With their EPs "The Path" and "The Divide" Wheel have positioned themselves over the past two years as a serious alternative to Tool and A Perfect Circle respectively as a potent complement to modern prog acts like Karnivool or Jolly. Now the Finns present their first complete album, which is not only musically convincing: In addition, they take a stand on political and social topics in their lyrics.
"Moving Backwards" is the name of Wheel's recently released album. The title can be understood as the band's critique of the reactionary tendencies that are currently spreading in society and politics in countries all over the world. Among other things, it is the return to nationalism that drives him and his colleagues around, says Englishman James Lascelles, singer of the band from Finland. As things are going very well for Wheel at the moment, they also see the future in a positive light.
eclipsed: James, did the release policy initially work for you with two EPs?
James Lascelles: Both EPs were self-contained musical journeys or adventures for us. On "The Path" we have worked up our musical legacy, with "The Divide" we have expanded our spectrum. We thought it was better to release something at all than to work too long towards a complete album. And we were able to learn a lot without much pressure.
eclipsed: In any case, it has created a nice tension curve. How big was the pressure to have to compose twice as many songs now?
Lascelles: From an artistic point of view, we didn't think at all about expectations or the like. The problem was rather the deadline, because we had set ourselves a deadline at the beginning of 2019.
eclipsed: The different internet platforms are a yardstick for success for bands today. You also use these channels. How does a band like Wheel have to be set up these days?
Lascelles: We currently have over 350,000 clicks on Spotify for the song "Vultures", which is incredible. Media interest has also increased significantly once again. So it could well be a good year for Wheel. I see the current development as a kind of decentralisation. The old order no longer applies. Platforms like Spotify, YouTube or Deezer work great for us.