By: Shirley Ju (@Shirju)
Wicca Phase Springs Eternal is recognized as the pioneer of the subgenre best described as “emo trap.”
Earlier this month, Wicca unleashed his EP with Clams Casino titled "Spider Web," holding fans over until his formal debut Suffer On, which is slated to be released on February 15th.
AllHipHop spoke with Wicca Phase ahead of a show at The Roxy in Los Angeles, to discuss early days with Peep and his death.
AllHipHop: Bring us back to the days you started GothBoiClique.
Wicca: I started it with Cold Hart in 2014 or 2015. We were in a group called THRAXXHOUSE before that with a bunch of Seattle people. But it was 40 people in that, so we started GothBoiClique just to have a more tight-knit group of people.
The idea was just gothie, boy band vibes, but everyone doing their own stuff. We don’t have that many group songs, we collab a lot. Me and Cold Hart started it, and everyone else who’s in it now joined pretty much immediately. We kept it to those 9 people until Peep joined.
I got the timeline all messed up. It’s either mid-2016, possibly early 2017, that’s when we really started playing shows together a lot. I was coming out to LA a lot working on some stuff. We’re still just as tight-knit as we’ve ever been. It’s still kind of loose, loosely defined. I don’t know what it is. It’s a brand essentially at this point that we can just gather under and print up merch with it.
AllHipHop: What does it take to be part of the collective?
Wicca: Well, we can’t take anyone else now. It’s hard enough to get 9 people to on the same page. It’s hard to coordinate between ourselves, which isn’t a bad thing. We just can’t take on much more. We need a manager or something like that.
AllHipHop: You have a manager?
Wicca: I do have a manager. I think other people in the group have managers too, but it’s kind of difficult. [laughs]
AllHipHop: What was your initial reaction when you heard Lil Peep had passed?
Wicca: Definitely shocking. Pretty terrible. That’s an understatement, of course. I was on that tour for 2 weeks. GothBoiClique was the opener. The way we did it was we split it up into 2-week chunks. I did the first 2 weeks of the tour, then Horse Head for another 2 weeks, then Cold Hart joined. But I had left because I was working another job. That was at the end of that tour. The atmosphere of it was kind of dark, just the tour in general.
It was just obviously painful. It’s sudden, like “s##t, that’s it.” That’s the feeling you get. It was cut so short because his trajectory was skyrocketing. He was primed to be a huge star. He is now, but who knows what could have happened. It’s just really sad. That’s what could happen when someone is really young, and their star rises really quick. You can get wrapped up in stuff you don’t really have control over. It felt like a lesson to keep a level head and stay as grounded as possible, and not let the allure of being famous sweep you up. Because there are people who are vultures. There’s people that will give you whatever you want to get in your good graces.
It’s a weird thing to pinpoint how I felt, aside from terrible. I woke up and had a million text messages. I didn’t even know, it was already on Twitter and stuff by that point. Horse Head sent me a text like “call me before you check the internet.” It’s terrible to hear that. I felt guilty for leaving the tour. You always think ”well if I was still on the tour, something might have been different…” But there’s no point in thinking like that, right?
AllHipHop: How close were you with Lil Peep?
Wicca: Pretty close. It’s hard to say. When he first came out here, people like Nedarb, Horse Head or Cold Hart were his closer friends in person. They were living with him, etc. I met him on the phone first, when Horse Head wanted to put him in GothBoiClique. I was down because I loved his music, but I never met him. We talked on the phone for a little bit, I met him at a show we played. He was a fan. He knew every word of every song that we were playing. He was generous. We weren’t super close, but he was busy all the time too. When we saw each other, we were close. Being so far away, it’s hard to maintain a relationship. Again, we would have worked together so much more than we had.
AllHipHop: What’s the greatest memory you share with him?
Wicca: The first show that we played, it was just some GothBoiClique show. It was right when he got in the group so we were all on stage together, and he was literally singing back up harmonies to everyone’s songs. Cold Hart’s songs, Horse Head’s songs, my songs, and nailing it. I was like “this is the coolest thing.” He wasn’t even who he was a year later at that point. It was just a great feeling. Doing normal stuff with him, like going to eat. You don’t really get that. It’s those times when you can really find out who a person is. It turns out that he was super sweet, normal, and goofy, just like everyone else.
AllHipHop: What is your take on drug culture? What needs to happen?
Wicca: Hate it. Really hate it. There’s obviously a drug problem. Drugs are in a weird way a major part of this scene. Not for me personally, but definitely for other artists who are singing about it all the time or really living that life. There are kids who relate to that, whether they are on it themselves or can identify with the loneliness and anxiety that comes from drugs. I hate it. I wish it wasn’t a part of the scene at all, because it was never something that I was into. I seem super straight probably compared to these other people.
AllHipHop: You never did any drugs?
Wicca: No, I just had no interest. I grew up around it in my family, so maybe that scared me away from it in a healthy way? But it was always my least favorite part of the theme. The only thing I can really do is try and use any minor influence that I have over people to try and steer the scene away from that. Again, I’ve never been into it. It’s always my least favorite part. It’s glorified insanely. If you listen to the radio, it’s hard not to hear drug references.