Meet LA Witch.
"There are so many reasons why the word witch felt appropriate. The cool symbology behind it. And we’re all from LA, so that’s kinda how it came to be."
We talked to the band (and former American Apparel employees) about their influences, life on the road, and (of course) their favorite Los Angeles haunts.
Your music has been described as “haunted surf rock,” “lethargic lo-fi blues,” “dirty distorted country” and “60s psychedelia.” How do you describe your sound?
“Probably a mixture of all of those. Definitely dark, distorted, heavy. It’s hard to describe, especially because we don’t stick to one genre.”
How did you choose the name LA Witch?
“We had been a band for probably 6 months. And our friend who was working at American Apparel at the time also had a band and he invited us to play our first show. And they were like, What do we put on the flyer? LA Witch is the one all of us felt fit us the most. There are so many reasons why the word witch felt appropriate. The cool symbology behind it. And we’re all from LA, so that’s kinda how it came to be. And we were dressing like witches. Chiffon, lace.”
Since you’re all true Angelenos, what are your favorite spots in the city?
“Chinatown, downtown. Family Arcade, Little Tokyo. Elysian Park. The Getty. LACMA and MOCA. Huntington Gardens in Pasadena is really cool. There’s so many. That’s why LA is the best.”
You’ve been compared to Ian Curtis, Kim Deal, The Stooges, and more. Who are your biggest influences?
“Definitely Mazzy Star and Kurt Cobain. The Cramps. Johnny Thunders. We watch a lot of films and are into different styles of art and architecture. There’s a lot of 90s culture, horror films, Italian horror films especially. We watch a lot of movies on the road, read a lot of biographies on other bands and artists.”
Could you walk us through an average day in the life of the band?
“We’re usually at the venue until the bar closes, just cleaning up and loading our gear back in, collecting payment, packing up our merch. Then we have to check into a hostel or whatever, wake up really early, skip breakfast, grab coffee. Trade showers. Then we spend a lot of time in the car with no cell service, so we come prepared with a lot of movies or books loaded onto our iPad or computer. Then we get there, do sound check, eat dinner, and wait until the show.
We try and practice at least once a week. Even when we’re not on the road, we stay busy planning for future things: fliers, tour posters, merchandise, tour managers. It’s a business. We’re an LLC, it’s weird. It’s a learning process. But all of us have our outside-of-music things we enjoy as well.”
How would you describe your onstage look?
“Anything I can sweat in without it showing. Just being comfortable is more important to perform, so we tend to have a laid-back look on stage. Jeans and T-shirts, oversized clothing.”
What was life like for you before you formed the band?
“American Apparel! We learned a lot from working there, and I really miss those days. There were hard times as well, but I was managing a flagship store and worked for the company for 6 years, managing different stores.”
Any favorite American Apparel items?
“So many. The bras, socks, and underwear. They’re really comfortable. The off-shoulder shirt. All the cropped styles and t-shirt styles. The Halter Bodysuit. For maybe 3 years straight, all I wore was the Tennis Skirt. I still have a stack in my closet.”