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Patrik Jensen – Guitar for Witchery

Date: 6/8/10
Interviewed By: Rich Catino


1. Tell us about the title and the artwork for the new album “Witchkrieg”?

JENSEN: On the cover you see early soviet propaganda. Flames cut out with scissors, not enough money to print in true red color, so the fames are orange etc. It’s the work of a totalitarian state. The title is derived from witches and blitzkrieg. Blitzkrieg is the invention of another totalitarian state. 300-400 years ago governments burnt witches at the stake for having different opinions, a form of totalitarian control of the people. The lyrics for "Witchkrieg" are about standing up for what you believe in and not care if how you want to live your life makes you different.

2. Is it at all frustrating that Witchery is a secondary priority to The Haunted, Arch Enemy, and Opeth?

JENSEN: Very much so. We were all in Witchery before we formed/joined any of the other bands. To us Witchery is not a project band, it’s a real band. Some call us an All Star-band. If so, we are a very reluctant All Star band. We want to have the time to rehearse and jam out records like we used to, and to do full tours everywhere, but sadly, that’s not the case.

3. Will there be more time to tour, or at least do several dates, in support of "Witchkrieg"?

JENSEN: There won’t be time for touring, but we will definitely do festivals, and we are already booked for several in Europe this summer.

4. Tell us something about Witchery’s evolution from the debut "Restless and Dead", to "Dead Hot & Ready", to "Symphony for the Devil", "Don’t Fear The Reaper", and now "Witchkrieg"

JENSEN: Oh god, that could be a very long answer haha…but, I think we have come closer to "Restless & Dead" with this new album. It’s more direct and to the point, whereas "Dead Hot & Ready" and "Don’t Fear The Reaper" are a little bit more out there and intricate. Also, previously we have always jammed out our records. "Don’t Fear The Reaper"” was released 6(!) years after "Symphony For The Devil" cause we waited for everyone to have time to get together and jam. After "Reaper" we knew that its not possible to create this way for us anymore. So I wrote the whole album basically by myself, and emailed the finished songs to the other guys in the band for their approval. This is probably why the songs are more direct. When you rehearse a song 100 times before recording it, musicians will add a little here and there to keep it interesting for them to play it so many times. I have nothing against this, and a lot of people love music that’s like that, but it doesn’t really fit the Witchery format, as our track record clearly shows.

5. The songs on "Dead Hot and Ready" seem like they were rushed and not as strong as those on the debut. Would you agree, and why?

JENSEN: I do agree. We wrote "Restless & Dead" in very short time. Just enjoyed ourselves and out came a really good album. Can it really be this easy?...we thought, and tried to do it again. The lesson we learnt was that; no, it isn’t that easy, and inspiration can’t be forced

6. Why is Toxine no longer the singer? What does Legion bring to the table?

JENSEN: We had this new album ready mid 2008, only 2 years after "Don’t Fear The Reaper". Rikard and I did the guitars that fall, and Sharlee and Martin did their parts during the Christmas break 2008/2009. Then from January 2009 we waited for Toxine to come down to the studio to do his vocals... but nothing happened. When we had waited for a year, we decided that we had waited long enough. We asked Legion cause I had met him at festivals that both Marduk and The Haunted played together, he was a cool guy to hang out with, he lived in a city only 20 minutes from Witchery...and is one hell of a singer!

7. Would you like to record a live show for DVD on this tour?

JENSEN: Yes, we would. Just because we can’t go everywhere to tour, a DVD might be the thing we need to give fans everywhere a chance to see the band. We are already looking at alternatives where can shoot a good live DVD, but nothing is decided on yet.

8. Chances of coming to North America?

JENSEN: That would be for doing festivals... like New England Metalfest or something like that. Unfortunately, the US/Canada doesn’t have the festival scene we have over here in Europe. The summer is literally crowded with them over here.

9. Why are there 3 different version of the artwork for "Symphony for the Devil"? Which is your favorite?

JENSEN: We had three different labels for three different territories. We thought we'd get the best labels for each certain territory, but in the end it was much easier to just go with one label worldwide. We had three different artworks to keep each label happy with the fact that they individually didn’t have worldwide rights. Plus, I’m a record collector. I'd love for a band that I like to have three different very good pieces of artwork for the same album. If stuff like that is not important to you, then you need only to buy one.

10. What are a few of your favorite topics to write about in Witchery?

JENSEN: I write almost about everything in Witchery. At first glance, they might seem to be just horror stories, and if that’s what you want, then fine by me. But if you are into lyrics on a deeper scale, then you will something more when you read between the lines.

11. Would you like to use any theatrics or props on stage? If so, what?

JENSEN: We have used a full graveyard on stage once, and naked chicks etc, but that was 10 years ago, and besides that’s getting old now with everyone doing that... we'll see what we can dig out for this summers festivals. It’s also a matter of being able to bring props with you when you fly in and out to festivals and the limited time you have for change-over in between bands, etc.

12. Closing comments?

JENSEN: That people should check out the album. In today’s day and age it’s not hard to listen to a band and find out whether they are good or not for themselves...and once you've heard us, you'll be a fan for life!! Haha.

Official website: www.myspace.com/witcherytheband


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