American Witch Now and Forever Interview

Crow was who they were once called but due to legal matters a name change would need to be addressed. Thus American Witch is who they are from here on out. “Burn The Crow”, “pretty straight forward” says member Thrasher is what they went on to call their debut full-length. Having been extremely busy with matters of changes happening left and right there was no telling as to where this would all end up. But luckily for them American Witch got it all straightened out now there is nothing left but to rock out! Lemley and Thrasher spoke to me about the band’s changes, debut release, and what else keeps the momentum pulsing through their veins.

1. So Crow now goes by American Witch? Why the name change and has the style of sound changed as well?

Lemley: Well we became aware of the older band Crow so instead of dealing with legal matters we decided to change the name.

Thrasher: Like Mike said, the original band Crow was around in the 70's. Black Sabbath actually did a cover of one of their songs called 'Evil Woman' on their debut album. Stylistically, we are always trying to stretch the limits and expectations we have for ourselves and are very open to a lot of different approaches so I think our sound is always changing naturally from song to song.

2. What happened to the other band Wooden Jesus why did they break up?

Thrasher: I’m a fan of and have always done a lot of different styles musically. I like to explore and see what I’m capable of and Wooden Jesus was one of those kinds of projects. I’ve also written for and have done projects ranging from psychedelic blues to some pretty stripped down rock n roll. I’m currently starting a new project called ROOK which is pure doom metal, but the music I’m writing now in American Witch is something I've been passionate about since I first started playing and its where my main focus is.

3. So your full-length is titled "Burn The Crow" makes perfect sense as to why the name change if you ask me.

Thrasher: It’s pretty straight forward I guess.

4. You worked with producer Adam Ruppel; do you think he managed to preserve the sound you were pursuing to create?

Lemley: I do because he has a really good ear for music and really had the same ideas in the direction of the sound we were looking for.

Thrasher: Adam also runs Proview Studio, he does a lot of the bands from our area and the finished product always sounds incredible regardless of what genre he’s working with. He’s very versatile in that way. He used to play guitar for the band Systematic which was signed by Lars Ulrich's label and later by Epic and was able to work with and gain experience from guys like Andy Wallace (Sheryl Crow, Rage Against The Machine, Nirvana), Bob Rock (Metallica, Motley Crue, 311), Howard Benson (Three Days Grace, P.O.D.), Lars Ulrich (Metallica), Johnny K (Disturbed, Sevendust), Mike Plotnikoff (Flyleaf, The Cranberries), Paul Northfield (Rush, Dream Theater) etc, he’s got a pretty extensive resume and I learned a lot working with him. He also has some great gear that we got to abuse. I used a lot of different guitars on the record including a custom ESP dubbed 'Anti', a Flying V, this Fender baritone that I beat the hell out of on God Hand to name a few. He also has some quality Mesa and Marshall heads and cabs, a 5150 that sounded amazing and some other amps I’ve never heard of that sounded great, Splawn amps. We got some great tones.

5. Tell me about the album artwork what does it represent or mean?

Thrasher: We spent a lot of hours, probably too many, talking with a ton of talented artists and we came across this guy named Hal Rotter who really impressed us. His work has a lot of feel to it ranging from dark to light and we felt like this piece in particular fit well with what we're doing musically so we went with it.

6. What are your songs about?

Lemley: To me they’re just about life and dealing with everyday struggles.

Thrasher: They are about everyday life, death, addiction, politics, etc, there’s some pretty heavy subject matter lyrically on this record.

7. Do you write your own songs?

Lemley: Yes we write all of our own music. It starts with guitars, then usually drums and bass and vocals but we always like to talk and make sure everyone is happy with what we have before we move on.

8. Who are your musical influences?

Lemley: I’ve liked a number of bands but the ones that influence me the most are bands like Pantera, Slipknot, Black Sabbath, Refused anything with real feeling.

Thrasher: I like a number of bands and styles as well, Sabbath is big, Dime was huge, and all the Phil Anselmo projects are great. I listen to a lot of hard rock and metal but there’s a ton of artists that inspire me. Pink Floyd, Slayer, Neil Young, Slash, Dylan, Hendrix. I’ve been listening to this band called Baroness which is really good. I even listen to rap, punk, and jazz, Sinatra's amazing, there's a lot.

9. How do you describe your music to people?

Lemley: I describe it as a mix between Alice In Chains and Black Sabbath.

Thrasher: Mike's right, there are elements of both of those bands happening but there’s also other factors going on and our music is constantly changing so it’s hard to nail down really. I think our music is a conglomeration of a lot of different influences we hold collectively as a band. We all bring our own styles to the table so to speak, with our common denominator being heavy music which makes some pretty interesting and original sounding outcomes.

10. When will you be playing some shows and is there a CD Release Showcase in the works?

Thrasher: We're currently planning some things; hopefully we can pull the trigger before long. I think people are going to be excited about what we have in store for them; I know we're all excited and really eager to get back out on the road.

11. Did your guy's holidays go well and how is the New Year going for you?

Lemley: Very relaxing now all there is left to do is to get back to the stage and rock out!

Thrasher: It was good; I wore a lot of sweaters.

12. Is there anything else you'd like to say?

Lemley: Be ready because we’re coming for you!

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