Witch Way to Go?

musician chooses new instrument, genres on EP

Parker Reed, photos by Andrea Paulseth

WHICH WITCH IS WHICH? UW-Eau Claire alumnus Tim Frederick is now making music as Witch Hunter General.
WHICH WITCH IS WHICH? UW-Eau Claire alumnus Tim Frederick is now making music as Witch Hunter General.

One man just took a musical risk and released a new record in a new genre played on a new instrument.

Tim Frederick, aka Witch Hunter General, is a Minneapolis-based singer-songwriter with ties to Eau Claire. He recently released his first four-song EP entitled In the Winter, and it is a project which has changed both his musical and personal life.

Frederick attended UW-Eau Claire, where he studied economics and gained studio experience playing saxophone in the school’s jazz and studio programs. The saxophone was his main instrument, and he played it both at the university as well as at live performances with area groups such as Boats and Bridges. Frederick graduated in just three years, but his success left him in an odd place.

After graduation Frederick put down the saxophone and starting working on his songwriting and guitar playing chops in January 2018. In the Winter, documents his first few songs, and the lyrics encapsulate his headspace at a defining point in his life.

“I thought it would be cool to document the first songs that I wrote,” Frederick said. “We would stay up late at night making weird synth sounds and experimenting with some weird sounds. The record ending up revolving around my experiences in school and graduating prematurely when all my friends were still in school. I was in a weird spot, and it was a weird time, so a lot of the songs are about that period of time.”

One of the standout tracks on the record is a song about an atypical topic. Frederick said “Old Pitt (Dillon, Montana 1943)” is a song that came to him randomly during a lull at work.

“I work a desk job during the day, and I was on Google Maps randomly, and I found out an elephant was struck by lightning and died in Dillon, Montana, in 1943, and you can see the area and the tree where it happened,” Frederick said. “I wrote that song when I heard that story, and people have seemed to enjoy it.”

Now that Witch Hunter General’s first EP is out, Frederick said his goals for the project are to keep improving his live performance and to find comfort on a new instrument.

“I’m going to continue playing in the (Twin) Cities and around the Eau Claire area,” Frederick said. “Playing live is a whole different ball game. The first time I ever performed singing and playing guitar was a year ago, and I wasn’t used to being nervous performing until then. It took me by surprise, and I’ve got to learn to get over that. I’m just going to play as much as I can.”

Whether it is playing the saxophone, playing guitar, singing, writing, recording, or performing, Frederick’s musical journey will continue to evolve and challenge him to become a better musician.

You can hear Witch Hunter General’s music on Spotify, iTunes, and on YouTube. For new live videos and performance date,s you can visit his Facebook page at facebook.com/WitchHunterGeneralMN.

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