By Jeremy Hallock
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By Observer Staff
By Kelly Dearmore
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Denton's Wiccans are a group of musicians from varying backgrounds and with varying tastes. Simply put, the band plays hard, fast music.
But Wiccans—which feature Adam Cahoon on vocals, Payton Green and Daniel Zeigler on guitar, Harpal Assi on bass and Gregory Rutherford on drums, and have an aesthetic more in line with the old guard of the hardcore aesthetic (a little more experimental, a little less reliant on conventions of the genre) than anything—is just one of many bands in which each member is involved. So, no, their catalog is not enormous. Yet even with Zeigler replacing former guitarist Andrew Savage, who bolted town earlier this year for Brooklyn to work on his Fergus & Geronimo project, there hasn't been a drop off in the band's impressive live displays.
And, starting in the first week of 2011, the band will take that show on the road and outside of state lines for the first time for a Midwest tour that will span seven cities in as many days. The tour, which was set up in only a couple of weeks, will fittingly find the band playing mostly in DIY spaces —the environment in which they feel most comfortable.
"We prefer house shows and DIY spaces because it feels a lot better to play with someone falling into you and yelling along," Green says. "It's fun to go across the country and play in people's living rooms and kitchens and whatever weird rooms they have."
The tour will kick off with a free show at Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios on New Year's Eve, which will also serve as the release show for the band's still-unnamed 12-track cassette release. The tape itself will serve as a precursor to a future vinyl release of the same material, which will come on a record label that's also yet to be determined. But all that uncertainty is somewhat fitting: According to Green, the new material was recorded accidentally.
"We were going to record a four- to five-song tape for our tour because we were running out of copies of our 7-inch release, [Teenage Cults]," he says.
Instead, Wiccans ended up recording 12 tracks. Consisting of five brand-new tracks, the album will also include previously released material. And the tape's sound won't be a departure from Wiccans' earlier work, which Green characterizes as mostly hardcore but with a blend of experimentation carefully constructed by the band's members.
"Wiccans is a different band than what most of us do all the time," Green says. "It's faster, angrier, a lot darker and in some respects it's more serious. I grew up going to hardcore shows, and it's cool to go back to that."