Icarus Witch on a Career Suicide Mission
Pennsylvania’s Icarus Witch are one of a tide of American metal acts recalling the classic ’80s NWOBHM sound, but bassist Jason Myers tells Noisecreep they aren’t bandwagon jumpers. Quite the opposite, in fact. Since forming in 2004, Icarus Witch have pioneered the classic metal resurgence.
“When we first did it, it wasn’t trendy or popular — especially in America,” Myers recalls to Noisecreep. “We were just playing the kind of music we wanted to hear. Oddly enough, the trend has come ’round to us. In 2010, you see a lot of younger people and the industry paying attention to this new wave of traditional metal that we’ve been thrust into the forefront of, just because we’ve done it for a while.”
Icarus Witch, which released their third album, ‘Draw Down the Moon,’ in February, mostly discovered influential metal bands like Iron Maiden and Judas Priest via their older siblings’ record collections. “We were old enough to remember the ’80s, but too young to do anything about it. It wasn’t a deliberate attempt as much as an organic formation,” Myers says of the band’s wiry, melodic Maidene’sque sound. “We never said we were going to play a particular style. That sound is just a common denominator that we all grew up with and feel the most affinity for. It’s a very natural and organic process.”
Though he couldn’t have foreseen the rising tide of bands like Icarus Witch and peers Black Tide, Myers thinks it was only a matter of time because heavy metal ebbs and flows in the mainstream. “It’s like the living corpse. I guess that’s why they call it underground. Then, once in while, it claws its way back to the mainstream. It’s always going to be there. In 2003, 2004,” he adds, “it was almost career suicide to play straight heavy metal, but the tide is turning and it’s a sign for a positive future.”