Witch Weather is an indie/punk trio based in Lancaster, PA, and Philadelphia. Their debut EP "New Moon," released on January 1, 2021, was created remotely during the summer of 2020 as a part of an independent study at York College of Pennsylvania. Lead singer and guitarist Kaitlynn started the project in 2013, refining her songwriting skills over the years. Joined by bassist Juliann Frances and former drummer K. Danée until January 2023, the band draws influences from a wide range of sources. The lyrics often reflect Kaitlynn's experiences as a trans woman, addressing themes of confusion, frustration, and self-identity, making their music relatable to many.
Kaitlynn: I had finally reached a point where I was ready to release some music after writing and recording music for about 6 or 7 years (I waited way too long I know). I got a few friends together to audition for our college's label, we came really close to getting signed but didn't,
Juliann joined shortly after the audition. That was in the fall of 2019 and now here we are.
The name is because I have an unhealthy obsession with Fall and Halloween and have always been really interested in witchcraft/spirituality in general.
Previous musical projects? How'd you first get into music?
Kaitlynn: I've just always been into music, I've been playing different instruments since I was about 9 and had always dreamed of writing my own and starting a band.
I don't really have any prior projects necessarily but I was recording my own music for fun since 2013. I had built a massive backlog of songs by the time the band has formed for real. Had also scored some short films for friends and done music for some other projects but I didn't start liking or being comfortable enough with myself to release anything for real until about 2019-2020. Then the pandemic happened which was super cool timing.
Juliann: Throughout some of middle and all of high school I was in a student rock band program which was really neat. We basically learned a bunch of covers and then they would get us like Sunday matinee shows at local venues. Then at some point in high school some friends and I tried to start a band called Jaguire but it didn't really last since bars and venues aren't too keen on having 17-18 year olds playing (hence the program I was in). Then right before my freshman year of college I was asked to join a band that had formed at the college already but needed a new bassist. I was in that band for a brief period in undergrad. That band shall not be named because ew gross and Witch Weather is way cooler and better and it would be an insult to have that band name in the same sentence as Witch Weather.
First concert that you ever went to?
Kaitlynn: my first two shows were actually country shows at the county fair, and I had a great time. Although It might seem out of character I really love folk and country music and I blame it on growing up in YeeHaw-ville MD. I'm not going to say who they were because I have a strong suspicion that they're probably not the greatest people and I've stopped listening to them a while ago because of that soooo... I'm going to abstain from that one.
Juliann: My family took me to a whole bunch of concerts growing up and there is a slight debate on what my first concert was. But we're pretty sure it was Poison and Cinderella at the Hershey Park stadium. But it could have also been the concert for that TV show that was on Spike called Rockstar Supernova. Also shout-out to Cinderella, they were super local to where I'm from.
What's your writing process like?
Kaitlynn: I tend to come up with the ideas or write out the song. Juliann will give input and write the bass line around it. We've been getting more and more collaborative as we go on. The melodies and lyrics normally come to me after slamming my head into a wall long enough to give myself blunt force trauma.
Juliann: On rare occasion I will give Kaitlynn a theme for a song and then write a bassline for it. When she asks what chords I want for it I go ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ and then she goes "noice" and then we finish the song. That's how Cassiopeia came to be lol.
What other artists or songs inspire your music?
Kaitlynn: we're both really inspired by a lot of goth and new wave artists, both musically and fashion wise. I also always get super inspired by local bands that we play with so it's kind of impossible to represent every influence in one playlist. Specifically Marissa Paternoster of Screaming Females completely changed the way I play the guitar, she's my favorite guitarist of all time. And bands like the taxpayers really changed how I try to do my vocals in some cases actually I love the way they scream and how that sounds.
Juliann: Definitely agree with everything Kaitlynn just said. And as far as bass playing goes I tend to take inspiration from different artists at different times or utilize different elements I've learned from different artists for different songs. For example, my main bass playing inspirations tend to be Geddy Lee (Rush), Chris Squire (Yes), Gene Simmons (KISS), Flea (RHCP), Kris Novoselic (Nirvana), and Tim Commerford (Rage Against The Machine). Then when I'm writing a bassline for a song like "Blue Menace" or "3:58 AM" my Geddy Lee side comes out a little bit. But when I'm doing something like "Very Therapy" you get a sprinkle of Tim Commerford instead.
What's the live experience like and your philosophy on playing live? Do you think the music live should be identical to the recorded version or should it be it's own thing?
Kaitlynn: NO I don't think it should be identical. We have to rearrange a lot of songs actually because we're a three piece live. My philosophy is to have as much energy as we can, have as much fun as we can, and really just try to be entertaining and let everyone enjoy themselves.
Juliann: Yeah definitely shouldn't be the same live. If anything, it should be better live. The recorded version is like our inner artistic vision. And then the live version is us as performers, it's a show. It's a different thing entirely. Like if I'm gonna do a backbend with no hands on stage the bass playing is gonna sound a little different from when I'm sitting in a chair lol
Has the band toured? What has the touring experience been, best shows? worst shows?
Kaitlynn: we like to say we're going on a long spread out tour currently, we play shows constantly just not traveling across the country quite yet if that makes sense. But I love playing so many shows it's one of the few things that truly brings me joy. I don't know about BEST shows but my favorites have probably been our two recent shows at Phantom Power in Millersville PA and all our pride festival shows. Our worst shows... Aren't real and never happened so if anyone says otherwise theyyyyyyre lying.
Juliann: We've actually never played a bad show in our life because we're perfect and nothing bad ever happens to us
What's up next for the band?
Kaitlynn: SPRINTING back to the studio already. We have our full album coming out in October and would like to have another release lined up and ready to go for next year. Already a lot of songs happening for it as well. Also LOTS more live shows.
Juliann: We're gonna have a surprise version of one of the tracks off the October album that'll come out next year as well and I think that's pretty neat.