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Interviews Witchery

Interview with Richard Corpse

Interview conducted by Christian Renner

Date online: October 19, 2001


Witchery is a band that most people in the metal scene know about so there really is no need for an introduction. The new album "Symphony for the Devil" on Necropolis Records was released on October 16th. I had a chance to do an interview with Richard Corpse via e-mail and this is what he had to say…Enjoy…:)

Hello Christian this is Richard Corpse from Witchery. I know the questions were made for Sharlee but he is a busy man so I hope this will do.

Personally I think the new album is the best and most complete album you all have done. When you all were writing the songs for this album was there a set idea on how you wanted the album to turn out?

Thank you. We think so too. When we start writing everyone knows what could sound as a new Witchery song even if it is a very big area of styles that we can use. And after we have done a couple of songs we always think of what the record need. If it's a lot of heavier stuff we make a song that's more fast and trashier. We have to do it this way because we usually have easier to do one type of a song at the moment. This time it was heavier and mid tempo songs we came up with. Just the opposite compared to the other records.

How much preparation went into this album?

Rehearsing and writing took us about five or six weeks split into three occasions. The main part of the songs was made just before we started the recordings. All of the lyrics were written in the studio.

Although Patrik is the main songwriter I am sure he doesn't do this all on his own. How do you share ideas within the band?

Besides Jensen ideas it's mostly my ideas or riffs we work from. It's rather natural cause we are usually together (me and Jensen) when we build songs. We share ideas and give each other influences in different styles to play and so on. We could say we are both teachers and critics to each other.

Is there a set process in the way you all write?

Yes there is. We are all working with the songs arrangement and how we are going to play our instruments to the riffs. The sound or the connection between drums and bass is very important to us. I think everybody's good ear to how it's going to sound is the strongest quality Witchery has. When I write my solos I have Sharlee's good ear beside me and he gives me a lot of help.

How easy or difficult is it to get everyone's ideas together?

It's easy, we try all ideas we have and if it sounds good every person usually has the same opinion about it. But even if it sounds good it's not sure it can be a new Witchery song. You don't know if you could make the rest of the song or the riff that you need to make the song complete. We have a lot of those songs just waiting to be completed and recorded.

Since the beginning of Witchery there has been a lot of buzz around the band considering everyone's background. Is there any pressure to live up to the fan's expectation or are all of you harder on yourselves than the fans can ever be?

We are harder on ourselves. No, seriously I don't know if we have any pressure from the old bands or records we have done. And if we have it's rather natural to try to make each record better every time. I know thou that we all have gotten higher limits to what's good or what could be a new Witchery song. But all this is pretty natural to a band development even if we don't think of it when we work. Maybe we are looking for the feeling. The feeling of good riffing.

Are there any songs on this album that really stand out to you?

My favorite song changes every day. Just now it's Shallow grave and Bone Mill.

Are there any you would like to change or think maybe could have been done better?

No. Except we wanted to have Johan Larsson (Seance singer) to be in more than two songs but we didn't had the time.

The production on this album is also the best I have heard from Witchery. The sound is heavy as fuck with a lot of low end that sounds like it could cave in your chest. Was this something that was thought out before the recording started or was it just the way it turned out?

It depends on your choice of studio, how you play, what equipment you have and so on. I think that is really important for a band to have, not the same but a good picture of how we want to sound. I know that everyone in the band think that the record turned out the way we wanted it to be.

Being from Sweden, which has turned into the place to be for Metal music, can you comment on how the metal scene is around the rest of the world where you have all played?

I think you have to live in a country for a while to tell that. Or at least hang out with some friends that could tell you about it. Stuff like metal on the radio or the TV you don't get a clue of when you are on tour and changing country every day.

What do you think of the scene here in America? It may be underground but the fans here are some of the most devoted you can have.

Yes! You got the best mosh pit ever. Its fun to play to devoted fans. America rules!

Touring all over the world, are there any major differences in the crowds from Europe to Japan or North America?

Yes it is. You guys have the mosh and a good contact to the band. In Europe it's a lot different between the countries. England is really good for us even if they have a reputation to be hard judges. In Japan everyone fisting in the air simultaneously it looks really amazing from the stage.

Are there any interesting or embarrassing stories you would like to share from the last tours with Kreator, Emperor or Arch Enemy?

As a support to Arch Enemy in Japan the other members threw cakes at me on stage. It was my birthday. Its very disrespecting in Japan to do like this so the crowd went totally silent until they saw my laughing smile behind the cakes. The hard thing was to manage to play Fast as a shark with creamy fingers. I dropped the plectrum ten times.

Although the Metalennium '01 tour was cancelled are there other plans for a tour?

We are heading towards US with The Haunted in November. Yes you heard right Jensen will appear on stage with two of his bands at the same tour. You can find the dates at witchery.org

If so, what bands would we see on the bill?

The Haunted, Witchery, Catastrophic (US, ex-Obituary) and Martyr ad (US).

You all have quite the reputation as a great band to see live. Do you all enjoy the grueling tour schedule?

It's no problem if you could come up with stuff to do when you not on stage.

Does the band prefer smaller clubs to larger ones or does it really matter?

It's fun to play in a big venue with a lot of people and large stage that you can run on. It's also fun in smaller places when you get closer, and have more contact with the audience.

Are there any songs the band really likes to play live compared to others?

Yes. You can hear them in a few weeks.

Are there any certain songs the crowd really goes insane over? Are the songs different from country to country or is it pretty much universal?

It's the same. Every country seems to like the same songs.

Where do you all find time for this with you being in Seance and Patrik in The Haunted it has to be very difficult getting this all together. Do you prefer playing in one band or another?

We are recording the new Seance album right now in our own studio so I am working with that when I'm home.

With all the line up changes has Patrik ever tried to get members from Witchery to fill in positions in The Haunted?

No I think it would be like killing the bands personalities.

What are your personal influences when it comes to playing guitar?

Today I listen a lot to bands like The Crown and Opeth but in my teens my favorite guitar player was Marty Friedman/Megadeth.

What are some of the bands you grew up listening to?

Kiss, Wasp, Maiden, Judas, Mercyful Fate, Annihilator, Scorpions, Black Sabbath and more…

I like to do something a little different when it comes to ending an interview. It is called the "The Final Five". These are completely unrelated questions that mean absolutely nothing but to add a little humor…:)

1. Ice Cream - Chocolate or Vanilla?

Doesn't matter as long it is much.

2. What is the capital of Bulgaria?

I just came back from my vacation in Bulgaria so I know its Sofia.

3. Favorite brand of beer?

No beer. Just Jim Bean.

4. Death Angel or Dark Angel?

Jim Durkin

5. Is David Hasselhoff the antichrist?

If he is I really don't know who I am.

Any final comments to send out to people?

See you on tour in a couple of weeks. Ben Wrangle says hello too.

Other information about Witchery on this site
Review: Symphony For The Devil
Review: Dead, Hot and Ready
Review: Dead, Hot and Ready
Review: Restless And Dead
Review: Witchburner
Review: Don't Fear The Reaper
Review: Don't Fear The Reaper
Review: Witchkrieg
Review: In His Infernal Majesty's Service
Video: Witchkrieg




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