Burning Witches Drummer Lala Discusses New Album “The Witch Of The North”

‘This band is not just a band it’s a sisterhood, like a family, and we support each other no matter what’

Lala Frischknecht, drummer of Switzerland’s Burning Witches, is amped up about her bands new album The Witch Of The North, their fourth album release in four years.

‘We want to tell a story on this album. Once you hear the intro and the songs play you can visualise what’s happening. It’s not just about the melodies, of course they are beautiful, there is a story in this album. It’s so epic and totally different from our previous ones.’

‘’The Witch Of The North’ is the first song Romana did and she thought it’s a good title – as it has this Nordic style – which led us to have a different album concept. We’re here in the north, we live in the mountains and are witches. We tell the concept to Laura, she goes and gets information about mythology and she made it her own. That’s how she made the lyrics on this album, it’s all about the mythology’.

Laura Guldemond, whose vocal range rivals Rob Halford’s, is the vocalist and lyricist while guitarist Romana Kalkuhl is the main creative musical drive in the bands music, the reason behind four albums in four years.

‘Romana makes me scared all the time! Even after releasing an album she will already have material. She keeps on playing, having these ideas and is very talented so sometimes I hate her! She sends me material ‘Hey what do you think of this?’ I’m like ‘Romana we’ve just released ‘Dance With The Devil’ or ‘Hexenhammer!’ She’s so fast at making songs so for her it is so relaxing. How the songs works depends on her mood that day. ‘The Witch Of The North’ we did in touring lockdown which means we had more time together to make songs. It’s beautiful if you have such time. To focus on each song to make it sound really well. In this album we wanted to make it as epic and special compared to previous ones.’

Despite the bands epic workout schedule, they approached this album differently, a by-product of the pandemic.

‘We take it slowly, we gave it all our time and concentration. We are used to being busy playing shows touring. Now time stops and suddenly you have all the time and we decided to make a new album and make it really beautiful. There are a lot of great songs here. For example ‘Lady Of The Woods’ is the best ballad we’ve ever made! Romana is so fast though and she was like ‘Can we change something Lala?’ ‘No! Don’t change anything there it’s beautiful enough’. We then sent this to Laura and she made these beautiful lyrics, sends it back and everyone has goosebumps. She sings it really well and her voice is beautiful.’

Touring, Australia certainly is off the cards for the time being, however there are shows lined up with Primal Fear in Europe starting in September. In the meantime a free live stream is set for release day May 28.

‘Expect a really great set list. We will mix some songs from ‘Dance With The Devil’ as we didn’t have much chance to play them because of the pandemic. Also there will be songs from the new album. I think the fans will love it. We have a good set list where we pick the best songs to show the band. We don’t have much choice to promote the album other than live stream for now.’

In four years the band has gone from releasing a demo of only 666 copies -which was picked up by Metal Hammer – to playing some of metal’s biggest stages.

‘We get to do our passion which is play good metal music. It’s really nice that people can appreciate it and we touch people’s lives doing our passion. We hope we can influence female musicians to go out and show what they’ve got. It has to be a passion otherwise it’s a job. We love what we do and it’s reflects in every album.’

Interview By Iain McCallum

The Witch Of The North is out Friday 28 May. Buy your copy HERE

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