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Magnus Pelander Witchcraft - Interview
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Swedish psych rockers Witchcraft have been active for a number of years in the milennium, bringing that classic rock sound into the 21st century and putting their own stamp on a timeless genre. The band are about to release their latest album "Nucleus" in January so Steve had a chat to vocalist Magnus Pelander to discuss the new songs and the thought process behind the music.



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Steve: How's it all going at your end?

Magnus: It's good!

Steve: Wonderful! I know you are a busy man so I won't keep you too long. I just got a few questions I would like to ask you about the upcoming album "Nucleus" that's coming out next year. Right off the bat, could you describe in your own words the album "Nucleus".

Magnus: Wow [laughs]. No because it's not my job. I look at it as an artist that I create, I really have nothing to say which is exactly how I want things to be. If you like it, it's yours and you can do whatever the fuck you want with it [laughs]. That's pretty much the main point with Witchcraft but I understand where you are coming from. This is the interesting part when other people are going to make their choices and they are going to describe it or they're going to hate it or love it or not going to care about it. But if I'm fortunate, someone is going to sit down and do something to get inspired which is pretty much the key thing.

Steve: Was there a theme to the album?

Magnus: Pretty much what I talked about was the overall theme with Witchcraft, to be creative and to play from the heart and to inspire in the best of worlds. I mean you can look at it as entertainment if you want to of course but if you want to dig deeper, I think it is there. That's the best answer I can give.

Steve: Absolutely! From my perspective I really dig it and I think the fans will also because I think it takes the listener on a real ride. Was there any guest appearances that came up during the album?

Magnus: Yeah there were three different processes. The first I kinda write the music on my guitar and record it and then you go into the rehearsal place and things kind of change there. And then you go into the studio and things change even there and that's when you begin to be like, 'Hmm there should be some violin there and maybe there should be some female vocals there and maybe I should try some flute there'. When I think about it, I think this is where I will have the most guest musicians yet.

Steve: Excellent! Anyone of knowledge that you were excited to get into the studio with?

Magnus: It was pretty much acquaintances around town. I guess the flute player, Kristoffer he's been playing on Opeth albums so apart from that, it's just musicians around here.

Steve: So if you could choose one track off the new album, what's your favorite and why?

Magnus: I'm not so much into the idea of analyzing my own art.

Steve: Sure, fair enough.

Magnus: Because after I'm done, I kinda move on but sure I can listen to it. I'm pretty happy with the first track "Malstroem" and that it turned out as the opening track as well so I would say that one. If I'm going to say anything of course, I think it's pretty diverse.

Steve: Yeah that definitely comes across from start to finish if I may say so. Do you have any plans to bring Witchcraft to Australia in 2016?

Magnus: Oh it's more likely that I'm going to bring my own body to Australia [laughs], not as a band. I've never been to Australia so I would like to travel there. The touring plans are not really sorted out at the moment but I would love to go.

Steve: Absolutely, we would love to have you here! So which artists influenced you in the making of this album?

Magnus: I don't really know because most albums I think it's pretty much stuff that's been going on in your life since you were a kid, for me anyway. I think the whole art process for yourself is to sit down and kind of sort out all the impressions that you have and everything that you want to say that you cannot say in words or in any other way but you can express with your body. I think music is kind of a higher form of language or definitely a different form of language. The thing with artists, I mean everything that you've been listening to since you became conscious and you develop your own taste or whatever you want to call it. It's pretty vast, pretty different.

Steve: Do you have any plans to collaborate with any other artists in the future?

Magnus: Yeah I was actually just a hair away from getting one of my favorite singers of all time on this album but she couldn't make it, she had too much of a tight schedule.

Steve: May I ask who that was?

Magnus: Yeah her name is Mariam Wallentin. She is in a band called Wildbirds & Peacedrums, a Swedish band and she has a solo record out which is one of the best records that has ever been laid I think. It's called "Blood Donation" and she calls herself Mariam The Believer when she's solo.

Steve: Sounds interesting, might have to check it out!

Magnus: Yeah so that was almost a dream come true but it never happened [laughs], but you never know what can happen in the future. Anyway you should check it out, she's highly talented.

Steve: That sounds amazing, really does! I don't have many more questions for you at this time Magnus but I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your time and definitely hope to see you in Australia some time in the future.

Magnus: I hope so too and thank you very much for showing interest in the band.

Steve: Just quickly, any last words to the fans you want to put out there?

Magnus: Yeah don't believe the hype and go and buy all Internal Void records that you can find [laughs].

Steve: Excellent, thanks for your time Magnus!

Magnus: Thank you too!

Interview by Steve Monaghan on December 8th 2015