AN INTERVIEW WITH WIEUCA
From trip-hop to southern infused rock, if you were to put Wieuca on shuffle you wouldn’t be able to tell that you were listening to the same band. With a fluid identity they flawlessly reinvent themselves with every album they release. Swarming with lush synth and an easy euphoria, their latest album Local Celebrity has all the mind altering elements of psych-pop. Seemingly a huge change from last year’s Guilt Complex, brimming with tension and noise-rock influence, the two albums share little common ground. However, it’s that constant experimentation that makes them so intriguing, the fact that you never know what exactly you’ll get from Wieuca. Anchored in the belief that it’s “never too late to reinvent yourself,” the only constancy is their unadulterated brilliance.
FAVORITE LOCAL BAND?
JACK: The YOD
WILL: John Bobbitt and the Severed Parts
ANDREW: Lingua Franca
YOU’VE ALWAYS CONSIDERED YOURSELF TO BE ‘INDIE ROCK” BUT HAVE SOUNDS RANGING FROM GARAGE PUNK TO SOUTHERN ROCK. WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED FROM ALL THAT EXPERIMENTING? WHAT’S BEEN THE ONE WIEUCA ELEMENT THAT HAS STAYED CONSISTENT THROUGH IT ALL?
W: Whether it’s punk or trip-hop or whatever we’re doing, it all comes from the same place. We started as a folky alt-country band, people just called us indie rock because we wore a lot of flannel. Now we try to take the sounds and concepts specific to Wieuca and work them into different styles. You can always reinvent yourself, I mean look at Madonna.
LOCAL CELEBRITY DEALS A LOT WITH IDENTITY AND HOW YOU SEE YOURSELF IN RELATION TO THE PEOPLE AROUND YOU. WHY WAS IT IMPORTANT TO YOU TO MAKE A RECORD THAT EXPLORED THAT THEME?
W: I was working at a factory when we started putting these songs together, clocking out around midnight and staying up all night recording. It was a polarizing time because some days we’d have a sweet show or some opportunity would come up and I’d be like “Wow, I’m actually an artist. This is what I’m doing with my life.” Many other days were the opposite - I was wasting away in a factory for no reason. That’s where the themes of identity in flux and bizarre subjectivity came from.
WHAT DID YOU LEARN FROM THAT PROCESS? ABOUT YOURSELF/OTHERS/THE BAND WHILE MAKING LOCAL CELEBRITY?
W: We tried putting people on instruments and in other roles we hadn’t done before. Robert makes his lead vocal debut (for this band), and in general we decided to get weirder than usual and try things like a trap beat sampling acoustic drums with noise rock guitars. Why not, right?
WHAT WERE YOU LISTENING TO WHEN YOU MADE LOCAL CELEBRITY?
W: Dr. Octagon, A.M. radio static, and Billy Graham bloopers.
THE LYRICS TO “RUBY RED” ARE LISTED AS ‘[UNINTELLIGIBLE].’ WHY?
ROB: The lyrics are bad and we are ashamed of them.
A: I really love these lyrics. Listen close. I wanna bleed.
THE TERM ‘LOCAL CELEBRITY’ IS SCATTERED THROUGHOUT THE EP. WHAT DOES ‘LOCAL CELEBRITY’ MEAN TO YOU + WHAT DO YOU WANT OTHER PEOPLE TO UNDERSTAND ABOUT IT?
W: There’s no such thing as a local celebrity. If you’re only ‘famous’ in your little world, you’re not famous. So we were making fun of folks with inflated egos who are just another local band (happens all the time). It backfired though because the week the record came out, someone ripped on me at a bar because they thought we were saying that we’re local celebrities. We played ourselves.
ATHENS, GA! WHAT’S THE MUSIC SCENE LIKE THERE? HAS THE SOUTH HAD AN INFLUENCE ON YOUR SOUND + INCORPORATE MORE COUNTRY ELEMENTS?
J: Having to be constantly reminded of Jesus’ love seems to have taken a toll on our mental health as a band.
A: Jesus saved 15% by switching to Wieuca. Rebel flags are disgusting but we know a lot of country lyrics. Un-ironically. Those songs make me feel things man.
A CONVERSATION WITH ANY BAND?
J: Band - Jeff The Brotherhood; Topic - near death experiences
A: Dimitry Shostakovich topic: spelling your name with notes and sticking it to the government.
WHAT’S IT LIKE BEING A BAND IN THE 21ST CENTURY?
A: It’s lit. I miss Myspace though.