Interview: Burning Witches Drummer Lala

By Jonathan Matthews

We were lucky enough to have a chat with Lala, drummer of All-Woman Swiss Heavy Metal band Burning Witches. We chatted about their upcoming album Hexenhammer, what they’ve been up to lately, and the possibility of seeing them tour Australia in the future.

SR. You guys are about to release your new record, Hexenhammer, how are you feeling about that?

We’re really happy about how it turned out. We worked hard for it, and it payed off. The people who have listened to it already are really happy about it and excited for the release. I hope our fans will like it, it has better production and song arrangement than our previous records. It’s a bit heavier than the last album.

SR. What did you do differently on this record, compared to your previous records?

We recorded the first album in the same studio with the same people, and when we came back for this one we really felt at home. It will be a good album because the spirit of Burning Witches is really embedded in this record I believe. There’s a lot of melodic, harmonious guitar riffs and powerful vocals, combined with very fast drumming. You can really hear how we’ve grown up a bit since our last record.

SR. Do you have a favourite track from the new album?

I think my favourite one is ‘Dead Ender’. It’s got these kind of bounding, direful riffs, it makes you head bang. The song was definitely made for head banging, I like the groove on it so much. I love playing it.

SR. You’re the drummer of the band, did you use any new pieces of equipment for this record?

No, I’ve been using the same gear since I joined Burning Witches. I upgraded my double kick pedal to a DW 9002. It has lighter kicks on it, and I thought that was important for me, to be able to drum faster.

SR. Have you got any plans to come to Australia any time soon?

There are no plans as yet, but we would love to if there are people or promoters that would help us get there. I think the Australian scene is huge, and we’d love to show everyone there our music.

SR. How would you describe your music to somebody who’s never heard it before?

It’s heavy metal with a touch of modern era. It’s somewhere in between old style and new style metal, not too brutal, but it has all of the essential elements, it’s aggressive and catchy. We have speed, harmonious guitar riffs, and powerful vocals, and all the songs are very well executed.

SR. What kind of music did you grow up listening to, and how has that influenced your songwriting?

Some of our biggest influences are Iron Maiden and Judas Priest, but each member listens to different styles of music. I started listening to hardcore and punk when I was a teenager, but around the time I fell in love with drumming was when I started to love heavy metal music. I think it automatically comes out when I play music, I project it from my inner self.

SR. Do you have a favourite track to play live?

At the moment when we’re playing live we only play the two singles from the new record, but after our album launch we’ll be playing all of the new tracks live, as well as the older stuff. I really like the song ‘Burning Witches’ from our old record, it’s so catchy and it stay in your head. It’s classic heavy metal, it’s all about the groove. I think it’s very important to be in a good mood when we’re playing, it comes out in our performance. I love when a song can make my mood change and intensify, it makes my adrenaline spike, especially when you can see the fans smiling and enjoying the show. Even when you’re dead tired and jetlagged, the adrenaline from the music and the fans makes me feel so alive.

SR. How did you come up with the band name ‘Burning Witches’?

Burning witches is about history, just like the title of our album Hexenhammer, it’s about the dark days in history. Having the name burning witches coincides with the pentagram logo, it had five points and we’re five girls, so it really fits to our name. We’re a bunch of crazy ladies that like to play heavy metal, hundreds of years ago I’m sure we would have been considered witches. It is our tradition, so to speak. Something feminine like ‘rainbow girls’ or ‘potato ladies’ wouldn’t have fitted at all. The name suits us, and it represents history at the same time.

SR. What’s the craziest thing that ever happened on tour?

Not too much crazy stuff, our fans are just enjoying the music and not trying to make anything too crazy for us. At our last show in Spain, about a year ago, we had our very first crazy mosh pit, which was a great experience for us, because we could see that the people we’re really into the music and feeling the energy. They were mirroring the energy that we had on stage, and it was one of my favourite shows for that reason.

SR. Do you have any final comments?

Our second album Hexenhammer will come out on November ninth through Nuclear Blast records, and if you’re a heavy metal fans, you’ll love it. We keep the heavy metal tradition, while adding new exciting elements, and we’ve got some amazing new tracks that we can’t wait for you to hear!

Keep up to date with Burning Witches by following them on social media, and don’t miss a thing. Their new record Hexenhammer will be out on November Ninth worldwide, which will be available for purchase on iTunes or streaming via Spotify. If you like these girls, give them some love, and we might be able to see them play in Australia in the near future!

Get the album here: