Interview: The Witch Was RightA new band has formed from the worlds of Metal, Industrial, House and Techno called The Witch Was Right. The band is comprised of Trevor Friedrich on Vocals (formerly of Eighteen Vision, Combichrist, Imperative Reaction, Suffer Well, Monkeys Are Machineguns), Bobby Schubenski on Bass (formerly of Surfer Well, Monkeys Are Machineguns), Brandon Richter on Drums, and Abbey Nex on Guitar (formerly of Chombichrist, Imperative Reaction, Suffer Well) and they give off a dark and twisted vibe that you can’t help but nod your head to. The band contains an undeniable sense of passion and oozes their desire to play good music. While this band may be new, and are just starting to get noticed, their ultimate goal is to please their number one fan, themselves.
I caught up with the band at their second show ever and what was the first stop of the tour with Wes Borland’s Black Light Burns.
Internal Arts Photography: You guys have exploded out of nowhere! With the history of all the bands you have been in, working with Good Fight Entertainment, landed a big tour right off the bat. How did you form?
The Witch Was Right: With our previous band connections and knowing the right people and it will lead you down the right path to bring in the right people.
IAP: The new songs are great. You see influences from your past bands and you can hear Metal, Industrial, Hardcore, House and Trance. How did you come up with the sound?
TWWR: I always wanted a band that was a combination of all those sounds. Bobby and I were on a Combichrist tour and wanted to start a grindcore band which ended up being called Monkeys Are Machineguns, we needed someone to scream like a retard, and I never sang before, so I did it as loud as I could and decided to make a real band.
IAP: You guys have been getting a lot of love. Members of previous bands, Wes Borland invited you to do this tour, and you grew so quickly. You have over 1,000 followers on Twitter after being on there for only two months and tonight being your second show. How does it feel to get so much support from fellow musicians and fans so quickly?
TWWR: The best part about it is that I didn’t give a shit whether or not we were liked. I have so much love for the band itself, that anyone who does like it is a bonus. I feel like the right people are going to like the band and those are the people I am going to care about. I feel like there are a lot of bands out there who are very popular, who shouldn’t be. And I also feel like there are a lot of bands that should be more popular. We are stoked that we are getting so much positive feedback. But I would still be here anyway if no one liked us.
IAP: You guys have a lot of outside involvement. Tim Sköld played with you at your first show two days ago at Slidebar in Fullerton and you have Davey Havok singing on the song “S.K.Y.”, how did this come about?
TWWR: Davey Havok has been a lifelong hero and became friends with him over the years. He wanted to come over and hear some of the music we’ve been making, and that made me nervous because he’s like some of the bands I’ve played in, and I wanted him to have a good opinion of the sound. He liked it and I asked him if he would help me figure out how to sing the chorus, and our producer, Nick Kenny, asked him if he would sing it on the record. I freaked out because he totally imposed on Davey, and he’s such a straight shooter that he will outright say no if he doesn’t want to or like the song. The fact that he was willing to do that was a big deal to me because I bought Tiger Army II in high school and Davey was a feature on one of the tracks and now he’s a feature on one of mine. We also have an unreleased song with John Pettibone from Himsa singing as well that we haven’t really told anyone about.
IAP: With the evolution of how bands are connecting and interacting with fans, how are you going to do this differently than you did in your past bands?
TWWR: In the nicest way possible, we’re not too concerned about exploiting ourselves according to the fan’s desires. We’ve had to do that in ways we didn’t necessarily agree with in the past due to label involvement. We feel it’s imperative to solely do what we as a band want to do and not be influenced by outside people. Some bands need it to survive, we are lucky that we have history with other bands that we can do it how we want to. We feel like it’s our time, and we deserve to do it our way. We want to go back to high school days where you do what you want to do.
IAP: It’s tough when you get jaded by the industry.
TWWR: (Trevor) Absolutely, some of my favorite times, when I look back, are with my high school bands.
(Bobby) What also helps is that all of us have toured long enough to know what works and what doesn’t, so we know how to do it right.
IAP: It’s interesting because there seems to be a shift where bands feel like you have to at the service of your fans all the time, otherwise you will get backlash for not obeying.
TWWR: Yeah, I know what you mean. I had a girl in the UK come up to me once, demanding my shoes. They were my only pair of shoes and she told me to fuck off.
IAP: There is a new trend with Kickstarter. Are you guys thinking about going this route, go with Topspin, or another DIY method?
TWWR: We just caught wind of Kickstarter, but we are still all trying to figure it out if we are going to do the DIY thing or otherwise. With Kickstarter, there’s a real fine line you walk when you use something like that. You don’t want to panhandle people and look desperate. Some people can do it and look great and some people can’t. Josh Freese did it right with his project where you get to hang out with him and Maynard and trip out on acid. But, there are a lot of bands out there who are broke, plead for the money, then don’t disperse the money properly. But as far as a label goes, just the right situation would have to come along that allows me the same creative freedom that I have now for me to agree to it.
IAP: What would be the more obscure influences on the band?
TWWR: IMX, XX, old New Wave like Depeche Mode, The Cure, Pet Shop Boys, Duran Duran appears in the record, A Perfect Circle, AFI, Himsa, my previous bands, and the fact that I was a fan of the bands before I joined helps with it too.
IAP: With the recent entrance of electronic music into the mainstream, like Dubstep and EDM being added to Pop songs, are you guys glad that the genre is finally getting noticed or are you guys not too crazy about it and hope to bring some creditability to the genre?
TWWR: So many sides to answer this question, where do I start? I knew Skrillex back when he was Sonny Moore, great dude and very talented. However, I don’t understand how in his first year he wins a bunch of Grammys. Granted, my issue is probably more with the Grammy award process, it just doesn’t make sense to me how a new act can win an award when there are people who are legends and perform in this industry for years and still not get a Grammy or have Life Time Achievement Grammys and tell them that this new act is on the same level or caliber as they are. I feel like there should be a minimum time put into the industry or something before you can get a Grammy. I just see stuff like that as a life time achievement thing or a higher level than what they are right now
Going back to the rise of electronic music, yea it’s great that it’s getting noticed. Well, as long as it’s good. The whole DJ trend is great for the underground and the people who have been doing it for years, but there is a new group of DJs (not Skrillex) entering the game right now who go up there, push a button, and get paid a bunch of money. They don’t deserve that kind of recognition or money when there are truly talented people out there trying to break through. Like Nero, he’s super talented and totally deserves the notice he’s getting now.
IAP: What’s next for the band?
TWWR: The record has been completed for a while, but we may not put out any more songs until it gets an official release whether it’s done on our own or through a label. Our main focus right now is to get a really great live show together, and have fun.
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