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A journey into expression and ambition with Wilderun

Boston-bred progressive, symphonic metal band WILDERUN took a deeper and darker step beyond their expansive, prog-leaning metal scores that so skillfully came together on 2019’s Veil of Imagination. With Epigone, Boston-bred aural imaginauts WILDERUN pushed boundaries, and wrote stories that could be anyone’s. Maybe it’s your story too.

Welcome to Metal Digest!

The onset of a global pandemic of 2020 weighed heavily on the writing of your latest album. In which ways do you feel it affected your headspace and state of mind?

DAN: It kind of snuck up on me, personally. For most of the writing/arranging stage of the process we did things almost completely remotely but that wasn’t out of the ordinary for us as we are all spread out throughout the country as is. It would’ve been nice to get together in person more than just the one time we did to work on the material but that didn’t take much adjustment for me.

It wasn’t until we were in the studio that I realized the true impact the lockdowns had on me. I noticed myself being far more irritable than I normally would’ve been so when we had disagreements in the studio about one thing or another, I had a much harder time keeping my cool. There were more than a few existential moments of doubt that plagued my sleep during those recordings. Fortunately we are all close friends so I think we were able to successfully manage each other’s personalities and come out the other side stronger than we were before.

Your sound has evolved into a multi-layered experience. How did you achieve that? Was there a strategic and intentional progress or an impulsive growth?

DAN: I think a big part of the Wilderun sound is in the arrangement. We have always had a large sonic pallette with which to work so there’s an inherent desire to sprinkle a little bit of everything in the music and with Epigone, that’s even moreso the case. This is the first record we did where synths and sound design became their own unit in the core sound of the band so that provided us with an even greater scope of instrumentation. The compositions on this record are dense and that really allowed us to parse out those harmonic layers to a variety of instruments. We know going into any record that we will utilize everything we have at our disposal but I think it’s also something that’s so fundamental to who we are as musicians that I don’t think it turn out any other way. So, in short, I think it’s a bit of all the above.

Music has the power to change the way we feel and the way we see the world, even temporarily. How do you want people to feel after listening to “Epigone”, beginning to end?

DAN: I want people to feel like they’ve been on a journey – that they came into the album one way and came out another. I think that’s always been the motive for any of our records but this one feels especially adventurous to me. But most importantly, I want people to take from it something of their own. Too many albums spell everything out for the listener and we made a conscious effort to leave enough of the meaning of the songs up to interpretation. The most powerful takeaway anyone can walk away with from work of art with is one that came from within.

Mistakes and detours are normal. Did you face any setbacks during your career as an artist?

DAN: It’s hard to know. Sure, there are small setbacks we’ve had in the past (things we maybe should or shouldn’t have done etc.) but I don’t really believe anything can be classified as a mistake if you continue to grow from your experiences. There will always be momentary hardships but it’s what you do with those that truly defines who you are. I think one of Wilderun’s biggest strengths is our ability to learn from our experiences as a band and turn that knowledge into something better.

Are you a perfectionist?

DAN: Not in the traditional sense, I suppose. I obviously want everything we do to be as good as it can be but I also prioritize efficiency, especially in the studio when time is limited. I’d rather have a pass done of everything before going back and tinkering endlessly. My mind is more at ease when I have a general sense of how everything is sounding as a whole. I find it better informs my decisions when I’m looking under the microscope, so to speak.

Making music is a proven way to help understand feelings and express oneself. Was this piece of work cathartic in a way, for you?

DAN: I can’t speak for everyone in the band but writing music isn’t really a cathartic experience for me. When I’m working on music so much of my focus is taken up by trying to execute what I’m trying to accomplish on a very technical level. That’s not to say I don’t feel any emotions throughout the process but I think the deeper emotional meaning of a song doesn’t come until lyrics are being written but that’s usually done long after the song has already been composed.

Are you ambitious and competitive? What is the powerful internal drive that leads Wilderun to dream bigger and go further?

DAN: I certainly am ambitious and competitive but only within myself. I try not to compare myself to anyone else as that road has only led to disappointment. My only real desire is to create music that is compelling and inspiring to me and hopefully other people find something in it for themselves as well. If what we do as a band leads to bigger opportunities then great, but I’m just going to keep doing what I’m doing regardless.

WILDERUNis Evan Anderson Berry (vocals, guitars, piano), Dan Müller (bass, synths, orchestrations), Jon Teachey (drums), Joe Gettler (lead guitar), and Wayne Ingram (orchestrations). 



 Pre-orders are available for Epigone, HERE.

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Metal Digest is an online music magazine specializing in rock and metal. It is aimed at the mobile market, who can get their fix whilst on the go. Whether you walk, drive, fly, sail or teleport make sure you do it with Metal Digest, bitesize heavy metal rock and metal news, reviews and interviews for when you’re on the go.

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