Wayfarer – “I Think a Song Should Tell a Story”

Sunday, 14th December 2014

Dead Rhetoric: The album artwork is really cool. It’s not too busy, like many bands are doing right now. Was there a specific point you were trying to get across with the artwork?

McCarthy: Yes, there was and it’s kind of come to my attention that most people really don’t understand what it is. And that’s okay, because the guy we worked with [Sam Nelson] is a friend of ours and he’s a really amazing kind of surrealist artist. But we did have a plan going into this and it is actually doing what it is supposed to be doing. The Earth is being overtaken by the tree forms. In the center is the North American continent; you can see the outline of Florida and Mexico and everything. It’s supposed to be a symbolic picture of nature taking the Earth back. That was the idea and he [Sam Nelson] just kind of ran with it. I really like his style and I get locked into it so we were pretty excited about it.

Dead Rhetoric: The title of the album is Children of the Iron Age. What do you mean by Iron Age?

McCarthy: There are four ages explaining the evolution of man on Earth: Golden Age, Silver Age, Bronze Age, and Iron Age. In the Golden Age, it’s simple: there’s man and nature and Earth. Everything has a simple symbiotic relationship; man feeds off the Earth, and gives back and basically keep to themselves. In each advancement of an age, there’s new technology, such as us discovering things help improve our agriculture or these weapons to help protect us. Something that advances our culture and moves us forward. But in each advancement of the age, there’s more conflict and more grief.

So that progresses all the way to the Iron Age, which is the age of steel and where everything has quote on quote progressed but there’s a lot more violence and grief as well. All the members of the band are 25 years or younger, so our generation is just coming into the world and trying to figure it out for ourselves and these are the cards we’ve been dealt. So what are we going to choose to do about that? We are born into the world and we’ve already had all of these things happen, and the title track is on there, and it basically comes down to saying “we’ve seen all of these things that have happened before that have been left to us, and we don’t want to continue on that path.”

Dead Rhetoric: Is that same sort of feeling what gets conveyed throughout most of the lyrics on the album as well?

McCarthy: A lot of times. Yeah, some things like that will come up. Some of them are more bare-bones kind of personal things. Such as the track called “Towards Mountains,” which is romanticized but is about growing up in an over-industrialized, civilized world and deciding to run away from it and get into nature where everything is simpler and more peaceful. The last song, is I guess, the most metal because it’s basically about the end of the world. It’s kind of a cutesy little love story between this guy and the Earth. So this guy, seeing all these changes happen to the Earth over time and deciding that this whole mankind thing happened, sees things started going downhill. To save the beautiful Earth, the man had to bring a great and vengeful storm and cleanse the Earth of mankind. So devil horns, and all that shit.

Dead Rhetoric: You are releasing a vinyl edition, which has the first track you ever wrote. Does it make you come full-circle to release that first piece of your existence?

McCarthy: Absolutely. We recorded it all together with the intent of it being a part of the album. But the whole thing ended up being about 80 minutes long, and we felt like we were already pushing it to have a debut album be as long as it is. So we ended up cutting it. We can tell it’s our first song. It’s definitely going in the right direction but there’s a couple things that come off as incomplete. But we did feel strongly about having it released in one format or another, because it is what brought us all together and put us in the direction we are going. There’s still a lot of parts of the song that I like so I’m glad it’s there but I’m also glad it’s a bonus track in that it’s not meant to be included with everything else. Usually a song is cut for a reason. Ours was cut because of time constraints, but there was no question about what song we were going to cut if we could. It does feel good to have it out there; I wrote that song when I was 18 years old, so it has a special place.

Dead Rhetoric: Is there a band that Wayfarer would aspire to be like, in terms of their career?

McCarthy: Obviously there’s several bands that we look up to musically, and on the opposite side, there are bands that we specifically don’t want to do what they’ve done. I guess the biggest thing for us, in terms of longevity, is the hope to be able to do this band for a long time. Bands like In Flames and Neurosis, those two have always stuck out for me because they continuously reinvent themselves, and aren’t putting out the same album all the time. There are plenty of bands that are good bands, and I don’t want to throw anyone under the bus, but they’ve found what they do well and they stick to it pretty rigidly. That’s cool and all but I don’t see the need to hear the same album with different song titles on it over and over again. When you have a band like In Flames or Neurosis, their sound changes every time and their direction changes. They are bringing in new textures and new elements, but it still sounds like them and not that they chose to be, “oh we are this kind of band now,” it just kind of grew into something, even 20 years into their career, and that’s kind of inspiring.

Dead Rhetoric: Finally, what’s next down the road for Wayfarer?

McCarthy: Well, we have a short west coast tour planned for December. Similar to the last run that we did, where we just hit the northwest and California. Basically just to get out in support of the record. We are also planning a longer tour of the States in the spring, probably April or May, and we have a couple of bands we may be going with but I don’t want to mention any names. From there, more touring is the goal. We are hoping to get to Europe as soon as possible, because the majority of the bands that influence us come from there and there’s a very supportive scene on that side of the world. Then we’ll start writing. We’ve already got some stuff in the works for another album that is starting to take shape. It’s a little bit different, but a natural progression for us. We are really excited about it. It will really be something noticeable for anyone who likes the kind of things we are doing. We will probably go to record in about a year or year and a half from now.

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