Posted On 28 Sep 2017
Michigan-based rockers Wayland recently released their debut full length album “Rinse & Repeat” with Mighty Loud / InGrooves on September 22nd.
The first single “Through The Fire” is currently at radio. Wayland consists of Mitch Arnold (vocals), Phillip Vilenski (guitars), Dean Pizzazz (bass) and Nigel Dupree (drums). The band had previously self-released 2010’s self-titled album, a 2012 EP (Welcome To My Head) and several singles (2015’s Bloody Sunrise, 2014’s Get A Little, 2013’s Reno).
Learn more about Wayland in the following All Access interview:
(Questions answered together by Mitch Arnold and Phillip Vilenski)
How does 2017 so far compare to last year? Did you all approach this year differently then you did 2016?
This year has been very different from previous years. Not necessarily in the band’s approach but just timing wise. Our full length album is finished, our team is put together, and we were ready to take a single to radio. Bringing Nigel Dupree on board as our drummer has been a real fun and exciting part of this year as well. Having four guys in the band, all on the same page, reaching and working for the same goals has made a huge difference. In turn, we’re moving really fast and improving our operation every day.
Growing up, did you always want to be musicians?
I think all of us have always wanted to be musicians in some capacity. The love for music gave us the drive to go out and make a career. Fate and the love for each other brought us together as a band. Before the start of our working year, we were getting details together for touring at the start of January. We all knew our previous drummer would be leaving the band, which opened the seat for Nigel and together we all felt like we didn’t have anymore limitations as a band. Like anything was possible. I’ll never forget the excitement we were all feeling as we spoke on the phone about playing music together and moving forward.
Can you recall the moment you realized that you could really make music together and be a band? Why do you think your name truly represents this group and the music that you create?
We’re named after Wayland, MI, which is where Phill grew up. I’ve had the pleasure over the years of spending a lot of time there and it’s a small, hard working midwest town. When we were deciding on a name, we wanted to choose something that represented our values as people. As humans on Earth, we want to be known as honest, hard working and sincere people. Wayland is an honest town and felt like the name embodied the blue collar mentality of the mid west. It’s an entity much bigger than us as individuals and only has legs if we are working together. I think the music we write and perform reflects those values. We’re not perfect and we’re going to make mistakes. Being in this band is a beautiful place for personal reflection and growth. I think our music represents that as well and we hope that our success will help give back to a small town and beautiful country that continues to give us so much.
I always like to ask artists how their hometown has been an influence on the kind of music they make and really what kind of a band they are today. So how do you think your hometown in Michigan has affected you?
Michigan is a breeding ground for music. There’s the Motown cats from Detroit, Bob Seeger, Kid Rock Rock, Ted Nugget, Eminem, The Verve Pipe and Pop Evil. Growing up you see that it’s possible. Believing is more than half of the battle.
This month you will be releasing your debut full-length album called “Rinse & Repeat.” What was it like putting this collection together? Did anything surprise you about the whole process?
As a group, I think we are all ready to share this album with the rest of the world. It’s been a long time coming. This record was a labor of love from start to finish and we worked over the course of a year and a half to complete it because we were having to drop into the studio in between touring dates. Working with Justin Rimer at CrossTracks studio in Memphis, TN was amazing. Justin has incredible intuition and is an amazing song writer and producer. He produced and engineered the record but this is the first piece of work that we have as a band have been very hands on with. It was a group effort. What surprised me the most is what ended up being put down on tape.
What was the inspiration for the songs on “Rinse & Repeat”? In particular, how did the collection’s lead single, “Through The Fire” come to be?
We feel like this is an incredible group of songs and we’re all really proud of them. It’s an honest record, from start to finish because we wrote those songs directly from our lives at the time. Every song was inspired by the life we were living and are currently existing in. “Through The Fire,” was one of those honest ideas. We don’t claim to have answers for anyone, but sometimes we find answers for ourselves through our music. That’s the stuff we love to share.
What has been like teaming up with Mighty Loud/InGrooves for this project? Why do you think they are the right place for you and your music today?
We’re so proud to have teamed up with Mighty Loud and InGrooves. We looked at several label partners last year and this was a team that we knew truly had the band’s best interest in mind. Our team behind us is full of out of the box thinkers which we think is imperative to navigate the changing world of entertainment. They understand that if the band isn’t thriving, the band won’t survive. They put Wayland first, the way we do. Our personal agendas come second to everything the band and this organization is. It’s a true sacrifice for the greater good and our team is pushing us to be better. Those simple facts alone let me and the guys know we are in the right place concerning our business.
How do you think that Wayland has grown over the years since you first formed? And what has remained the same?
I am so proud of everyone on this team. All of us have grown so much even since the beginning of this year. We’ve built something no one can take away from us and have grown into an incredible live band and a force to be reckoned with in the world of rock n’ roll. The one thing that has never changed is our work ethic and drive to learn and succeed. And we continue to write songs and music from our hearts, and it all speaks to me daily. That’s why I wake up every day believing in this path, and believing in Wayland.
Where do you think you are happiest- on stage performing, in the studio recording new music or elsewhere? Where do you think you all learn the most about becoming better musicians?
I think we are all happy just to be able to make music. Performing onstage is where our love originated but I know we are all in love with writing and recording as well. It’s all so different but necessary. It’s a welcomed change when you get to go into the studio and it’s appreciated when we get to return from to the stage. And we learn the most about becoming better musicians from each other. As a group of guys we are in a place of constant reflection, physically, mentally, musically and spiritually. When you’re waking up everyday asking the universe what you can do better, the universe and the people around you do not hesitate to steer you in the right direction.
What do you have planned for the rest of the summer? Got any tour dates lined up?
We have quite a few live dates coming up in the summer. Our schedule has only gotten busier and we’re all looking forward to supporting our new record, “Rinse n’ Repeat.” I know I can speak for everyone when I say we’re all really looking forward to being in Grand Rapids, MI at The Intersection on September 30th for the Official Record Release Party and for the day after in Madison, WI for Sonic Boom. WJJO and it’s listeners have been in our corner since day one. We’re touring nonstop until the end of the year.
Who are some of your favorite artists? Is there anyone that you would still love to work with in the future? What would be a dream collaboration for this band?
We got the opportunity to collaborate with some of the members of Shinedown for a song on the new record. I have always wanted to work with Brent Smith and we got to co-write on a song he had written. It’s called “Ghost,” and it’s the first song off of the album. It’s a dream of mine to sing with Lizzy Hale. Halestorm is one the best live bands out there and a band that I appreciate because they are so honest. I’m lucky to call them friends and can’t wait for the day when we can sit down and do some writing. I may be biased, but I think Lizzy’s voice would sound pretty damn good paired up with me for a song.
What do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope people continue to take away from your songs?
Music changed and saved my life. I know it did the same for the guys in my band too. I hope we can continue to write songs that speak to our audience and offer a sense of hope. I hope people take away joy from our live show and find solace, beauty, peace and empowerment from listening to our album. I hope people listen to this new record and feel like anything is possible…because it is. We manifest our reality everyday and I know I’m responsible for what is in my life. I hope people can listen to our music, or anyone’s music for that matter and take away the truth…that we all possess that power in our lives to change anything for the better at anytime. That’s what music did for me and that’s what I hope we can do for our fans. All seriousness aside, I also want people to feel like when they’re coming to a Wayland show, they’re going to have a GREAT FUCKING TIME!
What advice would you give to a band just getting started? Or even to someone young that is thinking of becoming a musician one day?
If I had any advice for anyone pursuing a profession in music, I would say to not give up…EVER!!! Sounds simple but it’s not. Even if you happen to come across success early on, it’s still a process of finding yourself and growing up in your music, performance and business. It can’t be about the glamour and fame. It can’t be about the money, even though eventually the goal is to make a living, which we thankfully are able to do. It’s about the music. It has to be. When you go away from that, people can feel it and they don’t believe it anymore. You have to use art as a reflection for yourself or you won’t make it. It’s not going to be pretty, but life isn’t pretty all the time either. That’s important to remember. As a society, I think we are not preparing our children for the real world. It’s not comfortable. There are no really safe places to retreat. You have to learn to take on your life head on, with passion, compassion, empathy and excitement. Our days are full because that’s what we manifest for ourselves. Our battles are hard and our victories and trophies are earned by blood, sweat and a lot of fucking tears. You’ve got to be prepared to get knocked down and learn what it takes to get back up. We’re not teaching that anymore because we don’t want to see our kids fall. As a band, we have fallen more than I’d like to admit. But I’ll admit it because I’m proud of every mistake we’ve made and how we’ve rebounded from it. We’ve never given up and the proof is in the pudding. When “Rinse N’ Repeat,” is being played on stereos all over the world, we’ll get to hug each other and know that we were the reason it’s a success. It’s not anyone else’s. We are the master of our ship. We are the builders of our destiny our perseverance and bad ass rock n’ roll music will keep us around forever.