Interview: IWLD

IWLD recently released a fabulous new song called Correction Burn, which we featured and reviewed here. I wanted to find out a little more about the track, so decided to conduct an interview! You can see the results below!

By Jane Howkins

You recently released a track titled Correction Burn, which we reviewed. What can you tell us about the song?

Being instrumental it’s hard to convey what a song is about, however I usually get a vibe while writing the initial ideas and then develop the song and title. The song, as most of my tracks do, started out as a simple guitar riff. I tend to record an idea and let it sit for a while, then add extra parts to it a few days or weeks later. I then begin the production work, layering with effects etc. to bring it all together. On Correction Burn I had the foundation of the idea in place but I really felt it was lacking something, so I messaged my friend Henrik in Sweden to see if he would be interested in adding anything to the track. We share a love of music and have often talked about collaborating, so I saw this as a great opportunity to push that collaboration and finish a potentially great song. He smashed it with his lead guitar parts which really brought a sense of positivity and hope to the track, which was exactly what it needed.

You also released a track titled I’m Trying in February, which was your debut release. What can you tell us about that song and how was the reception?

So there is a story to how this track came about. I play in a band (Glass Harbours) but due to the pandemic and other things going on in life, we’d kind of come to a stand still and taken a bit of a break. During late summer 2021, I joined the clock app thinking it would be all silly dances and kids having fun, but quickly realised there was a great music community on there. I started getting involved with duets with other musicians and the desire to get back to writing and recording kept growing. Then in January 2022, Connor from Dust We Are posted a challenge to write and release a song in February inviting artists on TikTok to join in and share their music. I joined the challenge, determined to use this as the kickstart I needed to write again, and I’m Trying was the output of that. Writing solo was a new experience. I’ve always written parts with the band but I’m a drummer, so composing a full song isn’t something that I normally do. To be honest I wasn’t expecting any real interest in the song, it was just a fun thing to do and to practice writing solo again, however it was really well received and to date has been played in nearly 30 different countries, I believe.

Has the pandemic hindered your work much?

In terms of IWLD, it has actually had the opposite effect. Being stuck at home for long periods, I had more free time to write and jam ideas. I used the time to set up my home studio better, started playing my drums more and filled time noodling on my guitar. The culmination of this was the birth of IWLD.

Do you plan to release any more singles in the near future?

For sure, I don’t have any firm dates in place but as soon as I’d finished the EP I began writing and recording ideas for my next releases and I’m hoping to release another single this autumn. In the meantime, I have also been collaborating with a friend in Ireland on a couple of tracks for his new upbeat ambient album, keep an eye on my socials for more details on that soon.

You have an EP coming out soon. When will it be released and what can you tell us about it?

The EP was released June 10th and is a short 7 track EP entitled Think We’ll Be Fine. The EP includes both previously released singles I’m Trying and Correction Burn, and was written entirely during February and March this year. The whole EP is ambient/post rock but there’s some variation in tracks with some being clearly more post rock with a prominent drum track, while others are more chilled ambient tunes, so I hope there’s a bit something for most people. You can stream the EP on all major streaming services and I have a limited number of cassettes available to buy via my Bandcamp page.

Why did you decide to release the music under the IWLD moniker, instead of using your real name?

I guess choosing a moniker kind of provides you with a kind of shield, if that makes sense. When it came to releasing the first single, like many people, I was struck with imposter syndrome. “I don’t know what I’m doing”. “What if no one listens to the song?”, “or will they hate it?” I’m very much an introvert and the idea of having my name out there so openly was a little daunting. I’d originally planned on releasing entirely anonymously, but settled on choosing a name to release under. Ask any band/artist and choosing a name is one of the hardest things. I get different pronunciations of IWLD – I Wild or I Would are common, but it’s simply an acronym so pronounced as the letters are read. I’ll leave people to guess what the acronym stands for.

Your music has a dream-pop vibe. What/who influences you most as an artist? What have you been listening to recently?

It’s interesting because I didn’t start writing for a genre and I’m still not entirely sure where I sit, but I do commonly get ambient/post rock/dream pop which I’m happy with, I think those 3 genres sum it up nicely. I take influences from everything I listen to, usually a little hook from here and a certain sound from there. My favourite band is Frightened Rabbit and I definitely have taken a lot of influence there, some of the sounds they made are simply stunning. I listen to a lot of post rock, Mogwai being a favourite, which is where I fell in love with the big layered guitar sounds.

That said, I listen to a whole range of music, currently on rotation are Tommy Lefroy, Great Grandpa, Pictoria Vark, Taylor Swift and Manchester Orchestra.

Where are you based? What is the music scene like in your part of the world? Are you influenced by your surroundings?

I live and grew up in Halifax, West Yorkshire. There wasn’t much of a scene (that I was aware of) growing up, and in my late teens/early twenties I would spend most weekends either playing gigs, putting on gigs or watching gigs in Leeds and the surrounding areas. Recently there has been a big boost in the music scene in Halifax with the Piece Hall (which is an old wool market turned shopping centre) now hosting some very big artists from Duran Duran to Primal Scream and Tom Jones. Not really artists I’d go and see but certainly good for the town. I think it’s hard to not be influenced by your surroundings, even if not intentionally. The area where I live is just out of town and we have lots of greenery, I take a lot of walks to help with my mental health and I think the calmness and positivity the fresh air and trees bring has definitely crept into my music. It’s not just the physical surroundings that influence me but the people and the relationships around you. They’ll cringe, but my children have been a big influence in me making new music, they share the same love of music that I do and we go to many gigs together and listen to a lot of the same music which brings me much happiness.

Do you have any tour dates lined up?

Not at the moment, I’m actually still figuring out if I can and how I would play live. I’ve only ever played live in a band set up so managing multiple tracks in a live environment is a whole new skill set I need to learn, but fingers crossed, I’m hoping to get out there before the end of the year, so keep an eye out – you never know!

Any last words for the fans?

Just thanks for the support so far, keep listening and keep sharing. It’s hard to promote music without playing live and you’re constantly fighting social media algorithms, so seek out those small bands and give them all the support you can, we’ll love you forever for it.