In 2014 Marcus De Pasquale (vocals/guitar, Looking Glass), Joel Green (drums, Armoured Angel) and Tony McMahon (bass) formed Witchskull. The Canberra based trio recently released their second full length opus, Coven’s Will; it’s a monster of an album that melds heavy metal, doom and stoner rock into a powerful driving force, showcasing De Pasquale’s distinctive vocals and ripping guitar work.
You tracked the album in late 2016 at Studio G in Brooklyn, NYC. Why did you choose to record there?
Our bass player Tony (McMahon) is from New York so we really wanted to do the second record in his home town. He moved out here in 2005, so being able to go back to his home and meet his family was brilliant.
You worked with both Billy Anderson and Jason Fuller (Blood Duster) on the recording. How was that experience? Were their roles separate or was there some crossover? What format did you record to – tape or digital?
We did the first album with Fuller and I don’t think anyone understands our sound more than him. He had worked with Billy out here on an I Exist record, so he mentioned it would be good to have him involved once we knew we were heading to the US. They had discussions about how it was going to be tracked, but having them both involved really worked for us. Once it was all tracked Fuller was able to mix it at Goatsound and get exactly what we were after. We tracked everything to 2″ tape through an analogue Neve desk. All the beds were done live and most of it was one take, so it was very organic. You can still hear the imperfections.
How much time did you spend recording? Did you have time to do much apart from recording while you were there? Going to gigs, bars, doing touristy stuff, etc?
We tracked for 7 days at Studio G and we were in New York for 13 days. We went out to local bars most nights and we played St Vitus bar once we were finished in the studio. The local pubs were awesome and hanging with Tony’s family was amazing.
I heard that you guys were in no hurry to release the album, that it was more important to find the right label, interested in putting it out. Is that right? Was Rise Above one of the labels at the top of the band’s list?
To be honest, we were never planning to wait as long as we did, we just took quite a long time getting the mix exactly how we wanted it, and then the first mastering we got done wasn’t right. Luckily Fuller suggested Dav Byrne from Iridium Audio in Melbourne, and his mastering was the final piece to the puzzle. We had a few labels that offered deals, but we all wanted Rise Above, especially Marcus (De Pasquale). Once Lee (Dorrian, Rise Above) mentioned he was interested we were totally blown away.
What’s next for Witchskull?
We really want to get over to Europe and the States to tour this record, so we’ll see what the future holds. Lee (Dorrian) said he really wants to get us over there, so hopefully something will happen later this year or early next.
Coven’s Will is out now through Rise Above.
October 3 – Crowbar, Brisbane
October 4 – Transit Bar, Canberra
October 5 – Bald Faced Stag, Sydney
October 6 – Bendigo Hotel, Melbourne
October 7 – Barwon Club, Geelong