Witching Riffs: Behind the Sound of Wizards Of Wiznan

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.

Wizards Of Wiznan / Switzerland

What drew you to the immersive and hypnotic sounds? How do you aim to captivate your listeners with this genre?
Our approach to music has undergone a significant transformation from our first EP “Experimental Brew” to our upcoming debut album “No Light Has No Shadow.”

When we started our musical journey, we wanted to create a stoner and doom oriented music. “Experimental Brew” marked our foray into the music scene, and during this phase, we were testing the waters, and delving into various musical influences as we searched for our distinctive musical identity. It was a period of exploration, where our aim was to stretch the boundaries and chart new musical territories. This EP gave us the opportunity to experiment, blend genres, and continually challenge ourselves creatively.

As our musical journey progressed, we found ourselves increasingly gravitating towards new themes (see below), with a musical expression that could better convey the profound weight of these themes. We began to embrace elements from the realms of “doom,” “sludge,” and “black metal,” infusing our sound with a darker and more intense ambiance.

The underlying motivation behind our choice of this musical path is rooted in the belief that by crafting music that is weighty, powerful, and emotionally charged, we can forge a connection with our audience.

Can you share the story behind your band name? How does it reflect the essence of your music?
The choice of the band name, “Wizards of Wiznan,” carries a significant meaning for us. The term “Wizards” stems from that stoner period characterized by bands like Electric Wizard, which frequently used similar names. And, as you know, our first EP was heavily influenced by stoner music, hence this choice.
As for “Wiznan,” it’s an anglicized version of “Vegenand,” an ancient village in the region in Nendaz (Switzerland), where we come from. This village was marked by the tragedy of the Black Plague many centuries ago, leaving behind a dark legacy. By combining these two elements, our band name, “Wizards of Wiznan,” reflects that stoner era while paying tribute to our place of origin and its impactful history. “Wizards of Wiznan” reflects our attachment to our home region. It pays homage to its troubling history. The name embodies our desire to draw from this history and explore the dark and introspective themes that resonate with the region’s past.

What are some unconventional or unexpected influences that have shaped your unique blend?
Our latest music composition has influences of doom, sludge, and black metal. We have also retained some stoner influences. We want to create a music that presents a sound that’s intense, yet also capable of the gentleness of atmospheric melodies. It’s this combination of heaviness, aggression, and moments of contemplation that characterizes our music. An element that our listeners often point out is the use of the black metal genre. They often say it gives our music a very powerful aspect. It’s perhaps what the listener expects the least when they first hear us. We are heavily influenced by this style, and several members of the band genuinely appreciate this music. All the members of Wizards of Wiznan have diverse and varied influences, and we strive to blend the influences of each musician throughout all our compositions.

How do you approach creating expansive and atmospheric soundscapes? What techniques or methods do you employ to achieve that signature vibe?
We craft our atmospheric sound through a combination of intricate guitar work and effects. Adrien’s guitar, adorned with delay and reverb pedals (MXR Carbon Copy; KMA Audio Machines Cirrus Delay and Reverb and EarthQuaker Devices Afterneath V2), is a crucial element in creating the these atmospheric passages. These effects infuse the music with a sense of space and depth. Kevin’s guitar work complements this landscape with interwoven melodies that often carry a melancholic tone, adding depth and emotion. Additionally, the band employs reverb on vocals to achieve an expansive soundscape. We also incorporate a synthesizer, played by Kévin, into our new songs, adding an atmospheric dimension. It allows us to experiment with different textures and sounds, further enriching the emotional depth of our music.

Are there specific themes or emotions you seek to convey through your music? How do alternative music help you express those concepts effectively?
In our debut EP, “Experimental Brew,” our lyrical themes often explored societal topics in a more general sense (e.g. themes of disillusionment, superficiality of society, etc.). However, even in those early days, one of our songs delved into the theme of the plague, foreshadowing the deeper exploration of such dark and historical subjects that would come to define our later work.
When conceiving our latest album “No Light Has No Shadow,” our goal was to create a more cohesive and refined project than our first EP. This album holds special significance for us because it evokes the suffering of the people who lived where we currently reside. Through this work, we aim to pay tribute to these victims, to give a voice to their suffering, and to bear witness to the devastating impact of this epidemic. This album is steeped in the history of our region and the trials it endured. By exploring themes of loss, disease, death, and depression, we connect with human suffering. As we progressed, we found ourselves increasingly drawn to themes that explore the darker and more introspective aspects of life, such as suffering, loss, and mortality.
The special reason for choosing this music is that we believe that by crafting music that is heavy, intense, and emotionally charged, we can connect with our audience on a profound level. The alternative music genre provides us with a canvas to effectively express these concepts. Its flexibility enables us to experiment with soundscapes that resonate with these themes. By creating powerful and emotionally charged music, we want to create an experience that resonates deeply with our listeners.

Share a remarkable moment or incident from your journey as a band that exemplifies the spirit of your music.
A remarkable moment that truly embodies the spirit of our music was when we performed at the Palp Festival at Cabane Brunet, an iconic venue nestled atop the mountains in Wallis, Switzerland. This location holds immense significance for us as it resonates with both the powerful essence of our music and the thematic elements of our music video “Absolute Void.” This breathtaking mountaintop setting perfectly complements our intense sound, creating a harmony between our music and nature. Sharing the stage with Brutus this year and witnessing performances by Stoner, Elder, and Sasquatch at the same venue was an honour 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?
This debut album has opened the doors to new soundscapes. Our compositions, and performances have become more professional, and we are continuing to work in this direction to always offer something better! “No Light Has No Shadow” is a significant milestone for us in our musical journey. After this album, we aspire to continue evolving as a band and exploring new dimensions of our music. In our upcoming compositions, we are likely to draw more from the sludge/post metal side while retaining a significant influence from black metal. In doing so, we will continue to find our direction together and define ourselves. We hope to keep creating music that resonates with people and share our passion.

Is there a particular song in your discography that perfectly encapsulates the essence of your music? Please elaborate on its creation and significance.
We believe that the song “Absolute Void” truly embodies the core of our musical expression. It emerged from profound personal emotions and delves into the human experience. This composition originated from the experiences of our guitarist, following a challenging episode in a relationship, offering a glimpse into his emotional state during that period.

This song delves deep into the recesses of the human psyche, exploring the void left by depression and solitude through emotionally charged lyrics and melodies. The lyrics themselves mirror anguish, isolation, and a longing to escape from this void. The melancholic atmosphere is crafted using minor chords and tonal variations. Furthermore, the song’s dynamic serves as a reflection of the emotions experienced, from moments of anger to more calmness.

The song was released with a music video, intensifying its message. Within the video, we witness a man embarking on a journey through mountain landscapes, driven by a determination to reclaim what was lost, yet unable to attain it. It evokes the notion that, in the absence of hope and isolation, one is inevitably drawn into madness.

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.
Acathexis. They’re pushing the boundaries of black metal, creating a captivating blend of aggression and melody.

Another gem is E-L-R, doomgaze, delivering an emotional journey through their music.

Lastly, don’t miss Wolvenest, Experimental Psychedelic Black Metal/Ambient, who expertly create a hypnotic and entrancing sound.

These artists more recognition for their exceptional work, the richness of their compositions, the subtle way they immerse the listener in their unique world during a listen through heavy and repetitive riffs, the quality of production, and the precision of transitions are what we appreciate most about their work. Furthermore, it’s very different from what we’re used to hearing. It’s something fresh and innovative.

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?
We want our listeners to explore their inner landscapes and connect with the profound and often complex themes we explore. Also on stage, we aim to make both bodies and minds resonate with our powerful sound. We use imposing equipment, including large cabinets, three guitars, drums, and bass, to propel a massive sound into the air, creating a powerful sonic wave that envelops the audience. Our goal is to create an immersive atmosphere where everyone present can feel connected to our music. Through the medium of “No Light Has No Shadow” and our continuously evolving sound, our ultimate goal is to create an immersive experience that deeply resonates with those who are open to exploring the complexity of the human experience. By creating hypnotic rhythms and atmospheres, we seek to engage the listener on an emotional level, where they can lose themselves in the music.

Turbo Regime:
– Fuzz or distortion? Both!
– Analog or digital effects? Analog.
– Sabbath or Zeppelin? Sabbath, of COURSE.
– Heavy riff or mind-bending solo? Heavy mind-bending solos.
– Vintage gear or modern equipment? Modern equipment??

Thanks for your questions!

Wizards Of Wiznan Facebook.

You can order No Light Has No Shadow HERE.
Label: ARGONAUTA Records
Promo: Grand Sounds PR

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