Wither, Decay are a sublime hard-hitting Metalcore band who hail from Omaha, Nebraska. The band recently dropped their amazing new single ‘Passerby’, via Dreambound on YouTube, on Jun 26th to overwhelming positive reviews and it is easy to see why.
I recently caught up with the band’s vocalist Dylan and resident guitar shredder Josh to talk about ‘Passerby’, their creative process and all the fun they had back when they were scene kids…
[I got into] "Finding music online when I was young during the Myspace days. I found bands that way and wanted to pursue the same things they were doing. It seemed like the best outlet for me creatively and emotionally."
Firstly, I have to ask this at the moment, how have you guys been coping in the lockdown, what kind of things have you been up to since the lockdown came into effect.
J- It's been a huge roller coaster for me personally. As someone who sees themselves as a homebody the idea of staying home was amazing at first. More time to write and relax but as the days go on, I find myself missing my friends wanting to go out on weekends or even things I never thought I'd take for granted like going to the movies. Things could be worse for sure but man I miss playing shows really bad.
D- Fuck, I haven't. Just like everyone else I've been battling with depression and lockdown hasn't made it much better. Writing music and working towards my own personal goals has helped during this time though.
How did you get into writing and creating music? Was there a decisive moment or event that you remember that made you stop and think, wow, holy shit! THIS is what I want to do with my life?
J- Music has been a major part of my life as far back as I can remember. I was lucky enough to have siblings that are 10 years older than me so when I was really young like age 7-8 I was listening to bands like Pantera, Deftones, Tool etc. I started playing bass when I was 12 and then moved to guitar at 14 and still have no idea what I'm doing in my late 20's.
D- Finding music online when I was young during the Myspace days. I found bands that way and wanted to pursue the same things they were doing. It seemed like the best outlet for me creatively and emotionally.
Your latest release, ‘Passerby’ was released on June 26th on YouTube via Dreambound to an amazing reception. How did the recording process go for the track compared to your original EP ‘Separation Anxiety’?
J- We recorded the EP and our two latest singles "Closure" and "Passerby at All Poetic Audio with Jeremy Schaeffer who you may know as the vocalist of Earth Groans. Honestly, the process of recording them was the same. Jeremy has a really good ear for our sound, so we felt like it was best to go back to him for our latest releases. He lives in this tiny town of like 200 people so whenever we go there which is a few hours away from our hometown, it's like a mini vacation with the boys.
D- I stepped out of my comfort zone on this track with clean singing. The process of how we went about it was the same but recording cleans in front of everyone felt different.
"The sounds you hear in Passerby are just a mix of things I want to hear in music. Atmospheric cleans/lead guitar parts, hard hitting moments, and catchy lyrics."
Speaking of the video release via Dreambound on YouTube, can you go into the partnership with dreambound in more detail? How did this come about?
J- So originally we were just going to release the video ourselves on our Facebook page and Youtube on July 3rd which is when the song released on streaming services but when we released the teaser for the video Dreambound actually emailed us about releasing the video through them. It was kind of surreal because we tried to get on Dreambound with our videos for "Broken" and "Closure" but sadly was turned down. It felt really good that they reached out to us, kinda felt like maybe we had gotten better as a band. Although the EP still slaps haha.
‘Passerby’ explores quite in-depth themes of lost love and loneliness. How did the idea for this theme come about when creating the song?
D- The song stems from giving out too many chances to people but also making your own problems worse for yourself. The older songs were more just a pity party on myself but this one was more aggressive and kind of a sick of it all attitude.
‘Passerby’ is an absolute belter of a track and has the feel of a lead single... J Is the track a standalone single or can we expect some more new music coming up in the near future?
J- As of now Passerby is a stand-alone.
‘Passerby’ shows new unheard depths in your sound and just how far your sound and musicianship has come since the release of ‘Separation Anxiety’ in 2017, was this a conscious choice or a natural evolution of your sound?
J- Writing for it was pretty different then the EP. When we wrote the EP it was myself and our old guitarist Blake sitting away night after night writing and scraping material until we had songs we felt comfortable releasing but we only had two months to write because studio time was booked already. We then went on hiatus at the end of 2017 due to internal differences in the band but at the beginning of 2019 we were itching to get back together and write again aside from our old guitarist Blake. So, it was just the four of us. At that point we started writing Passerby which was the first Wither, Decay song that I wrote for the band alone. The sounds you hear in Passerby are just a mix of things I want to hear in music. Atmospheric cleans/lead guitar parts, hard hitting moments, and catchy lyrics. Over the last year and a half we have so many unfinished songs just because we can never settle on a "sound" which is a good thing but I think we found it with "Passerby". The newest song we are writing now falls from the same tree as Passerby and hopefully listeners will be able to hear it soon. As far as an EP or full length are concerned, only time will tell. :)
D- I second that haha.
"with how we are writing going forward, Passerby encompasses what Wither, Decay will continue to strive towards. Atmospheric, emotional, hard hitting music that has a sense of hopelessness."
If you could choose any one person to do guest vocals on one of your tracks who would you choose and why?
J- Without even asking the other guys I can 100% say in confidence we would agree on Brenden Murphy from Counterparts. His voice, lyrics, and energy is something that would fit really well into a Wither, Decay song. Especially since Counterparts is a huge influence on us.
D- And if it wasn't him I would like Lucas Woodland from Holding Absence. His fucking voice is beautiful.
If you had to choose one song from the Wither, Decay catalogue that you feel encompasses the bands signature sound, which song would you choose and why?
J- It's hard to say. Before Passerby I would've told you Closure since it was the newest single we released and even though it wasn't on Separation Anxiety, it hit all the check marks that album had. But now with how we are writing going forward, Passerby encompasses what Wither, Decay will continue to strive towards. Atmospheric, emotional, hard hitting music that has a sense of hopelessness. One thing that hasn't and won't change for us is how emotional the music is. If we had a "message" it would basically be that you're not alone in being alone. It's okay to have depression or those not so okay thoughts about your life. It's okay to be mad at an ex lover or to hate yourself for past mistakes. Musically we might be changing but the message remains the same.
D- Yeah he hit all the right points on that one.
Finally, as we are called Not A Phase, were you a scene kid when you were growing up? If not, what kind of music were you rocking out back in your formative teenage years?
J- 100% I was a scene kid. Growing up I was the metal kid but high school hit and I was always picked on or made fun of for wearing baggy jorts and big metal shirts. So sophomore year rolls around and I changed everything. Dyed my hair black and started straightening it. Wore the tightest jeans I could find and got a bunch of typical Hot Topic tees. I remember being like the first scene kid at my high school. My popularity changed drastically going from the biggest loser to one of the more popular kids funny enough. I listened to all the typical scene bands like Attack Attack, Asking Alexandria, and The Devil Wears Prada. But I'm glad that phase passed me after a couple years. The bands still slap though, I won't ever say those old scene band albums were bad. "Someday Came Suddenly" and "Stand Up and Scream" BOP.
D- I was the scene kid who listened to Nevershoutnever and teased my hair. I always wanted the racoon tail hair. Stick Stickly was on repeat. I was the weirdo making vocal covers of all the Myspace bands on YouTube. It was a lot of cringy shit haha. Dark times but sometimes I miss them. Especially Myspace.