EMQ’s with WITCHTIT
Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Raleigh, North Carolina based Doom Metal band, WitchTit. Huge thanks to guitarist, Nate Stokes, for taking part.
What is your name, what do you play, and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?
My name is Nate Stokes, I play guitar in WitchTit. I joined up after Patrick (drums) and Daniel (guitar) had worked on a couple songs. I thought the tunes were weird, and they thought I could handle it. Here’s this guy that’s a killer acoustic/folk type player that decided to start playing doom metal and something was different about his riffs. A strange twinge towards dissonance that I liked. We sort of started as a joke, (at least in my mind) and we’d sometimes wear these adhesive prosthetic boobs Daniel ordered from some weird Chinese website at shows. It started out pretty rough, but pretty soon more people started liking us and coming to shows. When we got asked to play bigger shows we put our asses in gear, filled out the line-up over time with Justin on bass and Reign on vocals, and got more serious about it.
How did you come up with your band name?
Look, I know the name is a bit goofy, but believe me when I say it wasn’t the dumbest on the list. I think we seriously considered calling ourselves “Spermicidal Doomcicle” at some point, but in our defence, Daniel wanted “Spermicidal,” which is undoubtedly better, but I hated it. So, my plan was to compromise, (by making it worse) and hope we picked something else. So that happened. I don’t remember every detail, and I’m sure if you asked the other guys, you’d get wildly different stories, but that’s what I remember anyhow. The name is definitely a take on the old phrase “cold as a witch’s tit,” and I think that’s about all there is to read into on that one.
What Country/Region are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?
We’re from Raleigh, North Carolina. The scene is great here. Maybe it’s just that I’ve gotten deeper into it over time, but I do think that compared to the time I moved here sixteen years ago, it’s really exploded. But it’s not TOO big, which is awesome. You can kind of know everyone, while still playing to a good amount of folks, and it’s not so big that everyone is super splintered off into “I’m a doom guy,” or “I’m a death metal guy,” it’s more like “I like ALL this heavy shit, let’s go.” A whole bunch of bands (us included) practice in rooms behind a local venue, The Maywood, and everyone there is pretty tight, which is a pretty cool thing to see and be a part of. Since all the venues are struggling with the virus restrictions, all those bands got together and put out a comp to raise money for this one in particular. Look it up on Bandcamp, buy some stuff, it’s helping a venue that’s supported metal like no other around here. Shoutout to Brenna of CRYSTAL SPIDERS for wrangling up a bazillion knuckleheads in bands to make that operation happen!
What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single, Video)
The aforementioned Maywood Compilation has an unreleased track from our upcoming album, and before that we did a split cassette with Etiolated. The split is a lot different than what we’re doing now, but I still stand by the songs, and we’ll occasionally bust ‘em out live, with some fresh changes that naturally come with different members.
WitchTit – ‘Crimson Tide’ Exclusive Video Premiere
Link to the Maywood Compilation
Who have been your greatest influences?
This is always the hardest question, because this is the sort of thing that snowballs over time and gets huge, while still constantly changing. For me personally, there were a few early milestone discoveries, when I was craving heavier and heavier like Megadeth, Sepultura, Death, Burning Witch, Sleep, EYEHATEGOD, etc. Lately I’ve been on more of a classic heavy metal/rock n roll fix: Blue Oyster Cult, Mercyful Fate, Motorhead, Thin Lizzy, Witchfinder General. So lately the faster sort of NWOBHM type riffs in WitchTit are often my contribution. I also love Voivod, Samothrace, Savagist, Tempel, Pilgrim, Destroyer of Light, and so many more. Like I said, hard question. Summing this all up in a tight little list is hard.
What first got you into music?
My older brother played guitar, so I just kinda picked it up. Before that I’d had some piano lessons and got into band class in school – for some non-music types, my parents did a good job of steering me towards it, perhaps accidentally. But what REALLY got me excited about writing riffs and stuff, and wanting to be in a band? I heard Megadeth’s “Rust in Peace” and my face melted! It was like my bible from age 14. Everything heavy I’d heard leading up to that was super proggy, and I’d be sitting there in front of a CD player fast-forwarding through the boring parts to get to what I considered the fun ones.
If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?
Okay, so I’m imagining one of those live on-air KEXP videos here – Joey Karam from The Locust sitting in with us. It’s keyboards, but not like “I play electronic piano,” it’s CHAOS. It’d be a cool addition, I think. We’ve toyed with the synth idea in passing before, I’m just not sure we know how we’d actually want to implement it yet.
If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?
Shadow Woods. It’s just cool; it’s got heavy stuff from all the subgenres and it’s outside.
What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?
Nothing insane comes to mind, but a friend of ours did give us a little ceramic gnome hand-painted in black metal getup to keep in our practice space. I eventually brought him home since he fell off Justin’s amp and a chunk broke off. Don’t worry, the little guy is safe now.
If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?
You’re trying to cheat! Gotta listen to the tunes for that answer!
If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?
Phil Lynott, but only if he wanted to. I wouldn’t dare go against his wishes.
What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?
That feeling when everyone in the band is just on it, everyone’s right there, and it’s all coming together perfectly. It’s great in rehearsal, and then you add a bunch of people there at a show feeling the same way, and it’s even better. I hate loading gear out. Loading in is fine. At load out, you’re sweaty, you’re tired, and you wanna chill and drink beer. But it ends up you’re either wrangling up a bandmate to get all the shit moved, or they’re wrangling you. It’s no fun for anyone.
If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
Good bassists should get more credit, just don’t tell them I said so.
Name one of your all-time favourite albums?
“Fire of Unknown Origin” – Blue Oyster Cult.
What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?
Vinyl if you love it and need it immortalized, cassettes if you’re about broke at the show, CD’s for the car, downloads for convenience. If you’re supporting bands and/or enjoying music, I ain’t gonna argue about the format too much.
What’s the best gig that you have played to date?
Back in March of 2018 we opened for EYEHATEGOD, Cro-Mags, and Buzzov*en. It was sold-out, packed even for us lowly openers, and all our punk metal heroes were super cool to us. Can’t ask for much more than that!
If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?
Between working at a music venue for about seven years, (Gotta mention The Pour House Music Hall for kickin’ ass) being in bands, and almost all of my friends having some relation to these things, I don’t really know. Video games? A lucrative career? Who knows? The world would be my shitty, boring oyster. My dog would probably stoked to see me more though, and it IS possible I would own more ‘80s/90s Nissan Hardbodies that barely run.
Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?
Donald Trump, four of his cronies, make one of those Rudy, and the food is poisoned.
What’s next for the band?
We’ve got a single coming out Dec. 14, a video for that one sometime in January (see link above), second single in February, and come March 12, the full-length “Intoxicating Lethargy” will be out. We’re a pretty good ways into writing the next, so hopefully we can have that done in time to play shows again and tour!
What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?
Jaffa Cakes? Are they a cake or a biscuit?
I’m from the South. Don’t sound like no biscuit I ever heard of. Plus, it already has cake in the name.
*FULL DISCLOSURE* Above was my first stream-of-consciousness answer. After a quick google search, it just seems like a Moon Pie to me, so…neither? Still closer to cake.
Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?
Nope. Thank You!
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