Crunk Witch
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Crunk Witch

Presque Isle, ME | Established. Jan 01, 2009 | SELF

Presque Isle, ME | SELF
Established on Jan, 2009
Duo Electronic 8-Bit


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Get Crunk!"

What is a Crunk Witch, you ask? If you’re thinking Lil Jon in a coven, you’re wrong.

Rather, Crunk Witch is an 8-bit electro-pop duo from Presque Isle, Maine, who will be in town to play a show at Sluggo’s Tuesday.

Wife and husband, Hannah Colleen and Brandon Miles, formed the band six years ago and write self-professed nerdy electro-pop about romance, adventure and rocket ships.

“We met on Myspace (cheesy, we know) and we’ve been nearly inseparable since,” Miles said. “We married in 2009 and thus began the surreal journey that has been Crunk Witch.”

To date, Crunk Witch has released three full-length albums. Their latest “Heartbeats in Hyperspace” was released in 2014. Miles and Colleen do all the writing together in their home studio, but when they play live, Miles sings and Colleen runs all the electronics.

“A lot of our relationship and life has inspired our music, which then influences our relationship, and so on,” Miles said. “Learning compromise, patience, and how to support each other creatively and emotionally is very important. It’s exciting. She inspires me to be a better person and I truly admire her big heart.”

Their music is a blend of pop, rock, chiptune, and various electronic genres and many of their lyrics are set in a science fiction reality. They spend nearly half a year on the road playing a variety of venues including comic cons, arcades, festivals, and bars, and are known for their laser light show during live performances.

“I always loved anything that took place in space,” Miles said. “Whether it was cartoons, video games, or movies, it didn’t matter so long as it was magical.”

Miles said that his interest in sci-fi and its deeper meanings are reflected in his writing.

“The thing that always impacted me about sci-fi was the reminder that no matter where we are in the universe, at some level, someone is dealing with similar problems as us,” Miles said. “While we’re pointing fingers and complaining, someone’s out there rising to the challenges in front of them. I’ve always found this motivating, and I’ve used it in my writing.”

Colleen said that beyond the sci-fi themes, they bring a dose of their real lives to the mix to give their music a personal flare.

“Add a slammin’ electronic beat, blend in a spaceship, some robots, and 8-bit synths and we’re good to go,” she said.

Miles said that he enjoys being on the road often and that it often keeps them both feeling connected.

“It’s the most present I’ve ever felt in my life,” Miles said. “I’m there, switched on, living. I feel like the other half of my life is all planning, plotting, and waiting for the next tour to arrive. While I like a balance of both, I love being on the road.”

Miles said that he and Colleen have been doing some songwriting and production for the past couple months, which is the first time they’ve written in two years since the last album wrapped up.

“We are hoping to unveil some new material in the fall sometime,” he said. “Other than that though, we’re always booking tours, and have about 10 weeks planned for the rest of the year.”

“Our goal is to go as hard as we can, leave it all on stage, and enjoy ourselves every single night,” Colleen said. “When I look out and see the crowd laugh, smile, and dance it makes all our hard work worth it. We just want to share our passion with the audience and hopefully inspire them to pursue theirs.”

Spending over 100 days on the road, Miles and Colleen have learned to appreciate the time with one another doing what they love.

“It’s all about the little moments, like when our set ends and the crowd is still cheering,” Miles said. “When we’re going to bed and finally get to take it all in. While the big stuff is always cool, like playing SXSW or big comic cons like MAGFest or PAX, it’s the little moments I will always remember. Hannah, me, and a van full of dreams.” - Inweekly - 2016

"The Evolution Of Crunk Witch's Electro Nerdcore Musicality"

Maine electro-nerdcore duo Crunk Witch, which performs at Cafe Nine in New Haven on Wednesday, Sept. 9, deals in synthesized organicism.

Husband and wife Brandon Miles and Hannah Colleen write songs on instruments (guitars, keyboards), then translate them to the digital space using Buzz, a dinosaur program that stopped being updated about 2003 (the original programmer lost the source code).

Rock, punk, dubstep, even black metal (on early releases) are in play; lyrics wrestle with typical life and relationship stuff, filtered through strange, mythological, Crunk Witch landscapes, like the desperate ramblings of a video-game protagonist.

Around 2008, Miles wrote and recorded an electro-pop solo album called "Kiss the Star," and also played in nerdcore-metal hip-hop outfit Ghetto Craft.

"We just did power-metal-crunk about wizards and orcs and stuff," Miles says. Crunk Witch, with Colleen on board, split the difference.

"It was really goofy and fun but with more serious musicality, something we'd actually want to put out into the world."

Miles and Colleen have since released three albums: "The Legends of Manicorn" (2010), "Faith in the Thief" (2012) and "Heartbeats in Hyperspace" (2014). All three albums were recorded at home.

Maine artist Ryan Sully supplies the band's colorful, cartoonish visual language, which seems almost as integral to Crunk Witch as the music.

Using Buzz, Miles says, allows for the easy translation of ideas into the digital realm. He's used to its quirks and nuances.

"I've been using it for so many years that for me, it would take so much work to get the newest Ableton or something and learn all the tricks and moves," he says. "I know my way around on it."

He also uses popular plug-ins like Massive. "I try to give things more of an old Atari- or Nintendo-type feel, all those things I like to keep a little more organic-sounding. It's a mixture of just playing around in the studio and seeing what we can pull out of this archaic-sounding program."

"Manicorn" was a collection of Miles soundscapes with lyrics that were tacked on; with "Faith," the pair began writing songs with instruments, laying them over prerecorded beats, but the results were mixed.

"We made songs that were more dance-y and songs that were trying to be synthesized rock or metal or something," Miles says. "We created a very confusing record, for us and for other people. We ended up not performing 80 percent of that record, just because it didn't seem to make any sense."

Crunk Witch found its sound with "Heartbeats," a cohesive collection of electro-pop-punk with dance grooves and approachable melodies.

"It's way more song-based," Miles says. "It gives Hannah more of an opportunity to have an influence on not just the lyrics and the concepts, but also the music and the development of that."

There's a self-referential nature to "Start of It All," the first track on "Heartbeats," which finds Miles laying out the band's seemingly innocent creation story:

It all started on MySpace

I walked over to her place

It wasn't raining but it was cold

She looked happy to see me

She poured me a cup of tea

And I asked to kiss her

It was bold

This was the start of it all

And this is why we are

The Crunk Witch that we are

Things get complicated: screaming in the streets, bleeding mayors, portals, mystic ninjas and gang fights. The boundaries between Miles and Colleen's lives and Crunk Witch mythology have become blurred.

"When we wrote ["Start Of It All'], we were like, 'We can't put that out,'" Miles says. "'We can't have a song where the chorus is our band name.' So we said, 'Let's just go play it.' People loved it, and we were like, 'Maybe that is the legacy of what we do with it.'"

The song's live reception, Miles adds, made them question their approach; Miles and Colleen are now willing to take more risks, to allow themselves to create uncomfortable music, but to put it out, anyway.

"It's been this joke story that, at the beginning, was a sort of fake mythology-type vibe," Miles says. "Now, most of the songs are about what we're going through with our relationship. It's never anything bad. Our lives are relatively drama-free. It's just fun takes on what we're going through. ... We're writing about what we know, and we're trying to know ourselves." - Hartford Courant - 2015

"The Crunk Witch that they are"

Three albums in, Crunk Witch are now far more than novelty. The all-digital, husband-wife duo of Brandon Miles and Hannah Collen have created enough material at this point to establish a clear method behind what can sometimes seem like madness.

With the brand-new Heartbeats in Hyperspace, it’s like they’ve put together a top-drawer session band, but everyone’s playing through pedals that turn guitar chords into buzzing digitization, snares into sizzling fuzzbombs, horns into distended whirls. The songs are big radio rock tunes, sometimes more like Broadway bits, but with a space-aged bent that makes everything disorienting.

This is thanks to a bit of open-source programming software called Buzz, which is worth investigating if you’re the type to crush time on Reddit and install your own Linux server. Producer James Holden seems to be one of its bigger proponents, along with bands like Australia’s Hunz, who maybe sound a bit like Crunk Witch. Basically, you play something like a keyboard or an MPC, and then can route the sound through any number of virtual machines to create the sound you’re looking for (which may or may not wind up sounding like an “instrument”).
What station is this? Did you slip me something? Why is Freddie Mercury wearing that astronaut suit?

That’s “Moonbase Blues” for you, taking classic rock and making it science fiction. It opens just like the Bay State’s “Winter Mitts,” but replaces that elegant viola with a keyboard line that’s as inorganic as the vacuum of space. Yet Miles as lead singer is just dripping with drama: “I’m a cowboy / I live to fly in the sun. / I ride the light-years / Until I come undone.”

There’s certainly some David Bowie doing his Major Tom schtick, but it all seems less faux-futuristic here. This isn’t a put on. It’s desperate wishcasting. What could be better than a space-based love affair?

Well, maybe the love affair of Collen and Miles all by itself. Really, they’re quite precious. The opening “Start of It All,” details the union nicely. “It all started on MySpace,” the story goes, and the result is “the Crunk Witch that we are.” Portions of the song are straight-up Headstart! (or how they sound on “Monday,” anyway) infused with 8-bit Casio sounds and thrumming back beat.

And “Whirlwind” is as big a classic rock love song as you’re going to hear nowadays. With all the hallmarks of your standard ‘60s pop number, we hear how “you’re my little whirlwind” (echoes of Del Shannon doing “you’re my little runaway,” for sure) and the pull back for the verse could replace the repeating buzz with a delicate acoustic guitar without skipping a beat.

But all is not pop, here. Crunk Witch haven’t forsaken their hardcore and screamo roots. “Kill the Cartridge” is straight-up metal in the open, but the video game synths do mute the effect. It’s like playing Mario Kart with all the characters wearing black trenchcoats. Princess Peach has a lip ring and is wearing a ton of eyeliner. On the other end of the spectrum, “Clash of the Droids” is aptly named, like a disco dance contest amongst C-3PO’s contemporaries, with some Daft Punk in its low end and a Devo vibe to the chorus. Crunk Witch are dramatic in all the right ways. Silly and sincere and wholly invested.

Ultimately, though, they live to entertain, and that comes through most clearly in the excellent “Sugar Rush,” which is crazy catchy and infused with the same kind of energy that Chubby Checker used to get all those kids twisting: “I’m gonna cannonball for you / Drop it down and make it wet.” Miles is definitely at his best here, vampy and quirky, but not over the top.

Crunk Witch walk a fine line. What they do is so bright and in your face—like unicorns shooting rainbows out every orifice—that it can all be too much sometimes. Of course, it can also be that you can’t get enough. - Portland Phoenix - 2014


The Battle Beyond EP - 2009 - OUT OF PRINT
The Legends Of Manicorn - 2010
Faith In The Thief - 2012



Crunk Witch is an 8bit electro-pop duo from Presque Isle, ME. The band was formed in 2009 by married couple Brandon Miles and Hannah Colleen.

"One of the best bands from Maine."
- Paste Magazine

"A big sound showcasing a mastery of production and vocal fireworks."
- The Big Takeover

"Crunk Witch are dramatic in all the right ways. Silly, sincere, and wholly invested."
- Portland Phoenix

"The most energetic live show I've seen in years"
- DC Underground

Their music is a blend of pop, rock, chiptune, and various electronic genres. Many of their lyrics are set in a science fiction reality and involve themes of adventure and romance. The group spends nearly half a year on the road playing a variety of venues including comic-cons, arcades, festivals, and bars across the US. To date, Crunk Witch has released three full length albums. Their latest release, Heartbeats in Hyperspace (2014), sold over 2,500 copies in it's first week. As of 2015, Crunk Witch has sold over 20,000 albums and singles worldwide as an independent act. For more info contact:

Band Members