Interview and live photos by Rachael Dowd / Portrait of A Will Away by Emily Tantuccio
Hailing from Connecticut, A Will Away’s probably the most honest thing to come out of the music industry in a long time. After releasing their debut full-length album, Here Again, back in March that has been getting praise across the indie music circuit for its catchy hooks and candid lyrics, the band spent this past spring on the road supporting Moose Blood, Trophy Eyes, and Boston Manor.
We caught up with the Triple Crown Records signed band, made up of members Matt Carlson, Collin Waldron, John McSweeney, and Sean Dibble, during a gloomy day in Seattle before their show with Moose Blood at the city’s renowned The Crocodile.
Sitting in a semicircle in the bar area of The Crocodile, A Will Away took little time before diving right into talking about their latest album, vocalist/guitarist Matt opening up about just how long it took for Here Again to come together,
“We were in the studio for about six months and it was sort of like navigating through a labyrinth to the end. There were a lot of moving parts, but we are very happy with how everything turned out.”
The amount of effort and time A Will Away put into this record is clear, each song seamlessly connecting with one another, creating a cohesive and quality record that is impressive for any band’s debut full-length release. Guitarist Collin, as well as the rest of the band, believes that the time set aside is what allowed for Here Again to come together,
“The whole thing happened over such a long period of time that the sonic balance of the record really came together. We kind of got too ahead of ourselves during some parts of the album process, but it all worked out.”
Spending time in the studio in Massachusetts, not far from their home in Naugatuck, Connecticut, A Will Away approached the writing and recording of Here Again in a very organic way, something that is ever present on the record as Matt shared,
“We don’t have a certain way or agenda in how our writing gets done, which I think allows it to come up in this organic and relatable way. We don’t just go into “writing mode” or go off to focus on just writing. We don’t think that’s a realistic way to make actual relatable music, we just play until it feels good. If it feels good for us then we can anticipate that other people will like it, too.”
The unpredictability that comes from their writing has allowed for a diverse album of tracks, including the slow, tug-at-your-heart-strings song “Chemicals,” as well as their most notably catchy song to date, “Crochet.” This range of both musical and lyrical style showcased in just thirteen tracks has helped to establish A Will Away’s credibility as more than just a band looking to do the Warped Tour circuit for a few years before breaking up. It is very clear through their music and while talking to them in person that they are serious musicians with talent and passion to back their goals and aspirations.
Things, however, took a rather interesting turn when the topic of social media came up in the conversation. As a fairly new band in the music industry, social media is an important tool that helps with A Will Away’s exposure and reach to prospective fans. For the four of them, they see quite a few negative drawbacks with social media platforms, drummer Sean being the first to speak up on the topic,
“Is it okay to swear? I fucking hate social media. You have to have this image for yourself, even though you are just a musician, and all of a sudden, you have to be this stand out person. I don’t know, it’s all just bullshit.”
After taking a long breath while the rest of the band were in hysterics over his response, Sean quickly noted that he probably shouldn’t have been the member to answer the question before Matt quickly stepped in.
With a brutally honest and sharply witty personality that was not at all hindered by the severe cold he was battling at the time of this interview, Matt looked at social media from a different angle,
“Social media is a big double-edged sword. It’s probably the least healthy thing that any human being has willingly engaged in mentally and emotionally. It’s not good for you or your health at all. However, it has been very positive in terms of our band because we can have direct contact with our fans.”
A Will Away, despite their reluctancy and semi-negative perspectives towards social media, do have a presence on the band’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts. However, as Collin later elaborated on, they really only enjoy using the platforms for practical reasons such as tweeting out when and where they are playing in certain cities as it is the fastest way to relay the information to their fans.
Closing out the interview with about ten minutes of witty banter and pessimistic rage about social media, ideas and quotes that may be used in a different interview someday, A Will Away let us know that they have a lot in store for the rest of the year.
While we would love to share with you all who they are planning on touring with this summer and fall, the boys were tight lipped about the plans they have up their sleeves.
“We can’t say anything yet, but it’s going to be awesome and very busy.”
The honest perspectives and talent of the members that make up A Will Away are admirable and offer a transparency not seen often enough in the industry. So, if you are someone who is tired of listening to cookie cutter pop songs lacking relatable substance, give A Will Away, a band that doesn’t give a fuck about whether or not you like their Instagram posts, a chance.