Witching Riffs: Behind the Sound of The Crotals

Introduction: Due to time constraints as regular individuals running Witching Buzz and focusing primarily on writing reviews, we are limited to publishing only one (occasionally two) review(s) per day. However, we strongly believe in providing greater exposure to deserving bands and musicians who have put in immense effort. As a result, we have launched a new section called “Witching Riffs: Behind the Sound.” In this section, we have crafted a series of intriguing questions that we pose to every band or musician who wishes to share more about their unique projects. While the questions remain the same for each participant, the diversity among bands ensures that the answers will be fascinating and diverse. So, sit back, relax, and enjoy this captivating journey as we delve into the minds and stories of these talented artists.

The Crotals / Switzerland

What drew you to the immersive and hypnotic sounds? How do you aim to captivate your listeners with this genre?
It felt really instinctive, in fact, when we began to play together. We wanted loud, heavy, and dirty music. Drop A tuning (guitar) helped to build this; baritone guitar created muddiness.

We want to attract listeners with a little touch of punk and instrumental melodies (pay attention, they arise behind the heavy riffs!).

Can you share the story behind your band name? How does it reflect the essence of your music?
The name The Crotals came out during a party, first as a joke: a heavy rock band’s name, near stereotypical, and immature; it made us laugh (we are not very mature). And we decided, for that reason, that it would match with our new band perfectly. We only later discovered that, in English, it has another meaning. In French, it means «Rattlesnake»…

What are some unconventional or unexpected influences that have shaped your unique blend?
Dinosaur Jr., Sonic Youth, Nirvana, to name but a few. Rock n’roll bands from the 90s! And Ennio Morricone. And old blues from the Deep South.

How do you approach creating expansive and atmospheric soundscapes? What techniques or methods do you employ to achieve that signature vibe?
Nothing too intellectual; we use our instinct as well as old gear, as loud as possible!

Are there specific themes or emotions you seek to convey through your music? How do alternative music help you express those concepts effectively?
Anger; melancholy. Bad, personal, experiences. Alternative music helps us to express this without any constraint, and that’s fundamental for us, as well as honesty and integrity.

Share a remarkable moment or incident from your journey as a band that exemplifies the spirit of your music.
We played in the great alternative festival Barbarie in Biel, Switzerland. We were the last band on the last day of the festival. When we began to play, rain began too. Despite 3 days of loud music, rain, and SUNDAY evening, people stayed. We don’t know if it tells something about the spirit of our music. But this moment was remarkable for us.

In what ways do you envision your music progressing or evolving in the future? Are there any new elements or experimental approaches you’d like to incorporate?
We honestly can’t answer to this question, sorry… We haven’t thought about the next album yet. But we like to try new things!

Is there a particular song in your discography that perfectly encapsulates the essence of your music? Please elaborate on its creation and significance.
Silver Lakes (on our last album, Conjure): it’s a slow, melodic, and melancholic song. But there’s quite a lot of anger too, with the 2 screamers, AS WELL AS Yonni from Rorcal. His voice is so naturally powerful, it’s quite amazing! AND, last but not least, trumpets, which bring some Morriconesque feelings. We love this track.

Are there any emerging or lesser-known artists within your music genre realm that you find inspiring or deserving of more recognition? Feel free to share their names and what you appreciate about their work.
We will be a little partisan here! Switzerland has some GREAT bands: Impure Wilhelmina, Rorcal, Norna, Voice of Ruin, Unfold, Hey Satan. We invited some of them on the album (THANKS!!!). In a different «genre», but one that slaps you hard too, La Gale (THANKS & LOVE!).

You can also check our label, Argonauta Records: LOTS of great and interesting bands!

What do you hope listeners experience or feel when they immerse themselves in your compositions? Is there a specific mood or sensation you aim to evoke?
When we play and write songs, we are focused on what we feel. But we hope these feelings will be shared with listeners!

11. Turbo Regime:
– Fuzz or distortion?


– Analog or digital effects?
FEW analog effects!

– Sabbath or Zeppelin?
Guy = Sabbath ; Maude = Zeppelin

– Heavy riff or mind-bending solo?
Heavy riff!

– Vintage gear or modern equipment?
Definitely vintage (and almost only vintage)!

Maude and Guy, The Crotals

Label: Argonauta Records
PR: Grand Sounds Promotion

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