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Het Zweedse Witchcraft is na een periode van vijf jaar stilte terug aan het front met hun beste album tot nu toe. Een wisseling in de line-up en een andere producer zijn daarin belangrijke elementen. Bassist van het eerste uur Ola legt het allemaal haarfijn uit.

Door: Pim B. | Archiveer onder doom metal

Hi guys, first of all congratulations with your new album 'Legend'. It's been a while since you released your previous album 'The Alchemist'. Quite some things have changed in the meantime so let's kick off with asking what happened to the line-up. Quite a few changes there. So, tell us a bit about all these changes.
Thank you very much. We have some new members in the band. Oscar Johansson on drums and Simon Solomon & Tom Jondelius on guitar. We recruited them about 1,5 year ago because John and Fredrik quit the band. They are all awesome musicians and it's a pleasure to be in the same band as them. We wanted good musicians that live in the same area as us and I think we got the best ones!

The other big change is that you moved on from Rise Above Records to Nuclear Blast. Can you tell a bit more about that? Rise Above seems to be the perfect label for bands into that 70s doom/hardrock sound even when Nuclear Blast seems to sign more and more bands in that direction as well, like Orchid and Graveyard.
We decided that we wanted a change and that this fourth album would be like a new beginning for us. Nuclear Blast is treating us really good and they work hard. I'm very satisfied.

Did you actually record the album first and then sign to Nuclear Blast? If so, I assume you paid for the recordings yourself upfront and licensed the recordings right? Probably the way to go for lots of bands these days.
We signed with NB before we recorded the album. They know that we don't make bad albums I guess!

band imageWhere your first recordings really focused on having that 70s sound and vibe, as far as I'm concerned, 'Legend' has a production that still holds those authentic ethics but sounds fresh and modern at the same time as well. I assume working with Jens Bogren might have had an impact on your sound but I can also imagine having a new line-up and possibly changing your idea on how you should sound might have had impact. Please elaborate on this.
We all wanted this album to sound heavier than before and since we had already done three albums with that “authentic” 60s/70s sound it would be boring to do the same thing again. Jens Bogren is a great producer and he brought out the best in us and in the sound I think. As you said it got elements of that old sound but it feels fresh and that is what we were aiming for. The new musicians bring their own style and sound but in the end it's still a Witchcraft album with a Witchcraft sound.

Do you think this 'new' sound of yours might be a gateway to more success? Is getting a wider recognition part of your strategy as a band?
I don't know. I hope good music finds a way through no matter what it sounds like. Of course we want to reach more people but we don't compromise with our sound.

I was also wondering what your opinion is on the popularity of this new wave of bands that draw influences from the 70s whether you call it heavy rock, doom rock, psychedelic rock or whatever. In the last decade lots of bands popped up, not the least in Sweden. How come? It's a fascinating movement don't you think?
I think that the “movement” has been there all the time but recently it has gotten more recognition. I don't know why but I guess it's good. I'm not that interested in trends because they pass over time even though great music keeps getting written.

You started out to record a song form a Pentagram tribute as well as a Roky Erickson tribute if I'm correct. I assume these are amongst your main influences. What other bands inspire you. Is that mainly music from the 70s and maybe 60s or also more contemporary acts?
It was two songs written by Magnus, 'No Angel Or Demon' and 'You Bury Your Head' and those two songs were dedicated to Bobby and Roky. They were released as a 7” in 2001. I get inspiration from everything from 20's jazz and classical music to thrash and black metal and also from movies, books, and other things that gets your mind start working.

So, you will probably start promoting 'Legend' on stage as well? Any plans for upcoming tours?
We are going to Norway in a couple of hours (when writing this) and next year we will tour Europe, the US and as much places as possible.

All right, I think that's all I could think off to ask to you. Anything else you might want to mention to our readers?
Do not miss us live! Live long and prosper.

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