It’s not every day that bands weave together influences of heavy metal, folk, and orchestral music, but Boston melodic death metal outfit Wilderun manage to do just that (and do it well). The band recently signed to Century Media Records and is currently gearing up to re-release their 2019 album Veil of Imagination next month.
We caught up with the band to talk about their recent signing to Century Media Records, Veil of Imagination, and their creative process.
You guys recently signed to Century Media Records. What’s that transition been like?
Dan: The transition has been pretty smooth. It’s a lot of new people we’re in contact with now, so as complex as it can be to communicate with a larger team, everyone at Century Media knows what they’re doing and they’re genuinely interested in the band. We’re looking forward to building a strong working relationship with the label.
You’ve joined an incredible list of heavy metal bands. Which of your labelmates would you most like to hit the road with once the pandemic is over?
Jon: Personally, I would absolutely love to hit the road with Finntroll. They’re a personal favorite of mine. They combine the orchestral and folk stylings in a different way than we do but I believe there’s a lot of crossover with the fans. I know Dan would love to tour with Dark Fortress, as would I. There are just so many astoundingly talented bands on Century that we would love to tour with so that list would be very extensive. We’re label mates with some of our biggest influences!
Wilderun is very unique and interesting in that you guys don’t play by typical genre “rules.” How do you guys keep the balance of heavy metal, folk, and orchestral music without falling too heavily into one side? Or is it a mixture that just comes naturally?
Joe: I’d say it partially is a conscious mixture and partially it comes naturally. There is a pretty wide variety of influences spread across the members of Wilderun as individuals and I think we see it a lot when we get into the writing room and throw ideas around at each other. I think the easiest way we’ve noticed that we keep balance is just that thought; We’re constantly trying to keep a musical balance. When we’re working on a song it’s usually set pretty well that we’re trying to make sure this song feels a certain way, or gives off a certain vibe. Pulling on different strings with elements between a traditional metal band, folk, and orchestral music just helps us express these ideas, really. After a song works then we think about balance with other songs, and the rest of the record, etc.
When you released your album Veil of Imagination last year, which song got the biggest fan reaction?
Dan: Probably ‘Far From Where Dreams Unfurl’ because it was the lead single and so many people are being introduced to the band through that song. Although I’m seeing a lot of love for every track on the record. It seems to be a mixed bag of favorite songs for people which to me really means every song has something special to offer and that makes me very happy.
You guys recently announced you’ll be re-releasing Veil of Imagination this summer. Now that you’ll have the support of Century Media Records behind you and a wider audience pool, is there a particular song off the album that flew under the radar last year that you’d like to see get its moment in the spotlight?
Wayne: My personal favorite song off of Veil is “Sleeping Ambassadors of the Sun” and so I’m down for any extra exposure that song gets! I think song is pretty unique for Wilderun, with the slower, sludgy almost doom metal parts in the beginning, and then the bright whimsical orchestral stuff later on. In addition, my favorite moment on the album is the big middle melodic section of When The Fire And The Rose Were One, and I hope when people hear it that they emotionally connect with it as much as I do.
The re-release will also feature your rendition of Iron Maiden’s epic “Seventh Son of a Seventh Son”; what inspired you to cover that track?
Evan: “Seventh Son” is definitely one of Maiden’s most epic songs, in terms of length and songwriting, and considering that’s generally how we write our music, it made a lot of sense. I always prefer when bands do their own unique spin on a track, rather than just covering it straightforwardly, and I felt like we could do that with this song. I like to attempt to make covers sound like they could potentially be an original Wilderun track, if you hadn’t ever heard the original, so that was our general mission with this one. There’s definitely still some Maiden homage in there, but I think it sounds “Wilderun-y” overall.
How has your approach to creating an album evolved since Olden Tales & Deathly Trails?
Dan: The writing process has gotten simultaneously easier and more difficult for us. It’s easier in the sense that we know how to collaborate better and we’ve gotten more proficient at our craft but it’s also difficult because stylistically we’ve opened a lot of doors for ourselves. We feel less tied down by genre labels than we have in the past and that makes coming to a decision on how a record is going to sound much harder. But in the end I think it’s what’s best for us and will yield the most interesting results.
Lastly, what advice do you have for any independent bands out there?
Dan: Work hard and stay organized. As musicians we don’t spend a lot of time thinking about the business side of things but being professional, punctual, and well-rehearsed is key. I see too many bands out there who make good music but don’t know how to keep the train running. If every time you show up for a gig you’re on time and the best sounding band on the bill, you’ve got something going for you.