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Burning Witches

In the footsteps of the old guard of “ladies with balls” such as Doro and Girlschool, a new heavy metal phenomenon follows and it’s called Burning Witches. For their second album ‘Hexenhammer’ the five women signed a deal with metal giants Nuclear Blast, something that meant the start of something big for many a band. Will the same happen to Burning Witches? ‘Hexenhammer’ proves beyond any doubt that the musical talent is there. What do the ladies think of it themselves? Time for a chat with drummer Lala and place the ins and outs of the Witches under a magnifying glass!

By: Jori | Archive under heavy / power metal

Hello ladies, and congratulations on the upcoming release of your second album. Since this is your first interview with Lords Of Metal, would you please give us a short introduction to the band?
Hello Lords Of Metal. This is Lala. Thanks very much for having us in your interview.
Burning Witches was founded 2015 in Brugg, Switzerland. Its Romana's dream to have an all-female band. She has another band called Atlas and Axis but she's the only female member there. She started to look for the members and Jeanine Grob, her long-time friend became the first official member. She then met Seraina Telli at a party. It clicked right away due to their musical abilities. After a long search and different auditions for a suitable drummer, they found me. Romana asked Alea Wyss to fill in the second axe. But unfortunately, she left the band due to personal reasons and was replaced by Sonia Nusselder as a new member.

The release of your second album was answered by a contract by the mighty Nuclear Blast records. What was your first reaction when the offer was made?
We actually couldn't believe it. We had mixed emotions that cannot be described. It was a dream come true. As a three and half year old Band surrounded by a lot of great bands out there, the chances are low. But luckily, we are in. Because Nuclear Blast believes in us not just as an all-female band but as a band that can play good music. We are so happy to be in Nuclear Blast family.

Your second album 'Hexenhammer' is released about one and a half year after your debut album. At first I was a bit afraid that the album would sound as if rushed to completion, but obviously it does not do so at all! How long have you worked on 'Hexenhammer'? Was there a lot of time pressure to get to a certain release date?
We already started making songs after the first album was released. Seraina and Romana are the ones who are composing the songs since the beginning. We had at least 6-7 songs written already before we got signed by Nuclear Blast. We were well prepared to complete within the time frame. We recorded it after all songs were done, perfect timing to release it in November.

How do you feel yourself about how the album turned out? Proud of the final result?
We are fully satisfied and proud for how the album turned out. Hard work paid off. Even the album artwork is simply just amazing. Thanks to the well talented Hungarian artist, Gyula who made the album artwork. The songs on the ‘Hexenhammer’ album are great. We added some elements until everybody was satisfied and yes, the end product is just great. I guess if the listeners are into 80s heavy metal, they can simply dig this album. But of course, our music also has a touch of modern era.

band image

With all the new possibilities that a deal with Nuclear Blast provides, you decided to record the new album in the same studio as you recorded the debut album. So I take it that you must be very satisfied with the job they do at Little Creek Studio?
We feel at home recording in Little Creek Studio owned by V.O Pulver. There are no reason to change the studio to record the new album. Pulver knows exactly what he is doing and we trust him for his great work which was already proven in our first album titled ‘Burning Witches’.

You did two videos for the album, one for 'Executed' and one for the title track. Why did you pick on these two songs? In what way are these ones special to you?
‘Executed’ is a fast and aggressive song with a lot of melodic riffs and biting vocals. It has all these elements, which is a good appetizer for the listeners of what to expect on the ‘Hexenhammer’ album. We also chose the title song ‘Hexenhammer’ to introduce our album title itself. It's also one of the best songs because its pure heavy metal and catchy as well. Listeners will feel like that they back in the 80s.

For what I hear from other female bands, there is quite some sexism going on even in the metal world. Female bands often tell me that journalists, fans and other people tend to focus more on looks than on the music of these bands, while this does not happen with male bands. Do you have similar experiences?
Yes, some people thought that we are just a bunch of females who are trying hard to fit in to this male dominated world of metal. But we are here to play good music and not only to look pretty on stage. These things can be happening also anywhere else, in normal life, television, social media etc. People can judge someone by looks without knowing the real person itself. Being an all-female band catches attention to some people because it's refreshing and some consider it as rare, because the majority in metal world are male. It's special for them to see some women who are in the band. But there are also people who don't care for the gender, because at the end of the day, it's all about music. Music is the important thing. If someone looks good and plays bad music, it will not make any sense at all, because music is for the heart and ears and not for the eyes.

So how exactly did you land on a tour billing with the mighty Grave Digger?
We played with them at Bang Your Head Christmas special 2017 and they asked us if we are interested to be the support band for their tour in January/February called "The tour of the living Dead". We accepted the offer, it's an honor to support them. It will be for sure a great experience for all of us because this will be our first extensive tour, being on the road for a long time. We will enjoy the fun.

After the tour with Grave Digger, what will the next steps for the Burning Witches be?
There will be for sure many more opportunities for us to perform live in 2019. We look forward to rock the stage in as much countries as possible and promote our music. Romana and Seraina have always great ideas for new songs. As a band, we always continue to work on new songs.

That's everything I had for you. Is there anything you would still like to add?
Check out our new album ‘Hexenhammer’, composed of twelve songs and also available in digi-pack with two bonus tracks. If you are a fan of 80s heavy metal, this is for you. Thanks very much and hope to see you on the road.

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