Massachusetts based band Wilderun are currently gearing up to re-release their latest album Veil of Imagination via Century Media Records. An album that takes the listener on an epic journey filled with a wide range of musical timbres inspired by Opeth, Devin Townsend, Blind Guardian and others. Prior to the re-release, our senior got the chance to chat with bassist Dan about the origins of the band, the re-release of the album and a range of other topics.
You’re going to be re-releasing Veil of Imagination soon. How has the response been to that?
It seems good. People are excited that we’ve finally got some label support behind us and our European fans are particularly excited as it means we’re more likely to be able to tour over there which we’ve yet to do. Obviously not this year, but we might be coming over next year. People are very loyal to our Bandcamp as well and we like it as it means that we can have the music available in high quality format. MP3 just doesn’t sound the same as the uncompressed formats, even though I have a lot of it, I can really tell the difference between them.
We started the band in its current form around the end of 2011/12 and we released two albums prior to this one which we are re-releasing after self-releasing it. With this new record, we’re re-adjusting our style from the old folk metal roots and bringing in some more of the heavier stuff. We started out very much influenced by bands such as Turisas and Moonsorrow and bands like that. I grew up listening to a lot of progressive music such as Dream Theater and Symphony X which has obviously influenced my writing and naturally worked it’s way in. We’re currently working on how to blur the lines between the two.
What would you say was the main source of inspiration when you were writing this album?
It’s always tough to think about what inspired me as quite often, when writing, I can be in my own little world, same as the other guys, and then we bring things together in a very natural way. Wilderun has always been a bit of an escapist organic entity, any landscape is a big influence for me and I enjoy spending a lot of time out there. Music flows more freely into my mind with the landscape of New England in the background and I also like to listen to a wide variety of music. That then in turn influences the music we write and I like to incorporate some parts from genres such as electronic where they use a lot of sampling. For example, when there’s a big hit and drums come in there’s the sound of a rock-fall in there as well. You can’t really hear it, but it makes the part sound so much bigger and you can feel it.
What started your musical journey all those years ago?
It was Weird Al actually! I was playing piano for a couple of years due to my parents and when I was around 15, I heard the polka bass lines from Weird Al which really inspired me to play bass. I went into a music store with every intention of picking up a double bass, but the owner handed me an electric bass. I stuck with it though and was drawn to things that got progressively heavier and heavier. Dream Theater was probably the first metal band I listened to and I loved them ever since.
How do songs normally come together?
Up until now, Evan [Anderson Berry] has come up with demo of the songs with rough guitars and midi-drums. We then all get together and write our parts to that and it develops from there. The overall structure doesn’t change much from there usually as Evan is a very good songwriter and arranger. We basically add parts to the skeleton and the song evolves like that. Over time, we’ve all had more of a hand in things individually with the sound as a whole and we’re now starting to experiment with things for the new album. We’ve got a rough skeleton for it, but we need to fine tune everything, write parts and work out the orchestration. I doubt it will take us 4 years this time, but it’ll still take a while.
We use sample libraries and Wayne and I have done work for TV shows and other things which has given us a real appreciation of the players and orchestras. The secret with sample libraries, I think, is to use two sample libraries or more to really layer the sounds and keep things varied. We’d love to work with a real orchestra at some point, but it’s very expensive obviously!
What’s something you want to see less of in the music industry?
I want to see less copycat bands and bands that try and sound like another band too much. I think having many bands that sound the same detracts from the original source act. We use a lot of techniques in our songs that come from outside the genre and blend them with metal to create something new. It’s much harder to envision something coming from a country song and have it sound metal and not country. Listening to the core composition and looking past the musical notes, you can then work out how to do it.
What are the band’s plans for the next year?
We’re hoping to get on the road next year and we just got confirmed for an opening slot on the Soilwork tour through Europe. We’re also going to be rescheduling our tour which we were meant to do in April and also work out when to get into the studio to record the new album. We will definitely be very busy in 2021 it’s safe to say! Hopefully people are going to be coming out in droves for live music in 2021 after having a dry year of basically no gigs.
If you had to put together an ice cream sundae, what flavours and toppings would you use?
Ooh, that’s a good question!
I’m a big fan of chocolate, but I like a well rounded ice cream. So, I’d probably say a chocolate and vanilla base and then some chocolate or cookie dough toppings with a drizzle of caramel sauce. I’m not a fan of candy on there so that’s probably what I’d pick.