“’Reincarnate,’ bridges the gap between what we used to be, and what we’re working towards…”- Alisha Yarwood.
Ahead of their debut EP release, ‘Reincarnate,’ we spoke with Alex Thompson and Alisha Yarwood of Witch Fever about what gives them their punky angst, recording music videos and personal growth.
“We’re a doom-punk four-piece from Manchester who unapologetically express individuality and self-expression,” bassist and backing vocalist Alex Thompson tells us. “We write badass tunes that are full of rage and hope to try and empower people,” Alisha Yarwood adds.
Recording with producer Jamie Gomez Arellano, Witch Fever took to the suburban village of Woburn to record their latest. “We stayed in a farmhouse with Gomez, it was peak summer; we were making BBQ’s every night, it was so much fun,” says Alex, continuing: “The actual recording process was so relaxed, we were only meant to record four tracks, but ended up doing six. It was by far the most positive recording experience we’ve ever had. There’d be a hare every morning that you’d see as you drove down the track, it was slightly weird recording something so heavy, in such a peaceful and serene environment. There was one time we went for a posh pub lunch, and we all looked like the Addams Family.”
‘Reincarnate’ presents Witch Fever’s punky angst on a silver plate, it’s sinister, dejected, and vigorously unapologetic. Having slowly climbed their way into the public eye with standout tracks ‘Toothless’ and ‘Daddy Pt.2’. Witch Fever have since proved their willingness to push boundaries. Since forming in 2017, Witch Fever have endured a lot of changes, and along the way have hit a handful of milestones.
Reflecting upon the last two years, Alex tells us: “I think we’re at a point where this isn’t just for fun, there is real responsibility and a lot more thought in our decisions and actions. I think we’ve also reached a synergy with our writing; before - with some of the older tracks on the EP - we didn’t have much rhythm in how we approached writing as a band. It normally came as an individual thought process that we’d balance out together, that is genuinely how we normally write, but we’ve found this other system and it’s great.”
Nodding in agreement, Alisha adds: “We’ve also grown musically, I can speak for myself on the fact my guitar playing was nothing compared to the way it is now. Just being in the band has changed the way I can play music and listen to other music. We’ve all grown in our own musicality.”
Having released mammoth singles, ‘Reincarnate,’ ‘Resurrection’, and ‘In Birth’ as the first tasters of this EP, it goes without saying the exhilarating storytelling in the videography of each track has you begging for more from the group. Discussing the recording process of directing and shooting these videos, Alex tells: “‘In Birth,’ in terms of content was a lot of fun to film. All the videos we had done before were shots of us playing live, whereas these have a lot more background to them.”
Continuing, Alex says: “‘Reincarnate,’ was definitely my favourite to film because it was in the middle of lockdown, none of us had done anything since recording the EP, we hadn’t gigged, so we were all so buzzed to do something.”
Across the next couple of months Witch Fever have some mammoth shows coming up, including a show with Big Joanie in Bristol, a headline show in Manchester’s White Hotel and shows at Rough Trade East and Piccadilly Records, followed by some record signing. “Live is where we’re always in our element. We really understand the gigging thing and I think the best way to understand Witch Fever is to come see us play,” Alex tells us. “I’m so excited, Rough Trade is going to be mental,” adds Alisha.
“I find being able to get that aggression out, playing and yelling incredibly cathartic,” says Alex. “I am full of rage naturally, I go through life full of rage, I’m a moody little bitch. This comes from us, we’re all pissed off in some way, and want to write mean riffs and hope that it’ll help people a little bit when we play live,” Alisha adds.
“We definitely egg each other on, we’re like, make it doomier!” says Alex.
Witch Fever are a project of post-punk feminist rhapsody, their music is fiery, and coated in annihilating riffs. They’re starting a movement in the punk scene that’s itching to be seen and destined to be heard.
This is Witch Fever.
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'Reincarnate' is out now. Catch Witch Fever at Rough Trade East, London on December 4th.
Words: Laviea Thomas
Photo Credit: Debbie Ellis
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