WitcheR (Hungary) 28/01/2020
WitcheR is a band from Hungary, with three full length albums and some demo releases already on their belt, they intrigued me with their majestic, atmospheric and magical Black Metal. The fact that their project is inspired by the world of the Witcher (rpg and novel), was a plus for me as a fan of the rpg. I am really glad that met Ronald, one of the two individuals behind WitcheR, and I found out that apart from their interesting music, he is a very interesting, self-aware person, with goals, dreams and a true love for Black Metal and art.
1. Hello Witcher. Thank you for this interview. Would you like to begin by giving me the biography of the band? How did you two meet and how did you choose this name?
Roland : Hail to you and to the readers. We thank you for the opportunity! WitcheR is a 10 years old story. We met Karola in the Trollheimen band, and WitcheR was formed on the ruins of that band, partly because of a common music interest. We had favorites like Summoning or Nokturnal Mortum, and we wanted to make it in a similar genre, only two of us. The goal was not a professional production, but rather the joy of creation. That was so at the time, it is now, and it will be in the future! The name choice is linked to a role-playing game that is now well-known, based on the fantasy world of Polish writer Andrzej Sapkowski. Not only was RPG a big favorite of ours, but we liked the novels too, and the sound of the name immediately matched the witchy mood we created with the early songs.
2. This year (2019) you released your second full length album, that i think is a very nice album. Are you satisfied with the final result? Looking it now, would you change or do anything in a different way?
Roland : Actually our third album, but after on Metal Archives Boszorkánytánc is featured as demo, everyone calls it the second one. We are pleased that you like the record. I wouldn't change anything afterwards, but that doesn't mean I'm happy with it. Basically, I think we've made the most of it, but it's not a professional production, so obviously it has a lot of flaws and shortcomings. However, people like it, I think you've found the album to its audience, and that's the most important thing right now.
3. What kind of comments have you received so far for “A gyertyák csonkig égnek” by the press or the fans? Are you satisfied with those reactions or were you expecting something different?
Roland : We were surprised. This is the best word to that, what has happened to us since the release of the album. While we are aware of the flaws of the album, we have received so many positive reviews from both fans and the press that we often hardly believed, that was really about us. Hereby I would like to thank everyone for the many orders, support, or just for writing an email, commenting or liking on Facebook, we have all seen it, read it, we are grateful for it. You have given us the strength and opportunity with this to continue!
4. Who is responsible for the compositions? Is it a collaborative process between the two of you or each one writes his part?
Roland : A lot of the tunes are dreamed by Karola on the piano, and the rest I usually play on guitar, but there is no ego, no main composer, we finalize the themes together, so each song is a common child. And in the process, everyone has a role to play.
5. I think Summoning is a strong influence on you, isn’t it? Which other artist do you think have influenced your music?
Roland : Summoning is undoubtedly one of our most important influence, but we have never tried to duplicate them effortlessly, from the beginning we have tried to personalize our music. For example, we have absolutely no movie soundtrack stuff, but we have a lot of attachment to orthodox black metal as well as classical music. What other bands influenced our music? It would be impossible to list! We are huge record collectors, we are constantly exchanging, getting to know new bands, so it would be difficult to pick out just a few. In recent months have been played for example, the new Mgla, the new Denial of God, the last Saor, but I've also been fascinated by the new Borknagar.
6. Your lyrics are written in Hungarian, aren’t they? Would you like to tell me the concept that you deal in the lyrics? Who is responsible for the lyrics and how do you get inspired to write them?
Roland : That's right, our lyrics are written in Hungarian, because this is my mother language, and so I can easily express myself. Obviously, the disadvantage is that only a few people understand what I say, but this is not a hindrance for many, and we have heard from many places that they were able to use Google Translate to drop the Hungarian texts. Otherwise, I write the lyrics, and I tend to sit on them for weeks, sometimes months, so that the end result can stand in its own right as a poem. The concept of the texts to be published on the new album is mostly based on the maximum opposition to the modern world, modern values, and the related themes.
7. Have you started talking about your next steps? Do you compose material for your next release?
Roland : We are currently involved in promoting the new album, so the next step, for example, is to release the vinyl version of the album, and then we would like to commemorate the band's 10th birthday. As the reception of the new album was unconscious, we were thrilled that two song vases had already formed for the next album, but this is the beginning of a very long journey, so no one should expect us to release a new album in a month or two. Of course never say never…
8. You participate in two other Black Metal bands too. Do you want to tell me more about each one? What different sentiments or thought do you want to express through these different projects?
Roland : Vrag is one. This is an absolute propulsion for the old-fashioned black metal, especially before the work of Burzum. I am completely alone and am entertaining myself in a much more traditional way than WitcheR. Just the other day I started working on her third album, maybe in 2021 there might be something out of it. Another project is Earth Plague. This is a real old fashioned, jerk black / thrash metal monster where I don't get involved in the creative process, but at the concerts I help D and Patrick on stage.In addition, a third project is underway, with Zoli from De Profundis, where I will only be responsible for the lyrics and the vocals, and maybe in 2020 we will be completing the first album. Here the black metal of the second half of the nineties will play the leading role.
9. I think since 2017 you run your own record label, Filosofem Records. Do you want to tell me more about this? Are there any albums that you will release in the near future?
Roland : Yes, Filosofem Records is our own label, that we created because we were fed up with not receiving any promotion from most labels - respect for the exception. It's not a big deal to release a record, the real work is to get the album out to people. We just took this on our shoulders, and although the road is very clumsy - many magazines or distributors, for example, can't even respond this to our mail: I don't care about your CD - but we have achieved quite good results at our level. The label will only be dealing with releases of our affiliated formations - not really a publisher in this respect - so the next release will be the vinyl version of the new WitcheR album, but we would like to re-release our Néma Gyász single, New Vrag appear under the Filosofem Records logo for sure. So far, that's for sure.
10. Have you ever played live? Would you be interested in playing live in front of audience?
Roland : That is asked in almost every interview, but there are no plans yet to stage WitcheR. Karola and I both did a lot of concerts in the past, we don't really want to go back to the stage, and this music isn't even for a concert. Of course, we do not rule out the possibility of a live ritual once with the right musicians, but for the time this is practically impossible.
11. Are you in contact or do you cooperate with any other band or artist from Hungary? What is your opinion on the Black Metal scene of Hungary?
Roland : If someone approach us with respect, we will give the respect too, buy the issue, co-operate with it, but do not enter into an unconditional community with anyone! We have a lot of friends in a lot of bands, because although we don't play concerts, we go to a lot of concerts where we try to have at least a few words with a band member. What do I think about the Hungarian black metal scene? Lots of exciting bands have appeared on the palette in recent years, a lot of the big recurring ones - see Marblebog - so I think it's very strong, the scene is special now, lots of bold, exciting and innovative formations, while those who have nothing to look for will disappear.
12. What do you do apart from music?
Roland : I work a lot, I'm an entrepreneur, so my day consists of at least 25 hours, so it's a refreshment when I can take my guitar and create something. Besides, I am raising two children, so I have virtually no time for anything else, but if I do, I immediately open up a book.
13. Would you like to add anything as a conclusion?
Roland : Just thank you so much for your support, both for the critics and for this interview! If some are interested in our music, the new album can be found on Youtube, but it's free to download from Bandcamp, and if someone want a CD, cassette or vinyl, feel free to email us!