By November 1, 2016 Read More →

5 Questions with Modesto’s Salacious Wizard Cult

5 Questions with Modesto’s Salacious Wizard Cult
by Monica Barber


Photo Credit: Anya Murphy


Salacious Wizard Cult (SWC) is an anomaly among bands in the Modesto scene. While most young bands go for the loudest, the flashiest, and the hippest, this local duo opts for deliberate although quite-Technicolor-restraint over the typical bravado. The singer-songwriting duo is comprised of beat mastermind Stephen Cowdrey and vocalist Stephanie Aderholt. The idea for the SWC originated from a daydream that Cowdrey imagined up to escape reality.


Photo Credit: Philip Johnson

Just a month after SWC released their album Cura, the nominated duo was at the MAMA’s dressed head-to-toe in disguise while moving around among the crowded press area. (Quite the contrast to their recognizable music, as evidenced by last year’s much praised performances and e.p.’s.)

Filtering the angular post-hype of electronica through sultry, beat-heavy atmospherics of a contemporary sound, songs on their newly released Cura attain an otherworldly, mesmerizing rhythm – the perfect background music for a midnight seduction or nursing an intense heartbreak. Playing out like a musicophile’s wet dream the album is very mature material for a pair of 20-somethings.

Wednesday night the pair took a break between college classes and performing to answer a short set of questions for me. The unusual twist being that we’ve sat down for an interview before in person when they were a trio about two years prior; now the duo specializes in personal & emotionally driven electronic music and are astonishingly ready to record more.



Photo Credit: Philip Johnson


MV: Tell us about yourself.

SWC: We’re a two-piece of sad wizards. We like to make sad, personal music about our lives, our dreams, and our emotions. Our sad songs have made our shows some of the happiest moments for us and our friends.

MV: The album is called Cura. What does that mean?

SWC: It’s a Latin word meaning, “spiritual charge of souls.” And to us it’s a concept, the concept of the healing process. To cure ourselves through music.

MV: What inspires your music?

SWC: Sadness, loneliness, betrayal, and of course, death.

MV: What keeps you motivated to keep pushing the boundaries with your music?

SWC: Well, it seems that electronic music seems to have a stigma that it’s supposed to be happy or dancy but we don’t feel that way. We think that any medium of music can have a feeling of whatever you want it to. We don’t feel anxious to say anything too personal on a record anymore. Love and death were definitely some of the motivating factors for our album Cura.

MV: Who would you like to collaborate with & why?

SWC: Kenneth Anger and David Lynch. We’d like to score.

Thanks SWC! Cura is available on iTunes, Amazon and their website



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