Welcome to MHF magazine! Let’s see if I can get to know you a bit better through five, unexpected questions. Ready? Let’s go!
1. Wilderun, you recently signed with Century Media. Congrats! Before that, you chose an independent path. Maybe it’s too soon to tell, but I was wondering, which are the pros and cons of each situation?
Evan – Thank you! It’s a bit hard to say so far, but so far it’s honestly just been nice to have a few more people on our team. The whole “Veil” self-release was chaos and was honestly overwhelming in terms of the amount of work we had to do on our own, so we’re really happy about working with a team that can help us with different tasks. I suppose the only “con” so far is that it’s been a lot of work to get everything established with new people, and it’s been a little scary to let up some of the control – but it’s really not much of a con, it’s just time-consuming and new, so we’re still just getting used to the transition. Overall it’s been really great working with them, and we’re excited to finally expand things.
2. If you had a free day and $1000 to spend, what would you do to make the most of it?
Dan – I would take all my friends out to a really expensive restaurant and order whatever we wanted.
Evan – If I’m being totally honest and not at all fun, I’d probably save the money for a future tour, and if I’m being responsible, maybe make a cup of coffee and spend the day writing. If I am being fun, some sort of combination of roller coasters and beer (in that order).
3. What advice would you give yourself if you could rewind the clock to when you were just starting out?
Dan – I would tell myself to not compare myself to others so much. It’s unhelpful and it’s much more important to compare yourself to who you were in the past in order to truly grow as a person.
Evan – On a practical level, I think I’d tell myself to invest in PR earlier on. I don’t know if we would’ve been able to afford it on our first album, but maybe at least on the second one. I’m not sure if it’s totally a matter of causation, or if it’s a bit of correlation, but I think it definitely helped push us during the “Veil” self-release.
4. Do you think having strong relationships with your band mates is the key to being happy at work?
Dan – Yes, I think being friends with your bandmates makes being a band so much easier. I’m incredibly lucky that these guys are some of my best friends. We’ve been through a lot together both personally and professionally and I think having that bond makes making decisions as a band much less stressful.
Evan – It’s definitely one of the most important things for us. Honestly I think one of the main reasons we’ve survived as a band for this long is that we (usually) genuinely love hanging out as friends, regardless of if we’re doing band work or not. Sometimes band stuff is just a good excuse for us all to get together. And I think it makes band-related goals even more enticing because there’s a camaraderie. Considering it’s a pretty long road with very little financial incentives so far, I have a hard time thinking we would’ve been able to achieve what we have if we didn’t feel that connection as friends.
5. Let’s talk about ‘Hope & Shadow’: As I ventured where your sound has led me I couldn’t help but wonder, what on earth is a “lap harp” and how can we make it mandatory for every song you write from now on?
Wayne – The “lap harp” is a general term for a whole array of ancient stringed instruments, and kind of the precursor to the autoharp. Finland has the kantele, Russia has one called a gusli, and really you can find something like it in almost any ancient culture, which is pretty cool. That specific instrument in the Hope & Shadow video is something I built. I actually built it last fall when I was writing additional music for a Ukrainian fantasy/action movie called “The Rising Hawk”. My good friend, and fantastic composer, Josh Atchley was the main composer on that film. He reached out to me to help out writing music for certain scenes, but mostly for the love theme and the romantic scenes between the two main characters. Writing that kind of nuanced/delicate orchestral stuff really scratches an itch for me haha so I was stoked. And since the movie takes place in the 13th century, the score was including as many traditional folk instruments as possible. For the love theme, I wanted to use the lap harp since it’s sound is delicate, small and intimate. But I couldn’t order one from overseas fast enough and the sample libraries I found just didn’t cut it. So I thought, heck I’ll just build one! I used it in my music for those scenes paired with a Ukrainian bandura, all surrounded by an orchestra. You can rest assured it will find its way into future Wilderun stuff, and I’m also building some custom instruments for the new material we’ve been working on.
Evan Anderson Berry – Vocals, Guitars, Piano
Dan Müller – Bass, Synths, Orchestrations
Jon Teachey – Drums
Joe Gettler – Lead Guitar
Wayne Ingram – Orchestrations
until the next one,