Social Icons


Thursday, 24 October 2013

Where’s My Hero: Wullae Wright

This week Indie Dunes caught up with Wullae Wright, a solo artist from Scotland, who recently released his 5th album “The Orange Line”. We crossed paths on Twitter many a time in the last year and finally sat down for a virtual coffee (ok there was no virtual coffee involved, but there should have been!) and chatted about his music, artwork and the use of social media to spread the word.
OK - first question - and this is more of an observation, too - how on Earth do you manage to devote any time to your music with all the time you are spending on promotion. I have never seen anyone work so hard, I tip my non-existent hat and salute you simultaneously - it seems exhausting - is it paying off?

Thank you for the complimentary comment, tipping of the non existent hat and salute regarding the promotion of my music. The promotion of my music - largely done through Twitter, doesn't eat into any of my recording or producing time. Promotion of my music is generally done when I am on the go and out and about, filling in any gaps between my work and personal life. I actually feel like there is so much more I could be doing on the promotion front and it frustrates me I do not have more time, money and resources to dedicate to it.
Promoting my music, for me, never feels exhausting. If anything, with all the day-to-day goings on and the intermittent, periodic monotony life can bring, promoting can be very exciting and fulfilling. I absolutely love sharing a link - for instance for my new album 'The Orange Line', a review old or new or some future airplay on the radio, and finding other people have shared this on their Twitter profiles by Retweeting, etc. I revel in the kind comments of others and am genuinely touched by the sheer level of support from so many individuals.
I used a similar promotional style with my first album 'AFTER. THE. RUSH. HOUR'S. GONE.' back in 2007-2008 much like I do today. At the time I used 'Myspace' and I heavily promoted gigs by networking with users sharing gig flyers, with links to my music, etc. It was so rewarding getting so many gigs and people listening to my music. Renewing this kind of promotional practice with my recent music and my new album 'The Orange Line' is constantly paying off. I have to admit, I do not believe the way I promote is reason why my music is reaching so many new people. The real reason my music is doing as well as it is, is because of the fantastic supporters who listen to my music and share it. Never in my life have I had such honest, kind and selfless feedback and support from so many people. I do try and thank everyone for this.
Since returning to this promotional style again, coupled with support from others, etc, I have had so many life changing and fantastic opportunities arise. I signed a record deal with former Independent Record Label 'Freaky Pug Records', have been played on radio stations around the world, featured on compilation albums, collaborated with incredibly talented musicians around the world, topped music charts, and been featured in numerous music blogs, podcasts, and websites. New opportunities arise all the time and much of it tends to find me instead of me sourcing it; I tend to find these opportunities very exciting. As a musician, I am humbled and genuinely delighted to have even just one person listen to my music, so I have been absolutely lost for words to find people have actually been purchasing my new album 'The Orange Line'. I still find it difficult to comprehend that people are willing to spend their money on my music. This is an indescribable feeling.
From where I am "standing" I do get the impression that you are working very hard on twitter - you approach people directly, you engage, you say thank you - I've been there long enough to know that it is very rare if not unique. You are passionate about your music, but you also care about the people who listen to it. You deserve all the support you are receiving in return :)
Listening to the Orange Line, it is evident that a myriad of emotions went into every song, the album rises and falls in intensity, you go from calm to almost screaming for air - I envy your ability to transfer what you feel into music - I just yell into a pillow.
You wrote the lyrics a long time ago, did you write the music at the same time? If not was it a challenge to call upon the same emotions years later?
Thank you for saying about my approach to others etc on Twitter. I firmly believe there is no reason to be rude, impolite or unnecessarily negative towards other people.
I absolutely absorb every ounce of positivity and support people give me. People do not have to support my music. They don't have to give me the time of day. I have found so many wonderfully kind and selfless people on Twitter. They listen, they comment, they share and they promote my music. Some have told me how they can relate to my music and the subject matter. That touches me immensely. For me, that is what writing music is all about. I will only ever thank people who are kind to me. It costs me nothing to so. That's how I see it.

Yelling into a pillow is just as effective haha, many a time I find this to be the better method. I really appreciate the kind words in relation to transferring what I feel into music. It is funny, I have no exact process nor artistic template that I consistently follow. I can't read music and I have never been taught music. In that respect, writing music is purely an emotive art form for me. I pick up a lifeless lump of wood with some strings attached and let me mind and fingers experiment with it, creating a world based on my mood. I do enjoy using music as an outlet for my emotions, my song 'Vixen: Part 1, 2, 3 & 4' (Opus. 1 Version) is probably my greatest testimony to that. Very honest with my lyrics and emotions in that song.
The lyrics for the new album 'The Orange Line' were all written between 1999 and 2001, and the guitar riffs were also written during the same time. As paradoxical as this statement may sound, the album became quite a challenge for me but it was extremely exciting watching it naturally work itself out on its own. For instance I had to relearn all the music and lyrics, had to find time to record, edit and produce the music, make the artwork, develop a consistent sound, and keep it individual and different from previous albums. All these things had constrains on them at different times, but I didn't stress about these and I just naturally waited for the right time and opportunities to surface before making headway again.
In terms of calling up the same kinds of emotions years later, it was almost like an innate switch was flicked inside me. I didn't have to relive the songs to understand the emotion again; it was just there already as soon as I began playing the song. It was just a natural motivation. To use an analogy, it was like when you meet an old acquaintance you haven't seen for years and it all comes back to you, the emotions and feelings towards them. Songs like 'Superhero' and 'Roadtrippin'' in particular were songs that I had never forgotten. When I relearned the music and lyrics to 'All the Time' and then played it, I felt overwhelmed by it. I actually had the intention to open 'The Orange Line' with 'All the Time' due to the emotive qualities and impact it had on me. However I opted to have it has the closing track to the album for the same reasons.
I cannot help but smile while reading your words, your positive energy is infectious :)
Have you designed the artwork for all of your albums? (I love the subtle "Where's My Hero" on The Orange Line album cover btw -  hahahaha!)

Thank you very much. I try to stay as positive about my music as I can. There have been many times where I have doubted myself and my music, so I'm in a good place at the moment.
Yes, I have designed all the artwork for all the albums. I am of the opinion that the artwork should go with the music, and can be just as important. I largely have this belief from listening to Radiohead. I have the fondest memories of sitting listening to albums like 'the Bends' and 'OK Computer' and studying the CD artwork. It helps cement the album together for me, painting an intriguing visual stimulus intertwined with tremendous audio. It becomes an all round experience for the senses. Takes you away to a place no one can get to, if that makes sense and doesn't sound too pretentious or nonsensical.
With my new album 'The Orange Line', I actually made the artwork before I even had any music or the idea of where to go next. The artwork is made up of a series of photographs taken on a journey to Coney Island, New York. Nothing in particular exciting happened on the journey but I loved it. The raw sights, sounds, and that feeling of going somewhere new that you didn't know. All very vivid and nostalgic for me. The scribbles, sketches and writing in the art is reminiscent of the artwork style at the time of writing the songs back in 1999-2001. I love art that you have to study, where everything isn't always immediately apparent. That's what I tried to do with this. I love that you have noticed the "Where's my hero?" on the album cover. That is a line from the tenth track on the album 'Superhero'. Throughout the artwork there are odd moments where the odd lyric is thrown in.

My other album covers are of different styles - again to suit the mood of the theme and music etc. 'AFTER. THE. RUSH. HOUR'S. GONE.' is a photograph of the motorway in Glasgow City Centre at night which has been manipulated with vibrant colours. 'In Cloud Cuckooland' is a black and white self-portrait of my face made up of other images running through it. 'Anonymous' is very basic, intentionally bold to have an immediate impact with a large electronic blue font and black background. 'Opus. 1' is a simple collage of drawings and personal photos, which mirror the albums simplicity and personal subject matter. I also have 'Overzealous Work Ethic' E.P artwork that is a painting inspired by my favourite artist Rene Magritte, and 'Under the Pyramids' E.P, which is an ink drawing of Harry Houdini. I have no idea what the artwork will be like for a possible sixth album, but I will make the art for that too. I thoroughly enjoy doing it.

Your artistic thread weaves its way through every aspect of your creative process; everything you create seems to be the cause and the result of the other at the same time :)
I was reading one of the posts you were featured in, where you talked about how each of your albums differs in genre, to quote:
"Wullae: The Orange Line is quite simple, an uncomplicated album really, with most songs being simply guitar, bass and vocal orientated. I have added drums, strings and some other sounds to add some depth to some songs The album is very clean but raw sounding. In terms of my other albums and EPs, The Orange Line differs quite a bit. My first album "AFTER. THE. RUSH. HOUR'S. GONE" is a raw indie rock effort, quite youthful in nature. My second album "In Cloud Cuckooland" is a dark industrial, alternative dance record. My third album "Anonymous" is a hard rock, dubstep dance album about the internet. My fourth album "Opus. 1" is simply an acoustic album and is a very simple album. The Orange Line is quite different and suits me at this time in my life." (Read the full interview here)

The common denominator being the fact that you take your inspiration from your life experiences - where to from here? Have you found a genre "niche" or will you continue exploring, refusing to be genre "tagged" :)

I'm extremely grateful for the kind comment about artistic thread. Generally I will always have an idea of how I want an album to sound like, but I naturally let it progress on its own and it can even surprise me. As you say with cause and result, I suppose I am aware that if I have an idea I roughly know what I want the end result will be; and if I have a finished product in mind from the outset I roughly know the means and my limitations to getting there.
That's a great question, and one I am even struggling to answer myself haha. My mind is permanently toying with so many themes and ideas, conceptually developing mental artworks and creating hypothetical sounds and genres to correlate with it. I believe I have an album title now that I am happy with. Largely, and without giving too much away, the theme of the album may centre around subject matter such as paternity, the sights and sounds of Edinburgh and new life and opportunities. Birth and rebirth, those kinds of concepts.
Refusing to genre tagged, I will most definitely be pursuing a non-genre specific sound for this new album. Some ideas are cut up sound bites, strings, electronic beats, and a lot of vocal melodies. I aim to make this quite dark album, even though much of what I hope to write will not be dark subject matter. A contrast to 'The Orange Line'.
Lastly, you've been interviewed and reviewed numerous times, is there anything you would like to have been asked – but never were?
That is a very good question in itself. Generally I have found the questions asked in interviews to be very thought-provoking and interesting. They tend to make me think even more about my music, e.g with this interview. Your questions have been fantastic and I have thoroughly enjoyed answering them so thank you for asking them. One thing that no one has asked is what albums and musicians have inspired each of my albums. I suppose maybe no one cares haha, but I can find it interesting when I think of who has influenced a particular sound in an album. For instance, with my new album 'The Orange Line' I had the intention right from the outset of the making of the album to have it have a similar production style to that of Radiohead's 'the Bends' and Stereophonics 'Performance and Cocktails'. Whether or not there are any similarities, that was my frame of mind. That flowing Acoustic/Indie/Rock combination these albums have throughout.
For my next and sixth album, I'm yet to see who will influence it.

For links to music and social networking sites, click on "More Info" above :)

No comments:

Post a Comment


TICP - Volume 5 - Sadly the last one

IndieTernational - Germany

IndieTernational - India

Grab It: Cross Wires #supportindie

IndieTernational - Greece

IndieTernational - Italy

Debut: Blockhouse Bay #supportindie


IndieTernational - Finland