are something we will try but only use them if it works. I foresee our future releases comprising of tracks with and without vocals.

I loved the names of the songs, were you guys always stricken with the Sci-fi stuff and the whole Astronomy field?

The majority of us in the band are into the whole Sci-fi genre I wouldn't say it was with the whole Astronomy field but because Space is big part of our sound (and name) we make a conscious effort to come up with titles for songs in that area. Whenever we come to making up the names (the music comes first!) it always seems like we get nowhere fast and it isn't until we come up with titles for album that we find our song titles quite easily.

What are your plans for the rest of the year?

So for the rest of year we have a number of shows booked around the UK where we will be promoting the release of "Arcanum". July marks our 10th year (since inception) and we're currently in discussions with a 3rd party about potentially working together on a project. All very interesting and exciting!

Thanks, it’s been so cool to be able to interview you for Metal Temple!

Thank you for requesting the interview best wishes to you guys and to your readers for your support.
 
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