Saturday, June 23, 2012
Mapping Witch Mountain
The Portland doom outfit is suddenly taking off after 15 years (minus some hiatus time) as a band. It's an extremely unique career arc and detailed in this story I wrote for The Oregonian.
The piece focuses on their recent ascent and glosses over several previous break ups and reunions, but one is worth mentioning here. When Witch Mountain came back together in 2006, three members of the band at the time had all recently gotten divorces. Guitarist Rob Wrong told me, "Nothing quite spells doom like having all your wives leave you in a two year period."
This was the time I first discovered Witch Mountain. I liked what they were going for, but it was just lacking something. Turns out that something was singer Uta Plotkin, who joined the band 12 years into its existence.
The thing that struck me when I first saw Witch Mountain was bassist Dave Hoopaugh. He's very tall, I'd guess 6'5", with grey hair. Paired with the slight frame of drummer Nate Carson, the band kind of looked like a D&D adventure party with an ogre and an elf.
I was sorry to see Dave leave the band last year, but the new record is so phenomenal, I'm looking forward to seeing new bassist Neal Munson for the first time at the CD release show tonight.
Image: Sketch by Shaun Peace of the 2011 lineup.