Alt-Rock Band Wyland Talks Ireland, Inspiration & New Song “Nowhere Now”  [Q&A]


Photo Credit: Kelsey Ayres

Formed somewhere in the Meadowlands of New Jersey, alt-rock band Wyland have just unveiled their newest single, "Nowhere Now," Featuring gentle guitar, pounding drums, and passionate emotive vocals, "Nowhere Now" is the perfect alt-rock anthem that takes a normally negative concept and puts a positive spin on it. Reminiscent of Snow Patrol, Walk the Moon and Elbow, the band has found some success, being featured on KROQ, Alt 98.7 and KCRW. 

The band is currently gearing up for a tour with Universal Canada artist Valley. See tour dates below:

11.24 Toronto, Canada @ The Great Hall
11.25 Hamilton, Canada @ Mills Hardware
11.27 London, Canada @ Music Hall Rum Runners
11.29 Waterloo, Canada @ Maxwell’s Concerts and Events
11.30 Kingston, Canada @ Clark Hall Pub
12.1 Ottowa, Canada @ Pressed
12.2 Montreal, Canada @ Le Ministere
12.6 Portsmouth, NH @ The Press Room
12.7 Cambridge, MA @ Middle East
12.8 Asbury Park, NJ @ Asbury Park Brewery
12.9 Richmond, VA @ Capital Ale House Downtown
12.12 Philadelphia, PA @ Milkboy
12.13 Washington, D.C. @ DC9 Nightclub
12.15 Brooklyn, NY @ Rough Trade

I had the pleasure of interviewing the band to discuss everything from working on the EP in Ireland to the inspiration for the single.

OTW: What was the vibe like working with producer Phil Magee and recording your EP in Ireland?

AM: Ireland is so special. The country has this raw energy and beauty about it - its landscape, its music, its art - that we’re constantly drawn to and pulling inspiration from. We wanted to capture a bit of Ireland in the studio. Philip really understood that. He heard all of the music between the notes and captured the atmosphere we wanted. We came to him with the body of the songs and he gave them blood. It was really fun watching him work. 

RS: Yeah, it feels like Ireland has always been calling my name. Ever since I was a little boy, I knew I would end up there some way or another. I reached out to Philip Magee sometime after starting this band via Twitter. I was a massive fan of his work and I tweeted something along the lines of 'We'll be working together one day.' And he responded with such encouragement which in retrospect, I don't think I expected a reply at all. It felt a lot like destiny going there. And the vibe working with Philip, well, his wife urged me to stop complimenting him so much because "his head will get too big" but I honestly can't say enough about the man. He's a brilliant producer, a great friend, and we couldn't be happier with the experience. 

ZC: As Philip would say, the vibe was "beautiful." The man is an angel. One of the most caring people I've met in the industry. He has a great energy and such a magical way of pulling out the best performances from everyone. 

CL: The simple fact of heading to another country to do what you love is absolutely new to me. It was a magical experience to say the least. We commuted back and forth to the studio on a train every morning with these beautiful Irish landscapes in the background. It was really inspiring. And Phil really helped make us feel at home in the studio. From day one, working with Phil felt seamless. He really knew how to take our personalities and balance them out musically. 

PV: Definitely a new experience for me. It was interesting being in the studio all day then having your down time in a foreign country. There's no question it influenced the music. Philip is a great dude and we hit it off almost immediately. We cracked jokes at each other the entire time. It was a great time.

OTW: What was the inspiration behind your single "Nowhere Now?"

AM: "Nowhere Now," to me, is feeling connected to a place that you can’t really describe. Somewhere else. Somewhere where the laws of the universe just don’t quite apply. It could be a state of mind, sure. Imagination. But I’d also like to think of it as a sort of choice - the ability to decide where you want to take your life. "Nowhere" may have a sort of negative, aimless connotation, but really, to me, it just means infinite possibility. 

RS: I took a lot of inspiration from Noel Gallagher's new record. It started in Austin, TX. I was in a hotel room by myself while the band was getting lost in the madness of SXSW. I came up with this melody and progression that would ultimately become the chorus to Nowhere Now. I showed everybody when they got back to the room but no one really liked it yet. I knew I had something special though. The rest of the tune came together back in New Jersey as the band put their spice to it. The lyrics always come last to me. And this idea of "Nowhere Now" is really up to you. It's what you want it to be. 

CL: "Nowhere Now" was inspired by the need to escape to a different place. Sometimes you get too wrapped up in a routine or you get in your head too much, but "Nowhere Now" is that place where you get a fresh start. 

PV: It's hard to pin point an exact inspiration for myself. Ryan, Philip and I really came together on the guitar stuff for this whole record while in the studio. The vision is really in Ryan's head and we all worked together to pull it out and translate it to the guitar. 

OTW: I understand you performed a lot in the underground music scene in New York - can you tell me about that experience?

AM: It’s not as romantic as it sounds. What’s great about New York is that there is a community. There are a ton of opportunities for musicians to be in front of a crowd. We’ve performed in basements, apartment rooftops, bars… we never once took it for granted. It’s always cool to see people out there hustling with the same passion. 

RS: I find it a bit romantic in retrospect. New York is a dark, hungry place and the music scene is rich but also aggressive. We took whatever we were offered and played like it was the last time we would ever see a stage. After some time, we started seeing some familiar faces. And that's probably the best feeling. 

ZC: Every band wants to be the one who is remembered. But I will say the connections you make with other artists and the crowds are something that I treasure. You sometimes see these bands and players who are incredible and then you never see them again. It is just a very cool thing to be apart of. 

CL: The underground scene is energy driven. In New York, you've got a sea of independent artists that are busy hauling their own gear, setting up their own lights and networking; but at the end of the night, the only thing that matters is the energy on stage. 

PV: For my self personally, it's how I got started in music. Lugging our stuff through the Lincoln tunnel in a station wagon to play dive bars. It was a blast and definitely helped shape my views on the industry. 

OTW: Lastly, who are your Ones To Watch?

AM: We have a few friends who have always inspired us musically. Joni Fatora, Mossss (part of NoiseClub) and Old Sea Brigade. I truly think they are some of the most talented out there. 

PV: Wyland, of course. 

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