Guelph’s own Wakeless has been around for a couple of years, and I just recently picked up their debut album Desolation Diaries. Offering up some diversity to the local heavy music scene, Wakeless is sometimes slow, southern and sludgy, and other times quite heavy and intense. Influenced by several musical genres, Wakeless does each one justice and packages it in a harmoniously satisfying way. We connected with singer/guitarist Derek Prince-Cox to bring you this Q&A.
ML: How would you describe your sound to someone who’s never heard Wakeless?
DPC: We often get lumped into the “stoner rock/stoner metal” category. I’d like to think we’re a heavy, sometimes atmospheric rock band.
ML: Your debut album Desolation Diaries was released last year. What has the band been doing since then, and are you currently working on any new material?
DPC: Our main focus has been exactly that. We’ve been working on new material. We have a few songs finished and a ton of ideas that we like. We’re tracking an alternate version of Difibrillator right now for an online single release. It’s really different for us! We’re excited for you all to hear it!
ML: How has your music evolved since you first began playing together?
DPC: Absolutely! We’ve been writing with a bit more of a rock vibe lately. It took me a while to adjust as a vocalist in Wakeless. I feel like I’m starting to come into my own. Feeling more confident. As a result, I’ve been writing more melodic songs. Greg’s been writing some stuff with a serious 90s alt vibe. It’s really cool to naturally evolve and begin to notice the slight changes you go through as a band.
ML: What has been your biggest challenge as a band?
DPC: Keeping members! We’ve been through a lot of them. Maybe Greg and I smell!
ML: Where are you guys drawing inspiration from these days? Are there any bands (new or old) that you’ve recently discovered or have been listening to a lot lately?
DPC: I’ve been on a huge Failure kick lately. Fantastic Planet is a staple in my music rotation but lately I’ve been listening to their earlier records. Greg seems to be pretty into the new Phil Anselmo stuff and the new Queens Of The Stone Age disc. Brent is digging the new Queens Of The Stone Ag and Truckfighters.
ML: You recently performed a Pink Floyd set under the band name “Fearless.” Can you tell us what that experience was like? Have you done that before in the past, and are there any plans to do it again?
DPC: The last show was a little rushed as we had a week to throw it together to support InAeona for the Guelph date of their Canadian tour. Let’s just say I don’t think we schooled it. We did the Fearless set once before opening for Bat Sabbath (Cancer Bats Sabbath tribute). It’s always fun to pull that set out once in awhile. No plans to do it again but you never know…we said that before the last set we did.
ML: Are any of you currently in other local bands?
DPC: Greg plays in a band called Cops On Bikes with Paul Vergeer (ex Shad, Time the Destroyer) and James Rooke (Low Level Flight, eleven:eleven). Brent has a solo project he’s working on. I play with Ambre McLean, Jeremy & the Pink Band and The Stallion (a Ween tribute band).
ML: What are your thoughts on the music scene in Guelph right now, in particular the heavier music that’s being put out there?
DPC: The Guelph music scene in general is very cool right now! Very eclectic. The people here seem to praise originality and creativity! The metal scene is an important part of our scene as a whole. There’s a lot of passion for music in this city and we’re glad to be a part of it.
ML: If you had to pick two LOCAL bands to tour the world with, which two would you choose?
DPC: Definitely (u) the band! Those guys are mind blowing! Really great guys too! I’d love to play shows with Paul MacLeod also. I’m a big fan of his…crap it’s gonna be weird at the Jimmy Jazz next Monday if he reads this…
ML: What’s the ultimate goal for the band – do you have aspirations for Wakeless to become a full-time gig?
DPC: No, we’re happy doing this with the simple goal of writing music we enjoy and releasing it for the people that enjoy listening to it. We’d like to play out a little more but this band is first and foremost about the music.