With a new album out and a point to prove, The Wise Man’s Fear have an original sound to bring you – as well as the answers to our BotD questions…
We live in a couple of different cities around Central Indiana, but our home base is in Indianapolis.
How did you meet?
With the exception of our guitarist Codi, we all met through mutual acquaintances in school! Joe, Tyler, and Thomas all attended the same high school and Nathan and Paul were college roommates. Believe it or not, we got connected with Codi through a craigslist ad and he just so happened to be a perfect fit as a bandmate and friend.
How long have you been playing as a band?
We started playing shows and writing as a band in 2014.
Before you get sick of being asked… where does the band name come from?
We actually don’t mind this question at all because we get to talk about a really phenomenal fantasy book series by an author named Patrick Rothfuss! Right now there are just two books in the series: “The Name of the Wind” and “The Wise Man’s Fear”, but the third book is rumoured to finally be coming out somewhat soon.
We adopted the book title as our name because the message and narrative voice of the series resonated with us. The books tell a sort of coming-of-age story in which the protagonist conquers massive obstacles and misfortune to carve out his place in the world. The whole story is told in a memoir style to a historian who is chronicling the greatest arcanist of the age and is set in a beautifully rendered epic high fantasy world.
We also repurposed the name to be a statement against the destructive power of pride. Socrates was one of the wisest men to have ever lived, and his entire philosophy basically revolved around the principle that the more you learn the more you realise that you truly don’t know anything. I think there is a lot of truth to that.
What are your influences?
We have a pretty wide range of influences between all our members, but some of the common inspirations for our sound are A Day to Remember, Saosin, Underoath, Born of Osiris, Make Them Suffer, and I See Stars. As far as album subject matter and storyline is concerned, we have taken a lot of inspiration from the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Journey to the Center of the Earth, The Atlantis and King Arthur mythos, and Egyptian mythology.
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
The way we classify our music is Fantasycore. We write modern melodic metalcore that is infused with fantastical elements like Gregorian choirs, zithers, dulcimers, harps, etc. We also use our albums to tell stories set in a made-up fantasy world called Pneuma.
Do you have any particular lyrical themes?
Each of our albums has different themes and meanings that we want people to take away from them, but the lyrics all tell interlocking stories that are set in the same universe. Our new record Valley of Kings takes place 1000 years after the events of our prior two records and deals with some themes such as the fear of aging, evaluating the same surroundings through different worldviews, and the permanency of how our actions affect the lives of others.
What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?
Our main focus for live shows is bringing a new level of energy and excitement to the songs that you cannot get just by watching a YouTube performance or streaming the record. When we are writing we focus really hard on perfecting the songs and making sure everything is the best it can possibly be, but when we play live shows we get to have fun with them and enjoy a completely different side of them. It’s hard to say how many we’ve played at this point!
What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?
We once played a show in Peoria, Illinois where a guy got robbed at gunpoint in the parking lot of the venue while we were in the middle of a song. Our guitarist Nathan saw it happen through the window and started frantically pointing during our set. We didn’t know what was happening and we couldn’t hear him, so we finished out the song and he grabbed a microphone and asked someone to call the police. It was insane. They caught him less than 2 miles away and found out the guy he robbed only had $8 on his person.
What kit do you use / guitars do you play / etc.?
- Codi (Guitar): Michael Kelly Vex
- Nathan (Guitar): Fender ’72 Thinline Telecaster and Danelectro Dead on ’67 Baritone
- Thomas (Bass Guitar): Ernie Ball Music Man StingRay 4
- Paul (Drums): Risen Drums Custom Birch Kit
What, if anything, are you plugging/promoting at the moment?
We’ve got a brand-new record called Valley of Kings that we’re releasing through Sharptone Records and we couldn’t be more excited about it! We began work on this record in 2018 so we’re more than ready to finally have it out. This is our first release through a label and we believe SharpTone is the perfect fit for our band. Give the album a spin once it’s out and check out the 3 music videos for the album! We put a lot of time and effort into this entire production and we’re extremely proud of what we have made.
What are your plans for 2020?
In an ideal world we’d love to tour to support the release of Valley of Kings in 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic has definitely thrown a major wrench into many industries, and the music industry is no exception. We will be doing our best to promote the record and write new material with the extra downtime while we are at home.
If you were second on a three-band bill, which band would you love to be supporting and which band would you choose to open for you? A chance to plug someone you’ve toured with, or a mate’s band we’ve not heard of before!
I think if we could arrange a band bill we’d probably play with our good buddies in Sleep Waker (from Grand Rapids, MI) and In Dying Arms (Baltimore). They’re both insanely talented groups that are doing things that are out-of-the-box and pushing the boundaries of the genre.
The Wise Man’s Fear’s latest record, Valley of Kings, came out on 29th May via SharpTone Records. You can purchase HERE.