Recently, Adam Mcilwee (mostly known as guitarist/ singer in Tigers Jaw) filled Casual Friday in about his new project, Wicca Pha$e. More attention has been focused on Wicca Pha$e recently, especially with the music video release of “Bite My Ear” and preorders for Bite My Ear /// Magentagram 7″ that are now available for purchase. Read more to learn more about how Wicca Pha$e begun and what direction the project will lean towards in the future.
1. Can you tell us what motivated you to start Wicca Phase? When did you write the songs that you decided to use for this project?
I’ve always loved electronic music and rap, way before I was listening to bands…like, since I was young. My first CDs were Ma$e and Puffy singles, I loved dance radio singles…whatever. And that never stopped, but it wasn’t something I ever actually made, so I wanted to try it. I started writing the songs late last year.
2. What does “Wicca Pha$e $pring$ Eternal” mean? How did you choose this name?
Caroline Bren came up with it. She’s a dream.
3. Previously this year you released songs “Hot 4 You (Born2Die2)” and “Magentagram”. Where were these song recorded? Also, how was the response that you received after releasing them?
“HOT4U” was recorded in my apartment. “Magentagram” was recorded at Gold Bar, with Mike Quinn DBYK. He helped a lot with that song…ummm, making it something that it wasn’t. Darker.
I can’t tell tell if people like it or not so I try not to think about it…most people who don’t like it are Tigers Jaw fans, and it’s gross when people will act disgusted by WP$E and then tell me they like tigers jaw. It’s embarrassing for them. Like, I’m embarrassed for them. I can’t explain why.
4. What is your writing process like when it comes to writing songs for Wicca Phase? How does it differ from writing songs for Tigers Jaw? Is writing songs for Wicca Phase more difficult than writing for Tigers Jaw or vice versa?
No, one is not more difficult than the other…I’m working through two different minds. Titles usually come first, then the music (with WP$E I use a lot of beats people send to me, so the music is done for the most part)…then I sit in bed and write the lyrics, but most are written in my head before I actually do anything.
5. What do you write about when writing songs for Wicca Phase? Does this differ from your lyrics for Tigers Jaw?
The difference is that PHA$E is just me, so I think I’m more willing to say explicit things without having to worry about how it reflects on four other people…but it’s still me, and I usually say whatever I want in tigers jaw lyrics anyway, so there’s not much of a problem…ever.
I write about girls, and myself. That’s it.
6. Can you describe your set up for your live performance? Is it just as cool playing your Wicca Phase songs acoustically?
I never play PHA$E songs acoustic, except for that one “Magentagram” video. I usually just play instrumentals off my computer and sing, but I think I’ll eventually have a DJ. I’m working on that now.
7. Preorders for your first 7” that include songs “Bite My Ear” and “Magentagram” just recently became available. Can you tell us anything about this release and putting together the physical copies? Will anyone else be collaborating on it with you?
Yeah, Nick X arranged the whole artwork/packaging aspect of that release, and Ian Decelli made the cover image. So I’d go to Nick’s studio most days after work and continue working on the record. I don’t remember a lot of what we did, except that it took 1-2 months to finish, but we were also working on posters before that so I have no idea how long I was there or how long we worked on everything. Ripped and dyed the paper, screened the covers, added watercolor spray to the insides, screened and ripped the inserts, etched/engraved the vinyl, tied the records…yes. We had help on most nights though, so other people might remember better than I can.
8. Can you describe what your newest songs might sound like after this release?
Each release is going to sound way different. My mixtape with JFK will be a continuation of the Bite My Ear///Magentagram 7”, but he produced the entire tape so the instrumentals are going to be way better…he understood what I wanted WP$E to sound like from the start and sent me 10-15 instrumentals that were perfect (I already posted one of those on tumblr.) Then we’re going to do another short mixtape that I don’t want to say too much about yet…then the mixtape AFTER that will be with THEMOON, and those beats are terrifying…I think that’s going to just be dark dark dark rapping, I’m not too sure.
After those mixtapes will be a few more physical releases. I’ve been working with Steel Tipped Dove on actual studio recordings, so they’ll be clearer than the current stuff (which doesn’t say anything about the actual quality of anything, obvi). I think we’re going to drop an internet single soon, so people will know what I mean.
9. Can you tell us about the music video you filmed for your song “Bite My Ear”?
The video was filmed at Bloodsells Studio…I’m not really sure what to say. It’s a bedroom goth pop video. Don’t we look great as bedroom goths?
Once we do more videos, I hope people realize that there’s different manipulations of WP$E…umm, how can I say this? You’re not going to see me looking like I did in that video in the future, because that’s that song, you know? We’re going to shoot more videos, so maybe people will see the differences in those from the one we just filmed.
10. Any upcoming shows or tours we should be aware about in the near future?
I think I’d like to tour this fall.
12. Who influences you musically when it comes to Wicca Phase? Also, who have you been listening to lately?
My first set had a Crystal Castles cover and a Morrissey cover. Lately I’ve been listening to Clams Casino and Grimes, nonstop…oh, and Lakutis is my fave, Chippie Nonstop is great, that Kitty Pryde single is a dream…the last Big Baby Gandhi mixtape is my summer album…
13. Anyone in particular that you would love to play more shows with or tour with?
Anyone I just mentioned, but I’ve never played with any of them. I’m not sure who I WOULD tour with…I should think about that…
14. Last words?
Think about me.
Watch the music video for song “Bite My Ear” featuring Brianna Collins, also from Tigers Jaw