Words By Kat Jenson
Photo by Moni Haworth
Psychedelic, haunting, swirling, hazy, intoxicating; Los Angeles’ mellow-rock trio, L.A. Witch, have heard this all before, but “all this before” isn’t wrong. The moment the needle hits their self-titled debut, there’s a time warp to a familiar unknown. A sort of soothing propulsion into the dark that rides along endless miles — their brooding, reverb-drenched sounds kissing the warm, midnight air. Make no mistake, L.A. Witch knows a lot about driving. They are absolute road warriors and for the better part of the last three years have taken their slightly twisted version of SoCal surf to lands far and wide; perhaps this endless travel is why the ‘music-sounds-like-driving’ comparison works so well. Drummer Ellie English carved out a tiny chunk of her time to talk to us about touring, evolving and teeth brushing.
TT: Can you give a short synopsis of L.A. Witch; a tiny origin story, if you will.
EE: The girls started the band about six years ago, and I joined four years ago. I knew Sade from high school where we had another band together.
TT: What’s the biggest difference between your recorded music and your live set?
EE: I think we have a more energetic vibe when we play live. I personally like the live/raw sound better than the recordings.
TT: What’s one of the most important things you hope to accomplish with this band?
EE: We all really love traveling. We definitely hope to continue doing that. We’ve done a lot of U.S. tours and we’re currently on our third European tour. We will do another U.S. tour this October and then we go to Australia in November. As a whole , I think we just hope to inspire people and we want people to have fun when they come to see us or hear our music.
TT: How do you think L.A. Witch has evolved?
EE: I think we’ve all learned a lot from touring. It’s helped us grow musically because we’re playing every night, meeting new bands and hearing all different kinds of music. We’ve also grown a lot personally from these experiences, too.
TT: As far as inspirations are concerned, what do all the members of L.A. Witch agree upon?
EE: Black Sabbath.
TT: Do you remember the first song you learned to play on drums?
EE: “Fire” by Jimmy Hendrix Experience.
TT: In your opinion, what’s the finest example of recorded drums?
EE: I really love Carla Azar’s drumming on Autolux’s Future Perfect.
TT: You’re on the road and together a lot. What keeps things level/grounded during those long periods of time?
EE: Nothing really; Haha! You just gotta deal with things as they come.
TT: You’ve recently played dates with The Coathangers and Death Valley Girls. Is there a different vibe hitting the road with other female musicians?
EE: The Coathangers and Death Valley Girls were both really fun to tour with. We’ve toured with both guys and girls and I would say inevitably there are slight differences, but I’ve always enjoyed them equally.
TT: Do you ever talk shop with other drummers? What can/do you commiserate about with other female drummers/musicians?
EE: I do enjoy when I get to talk shop with other drummers. I love hearing about what they think of gear or something/someone new they’ve discovered.
TT: If you could impart some wisdom on someone whether related to the music industry or not, what would it be?
EE: Always brush your teeth before going to bed.
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