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29 Apr 2015

Psychedelic Women: L.A. Witch Brings a Darker, Horror-Driven Sound to Desert Daze

Written by 
L.A. Witch. L.A. Witch. Moni Haworth

L.A. Witch is a band on the rise. Sade (vocals, guitar), Irita (bass, organ) and Ellie (drums) have toured the U.S. and Mexico with a dark, psychedelic rock sound—and they’re part of the Desert Daze lineup on Saturday, May 2, at the Sunset Ranch Oasis in Mecca.

During a recent phone interview, all three members discussed how L.A. Witch formed.

“We’re all from Los Angeles,” Sade said. “Irita and I met through a mutual friend, and we all worked for the same company. Irita had been jamming with friends, and they were looking for a guitarist, and that mutual friend introduced us, and we met up and started playing together.

“Ellie wasn’t in the band until about a year ago; we lost our drummer because she moved to New York.”

L.A. Witch’s dark, psychedelic sound came naturally, the members explained.

“We don’t consciously try to sound like anything specific,” Irita said. “I think we’re directed toward darker things and darker sounds. That just sort of comes out in the music.”

The band members are all huge fans of horror films—something which undeniably influences their sound.

“I was raised on a lot of horror films and sci-fi,” Sade said. “My dad was really into that stuff—a lot of experimental and abstract kind of stuff. I’ve always really been drawn to that. I also really like Mafia and prison kind of movies, like Escape From Alcatraz and stuff like that.”

Their live shows have gained them a lot of popularity, and they recently finished a tour.

“Last year, we got invited to play in Mexico by our friends,” Irita said. “We went and played a couple of weeks in Mexico; we went to New York; and we just finished our first West Coast tour at the beginning of this month. The last show on our tour was at the Ace Hotel in Palm Springs.”

Playing in Mexico was a positive experience for L.A. Witch.

“I think that all of us can agree that it was one of the most fun trips we’ve had,” Sade said. “It was definitely very different as far as the city and the environment goes. I think the reason we liked it so much was the crowds and the people are much more hungry for music. I think in L.A., everyone plays in a band, and we have so much access to venues and instruments. When we played down there, they brought us gifts and were always so nice, and they were always so excited. When you’re performing and your crowd is excited, it makes you excited, and you want to play even more.

All of the members agreed that Los Angeles is a tough music scene to crack.

“I think that we’re pretty unique,” Ellie said. “I’m not really worried about standing out, given we have our own sound. L.A. is really super-saturated with so much music and bands.”

Sade agreed.

“People come here trying to launch their acting careers or their modeling, and this is the place—Hollywood,” Sade said. “This is where everyone wants to come to be famous, to be a star, or be somebody. Sometimes, we get thrown into that mix, and I think we’ve been really lucky. I don’t really know what it is, but I don’t worry about not being able to stand out. No matter what, at the end of the day, we’re playing for fun.”

After playing at Desert Daze last year, the band is looking forward to returning.

“It was so fun,” Irita said. “There were so many great bands on the lineup, and we were so excited to be a part of it. We played almost first, at the hottest time of day—but it was really fun.”

Desert Daze takes place starting at 1 p.m., Saturday, May 2, at the Sunset Ranch Oasis, 69520 S. Lincoln St., in Mecca. General admission tickets are $55. For tickets or more information, visit desertdaze.org.

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