Interview
Chris Levesque
A Wilhelm Scream
Lineup:
Nuno Pereira - Vocals
Trevor Riley - Guitar, Vocals
Chris Levesque - Guitar
Nick Angelini - Drums
Curtiss Lopez - Bass, Vocals
AWILHELMSCREAM

A Wilhelm Scream Promo

1/27/06

Interviewer: Maggie Solum

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Please introduce yourself for all reading.
I'm Chris and I play guitar in A Wilhelm Scream.

 

How did A Wilhelm scream come together? Where did your band name originate from?
This current lineup has existed for a little over four years with the exception of our new bass player. Prior to that we operated under the moniker "Smackin' Isaiah". A Wilhelm Scream comes from a stock sound effect that's used in movies.

 

This past august you released a new album, Ruiner through Nitro Records. Do you think your sound has evolved since the release of Mute Print? Ruiner by A Wilhelm Scream
Well we certainly didn't just redo Mute Print and make Mute Print part 2. I think we went overboard again. We just went overboard on different things this time. Last time we went overboard on arrangements and song structures. This time around it was more vocal and guitar craziness. Next time it's going to be all around more insane. Maybe absurd is a better word. I don't know, we'll see what happens.

 

In general, you have a very unique sound. How would you describe your sound and what influences it, both musically and what you experience every day?
Our sound comes from a pretty wide array of influences. The more obvious ones being bands like Propagandhi, Strung Out, and Bad Religion. Some of the less obvious ones being bands like Dinosaur Jr., The Afghan Whigs, and Morrissey. I don't really know how to describe it to others. To me it just sounds like us. We just sound how we sound when the five of us get in a room together.

 

What was the concept for your new video for "The Soft Sell"? Did you achieve what you wanted as the end product?
It's a poignant tale about a boy and his dog. Not really. It's kind of about a guy who can't escape this black cloud that follows him around, and rains on him where ever goes. That's a rough explanation. There's also the obvious suicide issue at the end of it, but that's a touchy subject, so I won't get into it. We definitely got what we wanted out of it. We're very happy with it.

 

What is "The Soft Sell" about?
That's a secret. Well it's not really a secret, but we don't really like to tell people what are songs are literally about. The reason for that is that there might be someone out there who interprets the song in their own way. That might mean something to them. If they were to find out that the song actually means something totally different, they might be bummed, or it might lose that meaning for them. So we leave them open to interpretation by the listener. Sorry if that answer pisses you off.

 

What tours and plans do you have coming up this year?
We just got back from our first European tour with Lag Wagon. That was such an amazing experience; those are some of the nicest dudes we've ever toured with and an absolutely flawless band live. We're getting ready to do a full U.S. tour with Less Than Jake in February into early March. Then we're trying to get back to Europe in late April/May.

 

Who are your favorite groups to tour with, or what's the best touring experience you've had so far?
Our favorites so far include Rise Against, Lag Wagon, Pennywise, and Strung Out. All of those bands are so amazing, and full of really nice guys that have all befriended us rather quickly. As far as our best experience thus far that has to be Lag Wagon in Europe. We'll be recovering from that one for a while.

 

Do you think your live show defines a lot of who you are as a band?
Absolutely. If you're not a good live band, what's the point of being a band at all? In the age of digital recording, anyone can make a decent sounding record with enough time and money. But if you can't pull it off live, that's pretty lame. The live show is everything to us. I can't think of one band who would rather be known as a great studio band instead of a great live band.

 

You guys recently were "born" into a world of press, I saw your interview with Outburn. Do you think bands can make it onto more solid ground without a lot of press or media, just through a solid fanbase and word-of-mouth? Or has that become "impossible"?
Well the press definitely helps. But I think bands can, and still do make names for themselves without it. In a scene that is so oversaturated with bands though, every little bit helps.

 

What are your views on the current rock/metal scene?
I think both scenes are pretty stagnant at the moment. There aren't a lot of bands out there taking chances anymore. There seems to be a very formulaic approach to making music these days. There are still a few bands out there that are doing it the right way, but not many.

 

Massachusetts has a rather large music scene - has is gradually grown over the years or has it always been a popular place for music? Did all members of Wilhelm grow up playing music there?
I think MA has always had a pretty ridiculous music scene. Both indie and major bands. It definitely goes through cycles, but how can you fuck with such a small state that has produced bands like Aerosmith and the Pixies. Trevor, Nick, and Nuno all grew up here, and started playing music here. Prior to this band, I spent most of my playing days growing up in Florida. Curtiss is from L.A. born and raised, so he spent his childhood in the southern California punk scene.

 

If you could have a dream tour with any four bands, signed or indie, who would they be?

Propagandhi, NOFX, Bad Religion, Descendents. We've already toured with all of our other favorites, so these are the top four that are left.

 

What is your advice for local bands looking to get signed?
Don't suck. Don't stop. Don't follow trends. You'll be fine.

 

Is there anything else you'd like to add?
Yeah. Stay in drugs, drink your school, and don't do milk. Late.

 

 

_Maggie Solum_

Chicago Cord / FourteenG

 

 

We'd like to thank Maggie for submitting this interview and to the A Wilhelm Scream camp.