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Witch Cross

Timeless music, Witch Cross from Copenhagen, Denmark is one of the most underrated traditional metal bands around. Formed back in 1982 but active already since 1979 as Blood Eagle, the band never got the attention they deserved. But the internet brought us a few years ago a complete revival of ‘overal’ following youngsters, totally addicted to the old Scandinavian Metal bands from the very early and mid 80’s. Old School heavy metal from countries such as Finland, Sweden and Denmark is hotter than ever, ever before! What do these old veterans think about this all? Is it just a trend or do you think the Scandinavian heavy metal bands got finally the attention they have always deserved and are here to stay! I talked to the guys from Denmark about the past, now, future and everything between. Play an old classic Metal record and enjoy the chat we had!

By: Patchman Marco | Archive under heavy / power metal

Hi guys, how are you doing? Please tell me about how Witch Cross actually started and by who?
Witch Cross was started after Blood Eagle were left without a keyboard player and drummer. We were getting into the new style of music such as Iron Maiden and Judas Priest more and more and we moved away from the Deep Purple style that Blood Eagle played. By the way there is a misunderstanding that Blood Eagle is early Witch Cross, it's not. I know some tapes has been passed around as Blood Eagle but it is in actual fact early Witch Cross. Blood Eagle never recorded any demo’s. Alex Jan and me (Mike) all played in Blood Eagle and we started Witch Cross together with AC.

What are your musical influences?
Back then we listened to Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Saxon, Judas and Iron Maiden. But we also listened to all the other stuff like Boston, Beatles, Sweet, Slade, Bowie, Police and It all made a great mix and the base for the early Witch Cross stuff.

And have these influences changed through all these years?
These days we all listened to a wide selection of music. Including a lot of acoustic stuff and death metal so anything really.

What about the lyrics, tell me about the subjects and if there is certain message to spread?
We have always written about fantasy and horror but these days we try a few different subjects. But mainly it's about entertainment and not heavy political stuff.

How did you get your record deal with Roadrunner Records back in the eighties? And were you satisfied with them?
We had a deal with a Danish label called Vision and if you're lucky to have a Vision version of ‘Fit For Fight’ then you're very lucky. Vision made a deal with Roadrunner and it worked out well for us. It's just a shame we never managed to release the next album before the band split up.

band image

I have seen you at Very Eavy Festival in The Netherlands and you ripped the place apart, but why did not all other members take part of the reunion? Do you still have contact with them?
We all have contact and still talk together. There was a problems getting everybody together for the reunion but the new line up has been welcomed by the audience and we are really happy playing together.

Why did Witch Cross split up so quickly, around (‘86/’87)?
There were a few problems in the band. AC left shortly after the release of FFF and in 1985 Cole left the band and without enough work it became impossible to keep the band together with the new members.

What have you done between the break and the reunion, have you been active in other bands in between?
Me and Alex left Witch Cross and formed Harlot, a more AOR type of band and after just one album with Harlot I left Denmark in 1990 and moved to England and played in various bands in London. I also worked as a touring musician for different bands.

Are you happy you brought the band back on the map again and what was your best gig so far and how was the feedback on your most up to date album, ‘Axe To The Grind’ from 2013, by press and fans?
We are so happy to be back playing our music. The gigs are all amazing and we have played a lot more countries and venue than we did back in the 80s. We are overwhelmed with the positive feedback from fans and press and we can't wait for the new album to be ready to hit the streets.

To be honest, what’s your opinion about all these youngsters who are totally into the style of music you’ve made, many years before they were even born! Do you think it’s cool the youth of today is hyping your music between each other. And is it something you expected when Witch Cross was at non-active during the nineties?
We had no idea of the interest in the band to be honest. But I think it's a great feeling that our music can live on for so long. We really enjoy meeting people at our gigs and love listening to their stories about why they got into "old" Metal.

Text by Patchman Marco from Headbangers Zine

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