Texas based Wills Dissolve are on the cusp of releasing their extravagant full length debut The Heaven’s Are Not On Fire… and it’s another shining example of what can be accomplished in the progressive metal arena. I say extravagant for two reasons: one – it’s a concept album based on a devastating meteor shower in 1833 and two – the music contained within is a cohesive amalgam of post-metal, death metal and extremely controlled chaos. They even went as far as making the song titles form a sentence taken from the concept. So yea, extravagant fits the bill nicely. Ahead of the October 26 release date we had a chance to ask the band our set of Profile questions so stick around to see what they had to say and hit the links to grab a copy while you’re at it.
How did you first get into playing music, and have you achieved the level of success that you hoped for?
Nick Block (guitar, vocals): My parents were always into music, so I was surrounded by it from an early age. I picked up guitar when I was 13 after watching late night metal shows on VH1 and Viva2 all of the time. I am incredibly proud of where I am now with this band, but I think there is still a lot more success ahead.
Andrew Caruana (lead guitar, vocals): I got into playing guitar at about 15; I liked the sound of grunge and thrash. I wanted to be able to replicate that for myself. Steve Vai is who made me take guitar seriously, and Jeff Loomis served as an example of how you could turn “bedroom shredding,” into aggressive musical expressions.
Branson Heinz (drums): I used to watch VH1 as a child and was always drawn to the drummers in music videos. Phil Collins was the first drummer I saw that made me want to try drumming. Over the years I got into Metallica, Slayer, Morbid Angel, and Dying Fetus (in that order over time) and I just kept pushing myself to play faster. There isn’t a particular level of success I am looking for in the public light. I just try to be the best drummer I can and if others like it, that’s cool too.
Shaun Weller (bass, vocals): I first started playing bass on a no-name short scale bass that refused to stay in tune while my stepdad showed me how to fret notes. I played my first show close to a year later at the age of 13 in a local coffee shop. I’ve come a long way since then, and have played a ton of shows, so I’m proud of where I’ve gone, and where I’m heading.
What’s the most you have ever debased yourself to get your band onto a show, into a magazine or otherwise promoted, covered, and praised? (If you don’t have a story, please tell us any funny/embarrassing story.)
We haven’t debased ourselves, nor do we plan to. We played a couple shows at a Houston venue with a very interesting sound guy. He had a bad habit of falling asleep with his hand on the sound board during everyone’s set. Unfortunately this had an un-funny side, as all of our microphones were trying to electrocute us throughout our set!
What do you see as some of the great things happening in metal and what are some of the worst things happening inside the scene right now?
It is great that lots of bands can get their music out without label help. The worst part of the metal scene right now is the over-saturation of trendy cookie-cutter bands.
It seems that now everyone has a passion for some cause and that those people are very open about displaying their passions. This is probably a very, very good (and progressive) thing socially. What are some of the most important issues (social/political/humorous/etc.) for you and how do you insert those issues into your music?
We have issues that we are passionate about, but we do not write music about them.
What, or who, got you into metal and how old were you? How did your family take the news?
NB: I lived in Hungary growing up, where metal is a much more popular genre than here in the States. I got into metal around when I was 12. My family wasn’t a fan of some of the stuff I listened to back then given my age, but eventually started listening to some of the music with me.
AC: When I was a freshman in high school, a senior classmate of mine introduced me to In Flames, Cannibal Corpse and Dream Theater; been here ever since. My parents would have preferred it if I played “nicer, quieter things” but were supportive none the less.
BH: I got into Metallica and Slayer at about age 12. They were kind of my gateway bands into extreme metal. I got my first Morbid Angel album (Blessed Are The Sick) at age 14. They were my gateway band to Death Metal. Pete Sandoval was the first drummer that opened my eyes to what could be accomplished on a drum kit. He was doing things on the kit that I didn’t know were possible. He was my first real inspiration in Death Metal drumming. My family didn’t care what I listened to, so they were cool.
SW: I was raised on 80s thrash (Slayer, Metallica, Megadeth), Ozzy/Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, so I was a metalhead before I could walk. My stepdad got me into OSDM and Repulsion (he lived down the street from those guys) when I was a teenager. My mom had to skip out on seeing Metallica on the Damaged Justice tour because I had just been born. My family is pretty cool.
What advice do you have for aspiring music critics and outlets out there? How can we all better serve the genre in the eyes of a hard-working musician?
Get more into the local scene and check out the action there. We’ve played with some fantastic bands that sound great and play amazing live shows full of energy, but don’t see much action on the local level in print, while we’ve read 100 articles on bands that haven’t said anything new in a decade.
What’s your goal? You guys thinking world domination? Maybe saving a continent? Maybe invading one? Any interest in starting a cult? Do you guys have day jobs or hobbies you want to share? Whatever it is, please let us know.
We all have day jobs. We just want people to hear the music that we create.
When you’re not obsessing over your own material, what are some of your favorite albums to listen to currently? (Feel free to include non-metal)
Ayreon – The Human Equation, Dead Kennedys, Mire – Shed, Yob – Our Raw Heart, Khemmis – Desolation, Somali Yacht Club – The Sea, Obscura – Diluvium, The Lion’s Daughter – Future Cult, Maat – As We Create Hope From Above, Oceans of Slumber – The Banished Heart, Scarface – Deeply Rooted
What is the 12-month outlook for you or your band? Any specific events on the horizon that the masses should be aware of?
Our debut album The Heavens Are Not On Fire… will be released on October 26, 2018. Looking forward to playing out of the state on a short tour of the south sometime this winter.
Summarize your band in exactly one word. (Disclosure: If you include additional words, we will select our favorite for the final publication.)
Many thanks to Wills Dissolve for their time!