Interview: All Them Witches
Mon, 15 Dec 2014 07:37:17
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Blues and rock can still cast a spell. All Them Witches prove that on Lightning At the Door. It's an otherworldly collection of unique, undeniable, and unbridled sonic alchemy. You'll instantly be entranced after one listen, and once your under their spell, there's no leaving. That's what makes All Them Witches one of the most intriguing and inviting rock bands to emerge this decade. Let Lightning strike you...
In this exclusive interview, guitarist Ben talks Lightning at the Door and so much more.
Did you approach Lightning at the Door with one cohesive vision or vibe in mind?
We did not have any kind of vision for it. That’s probably the least fun answer. We went into the studio really late on the first night with four of the songs written and experimented with a few things. We got a bunch of beers and wrote the rest of the record basically that night until about four in the morning. We went in the next day and tracked everything live in the same room. We spent about three or four days actually tracking and recording it. We didn’t listen to it for six months. We didn’t listen to a single song for six months, literally. We went back into the studio because we were ready to see what we had done and listen back to it. We were like, “Holy shit, this needs to be put out”. Right after we recorded it, we didn’t know when it was going out or even if it would.
Would you want to repeat that process?
I want to do that as much as possible. Our band is constantly recording. We’ve recorded so much music since then and haven’t even listened to it. I recommend bands doing that. You can get so caught up on recording an album, and after weeks and weeks, it just turns into this product you’re not even proud of anymore. You’re focusing all your time on it when there are so many other awesome things like touring, playing shows, jamming, and having fun. Lightning at the Door does not define our band. It’s a very small moment in our band’s time. That’s why I definitely love it so much—and we all do. It’s also why it came together and worked.
Why did it work so well that night?
We were going through a bit of a down time. We put out Our Mother Electricity, and we were playing a ton of shows. We all had to work jobs and make money. The band was not sustaining us. We were working a ton. We weren’t doing much at all. Then, we were like, “We have some of these songs written. Let’s get together”. We hadn’t been hanging out much then either. We got that energy back, and it was magical.
What’s the story behind “Mountain”?
“Mountain” is actually the oldest song on the record. In fact, it could have been on our first record. We didn’t cut it on the first one though. It was fitting to save it for the very last song. If you talk to any of the other guys, they would all agree that’s our favorite song to play. I don’t even know what the lyrics mean. Parks is very secretive about his lyrics, but they’re my favorite lyrics he’s ever come up with. We’d been playing it for over a year before ever recording it. The original ending was a lot different and faster. After we recorded it, I made everybody go back into the studio just to redo this ending to get it perfect. We finally nailed it.
What artists shaped you?
Robbie and I are huge Dead heads. I like the classic guitar players. I’m huge into The Allman Brothers and Peter Green. I love Jimi Hendrix. Parks is into a lot of world music. He listens to some really cool music and Indian music. Since he’s from Louisiana, he brings in the whole Cajun Louisiana blues vibe. Allan grew up his whole life never listening to rock ‘n’ roll. He only listened to classical music. He’s a classically trained pianist and violinist. All of that classical influence you might hear in our music is from him.
If you were to compare the album to a movie or a combination of movies, what would you compare it to?
That is a very, very good question. Maybe it would be Dead Man with Johnny Depp? All four of us absolutely love that movie. The score by Neil Young is amazing with the crazy guitar jabs. I like to think if you played our record with that movie, it might be cool. There’s a whole dark, weird, and ominous vibe. It’d probably be Dead Man.
Have you heard All Them Witches yet?