What's In a Name? Thrashers Owl Witch Explain the Messed-Up Mythology Behind Their Moniker

It's a well-known fact that most band names are essentially gobbledygook, but here at Rocks Off, we're trying hard to decode Houston's oddest monikers in order to find a little meaning.

The best way to listen to thrash metal is to turn it up to full volume and then place your hands over your ears. That way, you can hear all the hidden messages. Seriously, try it sometime. That being said, there are no hidden messages in Houston's self-proclaimed saviors of thrash Owl Witch, who hit the boards at Scout Bar this evening.

They care only for beer and metal, and nothing else. Since most metal band names are self-explanatory, being either a) Medical terms; b) H.P. Lovecraft references; or c) Norse mythology, the name Owl Witch perked us up and we emailed lead guitarist The Venom and percussionist The Warman learn the origin of the group's name.

Rocks Off found a few variations on the phrase "owl witch" in Native American mythology, mostly centered in the Pacific Northwest. The first was a simple cautionary tale about children taunting a witch until she turns them into mice... to be eaten by owls. This was included in a famous children's book by Chief Lelooska called Echoes of the Elders.

Another reference we found was in a fucking horrifying text of Tlingit black magic, in which a man created an owl witch bundle charm by feeding his daughter to a lake serpent in return for getting to hack off some of the serpent's warts. He took the warts and sewed them up in a bag made of owl skin and used to cripple people who offended him with hexes. But it wasn't until the boys of Owl Witch emailed us back that we learned of the Lechuza.

"The name owl witch comes from an English translation of the word 'lechuza'," typed The Warman. "The lechuza is an evil old witch that can transform into an owl. Venom and a former bass player of ours came up with the name. We thought it suited the band, a sort of ominous nod towards evil creatures of Mexican folklore.

"The band is half Mexican," he continues. "It's a nod towards our ancestry (well half of us anyways), its a cool reference. I mean c'mon, evil witches who steal children are metal, and also it sort of has a ring to it. Kind of makes our 'style' uniquely Gulf Coast."

There was more to the interview, but we can sum it up like this: The word "beer" appeared four times, and the word "metal" appeared 11 times. Almost 20 exclamation points were used, the fates of posers in the mosh pits were discussed, and corpses were used to acquire hot chicks. Like most metal bands, Owl Witch is about as subtle as two-for-flinching.

It's a good thing that they are always engaged onstage or in inebriation. With their slight touch of mysticism, they might otherwise track down some of those spell books and put us all in a world of hurt.


Owl Witch: Noun. 1) A figure in Mexican and Native American folklore; 2) A drunken METAL!!!!!-smith 3) A storage unit for cryptozoological skin tags.

8 p.m. tonight at Scout Bar, 18307 Egret Bay Blvd, Clear Lake, 281-335-0002 or Free for ages 21 and up; $5 for under 21. $1 "You Call It" drinks.

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Jef Rouner (not cis, he/him) is a contributing writer who covers politics, pop culture, social justice, video games, and online behavior. He is often a professional annoyance to the ignorant and hurtful.
Contact: Jef Rouner