Four-piece alternative rock band Wyland only just released their EP, In a Sea of Things Unsaid earlier this year, but they're already looking toward the future. With their new EP, Snake Hill, nspired by the passion of other artists and life on the road, slated for release early in 2017, Wyland are showing no signs of slowing down any time soon.
Guitarist Mauricio Salazar recently talked with us about bridging the gap between In a Sea of Things Unsaid and Snake Hill, the inspiration behind the EP and their plans for 2017.
Interview by Shannon Shumaker
Can you tell us a little bit about Wyland for any readers who may not be familiar?
Ryan and I have been playing music together for almost three years now, but I feel like we really got our footing within the past year when Zach joined us for IASOTU. We've been working pretty meticulously on how to refine our sound within the "indie rock" genre. We've gotten comparisons from music outlets and fans to that of Coldplay, the latest Mumford album, Keane, and Kodaline, but we're really just trying to sound like Wyland.
How do you feel the New Jersey music scene has influenced your songwriting or shaped you as musicians?
Coming from California, at the time I had this vision of New Jersey music being so synonymous with this hardcore and post-punk scene, which wasn't personally my thing but I had a lot of friends who were really into it in high school so I was familiar with it. When we started playing out, I encountered such a diversity of bands that it really shocked my perspective of what "New Jersey" music was. What's interesting is that I think Zach, Ryan, Chris and I have never really been influenced musically by our regions; we're always looking outward for new and exciting music and then bringing that home, which has been both a fulfilling and challenging aspect of song writing.
You guys are getting ready to release your new EP, Snake Hill early next year! What are you most excited for listeners to hear on those songs?
I'm excited for people to hear our progress. We're a band that's been constantly trying to zero in on our own sound, and I feel with every release, we've gotten closer to doing that.
You’ve mentioned before that Snake Hill is inspired by travel. What was it about touring and traveling that inspired these songs?
With the guitar parts at least, I'm a very much an "in the moment" writer, but with travels I'm constantly and actively paying attention to what other musicians are doing, whether it's techniques or what type of pedals they're using. Playing out with all these bands in California this summer or SXSW or Indie Week in Toronto, for example, really gave me a crash course in that. Plus, there's something about being away from home that really forces you to view your environments differently.
Earlier this year, you released your EP, In a Sea of Things Unsaid. How do you feel you’ve grown or evolved between that set of songs and the music you’re creating on Snake Hill?
That EP really set a bar for us personally. IASOTU was the record that Ryan and I had been striving to put out for years, and the stars just seemed to align with the production team and our solidified lineup. We approached Snake Hill having this benchmark and tried to improve on the things that worked and abandon the things that didn't. I'm extremely proud of how this record came out.
For this EP, you’ve been working with Pat Noon. What has he been able to bring to the table during the recording process? How do you feel he has helped shape the EP?
Pat was integral in bridging the gap between the concepts of both EPs. Since he did the final mix on IASOTU, he had this outsider perspective without being there from the inception and it really opened our eyes on how to approach Snake Hill. Pat has such a naturally, super chill affect that I think we all were secretly aiming to impress him.
Could fans expect any tour dates in support of the new EP early next year? What are you looking forward to in 2017?
We're looking forward to more writing, performing, and just creating art in general. I think this past year was arguably one of the most bizarre years in my recent memory. We want to do what we can to contribute something positive in 2017.
Thank you for taking the time to chat with us!
Be safe out there.