interview with Astral Witch

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Have any of you played in other bands? Each of us has played in several other bands including Pantychrist and Rackula, two all girl punk rock bands. Jon fronts "Jon and his Friends" and plays guitar and bass in a number of other projects (Delta Cruiser, Mr. Dash, Bloom).
How is it that you started playing music?
Alyssa started playing guitar at age 9 after being inspired by her Father and a friend of the family named Frankie, also the lead singer of Canadian punk legends Teenage Head.
Jon started playing in bands with his friends when he was 16. Over the past ten years he has played in all kinds of local bands playing everything from folk to thrash metal.
Jen started playing guitar at about 10, then at about 14 went to the drums and have been involved in a few bands. A few years later started to really concentrate on bass and was in an all female punk band for about 4 years. Now she has come full circle and is focusing on drums.
What are your names? / Who plays what? / How old are you?
Alyssa Axeworthy - Vocals and Guitar - 28.
Jon Tiberious - Vocals and Bass - 26.
Jen Brewer - Drums and Vocals - 666
Have you had other previous members? The original line up for Astral Witch included two member, Alyssa Axeworthy on vocals and guitar and Alyssa Broere on drums.
Where are you from? Astral Witch comes from Hamilton, 40 minutes south of Toronto and 40 minutes north from Buffalo, New York. The city has a lot of musical history and has seen a resurgence of the art and music scene in recent years.
What year did the band form? The band formed in 2015.
What's your style of genre? Doom Metal.
What inspires you? We are inspired by magic, feminism, a good time, and a love for doom.
How often and where do you reherse? We jam once a week in our witches lair. 
How have you developed since you started with the music? We have all played several other genres before playing in a doom metal band. Astral Witch are seasoned musicians with a genuine love of writing and performing and constantly striving to out-do ourselves.
Do you have other interests of work outside the band? We all have jobs outside of the band. Alyssa is a social worker, Jon is studying Plumbing and Jen is studying tree magic.
Are you looking for a label, and what are your thoughts around that?
Jon: I have always been interested in working with a record label.
Jen: Years ago a record label was pretty helpful. So much has changed though and I would very hesitant to put our hard work on the line after hearing some serious horror stories about the way things operate now.
What made you decide to make this music?
Jon: I think it makes us all feel good to play it. Its kind of hard to describe but sometimes it just feels right.
Jen: It's really heavy and just love that there is so much space within the songs that you can manipulate it to how you feel at that time.
What are your songs about? Jon: Evil mostly.
Who does the composing and writes the lyrics? Jon: When Jen and I first joined the band Alyssa already had few song ready to go so at first it was pretty much all her. As we all got to know each other more as people and musicians the process has become more of a shared responsibility. We all write and jam out new ideas together.
Do you start with the music or the lyrics? Jon: It really depends on the song for me. Sometimes the riffs come first and sometimes, I just think of stuff in my head that I can imagine fitting in really well with a riff I have not heard or written yet.
Do you compose in a certain inviroment? Jon: Candle lit basements, graveyards and abandoned churches. Alright the church part is not true but there are candles in the witch lair, and Alyssa and I did recently composes some lyrics in the graveyard.
Have you done any covers live? Jon: We used to play "Forever my Queen" by pentagram because it was a fun easy song that people enjoyed hearing us play. Unfortunately because of all the terrible shit Bobby Liebling has done in the last 2 years, we no longer feel comfortable playing it. We have recently started throwing in a cover of a song called "Stranger Things" by this old prog band called Julian's Treatment. We learned it for a compilation project that comes out next summer and the song is really fun to play so we started doing it live!
What language do you sing in? Jon: English but would love to incorporate some really evil sounding Latin. 
When did you start to sell merchandise, and what do you have for sale? Jen: We make our own merch. We do this as DIY (do it yourself) as much as possible. We have t-shirts, buttons, stickers, necklaces, and drink holders. We hope to expand this soon.
Where can people buy your merchandise? At our shows, or contacting us online.
Is it easier to find inspiration from older bands, or bands that are more active today? Jen: I would say both are equally important. The ones who started it all and the ones who keep it going. 
How do you get psyched for a gig? Jen: We are naturally excited for shows, it's pretty much why we do this. Some crystal magic and some beers and we are ready to go.
Do you have any new material? Yes lots. And many new babies are in the cauldron. 
What are your web sites?
Instagram.com/astralwitchband
Twitter.com/astralwitchband
How can people reach you? Www.astralwitchband@gmail.com
What are your plans for the future? We are currently writing new material for a new album that will be released in spring 2018.  
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