The rock band Wheel may come from Finland, but their frontman James Lascelles is a real Brit who, by the way, doesn't mince his words. On their second album, a stimulating mixture of new artrock and progmetal with very political lyrics, they again show themselves strongly influenced by atmospheric-progressive music à la Tool.
Besides singer and guitarist Lascelles, Wheel consists of Santeri Saksala (drums), Aki "Conan" Virta (bass) as well as newly added lead guitarist Jussi Turunen. In the video interview, the opinionated bandleader talks about the motivation behind the new album, musical influences and the negative consequences of media filter bubbles.
eclipsed: "Resident Human" is your second album. Where do you see the differences to the previous album "Moving Backwards"?
James Lascelles: On the new album we tried to bring in a greater variety of styles. At the same time we wanted to make the album sound a bit rougher. Nowadays you can do anything in the studio, but we wanted to bring that primal feeling across.
eclipsed: You guys are an English-Finnish band, after all. How did you get together?
Lascelles: I have been living in Finland for about ten years. ItŽs a funny story: A friend of mine had won a Finnish casting show and started as a pop singer, but then he needed a band. So he asked me. It was a good job and I was happy to do it for several years, but by no means the music I wanted to play. So at some point I dropped out, also because I had met people with whom I could play my own, much more progressive version of rock music.
eclipsed: Parallel to the first single "Movement", which is mainly about the "Black Lives Matter" movement, you released a longer video in which you express your opinion about the polarization of our society. I think that's an extremely unusual move
Lascelles: I'm probably a masochist and I like to get beat up. (laughs) In fact, I knew that some of the reactions would be harsh, from both sides of the ideological spectrum, as I predict in the video. But it was important to me to position myself politically, not to throw out some slogans, but to address what I see as the biggest problem in our society: the disproportionate importance that media filter bubbles have now acquired. Everyone moves with a certain rhetoric only among his peers and thus potentiates sometimes dangerous opinions. A dialogue practically no longer takes place. After the murder of George Floyd, a negative climax was reached here. I think that if you are in the public eye, you should definitely use it.