Band Name: Witchclan
From: East Sussex, United Kingdom
Represent: Occult/Anti-religion, Black Metal
Influences: Burzum, Darkened Nocturn Slaughtercult, Old Corpse Road, Urgehal
Latest Release: ‘Misanthropist’ full-length, released Oct 31st 2011 Darkness Shade Records
1. How did Witchclan get started?
The band started in 1990 by Peter Leathley who at the time played drums and vocals. The band at the time were called Curse and had Sharad Anand on guitars and Matt Baines on Keyboards. In 1991 the name changed to Crypt, then later briefly to Hellgrind before finally settling on Witchclan in 1992. Back then the band were more of a Blackened Thrash band influenced by the likes of Bathory, Venom, Slayer and Possessed. I joined the band in 1993 and we recorded a couple of demo tapes before Peter and Sharad left the band leaving me on my own. I got more members in the band, Dave Howell on bass, James Pruden and Jon Lee on guitars and Nick Parton on drums and in 1994 we started to rehearse and write new material. In Spring 1995 we recorded a terrible demo which (thankfully) never saw the light of day because later that year we split up the band because we were all bored of it and it wasn’t really going anywhere.
It wasn’t until 2009 that I resurrected Witchclan as a solo project and released the bands 3rd official demo in 2010 entitled Descend Into Darkness. It was limited to 200 copies on tape and 20 on CD, and it had a good reception. In early 2011 I was approached by a Canadian label called The Northern Cold Productions to sign for a full length but this deal fell through and so I decided to put out a limited edition promo tape just for labels. I was friends with Paul from Darkness Shade Records here in the UK and he offered me a deal for the debut album which I took straight away. The album was released on October 31st last year and was limited to 500 copies. It’s been selling very well and is nearly sold out. That is pretty much the story so far.
2. What are your lyrical inspirations?
Darkness, the decaying world around me, misanthropy, poetry, hate. My lyrics are all from my heart, and turned into a fictional experience for the listener. I don’t write about things I don’t believe in just because it may sound cool – my lyrics are all my own real thoughts and feelings.
3. How important is it for physical releases by Witchclan?
It’s very important to me. I’m grew up in the 80’s way before all the internet came about and before MP3s were invented so for me it was all about going to the record store each week flicking through the Metal vinyl and going home with a carrier bag full of the latest Metal LPs. Walking down the street with a cassette walkman on, not a fucking ipod!! Today’s youth is too quick to click a button and download something for free and the industry is so disposable now and I see this as a bad thing. I think it’s important for true Metal bands to release physical demos and albums because this is the essence of real metal, and there are still so many people out there would recognise and support this. Support the true underground and BUY the releases – downloading is theft and is disrespectful to the bands who put their hard work and money into making it.
4. What’s the recording process like for Witchclan?
Simple, straight forward and relaxed. Being that I am the only member of the band, I can record whenever I like and there is no pressure on me to have things a certain way or do things by a certain time. I record at home and I do it at my own pace, and never rush anything. Of course it takes a lot longer being that I am the only person in the band but the end result is what I aim for and this is never compromised.
5. What are your plans for the future?
There are plans for a compilation album later in 2012 on Darkened Shade Records featuring only UK Black Metal. So far Abwerhschlacht, Mystiabllus, Orbis and Witchclan are confirmed and we are hoping Old Corpse Road will also join the ranks. This will be brand new material from all bands and is set to be a great album so we are all excited about it.
Other than that, there will be new Witchclan t shirts coming soon and next year a new album.
Answered by Matt Bass, March 2012