Band of the day: Wiht

By on 19 February 2013


An instrumental doom from Leeds, Wiht sadly split in 2012 after promising us one more album. The record itself is a concept based around a series of brutal raids during William the Conqueror’s reign. With such an exciting theme embedded in long doom epics, we had to know more.

NAME: Wiht
THEY ARE: Instrumental psychedelic rock/doom
FROM: Leeds, UK
FOR FANS OF: Earthless, Sunn O))), Electric Wizard
LATEST RELEASE: ‘Harrowing of the North’
SONGS TO CHECK OUT: ‘The Harrowing of the North’


As an Instrumental band, how was recording without a vocalist?

Since the inception of the band we always knew we didn’t want/need a singer so I guess performing without a singer seemed normal. I reckon it gave us a bit more freedom, allowing us to go off on one and not worrying about those verse/chorus things people keep talking about! In the same ways a vocalist benefited us as a band playing live; arguably it worked against us when recording. When we started recording ‘The Harrowing of the North’ we had an idea of the song structures but once in the studio we’d keep adding new parts and different layers as we didn’t have a singer and the structure that can bring to a band and the recording process, subsequently there were times where we’d have to stop ourselves developing songs and ideas further, trying to take an objective look and asking if the song needs that 8th synth layer or if just sounds shit!

What can you tell us about ‘The Harrowing of the North’?

‘The Harrowing of the North’ was a series of raids executed by William the Conqueror shortly after he came to throne, also known as ‘The Harrying’. At the time William came to the throne an area that stretched from south of the river Humber to north of the Tees was under control by a few lairy Viking warlords, William did not like this and wanted this area under his control. The aim of these raid were simple and pretty bloody brutal; William wanted to bring the north of England to its knees, rid it of any economic or cultural worth and by operating a scorched earth policy, ensure it would be on its arse for generations to come. Everyone knows the story of the battle of Hastings but this is a part of history that we knew little about, being three Yorkshire lads it became encapsulating reading stories of mass murder and pillage that took place on your door step.

As a concept LP, did you find it difficult in telling the story sonically, instead of a typical lyrical approach?

To be honest we started just writing riffs and developing ideas we had, the idea of a concept developed as the writing process did. Once we decided on the concept we found it easier to structure the album, penning movements for the title track based on chronological events of the raids. The raids and the history surrounding them provide an epic backdrop to write a piece of music around and we found the concept and the music developed together. I guess the beauty of having no singer allows the listener to paint their own picture of what the music is telling them.

What inspired you to choose the theme of this concept?

For us ‘The Harrowing of the North’ was a really interesting piece of history that most people knew little about. The more we read into the more we thought we could utilise the bleak backdrop of the raids and create something sonically from it.

You bowed out at Desertfest in 2012, what were the reasons behind this?

Our reasons are pretty mundane. I’d like to tell you we fucking hate each other and the drummer is having it away with my wife but to be honest it’s kids, jobs and money. We are not saying for a second these issues are unique to our band, there are plenty of bands out there who juggle these kinds of things and do well for themselves but for us it just wasn’t working. For me, a big part of being in a band is progress and takings things forward; touring and recording being fundamental to this and we knew realistically this was going to be very hard to do. The decision was amicable, we are 3 best mates and we were very proud of the things we did with limited time we had, we wanted to protect that and not have the band just fade away, so what better way to call time by playing your last gig at Desert Fest with Corrosion of Conformity!!

What can we expect from the future? Will we ever see Wiht again, or are there any new projects on the horizon?

I’d like to think we’d do something in the future, it just depends how things work out. Never say never! Our bass player has a couple of things going at the moment; the most established of which being Tree of Sores; a crust/doom trio. They have a new LP out called ‘A Cry of Despair’. He is also a part-time second bass player for Wizard’s Beard, a Leeds sludge/doom band. Like one bassist isn’t enough!!

Words: Louis Thurgood

About Matthew

Die humans.

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