Wander Interview: “Asian Americans share this alternative lifestyle in art & music”


Wander’s new album March is out March 1st.

The month of March is a special month. Named for Mars, the Roman god of war, it was originally the first month of the new year in the Roman calander due to its association with spring. It is a hopeful month. A month of rebirth, renewed energy, and opportunity.

March is also the title of the upcoming album from California based post-rock outfit Wander. A collection of six expansive and exploratory post-rock songs, the set offers a look back at the history of post-rock and also a glimpse into the future of the genre.

We had a chat with the lads in the band about the new album, their ‘Pinoy’ heritage, and shaking things up in post-rock.

Overblown: You have a new song out called ‘March’. Tell us about the song.

Christian: The song March represents renewal and springtime. It’s inspired by overcoming a monumental emotional obstacle.

Overblown: It is the title track from your upcoming album. What call you tell us about the album?

Christian: It’s a collection of some of the strongest songs we’ve been working on for 4 years. March 1st lands on Ryan’s birthday. He’s the main songwriter and drummer of the band. It’s heavier post-rock that has some influences from indie staples Blonde Redhead to Death Cab for Cutie. There are subtle elements of Nujabes and Ryuichi Sakamoto as well. But our main post-rock/mathy influences have to be Mono, Toe, and Explosions in the Sky.

Overblown: You identify as a “Pinoy”. Can you tell our readers what that means and why it is important to you?

Bernard: We’re all of Filipino descent, or “Pinoy”. I feel that Asian American artists are often underrepresented in media – whether it be in film, music, etc. Which is unfortunate because there’s a lot of talent out there that isn’t recognized as much as it should be.
But there seems to be this upswing in Asian American presence recently with bands like Jay Som or No Vacation. I’m really happy to contribute to this wave in some extent because there is a culture that we come from where Asian Americans share this sort of alternative lifestyle in art and music.

Overblown: You have said that you want to “shake things up” in post-rock. To take “an old genre and make it new”. Do you feel like the genre has become stale?

Christian: I personally feel like a lot of the new post-rock bands that get attention are usually a blend of some other genre, like Deafheaven who combine it with shoegaze/black metal, San Holo with EDM, TWIABP with emo, etc. I admire a lot of those bands. I’m not as stoked about some other releases within just pure post-rock. I think the heavy-quiet formula is beautiful in itself and a lot of bands aren’t fulfilling those epic highs I’m looking for within it.

Joseph: With some notable exceptions, we’re not that into bands that fit solely under the ‘post-rock’ umbrella.

Overblown: How do you plan to mix things up in the post-rock genre?

Joseph: Sonically speaking, there are a huge number of influences so it’s difficult to name them all. The songwriting stays close enough to standard post-rock conventions to keep it within the genre but has enough influence from associated genres, as well as genres completely outside of it to keep it interesting for ourselves.

Bernard: We definitely have the staple elements of post-rock, like the slow build-ups and climactic peaks. But then we have sections that are very upbeat and danceable, which isn’t something that we’ve seen explored heavily. Sometimes there are dance pits at our shows which is really cool – I guess our listeners feed off our energy and we feed off theirs.
Christian: Rhythmically we’ve blended in some hip hop influences and sonically some black metal influences without straying away from our core sound.

Wander Tour Dates:

3/5 Los Angeles, CA
3/6 Phoenix, AZ
3/8 El Paso, TX
3/9 San Antonio, TX
3/10-3/16 SXSW
3/17 Denton, TX
3/18 Denver, CO
3/19 Salt Lake City, UT
3/21 Reno, NV
4/3 San Jose, CA
4/12 San Francisco, CA
4/13 Sebastapol, CA

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