Blackwitch Pudding, in case you didn’t catch my review of their awesome new record (here), is a collective of three red-eyed wandering wizard-spirits that wrap themselves in cloaks and play some of the filthiest – and funniest – heavy metal music around. If you want a little taster of their musky offerings, go for ‘Acid Castle Mountain Top’ – a superb, crashing wall of droning stoner doom, and by-far the stand-out cut on the record, and I constantly recommend it – give it a go! If you have any interest in metal, beards, dragons, extra-terrestrial sex workers, potent weed, robes, candles, Sunn amps, loud guitars or vanilla ice-cream, then this band will tickle your fancy, guaranteed.
There are tonnes of band out there fighting the good fight for heavy metal thunder – and Blackwitch Pudding are certainly one of the funkiest robe-wearing doomster bands out there. Possibly not THE grooviest robe-wearers, but they’d beat Sunn 0))) for laughs – and that’s all that really matters here. Basically, they create riffs the size of Mount Doom and blow smoke clouds to rival Smaug’s. So in order to get the full picture about their debut record, ‘Taste The Pudding‘, I dragged them away from a bong-fuelled Dungeons and Dragons session to answer a few questions…
Your record, Taste the Pudding, is a horrible record. Horrible. Which is why we at Sleeping Shaman loved it. How’s the general reaction to it been?
Well, we left a few people shitting their pants and gasping for air in the gutter after our shows, but on the whole, people seem to like it. I would say were are about as well received as hot sauce is with tacos. Of course we use our dark magic to cast spells of badassery upon all who gaze so its not as if they have a choice.
‘Acid Castle Mountain Top’ was my favourite cut on the record, is there an Acid Castle Mountain Top? Have you been there? Please tell us a little about how that track came together.
You know those days when you climb a mountain all alone, eat some acid in a hammock, and watch a beautiful sunset turn into thunder, lightning and a hailstorm at 10,000 feet? The best part is when your camp floods and you have to improvise a shelter out of a tarp and ropes, while peaking, in pitch black hail, only accentuated by random flashes of lightning. Long story short, Wizard Wizard, experienced a whole new level of magic, and thwarted the cold icy claws of mountain-death to write a kick ass song.
Can you tell us a little about your voodoo-magic psychedelic wizarding gear? Like what guitars and amps were used on the record? I want to know how you make such a heinous racket.
Indeed we can! We sonic wizards do not dabble with dice, cards, or chicken bones to do our magic… we cast spells and gaze upon the future through our medium of rock and roll apparatuses.
Space Wizard has a 200 watt Orange running through Black Arts fuzz, a vintage fuzz face wah, other rad pedals, all getting pumped through the one and only, electric green, Hovercraft 6×12. Lizard Wizard begins conjuring on a Rickenbacker, ran through some Devi Ever and Catlinbread gain boxes, amplified by an old Sunn Coliseum that punishes a fat stack of four 15’s. Wizard Wizard looked, and he saw that big drums are the only drums. A massive Pork Pie kick and snare, toms crafted by the wizard himself, and huge, heavy Paiste’s, mainly 2002’s.
Did you actually work with the evil spirit Billy Anderson? Or did he work on it in his own studio in the caves of Mordor somewhere?
Oh… we worked with that old sorcerer. There was plenty of hashes ripped, and throwing axes thrown. Then we made a crushing album sound even heavier. But I hear that’s pretty much a normal day for Billy. Billy is a cosmic ally fit for wizards. Having him in the same room conjures a level of evil that can only exist at that very moment.
What’s your favourite album that he’s already worked on? (It’s between Dopesmoker/Jerusalem and his work on Soundtracks for the Blind for me)
Well, we REALLY like the new reissue of Dopesmoker. I mean just play the record, loud, on a really good bassey stereo, and the drop in will change your life. Other than that, hell if we have a favorite, I don’t think we even know the full extent of Billy’s catalogue. It really doesn’t matter anyway, he doesn’t mix/master/record shitty music. His magic transcends the music and connects with the faithful listeners on an unseen level of sonic alchemy.
Somebody heard me listening to Taste the Pudding, and asked why I was listening to ‘the sound of evil’. What is your sound? Do you fit into a ‘genre’?
Evil is good and the usual depictions tend to apply; Heavy, loud, sludgy, doom, stoner, space rock, what-have-you. There is a good mix of fast and slow to our music, so we really get along with lots of other bands. Thrash, traditional doom, psych/stoner rock, post-rock/metal, black metal, anything heavy and loud. We set out to conjure the most badass of riffs, plain and simple.
The evil wizard Blarg – who happens to be a family friend – told me you’d held an occult ceremony called ‘Black Sunday’? What happened on Black Sunday?
We partied with local Portland homies Black Snake, and our Canadian superfriends, Black Wizard! It was a wicked Sunday show, none was more black than January 5th. We damn near ruined the sabbath for all the religious dildos out there.
As you know, the UK (and more specifically, Birmingham, where I’m from) is the home of Iommism, and the most loyal devotees of the school of Iommic Sabbathism reside here in Britain. Will you be bringing your evil shroud of doom to these shores any time soon?
Gears are grinding, and the UK and EU are definitely one of the next steps to take… We’d really love to work out some UK dates soon with our buddies in Groan, who are also represented by the mighty Southern Cross PR. The main obstacle in playing shows over seas is the conjuring of mortal currency. These are lengthy spells that we have initiated and will continue to until all lands on all continents have been covered in pudding.
Who washes the robes you wear on stage? I hear Stephen O’Malley has his Sunn O))) robes dry-cleaned.
Well, he’s a big time wizard, and can do that. On the road, we’re lucky to hang them up for a few hours in a slightly less smelly motel room, and hope they are dry by showtime the next day. In a pinch, we can just hot box our robes in the van, it kinda works.
Look! The evil wizard Blarg is back, and he is hellbent on removing Hawkwind or Black Sabbath from the pages of history forever, and you can only save one band. Lee Dorrian will help you save Sabbath, but Henry Rollins will help you save Hawkwind. You’re running out of time. Who do you save?
We save Hawkwind, but then destroys them after Hall of the Mountain Grill. There are so many who are out to save Black Sabbath already that we need not exhaust our wizardry on such a common cause. As for the pages of history, due to the fact that we spend our existence traveling through time and space the history books mean nothing to us. We could just go back in time and turn Ozzy into a epic Batdragon. Suck on that history books.
Now that you’ve vanquished Blarg, do you have any final words of wisdom to bestow on the world before you disappear with a flash and puff of smoke?
“Don’t be surprised if the bees sting your eyes.”
‘Taste The Pudding‘ is out now on LP, CD and Digital formats which can be purchased from the dark wizards bandcamp page HERE.
Interviewed by: Ross Horton