After their successful tour with Aether Realm who just ended up, Wilderun has accepted to answer our questions.
Hello ! Thank you for according me this interview ! First of all, for all the people of the webzine who don’t know you very well, could you please introduce yourself and introduce the band ?
Evan: Hello! Thanks for the interview. I sing and play guitar in Wilderun. We are a metal band that dabbles in different elements of folk, progressive metal, symphonic music, and whatever else comes into our heads.
From what comes the name « Wilderun » ? What does it represent ?
Evan: I got the name from a fantasy book. Honestly, it doesn’t really represent anything in particular, I just enjoyed the word. Obviously our music has a strong folk element, so the prefix “Wilder” seemed appropriate.
Your band started in 2008, but really came to us since 2012. Did you want to take your time to develop your project ? Did you know that Wilderun will be a big project ? How did you meet all other musicians ?
Evan: Yeah, not much happened with the project until 2012. I was writing a few songs in my spare time, and I made a short, unreleased demo with my roommate at college, but nothing really came of it. A couple of those tracks made their way onto our debut album, but much more fully realized.
There was an original lineup around 2009 that unfortunately never really took off, and everything was pretty silent until around late 2011. I knew Jon pretty well from another band we were in at the time, and I had mentioned the idea of Wilderun on and off, but it wasn’t until I met Wayne and started working with him that the first album really became a reality. Jon knew Dan from a previous project, so we all got together and made it happen.
In a previous interview, you declared that the first folk metal song you heard was « Sahti Waari » from Turisas. How did you discover the band ? Is this band still a great inspiration for you ? And what are your main influences ?
Evan: I honestly think the first folk metal band I was really into was either Agalloch or Orphaned Land. I didn’t get into the more nordic folk metal scene until a few years later, so that may have been another member?
In any case, Turisas and some other similar bands definitely helped spark the beginning of Wilderun, and the more symphonic and upbeat atmosphere of our early material. I would say that we haven’t pulled nearly as much from those influences as we’ve progressed over the years, although they still have a good place in my heart, and certainly seep their way into our music in certain ways.
With your friends Aether Realm, you are one of the only American bands that are singing in folk metal genre. USA isn’t really known for their folk metal bands, but mostly for their others genre, such as death metal, nu metal, thrash metal, etc. Do you think that USA deserves to have more folk metal bands ? Do you think that Wilderun is the representative of American folk metal ?
Dan: I think there’s always room for more bands trying their hand at the genre. Some stay pretty true to its Scandinavian influences and others try to put a different spin on it. I think for us we’re constantly trying to evolve our sound and not stay beholden to our nordic influences.
Folk metal will always be part of our sound because it’s so much of what defined our vibe but I don’t know if I could say we’re representative of American folk metal because I honestly don’t know what it is yet. It’s too early to tell and there hasn’t been a wave of similar-sounding “American Folk Metal” bands yet to really put a finger on it and maybe that’s a good thing.
There is one thing that always surprises me : It is the fact that your are still a self independent band, even though you’re an incredible and talented band. Would like to be signed to a label one day ? Or do you think that your situation allows you to keep your freedom ?
Dan: Label support has its ups and downs. We’ve always been open to label support if the fit is right but having the freedom to move at our own pace has been a large part of what has made our albums what they are. I guess we’ll see what’s in store for us in the future!
When did you started to practice music ? What was your first instrument you started to play with ? Which artist/band gives you the desire to play music ?
Dan: I started with piano when I was about 6 or 7 and then picked up a bass for the first time after hearing Weird Al when I was 14.
Evan: The first bands that really got me excited about music were more in the indie and experimental genres, such as Radiohead, Aphex Twin, Mr. Bungle, Mogwai, Bjork… and a bunch others. I was a casual metal listener at that time, but it wasn’t until I heard more progressive and epic metal bands like Opeth, Arcturus and Emperor that I took a serious interest in the metal genre.
When I’m listening to your music (for example the masterpiece « Sleep at the Edge of the Earth »), I’m always thinking about nature. I always have in mind these beautiful American landscapes made of forest, fields of wheat, etc. Is the nature an important inspiration for you ? What inspire you for your songs ?
Evan: Definitely. A lot of the bands that originally got me into metal had a distinct affinity for nature, and somehow seemed to capture that essence. I suppose it’s that sort of mixture of beauty and chaos. From a lyrical standpoint, I tend to just focus inwards. I’ve found its a lot more genuine and interesting than attempting to tackle lofty and grand subject matters, even though I suppose our music is fairly lofty and grand haha. I guess I like the juxtaposition.
The music of Wilderun is also known for his symphonic elements that are clearly related to movies’ soundtrack. Do you like cinema ? What kind of movies do you like ?
Dan: Absolutely. Film music has been about as influential for us as any band. It’s a big part of what’s made our arrangements and orchestrations what they are. I’m particular to any weird indie films. David Lynch is probably my favorite director and any film score by Philip Glass is huge to me.
Wayne: I love movies! Film scores are a huge musical influence for me in general, and I definitely pull from those influences when I am working on the orchestral stuff for Wilderun. I am a huge fan of film composers such as Alan Silvestri, Thomas Newman, Basil Poledouris and John Williams, just to name a few. The big adventurous movies like Jurassic Park, Star Wars, Back To The Future, Indiana Jones were movies I grew up on, and that style of orchestral music permeates my own writing for sure.
As I got older I started to also appreciate more character driven films like Forest Gump, The Green Mile, K-Pax, and really garnered an appreciation for the nuance the scores for those types of film have too. All that to say that my favorite film scores are the ones that are melodic, thematic, and bombastic. I feel that the symphonic elements in Wilderun’s music definitely run that full gamut of sometimes being huge and bombastic, but at other times more nuanced and melodic. All of it really scratches my musical itches!
I’ve also seen that you did only one official video for the cover « Home » from Phillip Phillips. Would like to do an official video for one of your own song ? Which one could fit better ?
Evan: We definitely want to, once we have the budget. I’m not sure which song in particular, although I imagine we’d like to correspond it with some new material, whenever that comes out.
Our buddy « Keep your Voice Loud » made a video about your band (that can be seen here). He’s also a reviewer in our team. How was your reaction when you learned that he made a video about your band ? When you shared his video, you said that you followed 4 years of french class. Was it a choice ? Do you like French culture ?
Evan: That was very cool! To be honest, I barely remember a word of French haha, so I’m sorry to say I couldn’t really understand it, but I could at least tell it was positive. I was so young at the time, I don’t think there was any strong reason for that decision. I’d like to learn some of it back though, and obviously I’d love for Wilderun to visit France one day.
When I’m checking your tour dates, I see that you came few times in England (Manchester, Cambridge, Worcester…), but you never were in other European countries. Do you think that one day you will do a tour in Europe ?
Dan: Those dates were actually all in Massachusetts haha I know it gets confusing on a global scale with all the English-named towns in Massachusetts especially. In all seriousness though, touring Europe is one of our bucket list goals.
You made some gigs with big folk metal bands, such as Turisas, Korpiklaani, Moonsorrow, Arkona…Did you spend some good times with them ? Do you have any funny story to share about them ?
Wayne: Probably my favorite story was when we opened for Turisas, Firewind and Stolen Babies. The show was in the winter in Massachusetts, and Turisas’ tour van got stuck in a snow storm on their way to the show. The members from Stolen Babies were traveling separately, and made it to the venue, but all of their gear was in the trailer attached to Turisas’ tour van.
So after brainstorming solutions with the owner of the venue and Stolen Babies we ended up lending our gear to them so they could do their set. We both got to play a little bit longer sets to try to stall for time until Turisas got there.
When Turisas’ tour van finally escaped the snowstorm and made it to the venue, it was such a mad dash to get their gear on the stage that we all worked together unloading and setting up. They ended up using our drummer’s kit for the whole show for the sake of time. It was so cool to be able to work together as team with big time touring bands and make the show a success.
Since we were sharing gear we all got to hang out together after the show to pack up which was a unique situation. We were able to develop some friendships with different member’s of the bands which has been a really rewarding thing to have.
« Sleep at the Edge of the Earth » was released in 2015. So do you have any news about a potential new record ? What are your next plans for the future ?
Evan: At this point, we can’t really say anything specific, other than a new album is definitely on its way, so keep a lookout! Besides making more music, obviously we’d love to tour further out, especially Europe, so hopefully it’s eventually in the cards to make that a reality.
A last word before conclusion ?
Dan: We have the best fans in the world. I’m blown away every time we play a show in a city I’ve never really spent time in and I meet these people who tell me how truly moved and inspired they are by our music and I can’t thank you guys enough for your support. Looking forward to giving you some new music to dive into!
Evan: Thanks so much for the interview!
Thank you very much for your answers ! Hope to see you soon !
French Version : Click on here