Introducing... Witchingseason

Witchingseason are a young trio from Kent/London who take the influence of artists such as Soundgarden, Alice In Chains and Queens of the Stone Age to fashion a grungy, gritty, psychedelia-tinged alt.rock sound. Frontman Tom Reynolds sheds a little light on their dark, hypnotic noise...

Q. What were the factors that drew the members of Witchingseason together, and what was your original vision for the band?

James (Willans, bass) was a friend of my brothers. From a really young age I knew he played guitar and spoke to him now and again but it wasn’t until he mentioned his love for Mark Lanegan that I became really interested in trying to play together. I actually met Wayne 9Summers, drums) at my old job about 4 maybe 5 years ago now :I knew he played drums and have been begging him ever since to join! I suppose you could say the original vision was kind of like the Mark Lanegan Band with the sleaze of The Doors with maybe a bit of Tom Waits strangeness!

Q. Tom, by your own admission, the Witchingseason sound is heavily influenced by artists such as Pearl Jam, Soundgarden and Alice in Chains: why did those bands in particular speak to you as a teenager?

Well I suppose I loved them because I believed those bands. I think any artist who truly lets go when they play and has a statement to make is believable. It’s not about being amazing at one thing, it’s art, it’s an expression. Listen to people like Eddie Vedder, Chris Cornell, Josh Homme, Dave Grohl and Jim Morrison - it’s balls-to-the-wall raw emotion, giving so much they could break any second and it’s exciting. I think bands are to self aware these days.

Q. Your self-titled EP is coming in November: what can you tell us about it?

It’s hard to describe. We have been playing the songs for months now live etc and it’s second nature but the EP is a real push - it’s fuzzy and sleazy and fat sounding. It’s just very natural to play and to listen to.

Q. There’s been a lot of talk recently about a resurgence in the guitar music scene in the UK: what do you make of the situation of the nation for guitar bands right now?

I don’t know if I’m honest! It depends what you mean: if you mean one guitarist/bassist and a drummer then yes. I was at Reading [festival] and must have experienced at least 10 of those bands and then there was Brody Dalle who in my opinion is one of the best guitar-based artists right now and has been for a while now. But if we are talking about fuzzy a Mudhoney/Melvins sort of thing I’d say they exist, just not in the mainstream. But that’s not a negative thing: music changes and that’s cool - music is dictated by its audience not by the artists. We hear what everyone else wants to hear and if that’s guitar-based that’s good.

Q. Describe your current mind-set in five words.

Free. Changing. Tired. Confused. Interested.

The band’s self-titled EP, featuring the singles Spiders and Codeine, is set for a November 10 release.

Paul Brannigan
Contributing Editor, Louder

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Born in the North of Ireland, Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.