Bent on Reviving Forgotten Horrors:
An Interview with Psychedelic Witchcraft
Kelly M. Hudson
“Witchcraft is dead…and discredited…” is the phrase that starts the first EP by Psychedelic Witchcraft. But this band is indeed bent on reviving forgotten horrors, because with a stroke of the guitar, the bang of a drum, the throb of the bass, and the crooning of that siren voice, rock and roll has returned in the oldest form of all: wielding wild magic.
Album opener “Angela” is a tune that you cannot get out of your head. It serves as an earworm, informing your every thought as it weaves its way into your soul. All rock, part psych and part doom, “Angela” will stay with you for days. “Lying on Iron” is next and brings with it a fluid, Floydian sound, a ballad but not in the traditional sense. It is both moody and moving, with the voice of lead vocalist Virginia Monti carrying the tune to its mystical destination. “Black Magic Man” is a pure rocker and must scorch in a live setting. And finally “Slave of Grief” finishes this all-too brief outing, with plenty of psych and a nice Black Sabbath-inspired, freak-out ending.
All of this excellence from a band that is very new and fresh in a scene clogged with dozens of similar, Occult Rock-style groups. But Psychedelic Witchcraft sets themselves apart from the pack, mostly due to the force and power of their founder and leader, vocalist Virginia Monti. She is charming, intelligent, and funny. When I asked her the obligatory question about if she practiced the Occult at all, given the content of the lyrics and the name of the band, she responded with a hearty laugh. “Ahahahhahahah…a real Witch would never tell the truth about magic…so I will pass on that one…” This being an answer at once provocative, inspired, funny, and deep, all of which are trademarks of this talented young lady.
Kelly M. Hudson: What is your bio? Where is the band from, when did you start, and who are all the members?
Virginia Monti: Well my Bio is not that interesting, I guess. I was just a normal Italian girl that used to write songs for herself and that was it. I never expected to make a band and actually record my stuff for real. The band is from Italy, mainly Florence. The drummer, Daniele Parrella, and the guitarist Samuel Giuntinelli, are from L’isola D’Elba. The bass player, Marco Passaretti, is not from Florence; he is from the south of Italy. The band actually started 1 month ago; I think less than a month, because I recorded the EP with other guys, friends of mine from Florence that left my project after the recordings. So Psychedelic Witchcraft started as a solo project in the first place and then it evolved into being a real band.
KMH: What inspired you to start a band?
VM: Oh, I was in such a bad period for me some months ago and I was so confused. I needed to do something to prove to myself that I wasn’t that bad. Yeah, or something close to that, so I decided to record just a song in my home, just for fun, and then posted it for fun on Instagram. And boom! I had so many comments and reactions from people, I was amazed. And so I decided to try to write a few more songs and record it for real. So yeah, I didn’t plan to do this and even now that the EP is out, I wonder sometimes why am I doing this? But I keep doing it anyway…
KMH: Who would you say is your biggest influence, as a singer and as a guitar player?
VM: Uh…I am not a real guitarist seriously. I just use the guitar to write songs and melodies and riffs and that’s it; I don’t even use the guitar on stage. But if I have to pick a model for the guitar…well, Jimi Hendrix, for sure. And then for the vocals, I have so many role models because I am pretty divided into Blues and Rock, so I can’t just pick one. I can try to pick my favorites: Grace Slick, Ozzy, Dinah Washington, and Paul Rodgers. And of course Robert Plant.
VM: Another difficult question! I’ve loved horror movies since I was a kid, so it’s hard just to choose one. But if I have to choose, I will probably go to a classic one like “Rosemary’s Baby.” I love Polanski. Then another one that I really love is “The Devil Rides Out”… a wicked one as well.
KMH: What do you think of the concept of an afterlife? What will it be like, if there is one?
VM: I will love to “live” or better not exist in a place where there is no space and time. Lol! It’s pretty hard, actually. I don’t know anything about life or afterlife …but since things always change and always move…the merry go round never stops…and I don’t think that in the afterlife it will stop. Maybe we live again. Yeah, that’s probably what I am closest to believing.
KMH: What is your biggest goal for your band?
VM: Oh, well, I don’t know. For me it’s already a dream come true to actually be out there and having people listening to my songs and my music. I was joking with a friend of mine that’s in a band and I was saying to him: “I am NO ONE, so I am already lucky.” And he said “You are SOMEONE ..you are a person.” So I guess that’s what I feel now; I feel very lucky. And I don’t know what the future will bring us. We are just working very hard, walking the road, but we don’t know where it is going to bring us.
KMH: Do you have a favorite horror author? Also, what’s your favorite horror novel?
VM: Yeah, a lot like the movies…I guess apart from Dennis Wheatley, my favorite horror novel is Dracula by Bram Stoker. It was the first novel I ever read when I was, I guess 10 or 11 years old and it still remains my favorite one.
KMH: If you could be in any band, past or present, who would it be and what instrument would you play (or if you’d just sing)?
VM: FREE! I AM IN LOVE WITH FREE. SO YEAH! FREE ALL MY LIFE! Hahahahahha! And I would love to be the singer Paul Rodgers!! Yeah I love them so much!!!
VM: It’s very strange; I don’t plan anything, sometimes I have days when I write 3 songs in 1 hour and then I have months without writing anything. When I feel that I have things to say that are haunting my mind, I just grab the guitar and start to play. Usually I find a riff then move ahead with a melody and fit the words in it. That’s usually what I do. The hardest part is to actually write what I feel …because sometimes it’s hard and you feel a little bit of shame because you are actually putting yourself in the song. So yeah that’s the hardest part.
KMH: Who would be your Mt. Rushmore of Rock? You get to pick one singer, one guitarist, one bassist, and one drummer, all who you think are the greatest of all time. The only restriction is they can’t be from the same band. You can choose from just rock, from metal, or from any kind of combination.
VM: Yeah, I will do a combo because I love metal but I am not that huge of a metal follower; I am more into the hard rock, 70’s style. So I will do a combo.
Vocals: Paul Rodgers
Guitar: Jimi Hendrix
Bass: Geezer Butler
Drums: John Bonham
KMH: My favorite band of all time is Led Zeppelin. You seem to love them, too.
VM: They are actually one of my favorite bands of all time. I remember clearly the day when I was 8 years old, I picked from my father’s library Led Zeppelin II. I listened to it entirely…and when I woke up (because I felt like I was in a weird, powerful dream), my life changed forever.
KMH: Who would you love for your band to open for?
VM: Orchid, for sure…
KMH: Is there a particular country you haven’t visited that you would love to play in as a band?
VM: Yeah, the USA…California. It’s my dream since I was a young kid. I would love to visit San Francisco. I hope I will be able to do so one day; I hope soon…and with the band would be RAD!!!
VM: I am the singer, the songwriter, the manager, the stylist…ahahhahahahha, fuck! I think they will hate me one day. Ahahhaha!
And there it is, a glimpse into the life of the brainchild behind Psychedelic Witchcraft. Do yourself a favor and go support this amazing band. You can find their stuff via the links below.
Long Live Rock!
Preorders are open for the Zombiesuckers CD, “STITCHED TOGETHER” For $12.00 (PLUS SHIPPING) this piece of madness can be yours!
Limited to 100 copies, Stitched Together ships bundled with the 7″ single, “CREATURES COME ALIVE” and two buttons!
01. Endless Sleep
02. Mole People
04. Space Mutants
05. Evil Dead
06. Parade of the Undead
07. Astro Zombies
09. The Pale Child
10. Ed Gein
BEHOLD the vile mole people that lay hidden beneath the surface of the earth, and watch in fright as they crawl through the soil!
TREMBLE in fear as you look to the sky and glimpse the hideous space mutants as they descend from the Heavens!
BEWARE the ZOMBIESUCKERS are coming!
Technicolor Terror and Swedish horror-punks, Zombiesuckers are proud to bring you “Stitched Together” A horrifying collection comprising two of the band’s digital EP’s, “Mole People,” and “Space Mutants” packaged in a LIMITED EDITION digipak and rounded out by a handful of unreleased acoustic cuts.
Technicolor Terror will open soon to pre-orders this MONDAY (07/13/2015)
All pre-orders will include the 7” single “CREATURES COME ALIVE” and two buttons, featuring the “Stitched Together” artwork album art and the Technicolor Terror logo!
The clocks ticking, soon we will be dropping our first record in the form of a FREE compilation of some of the biggest and best names in the horror-punk scene. Take a peak at the KILLER cover art and track list.
Stay tuned, creeps.
We have some horrific things in the works and soon and will be accepting PRE-ORDERS on a record by one of the FIRST BANDS covered by Technicolor Terror!
1. Bloodsucking Zombies From Outer Space – Technicolour Terror
2. Silent Horror – Mary Jo
3. Maleva – Halloween Night
4. Fifty Two Ways – 976
5. Zombina and the Skeletones – Dracula Blood Deep Vein Thrombosis
6. THEM! – Maneating Mutant Monsters
7. Children of October – Murder Is My Name
8. The Dirge – Requiem
9. Lupen Tooth – Skin All over the Place
10. They Live – Alazif
11. The Spook – One With The Devil
12. Xtian Goblyn – Wasp Waist
13. Schock – Deep 13
14. The Theatre Zombies – Dear Christine
15. Dr. Hell – I Won’t Pay For Sex With Rotten Bitches
16. Werevilsdare – Whorehound
17. Crazies – Ghost
18. Headstone Horrors – Frankenstein’s Girl
19. Shadow Windhawk and the Morticians – The Marsten House
20. The Zombie Mafia – The Bloodening
21. American Werewolves – I Spit On Your Grave
And for all you bands, our forthcoming label is currently INVITE ONLY and while we will be open for general submissions later this year, we will be paying close attention to the bands submitting. So if you’re interested and missed out, don’t fret — We will be opening submissions for Vol. 2 in August for a HALLOWEEN release!
Electric Citizen Live, Cincinnati, 6/19/15
Kelly M. Hudson
It goes like this: Riff, riff, riff, Motherfucking RIFF! And the drums, colliding, cascading, pummeling, and yet always under control, alwa ys pushing the songs to swing, so your head bangs as your ass boogies.
The bass, that sensual throb, that thumping, propulsive and yet underlying bedrock of the songs.
And the voice, oh dear god, that voice: all at once possessing the sultry witchiness of Stevie Nicks combined with that lonesome and paranoid wail of Ozzy from the early 70’s.
This was Electric Citizen in concert.
They did a free show the other night in a nice little cool club in Cincinnati called the Northside Tavern. I have been listening to the Citizen for about a year now and my appreciation of them has steadily risen. The metal world is nearly drowning in stoner/doom/psych bands these days, a lot of them with a female singer, and the Citizen is exactly like these and so many other bands glutting the market and so they should feel stale or boring and yet…and yet…
Seeing them play, hearing the songs as they cascaded over the crowd, I couldn’t help but feel like I was witnessing the cusp of something great to come. It’s like I was there, right before the band went big. And will this band go big? Probably not. They’re a niche band in a niche market, but my fucking god it’s a crime if they don’t at least come to rule that niche or be considered as a part of its upper echelon. I mean, come on. The way the riffs were just pealing from the guitar (and his solos! Damn but Dolan can play!), the way the bass held it all together, the glue that kept the groove, the way the drums were so powerful and yet so melodic, and her voice, oh, her voice.
It truly was like I’d stepped into a lost and forgotten concert from the early 1970’s.
This show was something else. I encourage you to head out and get yourself some Electric Citizen. You can find everything you want at http://electriccitizenband.com/ from a video to links to buy their record and t-shirts and the like. I encourage you to do so. The underground always needs your help.
Electric Citizen is:
Ross Dolan (guitar)
Laura Dolan (vox)
Nick Vogelpohl (bass)
Nate Wagner (drums)
The eleventh installment of everyone’s favorite slasher franchise returns with the unimaginative title: “Halloween Returns.”
Written by Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan penning the script—the team behind the various Saw films as well as the Collector, the Collection, and Feast. According to horror-hub, Bloody Disgusting, Marcus Dunstan is set to direct.
Plot details emerged through MovieHole, though there is no telling the accuracy, but they are as follows:
The now 18-year-old child of one of Myers’ victims plays a central role along with the child of a cop whose long been obsessed with Myers’ case, even putting it before his own daughter. Myers is now on death row and the two kids with their own personal vendettas against the killer sneak in to watch his execution. But when things go awry and Myers escapes, the pair, along with their friends, find themselves in the firing line.
Though no solid details as to which timeline the film is set (that of John Carpenters or Rob Zombies), the studio is not considering the film a remake or a re-boot, but rather a “recalibration”
Production is slated to begin this July.