Hey there, ChipWINners! Chances are you’ve probably heard Crunk Witch from one of their previous releases, most notably 2014’s ‘Heartbeats in Hyperspace’, their most recent album. When they’re not busy working on new material, Hannah and Brandon are known to tour around for a large portion of the year, playing shows all across the country at almost any given time. I had the chance to meet up with them at a show they played in Ithaca, NY, during their recently wrapped nation-wide tour, and asked them if they’d be willing to do an interview for your reading pleasure. They happily obliged! Without further ado, here’s our Chiptunes = WIN EXCLUSIVE interview with Crunk Witch!
Aydan Scott: How did Crunk Witch come to be?
Crunk Witch: Two active imaginations fueled by a couple bottles of cheap champagne!
AS: How has your current tour been, overall and in comparison to previous tours?
CW: This last tour was great. Probably our second or third best ever, out of 20 or so outings!
AS: On this tour, you’ve been across the entire country; what was your favorite show and why? Additionally, what was your favorite locale outside of the show itself?
CW: It’s always hard to pick one because what might be an okay show in one area could be an AMAZING show in another. It’s relative to the markets, ya know? However, we can both say that being booked for an official SXSW showcase, playing to a packed room, and with amazing artists we’ve been wanting to meet for a while, was a definite milestone.
AS: You’ve moved towards a much more electropop style in recent years, with a heavy emphasis on bassier instruments and vocal work. Any particular reason for this stylistic choice?
CW: Like most musicians, I think we started out writing songs in styles that we enjoyed but that ultimately weren’t what was right for us as a group. There were a lot of songs that didn’t connect with our personalities or relationship and therefore were awkward to perform. We instead started to focus on songs that we enjoyed performing live, and used that as a blueprint for future CW songs.
AS: How did you two meet each other? Did it REALLY all start on MySpace?
AS: What musical influences would you say have impacted you the most?
CW: Oh man, that is my least favorite question, haha. There’s no real easy answer, because our idea is to draw inspiration from A, and then some from B, mix it over C, and then throw a wrench in the whole thing and then say to ourselves “Alright, how can we make this work!”
AS: What’s your favorite track to play live, and why?
CW: That one’s easy… Hyper Magic! It’s goofy, it’s funny, it’s romantic, and we get to interact on stage. It’s about having integrity (even if what you’re doing is silly), but mostly it’s about living passionately, loving your life, and telling everyone in the audience that they are beautiful!
AS: It’s been a little while since your last album’s release, ‘Heartbeats in Hyperspace’; when will we see the next Crunk Witch album, and do you have any idea as to what direction it’s going? Electropop, funk, smooth jazz, metalcore…?
CW: While we have been brainstorming, and doing some writing and production, we really haven’t had much time to think about another release. We’ve spent nearly 200 days on tour in support of Heartbeats in Hyperspace since its release in August 2014, and seeing as we do all the booking, fliers, and promo for the group ourselves, you can imagine that time has been in short supply lately.
AS: What does your studio setup consist of, and if your live setup differs at all, how so?
CW: Nothing that flashy, to be honest. While we write the bulk of our songs on guitar or piano, everything you hear on the record, sans vocals, comes from our production software Jeskola Buzz (plus a few choice plug ins)! The live difference is definitely the presence of a light show, that Hannah triggers live with the songs.
AS: What’s your absolute favorite part about performing live?
CW: We love looking up and seeing smiles on peoples faces. We love performing in general, it’s second nature at this point.
AS: Prior to Crunk Witch, did the two of you have a musical background?
CW: I (Brandon) used to make and release Drum and Bass as well as other electronic music before CW. Hannah did not, other than going to lots of shows and being a huge appreciator of all music.
AS: When will you folks be touring again? Do you have any specific areas in mind that you’d want to hit?
CW: We’ll be doing PAX East in about 2 weeks, then a few spotty shows here and there until July, when we’ll do a 2 week run, and then a 4 or 5 week run in October.
AS: Is there any particular driving force or theme behind your music?
CW: To create with passion and conviction, but to not take it, or ourselves, too seriously. Music is fun. We started making it cause it’s fun. So lighten up and enjoy yourself.
AS: Last, but not least; is there anything you’d like to shoutout to your fans, old and new?
CW: The only person keeping you from what you want in life is yourself! You can do anything with this life, so go do it!
There you have it! If you haven’t already picked up ‘Heartbeats in Hyperspace’, go ahead and check the links below and see if you like what you hear! While you’re at it, check out their previous releases! Crunk Witch is an absolute BLAST to see live; the energy emanating from Brandon and Hannah is almost tangible, so if you’re looking for a fun, fast-paced show, check them out at PAX in two weeks!