Getting right down into what it means to be alive - exploring themes of identity, belonging, mindfulness, death and altered consciousness - Aussie foursome Windwaker have arrived with their debut album, ‘Love Language’. Vocalist Will King tells us what’s what.
Your debut album has been a long time coming - what was the timeline like for writing and recording?
That it has! A lot of life had to be lived, and I'm glad we really got a chance to flesh our debut out like this. A debut is a big deal for bands and has been a dream for us since being teens going to shows and festivals, and catching Aussie bands popping off international like Tonight Alive and Northlane.
Been a mental experience living some of the same experiences, rather than just feeling inspired, living those moments vicariously through social media, etc. This music thing is feeling very real right now, and we can't wait to see where this one takes us! The timeline of writing was very much over the course of one-two years, kicking off seriously from 2020 wrapping in 2021 with a final master. We shopped around throughout that year, and managed to land deals with two of our favourite labels, Fearless Records and Cooking Vinyl Australia. We're stoked!
How did you find the process? Did it meet all your expectations for creating a debut album?
It was stressful, but there never came a single moment of doubt. We knew what we wanted to achieve with a debut, and all had a fair inkling of what each member needed it to be in terms of quality/output. The best part about the process was, cathartically, we all individually laid down what we wanted to lay down on this album as it was self-produced. We wrote a lot of it over Zoom calls in the pandemic. Engineering our own parts in our own time just at our houses and in random Airbnbs that we could manage to escape to when exemptions opened up. Our drummer Chris Lalic mixed it. It just all worked out, given the circumstances.
You've managed to pack a lot in both thematically and sonically - how would you sum up the record's overall feel?
On one hand, sonically, it feels like a showcase of what we can do and where we are headed. On the other, thematically, it's a rollercoaster of philosophy. It's playful, but also gets pretty psychologically involved in areas. Really, the overall "feel" of the record for me is "inviting". It welcomes listeners to take as much or as little as they need to feel content with what it is. You can casual listen, vibe out and scrape off the surface, or you can dive in deep and trickle down the rabbit hole on a more intense journey. It's up to you where you let music take you.
Were there any themes or juxtapositions you particularly enjoyed exploring?
I think speaking on love, and learning to love myself and others deeper. That made me super happy to write about because I just picture this album hitting someone out there who really needs to hear it.
What would you like listeners to get out of the record?
Maybe just a quick reflection of self, how they treat others, how they react; a reminder to be present and aware of your thoughts and actions. Life is short. It's a big shame when you lose your future to your past.
How did you come to sign with Fearless Records?
They reached out around the time we dropped our EP 'Empire' back in 2019, expressing interest, and we kinda ghosted for a bit 'cause we had nothing new and cool to show them yet. We came back end of 2020 / early 2021 with some tunes, and they dug them straight off the bat and wanted to make a deal work. We were scared they had forgotten about us, which would've sucked. We've always wanted to work with that label.
Where do you hope 'Love Language' takes you?
On through life. Not building expectations, just happy to be on this journey together with my homies. Ultimately, the reception is out of our control for the most part, so any opportunities that present off the back of the record are a huge blessing. We're already incredibly lucky.
What's your love language?
Taking drugs and fucking my life up completely.
Is there anything else we should know?
I'm only here for clout. Follow me @willwaker.
Taken from the May issue of Upset. Windwaker's album 'Love Language' is out 6th May.
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