It's been three long years since Written Years has released new music. Vocalist, Wade Ouellet, took the time to talk to us about why the wait has been so long, the creative process and new music.
"We recorded a record a few years ago, but I ended up having some vocal issues and some band members had a few personal tragedies," said Ouellet.
Perhaps this delay was actually a favor from the music gods because during this period, the group realized they weren't too happy with the record. Being the true, dedicated artist they are, they redid the whole album start to finish.
"We wanted to figure out who we were and what we wanted to do."
One of the biggest reasons seemed to be trying to breakaway from the category they always were thrown into and follow their intuition and musical hearts.
"I used to consider us almost a folk band," he laughed. "I say almost because I didn't necessarily want to be too far into that genre. We still used electronics and stuff, but I tried to go outside the lyrical box we get lumped in. I think originally, our plan was a lot different though. We wanted to follow up with more experimental, definitely find a way for it be a little more instantly relatable for listeners. I know we wanted to try different sets of sound structures and weird songs. Somewhere along the way, it turned into more of a kind of dark aesthetic and more electronic based. We're definitely exploring the new ground, and it ended up being an exploration of the darker side of things."
Now, the band prefers to be considered alternative-dance thanks to another fellow music blogger, which totally makes sense after listening to their single that is dropping tomorrow, May 11th. After listening to, "Superficial Feeling," we were literally transferred into a movie scene that included a dance in high school gym with awkward 80s outfits and hair, someone spiked the punch, a girl is crying in the bathroom, and the prom king actually doesn't like the prom queen but does it to uphold his image. Pretty sure that's already a movie, but if not, we want credit.
"It's almost a love song, but I don't want to call it that because it's twisted like most things I write. There's always a catch-22, you know. It's sort of a twisted little love song. A lot of the stuff that's going to come out is about realizing that you're moving into adulthood and you need to grow up a little and actually be accountable to people and try to find meaning in relationships and maybe stop living the 2 A.M. life so hard. A lot of the stuff I write looks into those themes, just find your place in this crazy little world we have because I know that's a tough thing to do for a lot of people, myself included."
So, maybe we didn't nail it, but we're excited to see what the future holds for this music video that isn't even in the making yet. Ouellet explained that Written Years really wanted to focus on the song itself for this single, not so much the visuals just yet.
Their first single of the year that was released was "Lost in You," which again is a total jam. But undoubtedly one of the best parts of that single was the music video/documentary featuring dancer/ex-skydiver Kevin Lim.
"I don't want to give ourselves too much credit or anything, but we definitely felt like it would be a bit tough to top," admitted Ouellet. "We play at this little hotel in East Vancouver, it's called the Waldorf Hotel, and they have all the festivals there in the summer. After finishing playing, we wondered into the basement, my brother, myself and one of our band members and in comes Kevin. He walks in so nonchalantly, but then he completely lights up the room. At first, people just don't know how to take it, and then they realize there's something special so they just kind of let go, and they embrace it. There's a crowd around him, and they join in, just not giving a fuck."
But, they definitely give a whopping fire truck creating the music. If these two singles are just a taste of the full-length record to come, we're pleased. Although, the wait maybe a while, it's quality over speed, right? Ouellet explained they're really taking the time to make sure each song get's the dedication, perfection and affection it deserves.
"There's a lot of new people we've gotten on board, and we decided maybe a few song don't have the same life that other ones do so let's not rush to get it out. I mean that in making sure each song is the strongest it can be and not get lost in the group of work. It's easy to lose a bit of steam when your focus is so broad on ten songs versus when you're looking at each one, and how this can serve its own purpose."
Obviously, they're the real deal, but we're still anxious for the rest of the album. This year, Written Years will be finishing up the record, working to book more gigs out of their local British Columbia and get more visuals out.
"The music industry is not an easy industry [AMEN], but the rewards are so valuable, just personally. The act of having this idea-- a song-- that you put all of your heart into and say all these things you want to say, and grow like your own little child that eventually lives and becomes a creation and becomes this mere creation that lives in the physical world is probably the most exciting part to me. Then seeing how people react to it and how they will take it is exciting too."
"There's a lot happening right now. It feels like it's a really exciting time for us. The opportunities are surfacing all the time because we're really just getting going."