Witchking is a four-piece band from Orange, California. The band consists of singer Tanner Hewitt, 21; bassist Sergio Taylor, 22; Guitarist Luke Barker, 15; and drummer Jarrod Hine, 22.
The band played their fourth official show at Chain Reaction in Anaheim and are an eclectic quartet of individuals who play fast and play loud. Tuck the children away, as this music is not for the weak.
This music is for those that want to mosh and have a good time. The band is less than a year old, forming together last May.
Since Witchking is a new band and unknown to most, Hewitt gave a brief history.
“It was Sergio, Jarrod and I,” said Hewitt. “We said, ‘You know, we should start a band?’ We’re all talented and artistic and we would all love to have a creative outlet, specifically music because we are really into the hardcore scene. Sergio’s little brother has a best friend named Luke Barker who happens to be a complete shredder and it just went from there. We wrote a bunch of songs really, really quickly and started playing shows as soon as we could.”
The band is currently working on their first EP that should be out very soon. Hewitt talked about Witchking’s future.
“We want to be a part of the scene,” said Hewitt. “We want people to go, ‘Oh, let’s play with those guys,’ or, ‘Let’s go see those guys.’ That would be really cool. That’s all we want.”
During the band’s set, just before their last song, youngest member Barker broke a guitar string and the band had to end their set early.
“I thought it was our best show yet,” said Barker. “It just went completely how I wanted it to go. I want to go out every show like that.”
Barker has been playing guitar since he was in the sixth grade, but what he lacks in age, makes up for on stage with outstanding guitar skills. Hewitt stated many times during the evening that Barker is a prodigy.
The reception for the band’s first few shows has been very positive.
“For the first couple of shows it was just like house parties,” said Barker. “They thought it was good. The third show we did was at Chain Reaction and it was alright [but] we still needed a little bit of work. You could still tell on stage that we weren’t completely prepared but we were still getting it.”
Drummer Hine played with intensity showing it in his face and body. There were many moments where he played the drums very lightly and other times it looks like he is trying to make the drums explode. Hine talked about his history on his instrument and musical influence.
“I got a drum set when I was 13 for Christmas and then played it at my grandma’s house for awhile,” said Hine. “[I] got an electric drum set for my house because I couldn’t play that one at home…So I got a weird electronic influence. But now I get to play my drums here. I [have] listened to hardcore forever. My favorite band from the get-go [was] Dystopia. They’re like a heavy band.”
Bassist Taylor said he started playing bass in the fifth grade.
“I went to a small private school in Santa Ana and I was the only one tall enough to play the stand-up bass,” said Taylor. “So the teacher approached me after class and said, ‘would you like to play this?’ And I said, ‘Sure.’ [I] started playing it [and] loved it. A couple of years later [I] got an electric bass and then it’s been like that.”
Still not convinced? Well then, let’s let Taylor tell you what you can expect from a Witchking show.
“We can go from powerviolence to grindcore to 80’s punk rock and all that in between,” said Taylor. “There’s a lot of potential, I believe. We have more technical and heavy songs.”
Witchking’s next scheduled show is going to be at Aladdin Jr. 2 in Pomona Friday April 4.
The band’s debut demo is now up online, and expect to see a lot more Witchking in the future.