Artist Spotlight Interview - Weal
The brand new single "New York Noise" by Weal creeps under your skin with a hunting progressive rock style and massive ambient tones.
Once you start listening to the track, you become engulfed in it's atmosphere and really enjoy how it feels to become adrift in it.
Spacey, desert rock that drips and swirls around as it moves forward while guitars fill the air and a biting intensity grows apparent.
Vocals come in and brings a change to the songs color for a moment.
With such a cinematic track, we had a chat with Weal to see what this was all about.
RAG: Okay guys, let's start with "New York Noise". This track has a great ambient and progressive rock feel. Where did this come from?
Weal: New York Noise is a kind of desperate journey towards sleep. The text is about lying sleepless. It can be due to noise from outside or it can be the noise that suddenly starts rumbling inside your head when you lie there on the pillow. Silence can be deafening. When you lie there alone and everything is quiet, you can suddenly hear yourself and your thoughts, and they can make noise in many different ways - it can be about heartache,
relationships, children or stress at work, depending on what it is that keeps you lying sleepless. We are aware that New York Noise is not radio-friendly, neither in length nor arrangement, but sometimes tunes will only sound in their own way. The song decides, and New York Noise wanted it this way.
RAG: This single is a great follow up to your Melt EP but also shows some growth. Can you give us some of your absolute top influences musically?
Weal: We are four individuals who all bring something to the table. We are inspired by different artists, so it can be anything from Mogwai, Mono and Caspian, to Sonic Youth, The National and Neil Young. The EPs Diving In and Melt have developed our sound to where we are today. Our creative process is a lot of jamming and being in the moment, almost letting the song create itself. Especially in our genre, it is easy to kill an idea and completely pull all energy out of by over planning and overthinking. The beauty often lies in the imperfection, and the imperfect can’t be put into formula. It just happens. The exercise then lies in being able to recreate those moments. We like to keep things fresh and so we record all ideas immediately, without overthinking them. So that the immediate raw ideas survive. It just feels real that way.
RAG: When and how did this all start for you?
Weal: Weal was formed in 2016. After a small change in the line up, from the first EP, we have really found each other and our sound. During the first year, we experimenting a little more with styles from track to track, always getting a few steps closer to our sound today, a sound that we want to explore further. After the EP Melt (2019), which introduced Weal on the Scandinavian alternative rock scene, especially the noisy duet Night Drive featuring lovely Tanja Simonsen (Superheroes, ONBC). Night Drive quickly found its way to Danish national radio which paved the way for a number of cool Spotify playlists with great publicity as a result in Denmark, Germany, England and the USA.
RAG: Weal is gaining traction pretty steadily with almost 4k followers of Spotify alone. Is there any advice you can give to other aspiring bands trying to get heard out there?
RAG: Just keep going. We do not think we are particularly unique. Our philosophy is; if we can feel it, there is a pretty good chances that someone else out there somewhere can feel it too. The world is so big and it is easy today to get the music out to a lot of people. It's just about finding your audience, because they are out there somewhere. Keep believing in it. Keep making music the way YOU thing it should be made. For your own sake, not for the
sake of others. Keep it personal. Tell the truth. It’s not always pretty, but it’s real. And there is always some kind of beauty in reality.
RAG: Your catalog of songs really made me wonder if you performed live before the pandemic. Did you play gigs before? Do you think you'll be getting back into live shows again when the time comes?
Weal: Sure we have played gigs. But not that many. For now mostly to keep us sharp and test new songs. We have primarily spent the first few years focusing on making music. But there is no doubt we are a live band. We record a lot of our songs live. In fact, New York Noise and Night Drive are good examples of live jams we recorded actually ended up on the record. On Night Drive we just recorded an extra guitar track and Tanja Simonsen's
duet vocals, then it was done. And yes! We can hardly wait to play live again. We have just finished the recordings of our debut album, which will be released on January 8, 2021, so we are of course looking forward to playing all the new songs live.
RAG: What's next for you guys, is there anything new in the works even now?
Weal: On January 8, 2021, our first full album ‘Calm’ will be released and we are really looking forward to it. New York Noise is the first single from the album, which also has Night Drive on the track list. We are currently working on vinyl production in the Netherlands at the world's most environmentally friendly vinyl pressing plant. No compromises. But of course the album will also be available on all digital platforms. And it can be pre-saved right here right now: https://ditto.fm/calm-weal or https://weal.bandcamp.com
RAG: What are you guys doing when you're NOT working on music?
Weal: We all have families and children to support. And we can't make a living from our music right now, so we all have full-time jobs. Actually we have very different jobs. So in fact, it's never about work when we're together. It's about our music...and our children …and our lack of sleep. In fact, we would like our music to reflect us as whole people who live whole lives. We are not ’just’ musicians, we are human beings living in the real world with everything that goes with that, and we believe this is a strength. Music isn’t everything in life, in fact it’s just a mirror of life.
RAG: Before we go, is there anything you want to express or say to fans of Weal?
Weal: Be ready for January 8, 2021, when our debut album ’Calm’ is released! New York Noise and Night Drive gives a good idea of what to expect from the album. It's with the guitars in front, profound vocals and catchy melodies - from the very delicate to raw noise. The response to the first single has been phenomenal. We are very excited and can only hope that the album gets the same great reception.
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