Finnish prog metal band Wheel are set to release their new studio album Resident Human on March 26th. The band’s singer James Lascelles joins the podcast to talk about the band, the new album, and more.
Check out the video for the album’s first single “Movement” here:
6.Resident Human (10:32)
7.Old Earth (2:17)
The Helsinki-based Wheel were formed in 2015 when singer James Lascelles moved to Finland and, through a fluke appearance on a Finnish TV show, met the core of what would become the early stages of the band. The members’ love of polyrhythms, different grooves, abstract time signatures and bands that see things differently would create the unique sound that appeared on their first EP in April 2015. A follow EP ‘The Path’ in 2017 would show further cement the group as one to look out for.
With their first headline tour booked in for February 2020, and the promise of a US tour waiting for them in April, it was around then the instrumental bare bones of ‘Resident Human’ were coming together. Initially to be squeezed into a 10-week recording period, their plans changed once COVID-19 hit the world hard; the band had to roll with the ever-changing punches.
Pushing back their allotted studio time, as a three-piece of vocalist and guitarist James Lascelles, bassist Aki Virta, and drummer Santeri Saksala – after guitarist JC departed amicably in Spring (with Jussi Turunen later joining the ranks) – Wheel hunkered down to get the album together.
From the desperate content harvest of copy/paste culture (“Ascend”) to the polarized rhetoric surrounding the Black Lives Matter movement in America (“Movement”), ‘Resident Human’ is Wheel vocalizing the ashes they’ve witnessed falling throughout 2020 – putting a voice to our fallible nature.
“We joked at the start of the year that it’s going to be the year of progressive music concept albums about COVID,” James laughs. “And we’ve kind of done that…but it’s more about the time COVID has allowed us to explore ourselves rather than the pandemic itself.”
Photo Credit: Ville Juurikkala