Chatted recently with the drummer of this band, which gave us more information on the duo, who treats us with a Doom Metal dragged and gloomy. We also talk about the Doom scene in Seattle, death and the controversial illegal downloads. Let’s check.
1. The Bell Witch is a relatively new band. Tell us a little about the conception of the band, the first rehearsals, until the recording of the first demo.
Adrian Guerra – We started this project to do only one show. Our good friend asked our old band Lethe to play, but we couldn’t. Our guitar player had left the band. Then we were asked how about just the two of us play. We were up for the challenge as we started rehearsing a week before our first show. Again, this was only suppose to be a “one off” show. We were not going to proceed on the project, but if felt right after our performance that we needed to continue. Or chose to continue for that matter. Dylan, and I had wanted to make heavier, and darker music. As Lethe was an instrumental sludge/stoner rock/psychadelic band. We have both have always been into the “doom” scene here in the United States from our previous bands and love for the genre.
So, after that first show we started rehearsing tremendously, and started writing our demo, and other songs that made it to our full-length. We were playing shows here locally in the Pacific Northwest (Seattle/Portland), and receiving good feedback. The “Demo 2011” was recorded in July 2011 in 3 days with our comrade Brandon Fitzsimons. Brandon also worked with all our previous bands, and has almost recorded everything I have done in the past amongst other great artists. As soon as we received our “Demo 2011” in the mail, we jumped in the van for our first West Coast Tour in October 2011.
2. After the release of the demo and some positive reviews, as was the writing process for the full-lengh “Longing”?
Adrian Guerra – Before we recorded the demo, we had ideas of what we wanted our full-length to be. I mean, we already had “Rows (Of Endless Waves)” written out before we recorded the demo, and was actually one of our first songs. Just with no lyrics. Our writing process for “Longing” was practicing, and not being afraid of writing the music we write. Dylan will come up with a bass line, we talk about it. I play all sorts of drum beats, but you have to have that “one.” For myself, I like to play very minimal when needed. Never take away from the riff that needs to be heard for the song to flow.
3. “Longing” was launched just over a year, as has been the feedback from the album.
Adrian Guerra – The feedback for the album has been great.
4. How did the idea just take the band as a duo and no guitar, just bass and drums?
Adrian Guerra – After we have written songs for the demo. We did try to find other members. A singer, and a guitar player. We did have ideas of what we wanted. Both singers, and guitar players flaked. After we both started singing, we decided to just do it ourselves. More members would probably just be drama. Dylan, and I know exactly what we want out of this band. And we will always be a two piece doom band.
5. I know it’s early for that, but has a prediction for an upcoming full-length album soon? And what you can in advance.
Adrian Guerra – We have started writing for our second full-length. It will sound like Bell Witch.
6. How to make a sound as nihilistic a place that became known as the land of grunge.
Adrian Guerra – I like some grunge, as I grew up here in Washington State. But was it all grunge? I mean we had the Melvins, Burning Witch, and Thorr’s Hammer.
7. You could create a very interesting sound mass. Mix Sludge, Drone, Funeral Doom and still sound melodic harmonies due to the Dylan Desmond makes the bass lines. Explain to us how was this fusion.
Adrian Guerra – Dylan Desmond is a fucking wizard. We both have had hard times in life, and we want to portray the saddest emotions that people generally hide.
8. Some vocal lines are “Organum”, giving a beautiful funeral for some passages. How did the idea to add it to the sound of the Bell Witch?
Adrian Guerra – More dynamics are the better for the songs we write. The harmony chanting vocals bring more of a funeral vibe, as the screams and growls are more of a death suicide vibe.
9. How did the idea to use the sampler of “The Masque of the Red Death” on track Beneath the Mask?
Adrian Guerra – I am a horror movie fan, and “The Masque of the Red Death” is just one of my favorite films. Plus the movie stars with the amazing “Vincent Price!” I was watching the movie and it just came to my head. Like a light bulb stating and idea. “Beneath the Mask” is the intro to “I Wait” which has a very similar message.
10. What is your current playlist?
Adrian Guerra – Here are a few records I have been spinning lately. It is really hard for me to find new artists to jam.
Lycus – Tempest
Chelsea Wolf – Pain Is Beauty
Worship – Doom
Hell – III
Profetus – …To Open The Passages In Tusk
Shadow Of The Torturer – Dronestown
Megadeth – Rust In Peace
Ataraxie – L’Etre La Nausee
Procession – To Reap Heavens Apart
11. How is the Doom scene in Seattle? And what new band you could recommend.
Adrian Guerra – At the moment, there are hardly any doom bands. Currently it is just Anhedonist, Samothrace, Shadow of the Torturer, and ourselves. Others will probably consider themselves a doom band, but I will state different. And the doom scene is not as large as some people might say. Small scene. We all see each other at the same shows, and this is what makes our scene special.
12. For some death is the end of it, for others it is the beginning. What is your relationship with death?
Adrian Guerra – I will embrace death when the time is comes.
13. In closing, I would like to know your opinion about the “illegal downloads”. In your opinion download free help or hinder?
Adrian Guerra – I believe you should be able to download if needed, or to review. I like to spread our music out to the masses. True music lovers, and purchasers will actually find a way to buy the record, and support the band if they truly care.
14. Adrian, thanks for the interview and here I leave the space open for your last message.
Adrian Guerra – Thank you Rodrigo for the interview. And thanks to everyone who has taken the time to give Bell Witch a listen. We have set out goals for the next few months, so stay tuned, and stay DOOMED.