Recently I had a little chat with Brian Wille, the lead vocalist of Currents, to talk about the album, the writing process, the origin of the band and, at one point, the weather. Here’s how it went:
For those of you who have read my album review you’d know that Currents are an up and coming band, recently signed, who have just released an album that is, potentially, one of my new favourites for the summer. (If you haven’t read that review then you should. It’s pretty alright. You can find it right here)
The band is composed of Brian Wille (vocals), Jeff Brown (Drums), Chris Wiseman (Guitar), Ryan Castaldi (Guitar), and Dee Cronkite (Bass) but it wasn’t always. As the latest addition, Brian only joined in 2015, thus completing the line-up. Having played with them before, and knowing them through other bands, Brian admitted that he was ‘a fan of them’ and would hang out at their gigs, leading to them forming the band we know today.
I asked if it was difficult for them to click, to find the balance in working together, but for this group it all seemed to fall into place quite naturally. Brian and Chris, having worked together on other projects, as well as Jeff and Brian having jammed together meant that they ‘knew they had a chemistry working together already, it was a pretty easy fit… Just going to be working together more extensively’. And you can tell that the chemistry was there, that the guys all work well together. The proof is in the product. ‘The Place I Feel The Safest’ is an excellent example of how to make a cohesive set of songs that sound good, are lyrically brilliant, and can be replayed over and over again. The album is one that you can get engaged in, that you can blast out loud and really sing to- you’ll hurt your throat and look like an idiot, but you’ll enjoy yourself. Yet at the same time, if you wanted background noise, something good and familiar to listen to, this album is also for you. Maybe not on the first play through but on the second or third you can really sit back and just enjoy it.
Within the music there’s a complexity. There’s a juxtaposition between the lyrics and the beat, the drums and guitar. From the perspective of someone whose only musical experience is with a uke and a cello (Cello’s are cool, okay?) and whose attempts at composing original pieces have been disastrous at best, musicians as a collective are already on another level. But the multiple layers in the album, and the sort of nonchalant approach to it the band seems to take makes me think they don’t realise their own genius.
The album is deep. Using the world around him, things he’s experienced in his life, and things that have affected both his family and his friends, Brain writes lyrics that are deep, relatable and emotive. You can immerse yourself in them, listen to all the things people have experienced and really place yourself in their shoes. And there’s definitely a certain vulnerability to the whole thing. ‘A lot of it is stuff that happened around me, I took stuff that, uh, my bandmates were going through… a lot of it is personal. Something I could show to someone and be like “I thought of you when I wrote that.”’ Mentioning that he keeps his feelings to himself, and saves it up until he can write it down; that music is how he lets it out, and you can’t help but feel a little thankful that someone would choose to open up themselves and others to scrutiny for music. It’s something that has a certain beauty to it.
Interestingly, the music is written first, and the lyrics second, although for the second album Brian has admitted that he’d like to switch it up. Also admitting that he was given free reign over the vocals, we discussed if that made the writing process more difficult. ‘For the most part… I’d do what I thought worked, and he (Chris) would just kinda hear it and go “yeah, sounds good” *giggle*’. For the band, things seem to flow and come together pretty organically, but the hard work they put in is undeniable. From having almost-signings that didn’t quite pan out, to getting signed to a record label that’s home to successful artists such as Atilla, We Came as Romans and, Don Broco it looks like it’s all uphill from here.
For my penultimate question I asked Brain to sum the band up in a few words. A lazy student question asked by a lazy student writer, but the answer that they gave more than makes up for it. After taking a few seconds to consider Brian came back with an answer that he ‘wasn’t sure if anyone else would find funny but we’ve taken to describing ourselves as diet-thall*. You have bands like Humanity’s Last Breath, they’re very cool, very heavy and we try to take a more… familiar edge to it. We wanna have those long drawn out cool rhythms and break downs and grooves but we still wanna keep it fresh, and upbeat.’ But, for a quick one, the next best way to sum up the band is, in Brian’s own words ‘Super heavy, pretty guitars, some clean singing’
And last but not least, the final question; how would Brian sum himself up. ‘I have this phrase I really like. Cautiously optimistic. Like, uhm, somebody who like, yanno sees the glass half full and empty, but they prefer to look at it as if it’s half full.’
Oh, and the weather was okay, too.
*For those of you who, like me, wondered what Diet-thall was, this is what Brian said when I later asked: ‘diet-thall! Thall is a style of djent in the vein of Vildhjarta and Humanity’s Last Breath and we tried to mix that with metalcore and melodic hardcore for a couple of the songs’
Read our review of ‘The Place I Feel Safest’ here.
‘Currents debut record ‘The Place I Feel Safest’ is out now via SharpTone Records, available here.