Band of the Day: Wizard Rifle

We don’t just have new bands tackling our Band of the Day feature. Wizard Rifle have been firing rock bullets your way for a decade…

Simple things first – where are you guys from?

The band formed in Portland Oregon, where we cut our teeth in the scene for the first several years. Currently, Sam lives on San Juan Island in Washington State and I (Max) live in Detroit Michigan.

How did you meet?

Our friend Bryan Weller got us in touch when I told him I was looking for a drummer.

How long have you been playing as a band?

Wizard Rifle is around 10 years old at this point.

Before you get sick of being asked… where does the band name come from? 

The phrase was said by my friend while he was watching me play Super Mario World, and we were like “sounds like a cool band”.

What are your influences?

We listen to all kinds of music, so little bits of everything sneak into our music. Some influences people have picked up on are Lightning Bolt, Karp, High on FireKing Crimson, etc. People seem to hear all kinds of different bands in our sound, and that’s really cool.

Describe your music. What makes you unique?

The challenge of creating a big exciting sound with two people live forces you to write a little differently. We both sort of developed new styles to compliment each-others playing, so it’s not something that existed in our repertoire  independently, the sound is just what we make as Wizard Rifle.

Do you have any particular lyrical themes?

We both write the lyrics and sing. We never decided on what our lyrics or musical style would be, but there are themes that we gravitate towards:

  1. Environmental destruction and the shortcomings of mankind
  2. Personal struggles/existential shit
  3. Sam writes fantasy and sci-fi prose kind of stuff.

What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?

Our live shows are very sweaty; we are working really hard from start to finish. The mood of the show is largely determined by the crowd and setting, ranging from a basement shows filled with all ages kids moshing and splashing beer everywhere to a festival stage with some more matured metal heads bobbing heads.

What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?

Four of my friends arrived mid-set dressed in Uncle Sam costumes. I had randomly found an American flag on the side of the road earlier and I had stuck it in Sam’s drum kit. My friends proceeded to lift me on their shoulders during some triumphant moment and I’m playing some shreddy riffs and they’re parading me around the venue.

What kit do you use / guitars do you play / etc.?

Sam switches between an 80’s Slingerland 4-piece kit that the sweet angel boys of Arabrot gifted us on our first tour which we did with them, and a 4-piece Yamaha Power V, both kits have one 18″ crash and one 20″ ride apiece. I play a Baritone Tele in drop-A, and an Epiphone Crestwood in drop-C. I use a loop-pedal, 2 dd delays, a whammy, an Organizer by Earthquaker. I’m always changing up my amps but I use a guitar rig and a bass rig.

What, if anything, are you plugging/promoting at the moment?

We just put out the first single off our upcoming 3rd full-length album (self-titled), which is due out August 30th on Svart Records. The album was written over the course of years and was recorded by Billy Anderson who crushed it behind the board.

What are your plans for 2019?

In support of the album release we are going on tour in September/October with Acid King who are performing their classic album Busse Woods for its 20th anniversary. Also joining us on that tour is Warish. Beyond that, gearing up for future tours/festivals and writing new tunes. A huge goal of ours is to come play some shows across the pond at some point!

Wizard Rifle: facebook | instagram | bandcamp

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