Wyland, Looking for Dance Buddies, Tonight at MilkBoy

New Jersey’s very own Wyland are still an emerging act at the moment, but they certainly see themselves going big places.  Although the Meadowlands band has primarily played New...

New Jersey’s very own Wyland are still an emerging act at the moment, but they certainly see themselves going big places.  Although the Meadowlands band has primarily played New York City in their early years, their upcoming EP was produced by noted Irish producer, Philip Magee, known for his work with Kodaline and The Script.  Last month Wyland released the EP’s first single, “Nowhere Now.”  The track rings of rather epic pop rock, not dissimilar to the kind that made the likes of Travis, Stereophonics, and Coldplay so huge right around two decades ago.  Wyland are currently wrapping up a tour that will have them double-headlining MilkBoy tonight with Valley.  Last week I got a chance to chat with four-fifths of the band, who tell me about how they’ve spent their first few years and where they see themselves going in the future.

Izzy Cihak: I understand that you officially formed in 2015, so you’re still relatively new, as a band. So, I’m curious, what have been some of the highlights of Wyland, so far?  Any favorite experiences?

Chris Luna: We’re always trying to celebrate the little things as much as the big things, but I’d say the time we spent in Ireland, recording this EP, is by far our biggest and most rewarding endeavor.

Ryan Sloan: Yeah, the whole experience felt like something out of a documentary, like we were making history or something.

Izzy: Have you noticed patterns in the kind of people who are most into you, or seem to best “get” your music?

Ryan: Not exactly. We always wanted our music to be something universal, something that everyone can feel a part of and relate to. I think based on Spotify/ Internet insights and the response from our shows, we’re on the right track of accomplishing that. Panama, we see you.

Izzy: How would you characterize your process of writing and recording together… if there even is a particular “process?”

Ryan: I don’t think we necessarily have a process. Each song calls for something different, you know, and everyone is just trying to best serve the music. It could begin with an acoustic guitar, a piano, or a guitar riff, but it will usually end with something different.

Izzy: What would you consider to be your biggest influences, both musical and otherwise?

Ariella Mastroianni: We’re inspired a lot by what’s going on overseas, in the UK and Ireland. We’ve always been drawn to bands like Kodaline, Bears Den, Mumford and Sons, The Staves… the emotionality in their music really hits home with us. Ryan and I are also filmmakers, so music is very visual for us, in terms of colors, atmosphere, and story.

Izzy: Do you have any influences that you think might surprise your fans?

Zach Calidonna: Ryan, Ariella, and I are massive fans of One Direction. You can call it a guilty pleasure, or we can meet and settle this in person.

Izzy: What can be expected of the live show when you play MilkBoy?

Zach: Well, we can’t give too much away in this interview, but you can expect the unexpected, an emotional journey of highs and lows, Wyland classics, that aren’t technically classics, but someday will be, soon-to-be classics, like “Nowhere Now” and others from our unreleased new EP. In other words, it’s going to be a proper show and you don’t want to miss it.

Izzy: What are you hoping and planning for 2019?  Anything you’re especially excited about?

Ariella: We’re releasing this EP song by song throughout the beginning of 2019, which is exciting for us. We’ve had a really great response to our single, “Nowhere Now,” so far and we can’t wait to share the other tunes we’re sitting on. We’re just looking for dance buddies, really. Hoping it’s you.

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During the day Izzy Cihak teaches transgression, subversion, and revolution at Temple University. At night he haunts Philthy's best venues to cover worthwhile acts for Philthy Mag. Morrissey is everything to him and, in their own heads, all of his friends see themselves as Zooey Deschanel.