Boston folk metallers Wilderun recently played at Cook’s Cafe in Naugatuck along with Aether Realm as part of the “WildeRealm” regional tour, and the band was kind enough to sit down and have a talk with us about their history, American folk metal, writing pieces for an orchestra, and what the future may hold.
Interviewd by: Brian Cross
How did Wilderun get started?
(everyone points at Evan Berry, vocalist and guitarist)
EVAN – (laughs) Wilderun was my personal solo project for a few years; I was just writing tunes. I didn’t really have any direction for it. I started writing songs in 2008 and early 2009, and just wrote random stuff, probably for about two years on my own. In November 2011, I met up with Wayne (Ingram, lead guitars) as I’d been talking to him about working on the music. And Jon (Teachey, drums), as I needed a drummer.
WAYNE – I contacted you during my first semester at school because you put up a post saying “I’m starting a folk metal band!” I pulled off a tab and called you, and you said “Actually, I’ve already got everybody I need.” All right, cool, whatever. And then three years later, you said “Hey Wayne, remember how you were the only one who contacted me about the band? Why don’t we do that?” (everyone laughs)
EVAN – Exactly! It all came full circle after about three years. Wayne became the lead guitarist and orchestrator, because he’s a film scoring major. So I figured Wilderun needed some elaborate orchestration as opposed to the crappy keyboards I was using. We teamed up, and Jon was the drummer on deck for a while before it even got started! I knew he’d be the drummer, as he also played in one of my other bands. As soon as me and Wayne really started orchestrating and getting serious about it, we decided to make a full band out of it, and Jon suggesting getting Dan (Müller, bass). In about early 2012, we had all four members and a complete lineup. We originally got together just to make a demo, but then as we were in the middle of working, it just made more sense to go all out and do a full-length as I had enough material to do it. We decided while rehearsing for the album that we wanted to do a show, so we played the Paganfest show with Turisas and Alestorm. At that point, we only played the songs live that we actually knew, and after the Paganfest show was over, then we worked on the rest of the album. In May 2012 we recorded the album (Olden Tales and Deathly Trails) at More Sound Studio in Syracuse.
Where did the band name come from?
EVAN – It came from a fantasy book, The Elfstones of Shannara. “Wilderun” was just the area of the land that was kind of like the Wild West of the fantasy world.
WAYNE – The secret’s out!
JON – Now everyone’s going to know! (laughs)
EVAN – I just thought “Wilderun” was a cool word, and since it was like the Wild West, it kind of fits with American folk metal.
Wilderun stands apart from most of its folk metal brethren by focusing on American folk tales rather than the more common European ones. How did this come about, and did you incorporate any folk tales from New England?
EVAN – Basically, with Wilderun the music came first. I had been writing a lot of songs, and over the course of orchestrating and writing lyrics we tried to find a more unique identity for the band. I thought it would be more interesting to pull some influence from folk tales and songs from our side of the ocean. The Scandinavian thing’s been overdone, and we’re not from there, so why would we do it? (laughs) The only song that’s directly related to something out of New England is “Storm Along,” an old tall tale about a giant sea captain.
Take us through a typical songwriting session.
WAYNE – Evan’s in school and writes all the stuff, then he contacts us. (everyone laughs)
EVAN – Songwriting is just me sitting in my room drinking coffee. That’s it.
JON – Lots and lots of coffee. The man has a problem. (everyone laughs)
EVAN – Just sitting there and wasting away with my guitar and keyboard, and being late for stuff. That’s pretty much it…but the orchestral sessions are a completely different story, which Wayne can tell you about.
WAYNE – Evan had written all of the music already, as far as the riffs and most of the lyrics and melodies. He had been writing the songs for a long time before he had met me, so it was more or less fleshing out those ideas. I had been studying orchestration and that’s what I love to do in addition to playing guitar. Evan would come over and I learned all the songs; using the melodies and what orchestral knowledge I had, I picked instruments to fill the melodies and harmonies, creating arrangements to evoke certain moods for whatever the song needed at the time. It took us about four to five months to orchestrate the whole album.
What challenges did you face while recording the album?
DAN – Time! (everyone laughs)
JON – Yeah, not enough rehearsal time.
DAN – Luckily, we were able to rehearse during school.
JON – It still wasn’t enough! (laughs)
DAN – There was still a bit of learning going on inside the studio. We had a little under two weeks to record the entire album, including folk instruments, vocal harmonies, and all that. It took time to get the foundation; the rock instruments like the guitar, bass, and drums. Then it was a matter of figuring out where the folk instruments would go, where the gang vocals would go, all of the harmonies. Trying to cram that all into two weeks was probably the most difficult thing about it.
WAYNE – There were also a lot of elements we recorded in the studio that weren’t necessarily rehearsed beforehand. We had practiced as a band getting the metal part tight, but when it came time to do the mandolin? There are only four of us; it’s like not we had a dedicated mandolin guy. We had to figure it all out in the studio, and make sure we played it well. But it was fun! It was a good time.
JON – Yes!
DAN – Absolutely! (everyone laughs)
WAYNE – Unanimous decision.
EVAN – We’ll have a dobro on there, and maybe a banjo. I think that’s about it. Well, maybe some spoons.
JON – Dude! I will be all over that! (everyone laughs)
EVAN – Typically, we’d like to get a slightly more concrete, solidified folk instrument sound on the next album. I think the first album worked out really well, but we want to be a little more focused. It was kind of on-the-spot experimentation for the first album, which worked.
JON – Grabbing random instruments from Dan’s house?
EVAN – Yeah! (laughs)
WAYNE – When I was orchestrating and arranging the thing, I said it would be really rad if we could get an autoharp. And Dan’s like, (lower voice) “Uh, I have my Grandpa’s.” Dan had all of this cool stuff, but he never said anything until it came up! (laughs) “I’ve got a hundred-year-old dulcimer, I guess we could bring that.” (everyone laughs) That’s my Dan impression. It sounds nothing like him.
There’s some diverse musical influences present on Olden Tales and Deathly Trails, but what really inspired you to play folk metal in the first place?
JON – Good question.
EVAN – That’s a tough question.
DAN – Babes! (laughs)
WAYNE – Sex, drugs, and rock and roll, man!
JON – We’re obviously in the right musical genre to get the babes.
EVAN – Yeah, we’re in it for the money. (everyone laughs) That’s why were started playing folk metal! The money and the fame! That’s pretty much all I can say. (keeps laughing)
JON – Really, it’s for the music’s sake. For the love of that music, and that’s what we are. It sounds like such a clichéd answer!
EVAN – Honestly, I’d really have to think about that question. It’s hard to explain!
DAN – It’s a great escape. The whole folk metal vibe, with fantasy and tall tales, it’s a way to step out of your own head and enjoy the moment.
EVAN – Especially working with some of the old folk tunes and stuff. Learning those songs and reading about their history and where they came from, and then creating our own lyrics around them. It was interesting to learn about old stories and tales and reinterpret them ourselves. That’s not necessarily musical, that’s just kind of old tales and history, which is fascinating.
Wayne, you mentioned you’re studying film scoring. What composers inspired your work on the orchestral parts?
WAYNE – Alan Silvestri, number one. He’s my favorite. The orchestral side of the album is really cool; obviously metal is just awesome, but when you add the whole other element of what an orchestra can do? Think about it: when you write something orchestral, it can take anywhere from a small quartet to a hundred people to play what you wrote. There’s a bunch of things that inspire me when writing orchestral music; there’s an incredible amount of teamwork towards a collective goal. The orchestral stuff I came up with for the album, especially on “Suncatcher” and “Storm Along,” if they were to be played by a real orchestra, it would be upwards of a sixty- or seventy-piece orchestra. To think that it would take that many people to do it? To be a part of something that’s so much bigger than yourself really entices me. It’s a big step outside of what you’re capable of, and relying on other people to pull together their talents and resources to make it happen. That’s really inspiring. You don’t become “the guy that made the thing,” you’re part of this whole group of people that made the thing.
What do you see as the most important aspect of your music?
WAYNE – Babes. (everyone laughs)
EVAN – Man, this is another tough question. It makes me think…
WAYNE – The next question is how many babes. (everyone laughs)
JON – I would say…making the most mediocre drum parts possible. (everyone laughs)
EVAN – Okay, I’ll try to give a real answer to this. I think the most important thing with this band is that we wanted to play epic, symphonic music from the get-go, but our main goal is to try to take that style of music and progress it in different ways than haven’t been done before. Especially with the new songs that haven’t been released yet. We’re just trying to take as much of a progressive approach to folk metal and symphonic metal as we can. That sounds a little pretentious, but it’s just basically about experimenting with different styles and genres and melding it into one cohesive unit. That’s the most fun, and I think that’s the most interesting music: the stuff that tries to add new things to a sound. That’s what we’re trying to do.
WAYNE – Also, something that I feel is exciting about the album is that it’s not relying on themes from Scandinavian cultures. It’s relying on themes from American culture. I think it’s progressive to have this style of music talk about things from other places; there’s a whole western hemisphere that can do this, too, and has interesting tales.
EVAN – We definitely can’t deny our influence from all of the previous folk metal bands and black metal bands that existed, because we love all of that music. But we knew that we wanted to try our best to take a new approach to it. Not to deny our influences, but to try to put a new spin on it whenever we can. That’s the most interesting thing for us.
Beyond the current tour, what does the immediate future have in store for Wilderun?
EVAN – We want to keep playing shows, and we have more material for another record, but I don’t know exactly when that’s going to be out. Definitely within a few years, hopefully sooner rather than later. Whenever we can put it together, there’s going to be more music, and we’ll keep playing when we can.
JON – More tours!
WAYNE – And hopefully a West Coast tour sometime!
New England local favorites the Nate Wilson Group returns to Brighton Music Hall this Friday on May 13th! The last time they played there, it was a sold out show so get your tickets early. It will be a great night of music with Township and Banana Phonetic on the bill as well.
About Nate Wilson Group:
The Nate Wilson Group is the brainchild of New Hampshire based singer-songwriter/keyboardist Nate Wilson. The band solidified its sound in 2007 with the release of their first studio EP, featuring original tracks “For the Sun,” “Justify,” and “Unbound.” Gathering much of their inspiration from the riff-heavy psychedelic hard-rock of the 60’s and 70’s, the group has drawn comparisons to 1st generation luminaries Led Zeppelin and Cream, as well as neo-classic and stoner rock contemporaries Wolfmother, The Black Keys, Dead Meadow, and The Raconteurs.
Let’s face it, you’d be hard-pressed to find a band that’s more fun to see live than Ludo. What’s even more magical is when that FUN is caught forever through photos! Check out Tasha’s captures from Ludo’s recent show in Chicago that do just that!
February 19, 2011
Bottom Lounge – Chicago, IL
Photos by: Tasha Schalk
Hinder, Saving Abel & Kopek
February 7, 2011
Royale – Boston, MA
Photos by: Jennifer Russo
It’s been four years but She Wants Revenge just posted some new music in the form of a video for “Take the World” directed by band member Adam Bravin (DJ Adam 12).
The track continues the group’s dark synth and bass-heavy sound and is the first in a series of webisodes in advance of their new album, due out late May 2011. Remixes for “Take the World” will be coming out in the next few weeks, as well as additional videos for new tracks. Check out the webisode below for your first listen:
With a new album, upcoming tour dates and a Coachella appearance in store, 2011 is going to be a very busy year for She Wants Revenge. Check out the track and I’d love to hear what you think. Thanks!
We’re just going to keep a running tab of holiday downloads, songs, releases that become available so check back periodically to see what’s new! (If you have a suggestion for our list, send it over firstname.lastname@example.org)
1. First Listen: Foxy Shazam covering “Heaven On Their Minds” From Jesus Christ Superstar
Foxy Shazam recorded the song for the new compilation disc Gift Wrapped Vol. II: Snowed In. The track can be purchased here.
2. Free Download: Paul Simon / Getting Ready for Christmas Day
Fans can head over to Paul Simon’s official website (or below) for a free download of the new single “Getting Ready For Christmas Day” from his upcoming Spring 2011 release So Beautiful Or So What
3. Support a great tour: Rooney Digital Christmas EP
One of our favorite bands ROONEY just recorded a Christmas EP of three cover songs: “Merry Christmas (War is Over),” “Last Christmas” and “Little Saint Nick”. The EP is being offered as a free download to anyone who purchases tickets for their upcoming tour. Deets here.
4. Support a good cause: The Organ Beats / This Christmas
One of our favorite Boston local acts, The Organ Beats, are offering up a dollar download of their song “This Christmas”. The best part? All proceeds go to the MSPCA! Do it! Buy it here.
5. First Listen: Taking Back Sunday’s Adam Lazzara on If Christmas Is Wrong I Don’t Wanna Be Right
You can stream TBS’s Adam Lazzara lending his voice to the new holiday album from The Fog Breathers titled If Christmas Is Wrong I Don’t Want To Be Right here.
6. Video: Coldplay / Christmas Lights
Check out the video for Coldplay’s new song Christmas Lights below:
7. For a Good Cause: The Killers / Boots
The Killers have released a new tune just in time for the holidays titled “Boots”. Proceeds from the song, which you can buy via iTunes here, will benefit (RED) and help fight AIDS in Africa. For each view of the video (released to honor World AIDS Day), Starbucks will contribute five cents to the cause — views on our player below count towards the total.
7. Compilation CD: ‘Tis The Season To Be Fearless
Fearless Records has released a new Christmas compilation cd titled ‘Tis The Season To Be Fearless for the generous price of $4.99. The release features songs from The Maine, Go Radio, Breathe Carolina and more. Pick it up here.
7. For a Good Cause: Corey Taylor’s X-M@$
Slipknot/Stone Sour main main Corey Taylor has announced plans to release a Christmas single entitled X-M@$ on December 12 in aid of the Teenage Cancer Trust. Join Corey’s campaign to hit the song out of the ballpark here and get a first listen here.
8. Video: Good Charlotte Sing The 12 Days Of Christmas
Benji and Joel Madden of Good Charlotte sing the 12 Days of Christmas for VEVO.com’s first Christmas video of the season. Check out the guys singing all 12 verses while adding in some personal touches and their signature harmonies.
Physicians for Haiti is partnering with Karmaloop and the House of Blues to hold a benefit concert to raise awareness of the ongoing needs in Haiti and bring remembrance for the 6-month anniversary of the earthquake. The event will be held at the House of Blues Boston on Saturday, July 10 at 6pm.
As the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that devastated Haiti on January 12, 2010 has fallen from the news, physicians and Haitian organizations in Boston have not forgotten the tremendous loss and unmet needs. An estimated 230,000 people perished in the earthquake, approximately 200,000 were injured, and 1.3 million citizens were internally displaced in Haiti, the poorest country in the Western hemisphere. Damage of this scale mandates the investment of decades of support and attention.
The evening will include a special surprise guest as well as performances by Bad Rabbits, the funk-rock party starters who were recently picked as one of the Boston Herald’s “Top Ten Bands for 2010,” as well as received a nomination for best R&B Act is the Boston Phoenix’s Best of Boston music poll. Will Dailey and the Rivals will be kicking off the night, who are two-time winners of the Boston Music Award for Best Singer/Songwriter and appeared live on CSI: New York and The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. There will be poetry readings inspired by the events in Haiti as well as words from Haitian community-based organizations about their ongoing work to support Haiti. Partners from the Haitian community include the Association of Haitian Women in Boston (AFAB), Boston Haiti Health Support Team (BHHST), the Haitian Coalition of Somerville, the Foundation for the Technological and Economic Advancement of Mirebalais (FATEM), the Massachusetts Coalition of Haitian Hometown Associations (MACHHA), and Harvard for Haiti. Attendees will be encouraged to become involved and will hear updates about progress and current needs.
Proceeds from the event will benefit a new teaching-hospital that is being constructed in Mirebalais, Haiti through the efforts of David Walton and Partners in Health. This hospital will be located 45 minutes from Port-Au-Prince and will serve as a regional referral hospital for the lower central plateau. This hospital will serve as a national center of excellence, a training facility, and an example of how the health care sector can be resuscitated after the tragedy of January 12th. Once completed the Mirebalais hospital, encompassing over 180,000 square feet, will be the largest public hospital outside of Port au Prince.
To purchase tickets, please go to: www.rememberhaiticoncert.com
Tickets will also be sold at the door.
November 25, 2009
Bourbon St. – Baltimore, MD
Photos by: Tasha Schalk
Hailing from a small town in Mississippi, the members of Saving Abel (Jason Null on guitar, Jared Weeks on vocals, Blake Dixon on drums, Scott Bartlett on guitar, and Eric Taylor on bass) remember a time not so long ago when they were working their day jobs and driving back and forth to Memphis to lay down an EP they hoped might get heard by someone. They never expected it to get heard by Jason Flom who would subsequently offer them a record deal transforming their lives and giving them the chance they had once only dreamed about.
Their self-titled debut album is burning up rock radio with the sexually charged rock n roll anthem Addicted, their first single. The rest of the album is just as strong pleasing rock fans with a message that is loud and clear – it’s not science, it’s just good ole rock n’ roll. The video for Addicted debuted on where else but Playboy.com. Currently out on the road in support of their major label debut, the band is putting it all out there night after night hoping that fans walk away singing their songs, wearing their t-shirts and buying their cd.
Three Days Grace crashed into the music scene with a vengeance with their self-titled debut. With fierce singles like “I Hate Everything About You” and “Just Like You” they amassed a loyal following and toured with bands like Nickelback, Hoobastank and Evanescence. A few years later they’re back with the same vengeance and a new cd. One-X will be hitting record stores on June 13th. The first single, “Animal I Have Become”, is an aggressive, in your face, unapologetic rocker that will definitely whet your appetite for this band and leave you wanting more. Exploring the darkest of places with the boldest of sound and lyrics, Three Days Grace welcomes you into their world to feel it the way that they do. Songs inspired by ironic bouts of loneliness and isolation while surrounded by millions of people. You may think you know them, but they will quickly remind you that you don’t.
Three Days Grace (Adam Gontier on vocals and guitar, Barry Stock on lead guitar, Neil Sanderson on drums, and Brad Walst on bass) is currently out on the Jagermeister tour with Staind and will be joining Nickelback and Hoobastank on tour starting June 30th.
Interviewed by: Mary Ouellette | June 2006