Date: 17th February 2018
Interview and photography by Sabrina Selkis
One has to always be ready to do an interview on the go, and this is exactly what happened that night. Ye Olde Salutation Inn in Nottingham was holding a charity event in memory of Jessica Lewis. Many bands played that day, and the event was headlined by the mighty Witch Tripper (Richie Barlow, Jimmy Collins, Christof D). After their great performance, and thanks to Phil Taylor, I got to interview the band backstage. Here is the conversation:
Hello, and thank you for your time. How can you describe yourself to people who don’t know you?
We keep being put on different rosters and shoved in with lots of stoner and doom bands…
Stoner and doom? Really?
Yay, but we think we’re more classic rock. The three of us have different influences.
Clutch definitely, reggae, soul, and stoner doom from our bass player.
So how did you all meet, what is the story of Witch Tripper so far?
We’re from Mansfield, UK, there’s a really good venue there called The Intake. I met my bass player there, knew him for many years, we chatted one day and I asked if he wanted to start a band. Jimmy was a student at a the music school, seeing him play it was obvious that he should be with us, that was in 2015, and we released our first self-titled album in 2016 “Witch Tripper”. Our new one will be released on 14th April 2018 called “I, Of The Storm”.
Oh, you played that song earlier, great one!
Yes we did thanks.
Are you signed with anyone yet?
No, we control everything so far, self-released.
When are your next gigs? What’s your plan for this year?
We don’t’ really follow the “new album-tour” scheme, we just gig around. We did 101 gigs last year, everywhere over the UK, and this year we got the HRR Ibiza, we are going to Ireland as well.
So just gigging around and having a blast right?
Yeah exactly! We just love gigging! That’s what we do.
How did you get involved in tonight’s event?
Phil Taylor: I saw them a few times before and when it came to choose bands for this charity event, they were an obvious choice.
There is an obvious influence from Pantera and Metallica, was it voluntary?
No really to be honest, but I agree. But we do what we want!
What are the main subjects of your songs?
I don’t wanna preach but for instance “I, Of The Storm” is written from the perspective of Mother Earth talking to the human race, telling them she’s gonna wipe them up for all the harm they have done to the planet. But mainly we want our songs to be groovy.
And you do that really well!
For the new album we feel we have grown a little bit, you’ll hear a whole range of styles, metal songs, some doom, some bluesy.
I suppose Kyuss, Alter Bridge, Sabbath, Mastodon definitely.
How is your creative process, what comes first?
Music first, lyrics last. I [Richie] write all the lyrics. A lot of the songs we make them while we are together. We started off as a jam band in 2015.
How did you choose your name?
It’s a Down song, I wasn’t sure about it but Christof was adamant about it, like an epiphany it had to be Witch Tripper. You know what I said “yes”.
What’s your ambition for Witch Tripper?
We do not expect anything, we want to play. Some success would be nice but that’s not our aim.
Are you ready for success?
Fuck yeah we are ready, we love it!
You are festival ready for sure!
Yeah tell everybody that! We played Bloodstock twice on the Jagermeister stage, and Hobgoblin stage in 2015/16. We are very loyal to Bloodstock, they helped us so much, we headlined on Friday night just before Trivium, and we have only been going for 6 months at that time. Supporting Clutch would be great too. We would do anything anywhere!
What wouldn’t you do then?
Here you are folks, keep your ears ready for this great band, check their band page for more information about where to catch them gigging: