WITTERQUICK (from l-r): Ollie Chanter (bass), Sean Davey (guitar), Will Alford (vocals), Andy Lewis (drums), Ben Chanter (guitar)
INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN
Devon alternative rock five-piece Witterquick have enjoyed a rapid ascent in the last year.
They made quite an impact with their debut EP, ‘Beneath The Spinning Lights’, which, with its well-crafted and powerful sound, earned the band an overwhelmingly positive reaction from their growing fan base and the music press.
With this, and a recent successful UK tour supporting Altered Sky, the Exeter outfit are already well on their way to placing themselves firmly at the forefront of the British alternative rock scene.
Following the release last week of their new single ‘Hiding Place’, taken from their eagerly-awaited follow-up, out this summer, I chatted with bassist Ollie Chanter, and this is what he had to say:
How did the band get together initially?
We all used to be in different bands in our local area that broke up around the same time. I asked Will if he wanted to sing on some songs I’d been writing, and he had been working on a lot of material himself too, so we got together from there.
How did the name Witterquick come about?
We used to watch an 80’s cartoon called Visionaries, it’s a character from that show. We threw a load of names around and Witterquick was one that we weren’t sure on at first, but we grew to love. Someone once told us that the name was awful, and that settled it for us, the name stayed.
In your own words, how would you describe your sound?
It’s a fresh, powerful, but friendly sound. We set out to make sure we let everything happen organically, so we have a unique feel to our songs. You can hear influences of genres and flavours that we like, but you couldn’t say that we sound like another band.
What are the band’s musical influences?
Almost anything. Between us, we listen to a massively varied collection of genres, from jazz and blues, to classical, pop, metal, and disco.
What would you say was your approach to songwriting?
Most of the songs start as demos Will writes, either very raw or almost entirely finished. Ollie and Will develop those ideas into songs and tagteam the lyrics, then the whole band work on them.
Your debut EP, last year’s ‘Beneath The Spinning Lights’, was a success, both with critics and fans. Did you expect the reaction it got?
Not at all. We knew the songs were good, we chose our favourites of the catalogue we had at the time, but the reaction was much better than we expected. We’re still hearing from new people, almost daily, that have either just discovered the EP or are still loving it. It was a huge turning point for us.
The band have just released a new single, ‘Hiding Place’. How has the reaction been to that so far?
Again, much better than we expected. It’s a great track, but we think it’s the weakest from the group of songs we’re about to put out, so seeing people going nuts over it is pretty exciting.
Your eagerly-anticipated follow-up will be out this summer. How has the recording process been up to now?
Really great. We’ve worked with Romesh Dodangoda a few times now, so we’re in a very comfortable environment with him. Hearing the finished songs for the first time is always a huge moment.
And if you can, what can listeners expect from it?
It’s lyrically more raw, musically too perhaps. In the last year, we have had huge highs and very low lows, so we’ve had a lot of things to work out in these songs.
What is the band’s experience of playing live and touring?
Incredible fun. The laughs never stop, it’s nice to see fans picking up on our in-jokes too. We can’t keep up with the live demand just yet, but we’ve got a lot lined up for the next year.
What is your long-term aim?
To be honest, we’re passionate about doing our own thing, regardless of what that means for us. Witterquick will be its own thing for as long as it exists. If fans continue to love it, then that’s amazing. Anyone who sets out to sound like another band or jump on a soundwagon are cheating themselves.
‘HIDING PLACE’, THE NEW SINGLE FROM WITTERQUICK, IS NOW AVAILABLE TO BUY OR STREAM FROM ALL PLATFORMS.
THE BAND’S SECOND RELEASE WILL BE OUT THIS SUMMER.