The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world






Mark: I am sorry it’s taken so long to get to you! Sometimes it’s hard as we get so much through the site, some of it gets put on the back burner for a while, and one of my biggest regrets this year is that I didn’t get to listen to your EP sooner!! We reviewed it when it first came out, about a year and a half ago, are you close to releasing any new material?




Mitch: Actually about early 2013, we’ll be putting out a full length record.




Mark: Going back to the EP, the opening track, “Welcome to my Head” is amazing – a really great song, it’s definitely got that classic rock vibe, and I know people before have compared it to David Coverdale, Bad Company, and to newer bands like Silver Tide, how do you see your sound?




Mitch: Well, there’s no denying our direct influences and who we grew up listening to. We grew up with Blues and Bluegrass music, Led Zeppelin, The Stones, The Beatles, and when people ask me who we sound like or what kind of band we are, I always say Rock “n” Roll! They say who do you sound like and I say it’s a pretty even split between Shinedown and Led Zeppelin. First and foremost we are a modern rock ‘n” roll band, but you can’t get away from where you came from. So, we came from all these bands and BB King, and Bob Marley and all the greats who came way before us.




Mark: The other song on there is your tribute to Bob Seger, “Fire Down Below” what made you pick that song?




Mitch: We wanted to draw some attention to the four song EP and being that the core of the band is from Michigan, we wanted to pay tribute to a Michigan song writer, there’s a lot of them out there, Kid Rock, Eminem, and all the Motown stuff from Detroit. Then you’ve got a working class guy, who we really looked up to, and so it was a no brainer, we just wanted to pick something from his catalogue, funk it up and redo it and that’s what we did with “Fire Down Below”.




Mark: He has some great songs, but I think people are just familiar with his greatest hits and that’s it. Once you get in to the albums, you see there’s a lot more to him, than the songs on his greatest hits!




Mitch: He is an incredible song writer, and first and foremost, he is the working mans’ rock and roll band. We wanted to kind of model our mission statement on what he did. He’s a blue collar rocker, and we come from blue collar families, and when you talk about rock and roll right now, it’s on the rise again, but guys like us are still struggling to get by, and you are working really long hours for really low dollars, here in America and wherever else you are. We really pride ourselves on that, we thank our parents for that, for raising us the way they did, and now that we’re older we can appreciate what Bob Seger did. He did it all out of his van to begin with, before he had all the money and that kind of stuff, he got on stage and sweated, and did what he did with rock and roll.




Mark: I think my first exposure to Bob Seger, was Thin Lizzy when they covered Rosalie. You are obviously very proud of your hometown, and that’s where the name of the band came from, I believe that’s where Phil comes from, is that right?




Mitch: Yes, that’s exactly right. Phil’s my best friend and we’ve been writing together for twelve years. The band itself has been together for seven years. We had another name originally and we wanted to change it, and so we were getting ready to go to a Kings of Leon concert at The Hollywood Bowl, and Phil handed out pieces of paper and said open them up at any time during the concert and see what it says. It said Wayland, and at the time we wanted a new image and change of direction, I was completely enamoured, because I have always wanted to be from Wayland, and it’s a rooted name from the mid west of America, and these people deserve to have people in music and art to represent them in a good fashion and that’s what we are trying to do. We couldn’t have done it with any other name.




Mark: It’s a great name, and even if you don’t know about the story, it’s still a cool name.




Mitch: Thank you! It worked out well. I mean I love the sound of it and when I hear the name I am proud. We used to call ourselves “Whisky circus”, and we really pride ourselves on trying to influence the youth of America and the world, and you can’t really get in to school with a name with whisky in it, it’s impossible! It’s impossible to be a role model, and myself and the three other guys have huge hearts and we want to help from ages as early as you can go to as late as you can age!




Mark: Yes, that’s a valid point, and I think there are a lot of bands out there that probably suffer from choices they made very early on.




Mitch: Yeah, we had trouble with that, and we have all been teachers at some point, and we all love working with kids. When we play an all ages show, and kids come out to see us, we don’t cuss and talk about things that are inappropriate for them, and we are a family show. We do that because we believe rock and roll can touch all ages.




Mark: I know the EP got picked up by a lot of radio stations, and Sirius XM Octane, had it at number one on their countdown. Are you still managed by Jude and Jesse?




Mitch: Yes, Jude Cole and Jesse Dupree.




Mark: How do you like working with those two? Are they very different people, or similar?




Mitch: It’s a ying and a yang situation! Jude and Jesse couldn’t be more different! It would take me an hour to describe all the differences; Jesse is so dug in to the ground, and Jude is plugged in to the big picture, and they make the perfect balance. Day to day we look to Jesse, big picture, we go to Jude!




Mark: Are you still rehearsing in a big farmhouse in Michigan?




Mitch: No, we moved out of there, it was too much land to pay for. We were only on there about 3 or 4 days a year, we were paying for 3 and half acres, and it was just too much. We are on the road so much; we are actually in Grand Rapids right now.




Mark: How is it being signed to Kiefer Sutherland? I met him a few years ago in Sydney, when he was making a movie over here and again backstage at a ZZ Top show where they supported Aerosmith in Las Vegas. What is his record label like?




Mitch: I think it’s been tainted by the bands that have come before him, not on the outside, but from the inside. I think it’s taken us to come in and refresh everyone and let them know that rock and roll is still alive, and that guys willing to work are still alive. They gave those first artists everything, and it kind of backfired on them, and then they were reluctant to get involved with another band. But, I think we have restored their faith in rock and roll, and more importantly, restored their faith in Wayland. Kiefer is a fan, and we have an amazing team behind us.




Mark: It is great that you have people behind you. Some bands are just another product, or just another number.




Mitch: That’s right. We are number one with our agency and our management; we are the only one, so that makes us feel really good!




Mark: So, how much time do you spend on the road each year?




Mitch: We’ve been out since January 5th, this year, and after we have done, we will have played far more than 300 shows!




Mark: That’s amazing. Do you think the word is spreading?




Mitch: Absolutely! I see our plan working every day.




Mark: Your vocals have been compared to a lot of people, what is the funniest comment you have heard about who you sound like, or maybe the most complimentary?




Mitch: Gosh, that’s a tough one! I’m not sure I have a funny one, I’m sure there have been funny comments. Every so often I get the comment that I look like the villain from “Kindergarten Cop”! As far as compliments go, a couple of people have said that my voice is the bridge to the answer for rock and roll, and that was amazing to hear, and read. I try really hard to keep myself in shape, so I can endure the type of touring that we are doing.




Mark: The best thing for me is that I have listened to the EP many times now, and I read all the comparisons, and I think at the end of the day, you sound like you!! You have a pretty unique voice; it’s a very strong voice with soul and blues in there. But, that sound is you and probably that is the biggest compliment I could give you.




Mitch: Thank you, that is incredible.




Mark: You mentioned Led Zeppelin, and The Kings of Leon, as bands you admire, and are influenced by. Some people are throwing bands like Journey in to the pot too, but I don’t see that. Are you big fans of them?




Mitch: I am a huge fan of Journey, and if you listen to our earlier material, you’ll here a lot of journey in that. I love journey, they were a huge influence on me when I was younger.




Mark: Our final couple of questions that we ask everyone. If you could have been a fly on the wall during the creation of any piece of music, at any point in time, what would it have been and why?




Mitch: Right of the top of my head, I would say, top three: Rubber Soul, Revolver and Abbey Road! The first two, because I am enamoured by the song writing, and I think it was a really good time for the Beatles, they were all working together really well.



Mitch: Abbey Road because it was a time when they were all reconciling, and they all knew and believed it was the last time they were all going to be in the studio together. I want to go through the thought process and what everyone was thinking and saying to each other through the production. I want to know all their views were. That was music that was shaping what we are writing, and it was a miracle that Abbey Road
actually got made because of all the turmoil that was going on inside the band. It topped everything too, my favourite albums are Rubber Soul and Revolver, and then this came along and topped everything! I have to put it in a separate category, because it is something that no other band in history has done, the last record is better than all of the others!




Mark: That’s always been my favourite Beatles album as well. Our final question, what is the meaning of life?




Mitch: Sharing! Bottom line, if you share what you have, you are going to get taken care of.




Mark: Thank you so much for your time, and if ever you need anything in regards to promotion, let us know and we will be happy to spread the word here in Australia.





By Mark Diggins