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INTERVIEW: L.A. band Good Witch

Hi Rose, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

I’ve been doing well, thanks. We released a single and a video for a song called “Restless Hearts” October 18th, and we’ve been playing live a lot, so I’ve been busy.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single, “Free Of Me?” Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

“Free of Me” is about an ex-boyfriend who had a hard time letting go of me after we broke up. We had a pretty toxic relationship, but some intense physical chemistry that I actually had some trouble letting go of as well. This song came about in a moment when I felt like he might be getting over it, and my ego was like, “Oh no you’re not!”

Any plans to release a video for the single?

We are planning to release a video. I’m really excited about the concept, and looking forward to getting that out there in a few weeks.

How was the recording and writing process?

This was one of those songs that came to me kinda easy. I didn’t have to labor over the lyrics or melody. My subconscious mind had already organized my thoughts for me. A lot of my songs are very melancholy and vulnerable, so it felt good to write something with some swagger.

I recorded “Free of Me” with my longtime producer and friend, Raymond Richards, at Long Play Recording in Portland. We had a lot of fun with this one. Raymond plays all the lead guitar parts on the record, and he was real coy about it, like, “Oh I never get to play guitar like this,” but he totally slayed those nasty rock riffs.

What role does L.A. play in your music?

I don’t really write about L.A. much directly, but considering I’ve spent my whole adult life here, I guess all of my songs have L.A. in them to some degree. What brought me to Los Angeles in the first place was my desire for an extraordinary life and my somewhat restless spirit, and that’s certainly informed my life experience, so by extension, my songwriting.

As you recorded this in Oregon—did the whole musical perspective and influences changed in any way?

Portland is a whole different pace of life, and I love it. It definitely feels like a retreat, which really helps put me in the zone creatively. My brain absolutely works better when I’m relaxed. And maybe there’s something about all the beards and flannel that inspired my sudden affinity towards a more Americana-inflected sound. Maybe.

How have Sharon Van Etten and Neko Case influenced your writing?

I don’t know if it comes across as much in “Free of Me,” but some of Sharon Van Etten’s earlier stuff kind of clued me into the fact that your arrangements can be simple if your lyrics and delivery are powerful. It’s also been encouraging to see her succeed, since I think we’re both peddling a bit of a darker, world-weary vibe that people don’t always appreciate from women.

Neko Case, I just love her voice so much. “Star Witness” is a perfect song. I heard it on a Paste Magazine compilation in the early 2000s, and it’s one of my favorites. There’s a line that’s sort of the climax of the whole thing, and it’s so goddamn good, I don’t care where I am when it plays—I can’t help but sing along at full volume. I don’t know if she’s influenced my writing as much as how I (at least try to) deliver a song vocally.

Does the new single mean we can expect new material—how’s that coming along?

We have a 3-song EP we’re planning to release in January. There’s still some mixing and mastering to do, but we’re excited about it.

Any tentative release date or title in mind?

I haven’t actually settled on the title yet. I have a few ideas though. The release date hasn’t been confirmed, but you can expect it in mid-January. Following me on Instagram (@goodwitchmusic) and Spotify is a great way to stay in the loop.

Any plans to hit the road?

We don’t have any plans to tour at the moment. We’ve had some great local shows in the last few months, and I’d love to venture out of L.A., but we’re waiting for an opportunity that makes sense for us.

What else is happening next in Good Witch’s world?

We’ve got “Free of Me” coming out on November 15th. We’ve got a video for that coming soon. We’re taking the rest of the year off from playing live shows so I can concentrate on getting the EP 100% ready to go, and developing some new songs I’ve been working on. I’m actually really excited to lay low for the holidays and regroup, so we can come back in the new year kickin’.

LISTEN HERE

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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