Interviewer – Chelsea King
I’m fairly certain that this freak Melbourne storm can be linked to L.A Witch’s arrival in the city. I can’t confirm it, but a band that conjures such powerful psychedelic fuzz like they do, surely has some mystic powers that can control the weather. Undoubtedly a force to be reckoned with, L.A Witch landed in Melbourne for the first time yesterday and have wasted no time in discovering the city.
Irita Pai, the band’s bassit, is competing with the thunder and a little difficult to hear at times. The other two members, Sade Sanchez and Ellie English are hiding somewhere in the background, presumably fallen victim to jet lag. Despite this, it was pretty hard to miss the excitement in their voices when they mentioned that they’re going to see some koalas and kangaroos next week. Last night they managed to catch Tropical Fuck Storm’s sold out gig at the Gasometer. Caught up in the whirlwind that is Gizzfest, I mentioned that I’m going to see Gareth Liddiard the following day. The Gizz boys are adamant that their self organised festival is going to be going ahead, regardless of the flood warnings.
“Oh no well hopefully that doesn’t happen! That happened at the last Levitation and that was like a really big festival for a lot of people in our music scene and for a lot of our friends and stuff. They had to cancel it and it was a big bummer for everyone. Especially for all the people who were working all year to put on the festival. So hopefully that doesn’t happen! I wish we could go!”
We get a little sidetracked talking about some of the bands coming out of Australia at the moment. It makes sense that the girls admire King Gizzard’s ability to command an audience. I saw L.A Witch’s live show later that night and they had some sort of strange esoteric control over the audience.
“For us at least, it seems like there’s a whole new wave of Australia bands that are surfacing to the L.A area. Obviously King Gizzard is a really big one which made everyone pay attention. There’s been a lot of bands that have come from Australia. Tame Impala’s probably the biggest one. We played Austin Psych fest the year that they played too and they were one of the headliners. That crowd was insane, I think it was the biggest crowd I saw that weekend.”
L.A Witch have played at Desert Daze for four consecutive years now. I can only imagine that the Joshua Tree backdrop would be the perfect accompaniment to their set.
“It’s really cool because we’re on tour all the time and the only time we really get to see our friends back in L.A is at Desert Daze or at a festival. It’s always good vibes. It’s in such a cool spot. They moved it to institute of mental psychics. Which sounds like a really spiritual place. It was built as like a spiritual retreat. So, supposedly there’s like a lot of energy there. It’s kind of like this weird magical, religious experience.”
Photo by Marco Hernandez
Recently, L.A Witch were featured on KEXP, which was a triumphant feat for the girls, having watched the KEXP YouTube videos almost religiously. A live performance on KEXP can be a testament to the quality of a band. It was something all three members of L.A Witch had been wanting to do for a while.
Something strange happens when I mention that I bumped into Cheryl Waters at a gig earlier in the week. Almost as if scripted, the three of them chime “We love her!” in unison. The rest was a little difficult to distinguish over their giggles.
“We met here there and it felt like I had heart eyes. It was like meeting a celebrity. She’s so cool. She’s had so much of an impact. She has such good taste in music. I was like “I know who you are!” to her and she said “I know who you are!”. It was really cool. She was amazing.”
In between festivals and meeting some of their idols, L.A Witch have been touring extensively. They’ve had the chance to travel as band quite a bit in the last few years, and have wasted no opportunity being tourists. From seeing the Eiffel Tower in Paris to driving through tornadoes in Oklahoma, the girls have experienced quite a lot together.
“It’s very romantic. Instead of having your significant other we just have each other. We’re in the most functional, dysfunctional relationship that we can understand.”
They’ve obviously found a rhythm that works for them while on tour. The only privacy they manage to grasp is a quick shower; if they’re lucky. After 30 days on tour things can get a little crazy, but they’ve somehow managed to remain close friends. Talking to L.A Witch it almost feels as if they’re sisters; like they’ve always been at each other’s side.
“It’s kind of weird. We don’t even spend this much time with our families or boyfriends. I’ve never spent this much time with anyone in my entire life. It really does feel like family but like a whole new level. It’s worth it and we make it work. That’s kind of what being in a band is.”
are touring around Australia this month
Dec 2 / Wollongong / Rad Bar
Dec 3 / Sydney / Frankie’s Pizza by the Slice
Dec 6 / Bondi / Sosuem
Dec 7 / Brisbane / Crowbar
Dec 9 / Byron Bay / The Northern
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