Interview with The Ultimate Wytch Ipek
By The Kibitzer
1. Thank you, Ipek, for joining us and giving us some of your time to talk about Wykked Wytch and your latest release The Ultimate Deception! You have a lot of things going on, especially with the new CD and Wykked Wytch will be supporting the Soulfly 15th Anniversary Tour: MAXIMUM CAVALERA with SOULFLY, INCITE, LODY KONG. How’s everything going with both the new release and the tour?
Ipek – Yes, we have so many things going on, right after our new album was released 2 months ago, we landed a month long tour with Soulfly. As you are reading this, we just completed the tour. It was awesome! We had a great time and made many new fans and met up with the old loyal fans around the country.
2. Wykked Wytch has been around for a long time now and you’ve come a long way since your first release, Something Wykked This Way Comes. In the beginning, how did you envision Wykked Wytch?
Ipek – I always had a vision where we would be real extreme and theatrical. Not just a band that play great heavy music but the same time visually very exciting and interesting to watch, almost like a heavier version of Rammstein. We never had a budget for a show, but always imagined that.
3. What do you think is the secret to your longevity?
Ipek – Determination, passion, & love of music.
4. I know that you don’t want to be tied down to being labeled as Black Metal and that you consider yourselves more Extreme Metal than anything, but was this exactly where you wanted to be now with your musical direction with Wykked Wytch?
Ipek – We never labeled ourselves as this and that’s because we are not a one dimensional band. We possess many different talents and styles in our music, which is hard to describe our music. The reason we say extreme metal is because all the stuff like black, death, thrash metal elements can be found in our music. We also have catchy riffs, solos, & melodies.
5. Would you say that Wykked Wytch definitely has a signature sound or would you rather say that you develop a new sound with every CD that you release?
Ipek – When I originally started the band I just wanted to play hard and heavy music with no limitations or boundaries. Where we can demonstrate classical, opera,thrash, death and black metal influences. I would say the same idea is there from the beginning but music and sound evolves with the musicians I’m working with at the time and how I’m feeling as well. On several of the early albums we did some experimenting and in time you feel what works or not. Every CD has it’s own sound but you can still identify it as Wykked Wytch. I would say with our last album Memories of a Dying Whore we finally developed our own sound and with the new album The Ultimate Deception is a big step up from Memories of a Dying Whore album. I’m really confident where Wykked Wytch is today, still evolving but have our own sound.
6. Since I am still new to Wykked Wytch’s music, The first CD that I had purchased from your catalog was Angelic Vengeance. With each release that you have made, you’ve actually turned it up a notch. Where does most of your inspiration come from when it comes to constructing the music and lyrics of Wykked Wytch?
Ipek – Well you need to hear our very first album Something Wykked This Way Comes to appreciate the progress in the band. Every album, I work with the current guitarist on composing the music. The sound of the music will be influenced by the guitarist’s writing style, but at the same time I make sure that whatever is written goes with the WW style. If I don’t think a song or riffs fit then it won’t make the album. Also I always maintained my vocals in extreme harsh and melodic way, which is WW trademark. As far as lyrics go many things inspire me to write lyrics: child abuse, war against women and children, lies and deception I received from friends and family and the tragedies I have lived through in my life. In the past some fantasy style lyrics, but the last couple of albums’ lyrics were more true crime based and personal.
7. Let’s talk about your current release, The Ultimate Deception. When did you start writing for the new CD?
Ipek – The writing began after I found our new lead guitarist/songwriter Nate Poulson, which was Spring of 2010. It was a couple of months after we came home from our European headlining tour.
8. How did you approach the making of the new CD?
Ipek – I had some song ideas previously and after our last guitar player quit, but I buried those songs with him. When I met Nate I knew what the subjects and concepts were going to be for the new album, which was anger and rage. So everything came together easily. Nate would email me over song ideas and riffs and we would go from there back and forth until a song was done.
9. On The Ultimate Deception, how different is the new release from the previous releases?
Ipek – The Ultimate Deception is modern, new, and a breath of fresh air. Our guitarist Nate was not opposed to new modern melodic, yet very heavy ideas, so he kind of took me out of my comfort zone and we crossed our boundaries to create a very mixed metal style album. We didn’t want to lose the sound from previous albums, but at the same time wanted to create a whole new beast. So this album works great as a follow-up to Memories of a Dying Whore but is just 10 times better and with much more shit going on.
10. What kind of influence lead to the inception of The Ultimate Deception?
Ipek – There wasn’t one direct influence. As from a musical standpoint, you have our new guitarist Nate, who is bringing his influences, but at the same time is respecting what was created before with WW. So we want to create something off the wall but still what WW fans will recognize and love. Vocally and lyrically this was going to be a very angry album because of the subjects covered.
11. Do you think that you’ve stretched out the limitations on your vocal capabilities or do you think that you have a lot more ground that you would like to cover?
Ipek – There are no limitations when it comes to my vocal ability. I’m sure there will be some songs I may be doing some cock rock vocals if the song or the riff calls for it.
12. In regards to the music on The Ultimate Deception, I can also hear elements of other styles of not just Metal but other forms of music, if I’m not mistaken. Was that something that was planned or was that something that progressed during the making of the CD?
Ipek – Everything that appeared on the album was planned and rehearsed. The only element on the album that was completely came up in the studio was the Metallica “Fade To Black” song. That was a last minute addition.
13. You also did a cover of Metallica’s “Fade to Black” on the new CD. What made you want to cover that song and how does it tie in with the other new songs on the CD?
Ipek – On the last album we included a cover song and everyone loved it. So we thought why not butcher another classic song on this album. We just couldn’t agree on what song. We decided in the studio that we would do a Metallica song. Then we finally agreed on “Fade To Black”. We thought that it tied in well with the whole theme of the album and was a great song and of course we had to make our own version.
14. The last track on the CD, “Eyes of A Vulture”, is one of my favorite tracks off the new CD. Can you tell me what that is about?
Ipek – It is one of my favorite tracks as well, a very technical and direct heavy song. It is about how people are like vultures, waiting for you to go down or die so they can rape you and kick you some more or they can’t wait to get a piece of you…everyone is all about money and that’s all they care ..
15. The production for The Ultimate Deception is very strong and compelling. Who helped you produce the new CD this time around and is this the first time you’ve worked with them?
Ipek – We recorded at the Lambesis Studios (San Diego,CA) owned by singer Tim Lambesis from As I Lay Dying and engineered by Daniel Castelman, whom we enjoyed working with very much for the very first time. The album was mastered in New York by Alan Douches who we used on our last album.
16. Given that you have worked with many musicians both in the studio and live up on stage, who will be up on stage with you this time around?
Ipek – New lead guitarist: Nate Poulson, Pat O’Malley (Rhythm Guitar), Matt Florio (bass), Weston Stone on drums , Salvatore on keys , again same line up I had since 2009 with exception of new guitarist Nate.
17. Like your music, you have an extreme live show as well. How do you prepare for something like that and keep things strong up on stage every time you go up there?
Ipek – We did not have enough time to prepare for this tour at all. It was a last minute notice, so Nate flew down to Ft Lauderdale from Illinois and we rehearsed like a week before our first show. But everyone was so pumped and extremely happy to be on the tour, it was a natural everyone gave their 100% live and the result was obvious everyone loved us. At each venue we gained many new fans. Especially when all of us got sick with a cold and did not even care once we were on stage. Towards the end of the tour, I got really sick with coughs and I had a hard time breathing between songs. But luckily the cold did not effect my singing.
18. I know that you have your own opinion about women who front other Metal bands and you’ve stayed true to those words. Do you think that the Metal scene today has changed a little and has learned to accept female vocalists more for their talents rather than their looks? Do you still think that a woman, especially yourself, has to work twice as hard for men to accept you as a musician and not just for your looks?
Ipek – As you may know, metal is a very much male dominated music scene where close minded, sexist pigs still would not want to credit females for their hard work. It’s a turn off for them thinking ooh.. another tits and ass type. This attitude will never go away and because some of the females are exposing them selves showing off their breasts and causing the male audience to disrespect female musicians. Yes, in that aspect we, as honest talented females have to work harder for the opposite gender to accept us. There are still many of them that claim females can not deliver brutal music or can sing as males, which is bullshit because your vocal ability has nothing to do with your gender but more with skills and training. Just like any other musicians, you have to know your instrument well to deliver the goods.
19. You also have a radio show called Ipek’s Wytching Hour that you host weekly. How did you get started in the radio industry and how long has the show been running now?
Ipek – I was a guest one time on Metal Messiah Radio and was offered a spot hosting my own show. I guess they felt I was being interesting and knowledgeable about the metal. It’s been almost 2 years now and has gained some respect from musicians around the world. I don’t consider myself as a pro DJ, more like a radio personality as a Ms. Howard Stern. I like to mix metal with humor.
20. You’ve had a lot of guests on the show. Who would you say would be your favorite guest on the show if you have any?
Ipek – Phil Anselmo was definitely my favorite guest. He is a legend and also very funny. I usually like the artists that don’t take themselves too seriously and are having fun. Some other favorite guests that were colorful and fun with plenty of humor were: Geoff Tate (Queensryche), Johnny Plague (Winds of Plague), & Mike S. (Darkest Hour).
21. You’ve got a lot of things going on right now and you even have your own hot sauce! Can you tell us all about that, please?
Ipek – I love hot and spicy food. What I mean by that is, I literally eat fresh jalapenos like peanuts, so I decided to come up with my own hot sauce with my secret ingredients. Everyone can visit wykkedwytch.com and order themselves a bottle.
22. Well Ipek, I want to thank you again for giving us this opportunity to talk to you. Do you have any parting words that you want to say to the fans out there?
Ipek – Thank you for the great questions. (It’s not very often I get asked intelligent ones; rather all generic questions. I enjoyed answering them.) For fans: please buy music rather than free downloading. Help the scene to survive especially non mainstream ones. Go to shows when you can, to support your favorite bands! Until then, metal UP yours!