WAYFARER is black metal of the American West. A cavalcade of fury, melancholia, and dust-laden storytelling; the band is informed by the fierce and adventurous spectrums of heavy music, along with the stark Americana of the “Denver Sound” artists that carved the identity of their home. Sure, they have they own vision to offer and a personal sound, somethink that is gold today, when most of the bands clone the ghosts from the past.
Hello Shane, Wayfarer is an American band with a name already distinguished, that ain’t easy, how hard has been to get to that point?
I guess we haven’t really thought of it in that way, we’ve just been focused on making something that’s genuine to us, hasn’t been heard before – hopefully something that’s good. There are so many bands out there anymore all you can really do is keep trying to improve on your music, and over time more and more people find the band – so it’s gratifying when that happens.
The members in Wayfarer accumulate a long experience, that counts in terms of being successful or it’s more a question of fortune?
I think that has a lot to do with it, sure, although we don’t really consider ourselves that successful of a band up to this point. But in general I feel that it often comes down to the more you can hone your sound and your playing, especially working with people close to you for a long time, the more that will elevate your music. We all make each other better over time, and therefore the music gets better and reaches more and more ears. As I said earlier, it takes time for music to be discovered in most cases, so the fact that we’ve been at this for awhile helps to accumulate a bit of a following over time.
You are delivering your forth album A Romance with Violence. The three previous albums were very much appreciated by the fans, that has put more pressure in the creation of the new one?
It more comes down to the pressure we put on ourselves, we don’t want to tread the same territory again album to album, we want to push our sound forward and do something new and better-realized. That’s really the only way we can think about it – and then if we make something we feel confident in, we just generally hope it hits people in that way too. But it’s important to us to keep it genuine always, so we can’t put too much thought into what others may want out of it.
How long have you worked in the composition and recording of A Romance With Violence and how was the process?
It was a total of around a year and a half altogether – but there were some periods away from it in there as well. We did the first tours around World’s Blood in 2018, and in 2019 we began kicking around some new ideas and new direction for the next album. Other projects and tours for Isaac in Blood Incantation also took up at this time, so we worked on it when we could, and hammered out the concepts in more detail in the meantime. Once 2020 hit we went full steam ahead on the record, initially intending to record in April in New York, but of course COVID 19 came and changed all of that. But we used the extra time to flesh it out even further. We spent about two weeks in the studio here in Colorado at World Famous Studios with Pete deBoer recording the album – which was great to have the time to really make sure everything was given its proper take. We were able to experiment and fine tune a lot in that time. The record was then sent up to Colin Marston in New York and we mixed it remotely, communicating with him daily and spending about a week on the mix. Then it was sent to V Santura in Germany for mastering, which he got done in a few days.
A Romance With Violence never dissapoints, it’s my imagination or you have been adding more and more ingredients to your music along the time?
Certainly, and also largely expanding on things we have already been exploring, especially with the previous record “World’s Blood”. We wanted to flesh out this album as a big and bloody western film of a record. We wanted the influence of Westerns and dark Americana to be a part of the songwriting as a whole, from the metal side as well as the non-metal sides. It came together pretty well in our eyes.
So, how you would define the new album in comparison with your debut Children of the Iron Age six years ago?
Certainly very different from that record! That album shows the early stages of the band, being more a product of influences headed toward our own sound, instead of now where we feel our sound is our own. There has been a lot of development of the band in those years, and while we stand by that album as an initial effort, we were very young at the time and I feel the music we are making now really reflects something of our own we want to convey.
The artwork has that style of the American West, how is it connected with the lyrics?
The photo on the cover is a photo of the Transcontinental Railroad’s construction in 1868 in Wyoming. There are frequent references in the record to the railroad as a vessel for American expansion westward, an embodiment of the “Pale Horse” bringing all of the violence of the new world to the West. I think the engine on the cover, along with the sinister figure standing in front of it makes a great suggestion for the album’s cover.
Very cool, indeed! The album will be released on October 16 by Profound Lore Records, same label as with World’s Blood, a good understanding I suppose?
The departed Rezabek was replaced some time ago by longtime collaborator Joe Strong-Truscelli as full-time guitarist
Yes, he had filled in on some tours for some time, and joined fully at the end of 2016 as a guitar player.
Wayfarer have made a name for themselves as a live act, how much important is that part of the band?
It is very important! We consider ourselves a live band first and foremost, and like to bring a lot of intensity to the shows. That is where the music gets to really live, and we truly can’t wait to bring this album to the stage.
How has the pandemic affected your activity or plans regarding your debut, promotion, etc?
Aside from the delays in the recording process, it mostly just puts a big damper on being able to tour on the album, which is a huge bummer to us, as we are rearing to go. There will never be better promotion than seeing a band live, and we are looking forward to that chance when it comes up.
The album was recorded in the midst of the pandemic, has that influenced in some way these songs?
There was some influence of the state of the world in the way things were delivered, but to be honest the pandemic itself ended up creating a situation in which we had more time to really finish the thing properly, and fine tune all of its components. So in that roundabout way, the unfortunate situation actually helped this record – silver linings!
Dogs are faithful animals, but humans has much less memory it seems, in that sense how do you value success in music?
Hahaha! Curious comparison, but dogs are so much more worthwhile than humans. Success is very subjective, to us our goals are to make something real, something good, and hope it stands the test of time instead of a moment of fame. That is what we hope for.
I cannot let pass the ocassion to ask about another side project of some members in the band: Lykotonon. You have released a demo of 3 songs this year. A creature of the pandemic or something more stable?
Yes! 3 of us from Wayfarer are involved in this project, being James on guitar, Isaac on drums, and myself on bass. That demo was actually long completed before the pandemic and was just finally released then. There are plans for future activities for this band for sure! With the pandemic eliminating touring for the immediate future, we are actually working on a lot of music right now, including material for a Lykotonon full length.
Good! Any wish or idea for the future to come?
We would just love to play shows again 🙂
And we to watch them live! Shane, thanks for the interesting conversation and congratulations for the good job!