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WytchCrypt – Interview


Interview with Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (http://petesrocknewsandviews.com)

PD:  How would you describe yourself or your band as an artist?

W: WytchCrypt is a progressive doom metal solo project influenced by 70’s Black Sabbath, 70’s King Crimson and classical composer Arnold Schoenberg, the father of 12-tone serial music.

 

PD: Can you tell us briefly about your background – i.e. where you’re from, how you came to make music, etc?

W: Originally from California, but now based in the greater Seattle area, I’ve been playing music since age 4. I began playing bass in local San Jose progressive rock bands in the late 1970s.  By 1980, I realized I had very specific ideas on how I wanted the songs I brought to the band to be arranged and played.  At that point, I decided to leave band life and begin forming solo projects so I could have complete control over every aspect of my songs and have been on my own ever since.  I have four current solo projects ranging from Mutiny In Jonestown (progressive rock) and Morpheus (classic synthesizer electronic music and original modern classical), to The Alchemy of Atlantis (pedal steel and experimental music too crazy to fit into anything else I do) and WytchCrypt.

 

PD: Who and what inspires you to make music, both in terms of musical and other influences? What do you like to write about in your songs?

W: I grew up on The Beatles and The Rolling Stones and in 1974 discovered Black Sabbath, which completely changed my world and made me want to become a musician. I found King Crimson a year later and they were equally influential on me. After many years of creating progressive rock with an emphasis on the darker side, I discovered classical composer Arnold Schoenberg. His method and structure of 12-tone serial music opened my eyes to new ways of composition and songwriting and how I could integrate his ideas into my work.

My biggest non-musical influence is early 20th-century horror writer, H.P. Lovecraft whose work I’ve based several albums and musical projects on. 

When it comes to songwriting for WytchCrypt, I like my subjects to be on the darker side of existence and mythology and write lyrics which tell their original stories.  Anything from ghost ships lost in the Bermuda Triangle, to the story of Skinwalkers haunting the desert of Utah, to phantasms wandering the misty nights seeking souls of the living to take their places are all subjects that call to me.

 

PD: What are your aspirations as an artist?

W: I just want to reach as many ears as I can and have people listen to my music.

 

PD: What is the proudest moment in your music career so far?

W: Having just released my 90th album, WytchCrypt’s Peste de la Mer (Plague of the Sea).

 

PD: Promoting one’s music is such a challenge these days, especially with so many new artists emerging from bedrooms in the day of the home studio. How is that going?

W: It’s a paradox. On the one hand, creating music that relies solely on your own ears rather than that of a record label producer is completely freeing.  On the other hand, it means there are hundreds of other artists doing the same thing and without the promotional resources of a major record label it’s very difficult to stand out from the crowd.  At the end of the day, you better be doing music you love because it’s such a challenge to go about reaching listeners, you have to at least reach yourself.

 

PD: And how do you book and promote your live shows and tours? Any performances coming up?

W: WytchCrypt is a studio project only and doesn’t play live.

 

PD: What do you think about downloading music online? What about streaming sites like Spotify?

W: Based on the current business model for musicians, sites like Bandcamp offer a terrific way to get your music out there to the masses worldwide. If we’re going to live in a world where giant record labels are largely irrelevant for artists who are making out-of-the-box music, I think streaming sites are a terrific option.  Especially if you’re a band or project that doesn’t perform live.

 

PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?

W: War Pigs by Black Sabbath, because seeing Tony Iommi play it at the 1974 California Jam concert was what made me want to pick up a guitar and devote my life to music.

 

PD: Is there anything you don’t like about the music industry, which you would change if you could?

W: I miss the way the music industry in the 60s and 70s would give a home to, and promote, adventurous music. Today, they only care if your work is guaranteed to make it into the Top 40.  The industry no longer cares about art, just “product.”

 

PD: So, what are you working on at the moment?

W: Album number 91! Not sure yet what form it’s going to take, but I’m excited to get back into the studio!

 

PD: Where can we learn more about you and buy your music/merch online?

W: Find WytchCrypt at https://wytchcrypt.bandcamp.com/.

Mutiny In Jonestown can be found at https://mutinyinjonestown.bandcamp.com/.

My YouTube channel is https://www.youtube.com/@dennism7659/playlists. You can find a lot of my Morpheus and pedal steel tunes there.

WytchCrypt links:
Band/Artist location – Greater Seattle Area
You Tube – Bandcamp
Check our page for Wytchcrypt


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