Friday, December 12, 2014

WitchClan interview done on 12-12-14 done by Patrick

Here  is  a   new  interview  with  Witchclan  from  the  U.K   if you  enjoy  the early  90's  black metal  I  suggest  checking  this  band  out  soon.Matt is the  only  member  of the  band  but  it  sounds  like a   full  band.So   anyone  into  early  blackend  metal  give this  band  a  chance.

Metal  Regards

Interview   with  Matt  Bass  vocalist  and  all  instruments   of  WitchClan   done  by   Patrick
1.Metal   hails   Matt  please  introduce  yourself  to  the  readers? When  did  you  first  discover   metal  music?
Hey man. My name is Matt Bass and I am the front-man for UK bands Witchclan and Deadman's Blood. I first got into metal in 1987 when I was a young kid. My first taste of heavy music was Guns n' Roses which then quickly led me onto Ozzy, Maiden, and then Megadeth and Metallica. 

It wasn't until 1989 that I bought Hell Awaits after someone at school told me about this band called Slayer. That day changed the way I would see music forever. I'd never heard anything so extreme and fast, and the lyrics were so fucking evil. 

So that was me heavily into Thrash for a couple of years until 1991 when I saw an advert in Metal Hammer for a new album called 'Warmaster' by Bolt Thrower. The cover art looked mental and when I was a kid, I quite often would buy albums just because I liked the artwork on the cover, or I liked the name of the band. I bought it on the week of its release and that was the turning point for me. I couldn't believe the vocalist was singing like that - and it was so crushingly heavy. The rest, as they say, is a 26 year long love affair with extreme metal. 
2.Who are   your  all-time  favorite   bands? Are  their   any  new  bands  you   feel  the  readers  should  check  out  soon?
Wow - there are so many. I suppose if I had to list 15 of my all time favourites, it would be Bolt Thrower, Slayer, Entombed, Darkened Nocturn Slaughtercult, Kreator, Hellbastard, The Exploited, Burzum, Godflesh, Urgehal, GGFH, Paradise Lost, Intense Degree, Guns n' Roses and Ozzy. 

I mean, to be fair - I like a lot of different music and it's not all Metal but if I had to recommend some newer bands it would be Old Corpse Road from the UK, Thunderwar from Poland and Graveyard Shifterz from Finland - all fucking killer bands and really worthy of support and success. 
3. Witchclan  first   formed  in   1990. What  gave  you  all the  idea to  form  Witchclan?  How  did you  all come  up  with  the  name  for  the  band? Why  did  the  band  break  up  in  the  mid nineties?

Well the band was formed by founding members Peter Leathley amd Sharad Anand in 1990 - I didn't join the band until 1993. The meaning behind the name was a kind of inside joke between Pete and Sharad. They knew this group of skank girls called 'the clan', who they hated. The whole idea was just to poke fun at this group of girls so they decided to call the band Witchclan. Apart from that, it also represents a group of witches.

The band had always been plagued with line up issues. In the five years of its existence, the band had a mixture of ten different members. The reason we split up in 1995 was the fact that we really had no clear direction. The band was Black Metal but the other members were leaning more towards Punk, Thrash and Death Metal so we hardly ever agreed on anything and it was hard to get any songs written. We did do one last demo in the Spring of 1995 but it was never released because it was so bad. So all of those factors eventually and inevitably led to the band's demise later that same year. 
4.Matt you  reformed  the  band   in  2009  why  did  you  decide  to  reform  Witchclan?  Did  you   look  for   new  members to  join  the  band  or  did  you  want  to  keep  it  a  one man  band  from  the  start?

In 2009 I was at a kind of new chapter in my life and I felt that I was ready to start making music again. My wife suggested that I started Witchclan again and I had decided that with the modern technology of today, it would be easier for me to do it as a one man project. 

I don't work very well with others because I am somewhat of a control freak. Everything has to be done my way, because I like to have full control over all the songs, all the production, all the art direction - the whole thing. 
I can't see the band ever becoming more than just me, I like it this way so there's no need to change that. 
5.Matt   if  you   had  the  opportunity  to  work  with  any  musicians  {past  or  present}   who  are  some    musicians  you  would  like  to  work  with?
Ah well there really are so many - what a great question. I guess the obvious ones for me would be Varg Vikerness of Burzum, Paul Carter of Thus Defiled, Dani of Cradle of Filth, Euronymous of Mayhem, Onlier of Darkened Nocturn Slaughtercult, Jeff Hanneman of Slayer, I could go on and on... all the greats. 
6.Witchclan   has  just  released  the  new album  "The Dark  Binding" through   Elvester  Records and Darkness Shade Records. How  did  you  come  in  contact  with  these  labels?

Well I was supposed to sign to a Canadian label called The Northern Cold Productions about 5 years ago but they cut off all contact from me and then disappeared. It was at that point when I was talking to a mate of mine who I tape traded with and who also ran a small label called Darkness Shade Records here in the UK. I told him that the record deal had fallen through and that was when he offered to sign me for the debut album. 
I recorded Misanthropist and that was released through Darkness Shade Records in 2011 on CD.

The owner of Elvester Records got hold of a copy of that album and made me an attractive offer last year to release the new album on vinyl and CD with some extra bits like t shirts, posters, patches and so on. 
This was a great opportunity for me and I am grateful to Elvester for everything. I am hoping to release Misanthropist on vinyl through Elvester next year. 

I have of course stayed with Darkness Shade Records for this release as well, and they have released the new album on tape so whatever format you prefer, 'The Dark Binding' is available on all of them.
7.How  long  did  it  take  you  to  write  the  music  for  the  new  release?  Where do  you  draw  inspiration  for  the   lyrics?

Well it's true that the lyrics never come particularly easily for me. I am far more a music writer than lyricist. The vocals are always the last thing to record anyway so I have plenty of time throughout the whole writing process to dream up some lyrics of some sort. 

This time around, it was almost a concept album is some ways. The majority of the songs tell a story about a young female occultist who finds herself swallowed up into the world of the Necronomicon, which eventually consumes her as she turns insane. 
Apart from that, there are a couple of songs on the album which are generally more along the lines of an anti-religious message and tells you to think for yourself instead of worshiping these false gods. We are fast approaching 2015 
and I find it hard to swallow that the vast majority of the human population still buy this crap which is rammed down our throats by religions everywhere.

The final song on the album is a song that Witchclan originally wrote in 1994, which I have adapted and brought more up to date. The lyrics however, were written earlier this year and are dedicated to my good friend Sven Olafson of the band Gomorrah who passed away. The whole album is dedicated to his memory.

8.How   has  the  response  been  from  the  fans  so far? What  about   the  press?

Overall, the reviews from the press have been very good. There have been several zine reviews, some You Tube blog reviews and some website reviews plus a review in the latest Zero Tolerance magazine where it got 4/6 which was very pleasing. 

The fans have all given great feedback from what I've seen. It's clear that people think it's a huge step up from the last album, and I think on the whole, everyone who has heard it has really enjoyed it so I'm very pleased.
9.Matt  you  handle the  vocals  for  the  band  when did  you  first  start  singing/screaming?  Do  you  do  anything  special  to  keep  your  throat/voice  healthy? 

Well I grew up listening to some of the earlier Death Metal bands and Black Metal bands, long before I joined Witchclan in 1993. I suppose of the two genres, the vocalists who had the biggest influence on me at the time were Kam Lee, Chris Barnes, Varg Vikerness, Nocturno Culto and Dani Filth. This was all around the time of between 1991 and 1992. 

The first two Witchclan demos from 1993 have a definite Black Metal style, whilst being very different sounding to each other. It was in 1994 that my vocals also started to incorporate more of a lower style as well as the high pitched one I was previously using. 
These days I have a real mixture of vocal styles so I like to use all of them when I record and that can result in up to 4 layers which creates a very demonic sound.

As for keeping my voice healthy - I smoke a lot, and I eat bad bad food so I don't think I do a great deal to keep it healthy but before either a rehearsal or recording session I do have a mug of hot water which I drink. This tends to open up the vocal chords and prevent you from damaging them. 
10.Matt  who  are  some  of your   influences/favorite  singers?

Well with Witchclan I guess the main influences for me, musically and vocally, would be old Darkthrone, old Burzum, Darkened Nocturn Slaughtercult, and Bathory. I also use quite a lot of orchestration so I suppose that side of things comes from my love of old Emperor, old Cradle of Filth and Troll. I think that pianos, and organs really add a lot of depth to the music and almost gives the songs a whole new dimension. It can create a superb atmosphere as well, if used correctly. 
11.You   also  handle  the  guitars for  the  band  when did  you  become  interested  in  playing  the   guitars? Are  you  self  taught  or did  you  take  lessons  when  first  starting  out?

I suppose I became interested in guitars when I became interested in music - so we're talking about 1986 I guess. The earliest kind of stuff I found myself enjoying was Dire Straights which my Dad used to play quite a lot, so I suppose I owe my early start in music to him in a way. 
I really wanted to begin playing guitar when I joined Witchclan. I didn't end up ever playing guitar for the band in the old days because we ended up getting some more experienced guitarists. So I practiced at home, wrote a few songs for the band and just taught myself to play. 

After Witchclan broke up, I formed a Punk band called M.E.G and it was in that band that I really got down to some hard playing. The band only lasted about a year but we wrote some cool tracks and it was a good time for me to play in a full band. 

When I reformed Witchclan in 2009, I hadn't picked up a guitar in years - and I had left my old guitar at my old flat when I moved out so I bought a B.C Rich Warlock and began playing again. I also play the bass in the band, which I never played before a few years ago so my bass playing is still rather limited - and I have never ever said I am an amazing 6-stringer but I scrape by!
12.Who  are  some  of your  favorite  guitarists? Are their  any  instruments  that  you  would   like  to   learn to  play  someday?

Oh well I like lots of guitarists, but I guess the ones who have always been my real favourites are Varg Vikerness, James Murphy, Chuck Schuldiner, Steve Vai, Great Kat...The list goes on. 

As for instruments I would like to play - the drums are at the top of my list. The drums on my recordings currently are programmed, which is fine but I would like to have real drums in the near future.
13.Matt  you   live  in  the  U.K  what  is  your   opinion  of  the   metal  scene  in the  U.K? 

England has always had a great metal scene. I mean, this is the birth place of heavy metal after all. Black Sabbath are from Birmingham in the UK, and then we had Deep Purple, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Dio, Venom and then bands like Bolt Thrower, Hellbastard, Napalm Death and Cancer, Old Corpse Road, and Cradle of Filth among many many others. These days we are still pushing out some amazing new music from new bands so I think the UK scene has always been very strong and it doesn't show signs of letting up any time soon.
14.who  are some  of  your  all-time  favorite  U.K  bands? Are  their  any  new    U.K  bands  you   feel  the   readers  should  check  out  soon?

I suppose some of my all time favourites are Napalm Death, Cradle of Filth, Old Corpse Road, Hellbastard, Bolt Thrower, Carcass, Thus Defiled, Decomposed, Paradise Lost, My Dying Bride, Chorus of Ruin, Toranaga, Acid Reign, Lawnmower Deth...Again, an endless list. All those bands are well worth checking out.
15.Matt  are  you  currently  working  working  with  any  other   bands  or  solo  projects? If  yes  please  tell  the  readers  about  them?

There are two other band I'm involved with at the moment. The first one is my other solo project Deadman's Blood which is old rotten style Death Metal in the vein of old Entombed, old Autopsy and old Massacre. I formed DMB in 2011 and released a demo called 'Tales From The Darkside' which was some of the sickest material I had ever written. It got some good reviews and got strong attention from Kam Lee who played some of the songs on his internet radio show on Brutal Existence Radio.

The following year I released an EP called 'Product Of A Deranged Mind' which featured guest vocals from Kam Lee and Mike Browning plus guest lead guitar from Brian Werking. This was a surreal situation for me because I had grown up as a teenager listening to Massacre, Nocturnus and Exmortis so to have the opportunity to work with these people was like a dream come true. 

Next year will bring a full length album from Deadman's Blood. At the moment, the band is currently unsigned but I would ideally like to release it through a label so we shall have to see what happens over the next few months. 

The other band I'm involved with is a Death/Doom band which also has Rich Flint from U.S band Atrocity plus our mate Paul. At the moment, we have only recorded one song but over the next few months we will be recording more material for a release sometime in 2015. It's really a kind of mixture of stuff like old Chorus of Ruin, old My Dying Bride, old Anathema, and old Paradise Lost. 

16.Matt  you   also  used to  do  a web/fanzine  when  did you  start  doing  the  zine? How  many  printed  issues did  you   release? Are  you  still doing  the  web-zine?

Yes indeed. I started a physical zine back in 1993 called Crucifixion of which there was only one issue produced, but I was only 13 years old at the time so for the age that I was, it was a pretty cool little publication. I did interviews with Cradle of Filth, Hellbastard, Anathema, Morbid Symphony, Thus Defiled, Exempt, Decomposed and a bunch of others. 
I still do the zine but it's an online version of it now and I really only update it once in a while because I have so many other things going on with the bands, my family life and my day time job. There's a bunch of interesting interviews on there though with Nocturnus, Master, Thanatos, and lots of other cool bands. You can have a look at it by visiting
17.I believe  you  also  do  a  Youtube  show called 'The Metal Reviews' where   you  review  demos, records  and  CD's  that  bands  and  labels  send  you. How  long  have you   had  the  channel   on  Youtube  up?

Yes that's right. I started doing the reviews about 5 years ago I think, just as a bit of fun really. I just wanted to share a few cool things in my collection with other like-minded collectors but it quickly gained popularity until it got to the stage where bands were contacting me to ask if they could post me their stuff to review. These days about 90% of the stuff I show and review is stuff that bands have sent me so it's a great way for me to check out new bands and also promote them and encourage people to support the underground.

18.Please  give  the  readers  the  link to  your  channel?  Are  you  looking  for  bands and  labels to  send you  stuff or do  you  have enough  for  now?  Where  can  bands  and  labels  get  in touch  with you? What  styles  of  metal/rock  do  you  accept?

The web address for my You Tube channel is and I always welcome bands to contact me if they would like something reviewing. There really are no limits - anything from heavy rock and traditional metal, to thrash and speed metal, then onto death, black, doom, and industrial right back to punk and crust. 
19.Well  Matt  we  have   reached  the   end  of   the  interview  do  you  have  any  final  comments   for  the   readers? 

Thank you to you for this cool interview and thank you to everyone who has bought the new album so far. Remember to check it out and order your copy on either vinyl or CD from and if you prefer tape you can get it from
You can check out the band website at and if you're interested in hearing Deadman's Blood you can go to
Support the underground - buy vinyl, CD and tape!