Damn the Witch Siren
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Damn the Witch Siren

Columbus, OH | Established. Jan 01, 2014

Columbus, OH
Established on Jan, 2014
Duo Electronic Rock

Calendar

This band hasn't logged any future gigs

Aug
04
Damn the Witch Siren @ Phantasy Nite Club

Rocky River, Ohio, United States

Rocky River, Ohio, United States

Jun
14
Damn the Witch Siren @ Buzzbin Art & Music Shop

Canton, Ohio, United States

Canton, Ohio, United States

May
22
Damn the Witch Siren @ The Bowery Electric

New York, New York, United States

New York, New York, United States

Music

Press


Sometimes you need your witchy music to be quiet and mysterious. Other times, though, you need to grab your coven and dance. This brand-new song from Damn The Witch Siren, "Don't Go Away," will let you do just that. So, put on your most mystical crystal necklace and cast a circle: The collaboration between Bobbi Kitten and her boyfriend is as magical as it is party-worthy. The best of both worlds, if you ask us. Listen below.

https://soundcloud.com/damn-the-witch-siren/dont-go-away-single - NYLON Magazine


Led by the pair of Bobbi Kitten and Z Wolf, Columbus, Ohio’s Damn the Witch Siren is all about exuding strong girl power amidst a very high-gloss, eclectic, fun hybrid of pop music styles. A great example is the new track “Nasty”, in which electronic, dance, hip hop, ‘80s pop, and funk all collide in a glorious pile-up that’s as delightfully garish as Kitten’s multihued image.

“This was the last song we wrote for our album Back to Dreaming and we had a lot of fun with it,” the band says. “It’s kind of a feminist rant in the guise of a geeky, girly-pop song. The album has a lot of dichotomy to it, and this is probably the silliest moment, but being silly and fun can be very empowering.”

https://soundcloud.com/damn-the-witch-siren/nasty-1/s-KkqNg - PopMatters


While most of us are gearing up for the crunchy foliage and pumpkin spice lattes of fall, Ohio-based electro-rockers Damn The Witch Siren are evoking signs of spring with the whimsical new video for “Faerie Garden,” the second single off the duo’s forthcoming debut album, Back To Dreaming, premiering exclusively today on LADYGUNN.
Inspired by the twinkling pop of the 80s, as well as the moody beats of trip-hop and the bubbly synths of 8-bit music, “Faerie Garden” is a wholly enchanting slice of melodic electro-pop that, even without the floral, feminine aesthetics of its corresponding video, sounds exactly like what we image pastel colors would sound like. It’s magical, colorful, and light as a feather. Basically, if Marie Antoinette made a mixtape, this would be on it. - LADYGUNN Magazine


Damn the Witch Siren has always embraced the concept of transformation.

It’s an idea that bleeds into everything from the electronic duo’s appearance — the musicians present themselves as fairy tale-esque creatures Z Wolf (Nathan Photos’ werewolf alter-ego) and Bobbi Kitten (Krista Botjer’s Glinda-like good witch) — to its ever evolving sound. While the pair broke through with the raucous, bubblegum electro-pop of last year’s Superdelicious, its most recent material charts a moodier, more trip-hop inspired path.

“We both love every kind of music in the world, and from day one we knew we were going to branch out and do a lot of different things,” said Photos, who joined Botjer for a late December interview at a downtown arcade whose running soundtrack of digital blips and beeps bore at least passing resemblance to the band’s earliest work. “So we did our crazy, silly noise-pop … and now this next stuff we’re doing is a lot headier and cloudier. We’re excited.”

This new musical direction was inspired, at least in part, by the pair’s decision to relocate to nearby Marion, where the two have taken up residence in the home formerly owned by Photos’ grandmother, Voula.

“Moving into the house we were able to unclutter our lives,” Botjer said. “Superdelicious is really high energy … and now we’re in the mood to do something really moody and groovy and beautiful at the same time.”

The peaceful surroundings are a welcome change for the musicians following a chaotic 2014 that featured everything from multiple apartment break-ins (subsequent budget woes delayed a move to California, perhaps permanently) to the chain reaction set off when the pair spoke out against R. Kelly’s inclusion on the bill of the inaugural Fashion Meets Music Festival (the controversial R&B singer was eventually removed from the lineup in the wake of the public outcry).

Though outside chatter has quieted in recent months, the musicians’ workload hasn’t lessened. In addition to maintaining a hectic recording/performance schedule, the two have been hard at work on their home studio, dubbed Voula Studios in tribute to Photos’ grandmother, which they hope to open for business at some point this year.

“I’ve been in a lot of recording studios, and … it always feels kind of like a museum, like, ‘Don’t touch that,’” Photos said. “We want it to feel like you’re at someone’s house, and you can come in and drink coffee and tea and take your time making a record. We’re excited in there. Every day we move to different rooms and get different sounds. We’ve barely scratched the surface of what we can do.”

The same could easily be said of Damn the Witch Siren’s ever-evolving sound. - Columbus Alive


Damn the Witch Siren aim for sensory overload.
Attend one their electrifying live shows and you’re likely to see choreographed dance moves, seizure-inducing visuals, and two hyper-active lovebirds buzzing in a cacophony of 8-bit arpeggios and blunt electronic beats. The multi-media onslaught of Bobbi Kitten and Z Wolf truly has no precedent or peer among the Columbus scene. They’ve got to be the only band in town who reps a film projector as their third member. Theirs is as much a rock concert as it is an exultant sideshow.

Kizmet brought them together, as Kitten literally went searching for Wolf when she spied him in a photo with his former band, the Town Monster. From the start of their relationship, their intentions in music making was as much influenced by ‘80s pop like Oingo Boingo and Madonna, as it was by the shocking performance art of Lady Gaga. It was a match that led to their debut, the tellingly titled, but somewhat rough around the edges, Let’s Fall in Love. With the release of last month’s Superdelicious – which they played, produced, and mastered in the apartment they now share – Damn the Witch Siren’s dynamics have sharpened into slick high-energy dance music with a thumping industrial clang. Much of it passes in a blur of neon and glitter, like the sensation one might get from living in a Japanese pachinko machine, but Kitten provides plenty of sticky hooks that prove they’re serious when they talk of aspirations to become legitimate pop stars.

Members: Bobbi Kitten, Z Wolf

Noise of Choice: Guilty-Pleasure-Wave Electronica

Web: www.damnthewitchsiren.com - 614 Magazine


The whole R. Kelly/Fashion Meets Music dustup started when electro-pop duo Damn the Witch Siren spoke up about the controversial R&B singer’s headlining selection, so it made sense the band would close out the final night of Femmefest, a grassroots event launched by a tightknit group of locals who wanted to sow some good from the lingering unrest.

The inaugural fest, staged at a smattering of city-wide locales (Ace of Cups, Strongwater, Kafe Kerouac and so on) over Labor Day weekend, raised in excess of $8,000 for the Ohio Alliance to End Sexual Violence, according to the charity’s executive director Katie Hanna, who introduced Damn the Witch Siren at Little Rock on Sunday. Fittingly, the duo’s late-night, headlining turn took on a largely celebratory feel — despite the fact a new lighting rig the group hoped to debut decided to malfunction.

Z Wolf, appearing here minus his usual wolf mask, and Bobbi Kitten, her eyes streaked with glittering smears of makeup, opened with “Imagination,” a percolating, digitized jam colored with electronic drums, hypnotic washes of synthesizer, terse, propulsive guitar riffs, and Kitten’s vocals, which built from a breathy whisper to a full-throated roar.

In many ways, the two presented a study in contrast onstage. Wolf generally kept a low profile, hunching his lanky frame over banks of equipment and disappearing into the groove on pep-rally-worthy songs like “Honey Honey.” On those few tunes he provided backing vocals, his voice tended to be distorted into a computerized croak, like a kidnapper disguising him or herself while phoning in the ransom. Kitten, in turn, whipped her brightly colored hair freely, stomped on the venue’s floor as though it were a runway and more or less exhibited the same lack of inhibition as a teenager singing into a hairbrush in the bedroom.

The characters in her songs were similarly brazen, save for the shattered soul on the set-closing “Life Like Movies,” a sweet, eggshell-fragile tune the two dedicated to late Girls! guitarist Joey Blackheart.

Lyrics touched on heady issues like growing older without growing up, self-empowerment and the follies of vanity, but the music itself never felt studious or labored, and the freedoms the two sang of — freedom from pride, oppression and expectation — reverberated in the beat-heavy backdrop, which had a good chunk of the audience dancing along from start to finish. - Columbus Alive


There’s nothing like a fresh start, especially when it’s all made up.

Columbus electro-pop two-piece Damn the Witch Siren was built on equivalent pillars of imagination, armed with alter egos and a desire to collapse every portion of the arts into one magnificent music project.

“I came up with Bobbi Kitten ­­— I wanted something androgynous but feisty and cute, and my friends always called me ‘kitten’ – so I liked ‘Bobbi,’” vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Krista Botjer explained of her stage name. “It’s fierce-sounding.”

Producer and multi-instrumentalist Nathan Photos’ stage name of “Z Wolf” came shortly after hers, as Botjer remembered. Photos wanted a DJ name and has a passion for wolves, and one night of light brainstorming gave the two their permanent stage names.

“It’s funny how you don’t have a strong intention behind something — you’re just having fun — but then you realize all of the influences of your life and things that you loved throughout your life,” Botjer explained, “like witches and magic and wolves."

“You start writing around it, and it’s all this fake fantasy — I think (that) was unintentional, but it was birthed out of all of this influence,” Botjer said.

Damn the Witch Siren’s self-proclaimed genre is now “witch rock,” which the members describe as dark, mystical and ethereal with “powerful female empowerment.”

Botjer and Photos came together in 2012 after meeting in the Columbus music scene. Upon leaving separate groups in which they were previously involved, the two found common ground in their shared determination to melt and experiment with genres in a way that might expand their music into the realm of fashion, theater and art.

Photos explained that Botjer was big into theater, and she can act. With such talents, Damn the Witch Siren wants to make each set an event through “heavy visuals” and performance art.

“We talked about — before we did this project — ‘What is missing when we go see music?’” Botjer said.

“We’ve been constantly building up our live show,” Photos said. “It’s getting kind of big for two people.”

“Being sexy is just very natural to us,” Botjer said slyly, on their sexually charged performances, which include provocative outfits and orgasmic yelps on Botjer’s part. “I’ve just always felt like a very sexual being.”

Both members of the band are attracted to an “avant-garde” life of creativity and sex, as Botjer put it.

“You write what you know, right?” Photos said rhetorically as the duo shared a laugh. “Music without sex is not as interesting to me.”

In May, Damn the Witch Siren released the 7-track “Superdelicious,” which showcased glamorous song titles such as “Pearls and Lace,” “Tu Sais Je T’aime Bien” and “Life Like Movies.”

“We’re both dreamers and it’s like tapping into these characters we have created,” Botjer said. “They’re not just characters — they’re alter egos, and they’re these entities that we’re trying to eventually fully land inside of, and ‘Superdelicious’ was trying to get there.

“(‘Life Like Movies’ is) about being broke and being a dreamer,” Botjer said. “When you have a dream but you’re in this dead-end job that isn’t going to take you anywhere you want to go.

“It’s about anxiety from that lifestyle, from working really hard and not ever seeing it pay off,” Botjer continued. “But it’s basically like, ‘Well, I don’t care if I don’t ever see it pay off, ‘cause this is all I have.’”

Another song, titled “Microphone,” refers to a “loser with a microphone.” The irony sits within Botjer singing the lyrics.

“I am!” said Botjer laughing, answering who the “loser” is.

Lately, Damn the Witch Siren has been busy with a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo. At $1,530 as of Monday evening, the band members hope to receive $5,000 in donations toward building a studio in their new home in Marion, Ohio — a studio that would give themselves and any other artist the opportunity to record, film, photograph, animate and more.

“It (will be) called Voula Studios,” Photos said. “That was my late grandmother’s name, this (was) her house.”

With the Voula Studios Indiegogo campaign ending this week, Damn the Witch Siren intends to push on with the studio plans regardless, but hopes it can add a few extra dollars before setting up shop.

Bobbi Kitten and Z Wolf drew attention to themselves June 26 when they publicly opposed R. Kelly’s addition to Columbus’ first Fashion Meets Music Festival. “An Open Letter to Columbus, R. Kelly, Fashion Meets Music Festival, and All Women” appeared on the band’s blog shortly after Damn the Witch Siren was invited to be on the bill.

While the band members received both support and opposition for their public post, the most important thing was the amount of dialogue it began, within and beyond their blog, Z Wolf said.

“There were performers who were in FMMF who reached out to us about donating all of their proceeds from the festival towards rape victims and the (Ohio Alliance to End Sexual Violence). People were asking us about that,” Kitten explained.

When the FMMF post occurred, the band wasn’t necessarily attempting to evoke a reaction over the subject, Photos. It’s something that he and Botjer feel very strongly about, so — being involved with the festival — the two spoke up, Botjer said.

“That was the first time the both of us have ever done anything publicly like that, besides being involved in other peoples’ charities and events,” Kitten said.

They performed at Femmefest and Pelotonia’s Rock n’ Wheels, and Damn the Witch Siren’s members said they try to do as many charity shows as possible. The band’s agenda rides on feminism and female empowerment, as well as recycling and taking care of the earth, Bobbi Kitten said.

Damn the Witch Siren is passionate about the ‘80s, from the music all the way to actively reviving the fashion.

“People give the ‘80s a lot of s— for their fashion, but honestly I love the ’80s fashion,” Kitten said.

“It’s fun, ridiculous, and daring,” Z Wolf added, “I prefer that to the ’90s when everyone just wore flannel and tried to look like they worked at a gas station.”

Many people don’t always want to try new things, sticking hard to the same sound and style, Kitten said. Damn the Witch Siren is not interested in that autonomy.

“Life gets stale and boring, and the way you keep it creative and keep yourself inspired is to travel to these places inside of your brain,” Kitten said. - The Lantern


The ever-changing local music scene continues to evolve in Columbus, with different bands ebbing and flowing across our annual Top 10 list of musical talent. This year, our readers and contributors picked the nationally known Lydia Loveless to return to the top of the charts.

Loveless had a big year in 2016 with the release of new album Real back in August. The album has received high praise, including a great writeup from NPR, where music critic Jewly Hight stated that “This is a side of Loveless we haven’t heard. By finessing her musical ideas and illustrating how she processes prickly emotions, she’s created a rich alternate reality.”

For more information, visit www.lydialoveless.com.

Top 10 Local Columbus Bands of 2016

1) Lydia Loveless
2) Damn the Witch Siren
3) The Wet Darlings
4) Twenty One Pilots
5) Saintseneca
6) The Floorwalkers
7) The Worn Flints
8) Nick D and the Believers
9) Angela Perley and the Howlin Moons
10) Playing to Vapors - Columbus Underground


February 11, 2018
Writer: Mike Thomas.

The cover art for Damn the Witch Siren’s latest release, Red Magic, is a vision straight out of Nicolas Wending Refn’s Neon Demon. Photographed from the waist up, singer Bobbi Kitten stares provocatively into the camera’s lens, bare-chested save for a generous application of crimson glitter paint.

Damn the Witch Siren astonishes a sold-out Spacebar crowd during its album release party on Saturday, Feb. 10.

This, combined with track titles such as “Sex U Up,” “F--k Me (Like We’re in Love)” and the delightful single-entendre “Feeling Myself,” and the project of this release seems clear enough: a shame-free celebration of sexuality driven by tongue-in-cheek self-awareness.

Spacebar was packed to capacity, a sold-out crowd having gathered to celebrate this latest release and accompanying tour from Columbus’ favorite electro-pop duo. Working the group’s merch table in a skin-tight sequined dress, Kitten stood out starkly from the masses in all her glam-rock glory.

Mingling with the commoners did nothing to lessen her mystique, and a seemingly endless procession of fans lined up to have their photo taken with the artist. She enthusiastically obliged countless concertgoers in this manner, before slipping past the throng to the bar in the back of the venue sometime near the end of middle-billed power-rock duo Betsy Ross’ set.

It is around this time that the unmistakable clack of a stun gun sounded out over the din of the crowd, emanating from somewhere near back of the room. Kitten has apparently produced a taser from her bag–a prop for further fan selfies–and holds the flashing prongs of the device up to her tongue in a cunnilingual gesture. A more perfect metaphor for the group’s intermingling of sex and danger could not be asked for.

As Damn the Witch Siren prepared for its performance, Kitten was joined on stage by her partner and musical cohort, Z Wolf. Unlike his companion, Wolf exudes an approachable techie-charm, dressed simply in jeans and a vintage Bowie t-shirt, an homage to one of the group’s known influences. The pair spent an almost interminable amount of time running countless cables to and from the various keyboards, synths, laptops and other arcane pieces of equipment used to generate their upbeat, dancy pop.

A light bar was planted behind the setup, drowning out Spacebar’s unassuming Edison bulbs with near seizure-inducing waves of multicolored luminescence. Once everything is in order, the duo took to the backstage for a brief huddle before reemerging in a cloud of smoke-machine fog. Wolf has now donned his trademark werewolf mask and red leather jacket in the style of “Beat It”-era Michael Jackson. Kitten looks exactly the same, which is to say, beyond stunning.

Damn the Witch Siren's light show mesmerizes Spacebar attendees. The music also captured multiple decades of dancy, electric genres.

The performance that followed was chock full of the hypersexual yips and moans that are the hallmark of Kitten’s vocal stylings. “Yas, queen” was uttered on no fewer than 20 occasions, including, at Kitten’s insistence, during a call-and-response with the crowd in which the phrase (as instructed) is to be moaned out in the most orgasmic manner possible. This was repeated for good measure at the conclusion of the performance.

Musically, the duo’s sound moves fluidly between electro-tinged indie in the vein of The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Artpop-era Gaga or techno-leaning Britney, with even a little Prince thrown into the mix, especially in a closing number reminiscent of “Purple Rain.” The enraptured crowd, ever hungry for more, was blessed with an encore because, as Kitten puts it, she doesn’t think everyone has been left “wet enough.”

Sex sells, and in the case of Damn the Witch Siren, it sells in bulk. In delivering the most overtly-sexualized performance in the city this side of annual fetish party TRAUMA, the duo seems to highlight the absurdity of our culture’s still puritanical leanings through an almost grotesque display of unfettered eroticism.

Through all the moaning and complete lack of subtlety or innuendo, Damn the Witch Siren lays out a challenge to the listener to stop taking sex so damn seriously and to let loose in an orgasmic “Yas queen” of liberation and freedom. - In the Record Store


Damn The Witch Siren brought their unique brand of self styled “witch rock” to The Radio Room Saturday night, and in a display of incredible live performance skills, beguiled everyone in attendance with an incredible rock n’ roll energy greater than one would expect from an electronica based band.

“We have a real rock n’ roll feel to our live performances too,” Bobbi Kitten, Damn The Witch Siren’s lead singer, multi instrumentalist, and co-songwriter (with partner Z Wolf) told me with a sly smile as we chatted before the show about DTWS’s sound; truth be told, it captivated me when I first heard it. I admitted to Bobbi that I really wasn’t a big fan of electronica or pop (something I’ve decided that DTWS is definitely NOT because their songwriting is just too good to be “pop”), but that I really loved their sound because it, quite simply, rocks. It’s the at times racing, at times pounding, but always fervently organic rock n roll backbeat that underscores all of their compositions that really boils the cauldron that their witch rock stews in.

“We recently released our album Red Magic, which we’re really proud of. It’s kinda sexy, if you hadn’t noticed!” related Bobbi from the stage during their set, this time with a beamingly beautiful and proud, yet still slightly sly, smile. With songs like set (and album) opener “Sex U Up,” and “Feelin’ Myself,” Red Magic is definitely a sexy sounding album. It’s more than just a soundtrack to a hormone fueled dance party though. The songwriting is some of the duo’s best yet, and there are some truly poignant moments on the album.

Songs like “I Don’t Wanna Say I’m Sorry” (which to my dismay they left out of their set), and “The Fire, The Flame” (which simply smoldered live) transcend the “witch rock” label and cross into almost classic singer/songwriter territory. Just like the album blurs the lines between electronica, rock, and singer/songwriter genres creating a universally genreless masterpiece of sound, DTWS’s performance blurred the lines between perceived sexual boundaries and restrictions, both gender and orientation based.

The sexiness of Bobbi’s performance, where she dove into the crowd to dance with both men and women, was a celebratory exposition of the joy of consensual sensuality and sexuality that is the common life affirming experience shared by human beings of all genders and orientations. In short, underneath all of Bobbi’s dancing and vamping, and DTWS sexy sounds, is a boundless celebration of the most basic experience, expression, and magic of being alive and not just being sexy. This celebration comes through most powerfully in their live performance and is a joy to behold.

Damn The Witch Siren’s set was the living heart of the night’s entertainment, and was metaphorically represented by Bobbi and Z Wolf’s mutual banging of the ritual drum, in this case in the form of an upright bass drum, during the middle of “Forever Young.” The song, like the two’s wild, yet perfectly rhythmic performance on the bass signified the beating organic heart that drives their music laid bare in a live setting. It was a phenomenal moment and was the central highlight of the entire night.
Bookending Damn The Witch Siren’s set were local Greenville acts Tom Angst and Fabric.

All in all, the Damn The Witch Siren, Tom Angst, Fabric show was yet another phenomenal genre bending show at The Radio Room. Music of such varying sound and genre, that is nevertheless thematically and spiritually akin to each other, can really make for not only a fun night out, but a great celebration of being alive that crosses expectations and boundaries, and therein lies the true magic of music. - Shutter 16 Magazine


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

Photos

Bio

The duo of Bobbi Kitten and Z Wolf are multi-instrumentalists who write, record, produce, mix, and master all of their music in the home studio they built, but they’re better known for their live performances which are filled with “choreographed dance moves, seizure-inducing visuals, and a buzzing cacophony of arpeggios and blunt electronic beats.” (614 MAGAZINE).

After releasing their debut EP Superdelicious in May 2014, they began catching a lot of local attention for their energetic shows. In less than a year following the release of Superdelicious, Damn the Witch Siren had graced the cover of 614 Magazine, performed at a TedX Talk, and was nominated by Columbus Alive as an act most likely to go national in their annual Bands To Watch feature in early 2015. 

Their first full-length album Back to Dreaming had singles premiering on NYLON Magazine, PopMatters, LADYGUNN, Impose Magazine, and more. It was called “an ethereal, hyperactive romp through floral sounds and exotic synth-fed mysticism” (VANYALAND).

In 2016, the band embarked on their first tour, spanning nine states, including dates at the Chicago House of Blues and New York. In 2017, they were ranked #2 of the Best Columbus Bands by Columbus Underground. And in 2018, they released Red Magic, their most formidable (and sexiest) work yet. In February they went on a 15-date tour of the midwest and east coast.

Band Members