Interview: The Wytches: “Our writing process is so fucked”

As the Brighton force ready their second album, this weekend they play two secret shows in an abandoned warehouse. Not exactly low-key, then. They speak to Ali Shutler.

This Friday, DIY are teaming up with the Fluffer Pit Parties to drop Brighton noise-fiends The Wytches in the middle of a room, surrounded by two-hundred rowdy fans in a secret London warehouse. Then we’re doing it all over again on the Saturday. We’re excited, and even though there’s a high chance they’ll come out of the shows bruised and bloodied, The Wytches are excited too.

“We’ve heard only good things about those pit parties so we’re up for it,” starts Kristian Bell. “Our friends in Kagoule have played them before and said they’re always good. They just go off.” Playing in the middle of the room isn’t fazing the band though. In fact, “it might make the show better. I always end up facing the drums for half the show anyway,” so a three-sixty-degree crowd is the natural fit for the band. He starts questioning the technical aspects of the show before admitting, “I don’t know how it works actually, that’s why we’re excited.”

The organ player that joined them for their live dates in November will be back this weekend, as the band look set to make it a full time thing from now on. “It’s a bit spookier. It’s differing versions of the chords I’m playing so everything’s a bit more melodic but it’s a really harsh church organ sound.” The organ is the only bit about this whole affair the band are worried about. “All our equipment is cheapo but the piano is a nice electric piano so I’m just scared that might get knocked over. It’s pretty heavy though, so if it did, it would probably just crack in half. I think it’ll be fine. We’ll probably just end up using it as a barrier.”

The Wytches: "Our writing process is so fucked"

If things do start getting out of hand, Kristian has a plan. “We just tell people to not hurt each other. If you have to tell them a few times, they’ll start to realise. We’re only ever worried about people getting crushed but we’ve got it under control. They’re there to see us, so I’d hope they’d listen. You just have to make ‘em feel a bit stupid for being a bit too outrageous but it never really happens.

“We’re not scared or anything,” he say before adding, “As it’s a three-sixty thing, maybe we’ll get trapped and overtaken by the crowd.” You can almost hear the glee in his voice.

“The intensity that’s lost through listening on a laptop will be there at a live show, I think. I just think any time I’ve heard our music through a laptop; it sounds rubbish, which is a bad thing really. Live, it’s always a bit better.”

“Our new album is coming out in August or September”

— Kristian Bell

And assuming The Wytches survive this weekend?

“We’re releasing an EP before the end of this month with a video. It’s just a load of home recordings. One of them is an old song that we revived, there’s some instrumentals on there and some completely new material. We made our own little video for it. Then our new album is coming out in August or September.”

The EP is a fire sale, an everything-must-go release before that new album. “It’s songs that were maybe going to be on the album, that we wanted to throw out so there was no temptation to revive them anymore. We’re just throwing out all the material that sounds good as it stands, so we don’t get tempted to do anything else with it.”

And as for the album, well, “it’s a weird one.” Recorded in two sessions, “it’s like two different eras of work, ‘cos our writing process is so fucked. There’s just no structure to it so we went into one studio, put down a load of songs and then we weren’t happy with most of them. We write all the time so we just concentrated on some other ideas and booked another five days somewhere else. Some of it’s really gnarly sounding and some of its really soft and sweet.” The band have been rotating a handful of new tracks in their live sets and they’ve gone over well, which is a relief. “It’s a terrifying feeling putting out another album. It’s just been hanging over me for ages now. I just want to get it out.”

The Wytches play two Fluffer Pit parties for DIY Presents, Friday 29th and Saturday 30th April. Get tickets here for Friday, here for Saturday.


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