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Sun. Sep 15th, 2019

Madness To Creation

Where Insanity and Creativity Collide!

Mitch Arnold and Phil Vilenski of Wayland Discusses the Power of Hard Work, Spirituality, and Dedication with Madness To Creation!

14 min read

Editor’s Note:  It was a special night getting to chat inside Wayland’s tour bus as they got prepared to open up for Hinder, Josh Todd & The Conflict, and Adelitas Way.  Wayland plays about 300 shows per year, if there is a stage, they want to play on it!  They are touring in support of their latest record entitled “Rinse & Repeat”, which has been getting glowing reviews on it!  Special thanks to Doug and for Mitch Arnold(vocalist/guitarist) for setting this up for us!  Find Wayland at the following locations:

www.facebook.com/waylandtheband

www.waylandtheband.com

www.instagram.com/wayland

www.twitter.com/waylandtheband

Madness To Creation:  What’s the meaning of life?

Mitch:  Do what makes you happy.  Don’t get in the way of what makes other people happy, do what makes you happy.

M.T.C.:  How was the tour with Hinder, Josh Todd & The Conflict, and Adelitas Way?

Mitch:  Great man! Here in Iowa is the last week with everybody, it was a six week journey, three weeks into the tour, Adelitas Way joined on, and they really added to the package, this was a really unique experience for our band in particular because we’ve played with just about everybody that there is to play with opening up for big shows on big stages on big festivals.  This was our first big radio tour where it comes in package.  You see so many movies where the bands are traveling around together, movies such as “Walk The Line”, “Almost Famous”, all of those movies that we grew up watching and loving, and how those bands would go out after the shows, and some people connect, and some people connect more with others, and that really happens.  It was just a beautiful time for us.  I would say as a band and a frontman personally, I learned more in those six weeks than collectively all year long.

M.T.C.:  What are some of the things that you learned in the six weeks?

Mitch:  You get to watch bands that have been doing it a lot longer than we have, you get to see veterans.  Josh Todd is a rock and roll legend and watching him with the crowd every night and watching him on stage, watching Marshall from Hinder, watching Ric from Adelitas Way, those guys have been doing it and playing the game, they’ve put out hit records after hit records.  At one point in time, they’ve all spent some time on top.  Wayland is on our way there, but we’ve never experienced that type of success and watching them interact with the crowd, seeing how their set progresses, seeing how they interact with people, it’s a crash course in rock and roll touring, I’m just really grateful for that experience.

M.T.C.:  You’ve talked about what to do, have you done anything on stage where you think, “I’m never doing that again”?

Mitch:  Absolutely!  I think what’s cool about our team and as a band is that we’re in a constant space of reflection and we’re not afraid to tell each other what needs to be improved and instead of saying, “hey, great job, I love what you’ve done with that”, what’s really cool being an opening band is that sometimes we’re playing for 600 people because it’s a huge night and it’s stacked, and sometimes you’re playing for 35 people cause doors open at seven, you’re playing at 7:30 and the headliners go on at 10:45, so you learn how to read these audiences differently every single night, so Tuesday night ends, I get to do it again on Wednesday, and what didn’t work, I get to change.  It’s like watching game films, you don’t have to wait until next week to go into the game, you get to do it the next night.

M.T.C.:  I gave a killer review for “Rinse & Repeat”.  How has the response been for that record?

Mitch:  For the people that have listened to it, I’d say very good, I can’t speak for them and say, “give it a star rating”, but personally I think it’s our best work to date and I also think that it’s a really cool rock and roll record, it’s got a really nice arch, and it’s kind of a journey whenever you’re listening to it, when one constructs their favorite albums, you can listen to track one to track 13, and you get done and wipe your brow, and you’re like, “wow man, holy cow that was incredible, and that’s what we’re trying to create.  I think for our fans and people that are getting attracted to us when they get introduced to this band on the tour, that’s the messages that we’re getting, the comments on our social media, that’s what they’re leading to.

M.T.C:  How critical is it for bands to be connected to their fans on social media?

Mitch:  It’s the only thing.  If you’re not connected with them in this day and age, you are dead in the water, you got nothing.  In a day and age where people are not selling a lot of records, it’s up to live shows, it’s up to that merchandise, it’s up to streaming online, and you’ve got to get people involved, that’s how you get fans involved.  When I was a kid, how you got involved was listening to the record in your room, you bought the record and you listened to it and you went to the shows, and that’s just how it worked.  It was by a stroke of luck that you got to talk to your favorite singer or your favorite guitar player, it was like getting struck by lightning.  Now as an artist, you do have to be a lot more accessible to fans and I think that it’s important for any artist getting out there.  I think it’s a kiss of death for people to say, “I’m not going to go to social media, I’m not going to be a part of that” because I think that there is some pros and cons to the whole thing, but definitely one of the pros is that we get the chance to talk with our fans all of the time, we get feedback all of the time.  We get to be involved with them 100% of the time if we want to be, and I think that part of it is really cool, and also incredibly crucial to our career, and it’s building a fan base.

M.T.C.:  What is the craziest fan experience that sticks out in your mind?

Mitch:  There’s always interesting fans every single night, we’ve had some really beautiful times, we’ve had some really interesting times.  I feel bad going in-depth about anything negative because people are supporting this band.  I’m not saying that everything is negative, because we have fans all over the country that support us and they bring us meals, they bring us gifts, they’re always there for us, they’ve let us shower at their house, they throw parties, there’s fans like that.  But there’s fans that obviously on the other side of the coin, where you have fans that you appreciate, but you don’t necessarily appreciate how they’re touching you, or the crazy things that they spill on your bus.  There’s pluses and minuses to everything, and I don’t even know where to start as far as craziest because one night ends another day begins, and it’s a clean slate.  I’m sure we’ll have crazy experiences tonight, both good and some not so good.

M.T.C.:  Since we’re at a historic venue, how do you want people to remember Wayland 30 years from now?

Mitch:  First of all, I want to still be playing shows, I also want people to say, “why do you like Wayland”, I want them to say because they’re an honest rock and roll band, and they write songs and music from their hearts, and they write it for their fans, they write songs that are personal to them and translate to them.  Whenever I go watch them, I get to transport to another dimension and leave my cares and worries away, and I go to their shows and I’m elevated as a human being, that’s what I hope people will say about us.

M.T.C.:  When we were reviewing “Rinse & Repeat”, I kept playing the opening track “Ghost” over and over again, it’s really resonating with me, can you tell us about that song, anything you want to say about it?

Mitch:  Thank you man and that means a lot!  We wrote that song with Brent Smith of Shinedown actually and it was an idea that came off of “The Sound Of Madness” record and Brent and Zach Myers sent it over, and they said, “hey I heard that you guys are making a record, and we’ve compiled 20 to 25 songs in contention for the record”, and they sent that song over, and it was over a basic idea, so we ended up rewriting some parts, we co-wrote some lyrics with them and kind of put it all together, and when it all came together, it just sounded like a kick ass opener.  We’ve been opening the show with it, it sounds like an opener.  The lyrics were personal in the sense everyone has those skeletons in the closet, everyone has those things that we hide away that speak to us in our head late at night or early in the morning, however that happens, we’re all human beings with that voice.  That’s just what we kind of wrote it about, what it was kind of stemming from.  Basically that idea, it was that melody and those words, and we just elaborated on top of that.

“Ghost” by Wayland

M.T.C.:  Wayland’s single “Shopping For A Savior” was a crazy video, what is that song and video talking about?

Mitch:  We filmed that in two days, guerrilla film making style, two 15 hour days in Atlanta, Georgia, we wanted to do something fun because the song is fun but the subject matter is serious, we actually wrote that song years ago and it’s off of our first self-titled record, it was at the time in L.A., and we were approached by a lot of different religions and philosophies, and we were exploring a lot them.  Buddhism, Kabbalah, Christianity, and all of these different things, and you have the Scientologists on the street corner, there’s all of these different ideals floating around you at all times, and as young people trying to find your way and trying to find the meaning of life, you are caught in the middle of this tornado of religion, spirituality, and all of that stuff, and we wrote this really fun song about that journey through spirituality, however you want to say it.  Going into this record, our producer Justin Reimer was really adamant about redoing this song, he thought we could do a better job of it, and do a fresh job of this, we rewrote the lyrics, we rewrote the arrangement, it came out heads taller.

Phil Vilenski(guitarist):  I thought it was Jesse James Dupree(of Jackyl), it became a staple in our live show, it was just over the years, it was a staple and it just stayed there, it was the first song on the radio that we GRD, but Jesse was really the one.

Mitch:  You’re right about that!

“Shopping For A Savior” by Wayland

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k-umDKKUDmM

M.T.C.:  Two questions that came out of this.  Where did you find yourself in terms of spirituality?

Mitch:  It’s a day to day thing, I gotta say that I personally explore a lot of different things whatever path leads you to the light, whether it’s exercise, meditation, eating right, if it’s being nice, if it’s Buddhism, it doesn’t matter what it is, I’m just trying to be a good person, I think all of the guys are, we’re just trying to be good people.  As long as you are living, you’re searching and you’re trying to find your way.  If you think you have all the answers, I think that’s when you clock out.

M.T.C.:  Jesse James Dupree of Jackyl manages Wayland, what has he brought to the table for the band?

Mitch:  Crazy son of a bitch!  I think Phil will be able to have a better answer than I will.  I gotta say as a mentor, he’s at the top of my list, who has mentored this band unconditionally for the last few years and expecting nothing in return.

Phil:  What’s cool about Jesse is that as an artist he’s also self-managed in his entire career through Geffen Records and major labels.  He managed Keifer Sutherland’s label Iron Works in 2000, he’s an artist, he’s a manager, he’s a label guy, he’s got experience through all three of those areas.  As a young band that was trying to figure out our way, he was really there to encourage just to go find ourselves on the road and while we’re practicing.

Mitch:  He just has a no bullshit approach, he didn’t really care about our feelings or how everyone would feel about the advice, at first it’s a little brash, but I don’t think that there’s no time for that, we don’t really tread very lightly with each other, we’re not mean to each other, but you just have to cut through so you can get the job done, we want results.

Phil:  The whole thing is bigger than us individually.

Mitch:  Exactly!

Phil:  We try not to get caught up in ourselves, and Jesse is always saying, “get back out on the road, keep going, keep touring, rewrite, keep writing”.  He really pushed us to develop ourselves, he comes from a time where there was artist development at labels, that doesn’t happen anymore.

M.T.C.:  What happened to that process?

Phil:  That costs a lot of money and time, so now a label just wants a product that they can put out, if it sticks cool, if not next, that’s kind of what happened, which is cool, we don’t ever complain about the state of the music industry because we made up our mind a long time ago that we would do this if we were homeless living under a bridge in L.A., or if we were playing Madison Square Garden or anywhere in between.

M.T.C.:  Do you think labels will get back to artist development or is that time gone?

Phil:  Honestly, we don’t even think about that or care.  We’re in our own little bubble of our own, and that’s what matters.

M.T.C.:  What advice would you give to a band that’s starting out?

Phil:  The only thing that you can do is figure our where your heart is at and why you’re doing it, and know that you’re going to do it no matter what, do not give up, do not stop.  You need to have that flame burning in your soul and that’s what you’re going to do, if that flame is that easy to blow, then burn it out by your trailer falling off, or your tour getting cancelled, it’s a hard life.

Mitch:  I can’t say anything better than that man.

M.T.C.:  Favorite song to play live?

Mitch:  For me, right now I’m loving “Ghost”, I’m really falling in love with playing guitar, so I get to do that on that song, it’s just a really fun opener, I think it changes for me a lot.

Phil:  Right now, we are playing it first, if anyone is going to see 30 seconds of the band before they say “this sucks” and they walk away, that’s what we want them to hear.

M.T.C.:  You have to write a song with a pop artist, who do you pick and what is the song title?

Mitch:  Lady Gaga and we’ll call it “In Your Hair”, she’s so talented!  I watched that documentary on Netflix and that blew my face off.

M.T.C.:  What’s in store in 2018?

Phil:  We have new music coming out in 2018, we have some videos in the works, we’re talking about going over to the U.K., we hooked up with this great label Thermal Entertainment, they have brought a lot to the table for us, there’s a lot of opportunities in the crock pot right now.  We might do an EP, we just have a couple of songs that we just want to get out.

Mitch:  It’s a cool time in music, we’re noticing bands putting out music to put out music just because they can, the way that music is structured now, you don’t have to wait to print out a CD, you can just move on it, and get people the content.

M.T.C.:  I know that you have to get ready for a show, anything you want to add?

Mitch:  Thank you!  Wayland Warriors, come out to see some more shows, for those that don’t know us, come out and see us, we’d love to see you out there at the show.

Phil:  We just couldn’t be more thankful to be put in the position where people actually  want to hear our music.

Mitch: I know that Madness To Creation and other sites have taken the time to write that review, it’s really helpful, so thank you!  People can review it anywhere, please put it up, we’d love to read it.

And there you have it! Special thanks to Doug and to Mitch and Phil of Wayland for taking the time!  Wayland already has some shows coming down the pike in 2018, check out the tour dates below!

Friday, January 19th- RocHause in Dundee, Illinois

Saturday, January 20th- Big Red’s Birthday Bash in Beloit, Wisconsin

Wednesday, January 31st- Route 20 in Sturtevant, Wisconsin

Friday, February 2nd- Northwest Wisconsin Winterfest in Altoona, Wisconsin

Saturday, February 3rd- Waspi Willys, LLC in Davenport, Iowa

Thursday, February 8th- Piere’s Entertainment Center in Fort Wayne, Indiana

Saturday, February 24th- Live Wire Rock Bar in Florence, South Carolina

Saturday, July 28th- Riverbend RV Resort in Watertown, Wisconsin

Wednesday, August 15th- Meigs County Fair in Pomeroy, Ohio

For tickets and further information for any of the shows listed above, click here!

The Concert Review:  Wayland opened up for Hinder, Josh Todd & The Conflict, and Adelitas Way at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa.  A beautiful venue for an amazing night of music as Wayland poured every drop of blood, every bead of sweat, and every drop of tear into the performance.  In large part, the crowd was quite unfamiliar with them, but they responded amazingly well to Mitch Arnold’s charismatic ways as a frontman, as he is gifted when it comes to engaging the audience and really pours his heart out in his vocals.  Phil Vanzeri absolutely stood out to me in Wayland as a guitar player, he is a master technician when it comes to his rhythm and more technical guitar playing, yet there’s a lot of soul and some blues tendencies in his playing.  Dean Pizzazz on bass and Nigel Dupree on drums really lay the foundation the rhythm section making Wayland one of the tightest bands to see live!

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3 thoughts on “Mitch Arnold and Phil Vilenski of Wayland Discusses the Power of Hard Work, Spirituality, and Dedication with Madness To Creation!

  1. I really like the way you give insight to where and how Wayland interacts with us all. Shooting for the stars so proud to be a fan and part of this ride love you guys

  2. So proud to have you guys as friends, I’m always learning from you and love your music almost as much as I love you as humans…..Rock on and see y’all soon!!!

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