Interview with Witchcraft

Witchcraft, was formed by ex-Norrsken's Magnus Pelander back in year 2000. They released their first single "No angel or demon" in 2002 by the underground record label Primitive Art Records. This single was heard by the label Rise Above Records, who signed the band. In 2004 the bands self-titled debut album was released, and the year after the second album, "Firewood", was released as well. I met Magnus over a cup of tea discussing him, the band and what music is to him.

Q1. You started the band to honor two of your idols with an EP, how come the band continued afterwards?

It was already in my mind when I started the band, that it would continue on after, the honoring to Bobby Liebling and Roky Erickson was only an excuse to get started. But before I played in Witchcraft I played in a band called Norrsken from 1995 to 2000, but I didn't sing in that band, I played guitar back then.

Q2. Witchcraft the recorded the first album in a basement, where did you get that idea from?

It was a studio in Kumla, so it wasn't really a basement, it was a coffee room that we emptied on stuff, so it was a combination between a studio and a rehearsal room. It was me and Jens, the guy who produced and played the drums, which came up with the idea to record there. But honestly, I don't really know much about the technology, I just like to experiment a lot.

Q3. There are not many bands today who release all of their albums on vinyl, how come you do?

It's mostly the record label actually, they like to release the music on vinyl. Well, of course we like it as well, but I have nothing against CDs, I like CD very much as well, cause it's so exciting with all the info you can find it the booklet of the CD. Well, I've nothing against cassettes either. I have a little solo project, it's acoustic music, which a childhood friend and I are making, and we are planning to release it on cassette.

Q4. Have you started to work on a new album yet?

Our last album was released in November 2007, and even though I rather not plan and just want the music to come to me, we actually have a plan. It is to start the recordings his fall, in September or October, something like that. I actually think it's fantastic with people writing lyrics, it's like poetry, and who is born a poet? But it's going to be very exciting to see what's comes out of the head this time.

Q5. What is music to you?

It's totally impossible to say. It's everything, more or less. As it is now, I've got problem with my ears, which makes music not so fun to me right now. Music is unconditional pleasure. You have full control, you can switch it off as you like, and turn it on as you please. It's definitely a relationship, a fantastic one of those.

Q6. What in music have affected you the most?

A person or what? Well, I guess it has to be a person. Someone who really affected me is Maynard James Keenan (Tool, A Perfect Circle, and Puscifer).

Q7. What's the recipe on your tale of success? How did you do it to make it?

Well, to make it it's necessary to have good songs, and we did have that, and it's simple as that. And also, the music has come in the first room, but also it's coincidence, it's all about being at the right place at the right time with the right people around.

Q8. Which is the best song you've ever written?

That's easy, it hasn't been written yet.

Q9. What did you listen to when you grew up?

When I grew up I listened to a lot of hard rock, unfortunately I have to say. But I was an all eater during my teenage years, so I listened to a lot of different things back then. To give an example, I listened a lot to a band called Nuclear Assault.

Q10. What do you want to achieve with Witchcraft?

I want to achieve all the things we have now, but in a much larger scale. It's going to be more, and we are going to be able continuing what we are doing, and just do it, that's what I want.

Q11. What have you won personally through your years in Witchcraft?

I'm actually a loner, and I don't like being around people I dislike, and I've always decided who to be close to me. But during this years I've developed to be able to have people around me, because as a musician it doesn't work in the long run to be a loner, as a musician you have to meet people whether you like them or not. Also, I travel a lot on tour, but for me there still doesn't exist any kind of pleasure traveling around when I'm touring, like it does when I'm on vacation. But I guess I have to go back to places we've played on sooner or later to see if it works better then.

Q12. Where are you in 10 years?

In 10 years we are somewhere else, whether or not I'm still playing music in 10 years, I still want do work with music in some way and some kind. Of course I would love to be able to live on it, but the question is to expense of what?

Q13. Do you sing in the shower?

No, actually not, I do sing pretty much everywhere except the shower I would guess. I like to sing when I'm out walking for example.

Q14. What is the funniest thing ever happen on your tours?

It was very fun when I met Paz Lenchantin (ex-A Perfect Circle), that was so cool. Because I listen to so much other kinds of music than the one we're playing, and most of the time you get kind of thrown together with bands in the same genre as yourself, which makes it harder to get in touch with other kind of bands. So I got surprised, so fucking surprised, because she was there to look at us, and she thought our bassist was really great, and I thought it all was just awesome. So I kind of chased after her, because, well, she does know Maynard of course, and I think that's really cool. Meet people I look up to and appreciate is something I would like to do more often.

Q15. Some quick questions:

Goth or synth? Synth
Led Zeppelin or Kiss? Black Sabbath
Coffee or tea? Tea
Festival or concert? Concert
Partying or playing video games? Video games. But of course I hadn't played it for 15 years until I borrowed one from a friend of mine a month ago.

Interviewed by Johanna Salo

Visit the Witchcraft Website