Later last year The Wytches released their highly anticipated second outing All Your Happy Life on Heavenly Recordings. As almost every review from around that time concurred, it was a more than successful, if not "unpolished", come-back for the Peterborough Alt-Rockers. Now embarking on their latest UK and European tour, Third caught up with drummer Gianni Honey to find out more about their live sound and gigs
But first, we can't miss this opportunity to give a quick nod to why we think The Wytches are such an enticing proposition, and why indeed it's a hunt to find other bands of their quality and ilk. The Wytches specialise in something we have long-time admired here at Third Outing; rawness. Look at The Cribs reference in our name, it's based on our own DNA. So when it's said that The Wytches latest release All Your Happy Life is "unpolished" or "rough around the edges", particularly in comparison to the much loved first release Annabel dream Reader, you cannot help but draw these natural comparisons to such music greats.
But the truth is, that to deliver this kind of sound is a very difficult task. As a film making friend of ours always reminds us, "it's difficult to make something look DIY". It takes skill, precision, and a passionate execution. It's exactly the same in music. The rawness as portrayed at times throughout All Your Happy Life is the very same magic that leaves many other bands with less talent asking. The others are trying to be DIY, The Wytches aren't.
As Gianni alludes to in our interview, The Wytches sound is a sparser affair than the packed out sounds many recording studios supply their artists. Sparse. It's a suitable word to describe their music. It almost begs a musically primitive notion that there isn't enough room on the record to "mess around", again as Gianni puts it. But we think it's much simpler than that.
Quite simply, The Wytches just aren't losing focus on what's important, and that's the unique, raw sound that only the four of them, together, can muster. Nothing is in the record without merit. Nothing is added that doesn't need to be. The Wytches aren't hunting for anything to fill the gaps, and that's also specifically the reason why it's a hunt to find other bands of their quality around. Don't say something in ten words when you can say it in two. That's the ethos. Here's what happened when Third spoke to The Wytches' drummer Gianni Honey...
Hello Gianni. Many people are still attached to Annabel Dream Reader. How do you view your work from the era before All Your Happy Life? A very simple time where writing and recording came really easy. We had a lot of fun and took a lot for granted. Ups and downs, highs and lows, blood and tears, the usual.
Your sound could almost universally be described as Lo-Fi or "raw". What do you think that means? I think the majority of people are used to really packed out recording methods where there's a lot going on, and then we do stuff and it's quite sparse. When we record onto tape there just isn't enough room to mess around. That's why we like it.
At this point in the game, is it important to you to create a sound that is new or different from what you have done in the past? We never try to overthink how we write music. We usually just put them into categories of "heavy" or "soft". That's about it. Mark's been nailing the solos lately though. Especially the keyboard solos.
"Our favourite venues are basically anything small and gritty. Where the toilets are overflowing with piss and you
can smoke in the dressing rooms"
You're on a UK and European Tour right now. For the fans, which track is the high-water mark at your gigs?Hmmm. Gravedweller and Ghost House go down good. Holy Tightrope has been in the set for years too. Hopefully will bring back some old ones for this Spring run of shows.
You just said Manchester was the best show of this run so far. Do you have a favourite venue in the UK? Joiners is up there. Lennons was quality too. Shame it shut. Sneaky Pete's was a laugh a few years back too, so small! Basically anything small and gritty. Where the toilets are overflowing with piss and you can smoke in the dressing rooms.
Finally, we caught you last time at Dot to Dot festival a few years back in Nottingham's Chameleon and the show was rauscous. What's the craziest show you've been involved with? Ah The Chameleon. Where the floor felt like it was gonna cave? There's been a few crazy ones over the years. We played Brixton Jamm a few weeks ago and it just went mental straight away and didn't really stop.