Witch Cult have now disbanded but in their brief lifetime managed to gather a reputable amount of fascinated followers. I interviewed vocalist Dean after their European tour just under a year ago.
How did you become involved with powerviolence?
I’ve been a music nerd since I was super young and I’ve always dug deep into music I was interested in. I was always searching for faster and more extreme forms of punk and hardcore, and PV is definitely one of, if not, the most extreme sub-genre.
How would you describe the underground scene, in the UK or otherwise?
At times it can be the most rewarding and comforting thing, somewhere I can relate, find like-minded views and be exposed to some incredible music. Other times it sickens me, goes against a lot of what I stand for and I question why I have any involvement with something that seems so far from what I was looking for. It’s only ever as good as the people involved.
Any specific messages you are trying to convey?
You Are Nothing Special. I think one theme that has come up in my/our lyrics a good few times is a general distaste for discrimination and prejudice. We have songs that are against homophobia, transphobia, sexism, nationalism and religious bigotry. These are just things that I or whoever has written the songs are angry about.
Are there any thoughts you are trying to provoke from those who listen?
I have never thought about it like that. I guess we focus more on making music we are pleased with than trying to get a reaction from an unknown listener. Music is a very subjective thing, I don’t think I’d know how to go about provoking a universal reaction.
Do you, or any other members of Witch Cult, have any personal beliefs that are fundamental to the music? Does your veganism or personal lifestyle choices influence your lyrics for example?
First and foremost, I think that if we were all everyday people who always fitted in with their surroundings we wouldn’t be drawn towards music like this. It’s music for freaks, weirdos and losers, so I think feeling a bit like that is pretty fundamental. Veganism has yet to enter my lyrics as I want to wait until I have something that puts my feelings accurately. A couple of songs touch on Straight Edge, but not in a preaching manner, those songs concern my relationships with other humans due to being edge, and another on my opinions of what Straight Edge is sometimes turned into.
Did any of the countries on tour have a strong underground scene that was particularly appreciative of the band?
I had heard that the Czech Republic loves fast music, and that was confirmed at our Prague show. A lot of people thanked us for coming the further we got into Eastern Europe as not many bands go there apparently. We were thanked in Turkey a lot too, I was told Witch Cult was the first PV band to go there.
What do you think fans get out of live shows?
10 minutes of unpleasant music.