Breaking: Wand

The Los Angeles psych-rock trio talk about their tireless work ethic, the challenges of touring, and why they are thinking of slowing things down on the heels of their newest album 1000 Days.

MEMBERS: Cory Hanson (guitar, vocals), Evan Burrows (drums), and Lee Landey (bass)
FROM: Los Angeles
YOU MIGHT KNOW THEM FROM: Their bizarro rock odyssey debut Ganglion Reef or their doom-oozing post-apocalyptic follow-up Golem
NOW: Travelling the US in support of their latest album 1000 Days and laying the roadmap for what’s to come next

It’s normally pretty safe to assume that a band three records deep into its career is also at least as many years old. But Wand find themselves touring behind their third album hardly a year after releasing their first. Consider it a hyperactive infancy.

“There is urgency, but it does feel really natural,” says Wand frontman Cory Hanson of the band’s athletic pace. “And it does have a sort of shark-swimming-to-stay-alive quality. Because when we’re not preoccupied, we become very depressed. It would feel really bad to ignore how awful we feel when we’re done with a record, and we just want to keep working. And so instead of facing that awkward feeling of having nothing to do, you just find something to do.”

The latest “something to do” is 1000 Days. Hanson is speaking over the phone from a hotel room in Amsterdam, where the trio is currently in the middle of a European tour in support of the album, which was released in September. Though you could argue that they’re technically also supporting Golem, their sophomore record that came out only six months earlier, in March of this year.

“For Golem—the way I tried to envision it was either pre- or post-existence, like the total absence of life or living,” says Hanson. “With 1000 Days, it has more to do with the actual experience of trauma, of the oncoming apocalypse. There are also more pastoral, tranquil themes. It may be more intense or striking because there’s actual relationships. You don’t really experience loss unless you’ve grown accustomed to loving something or someone that you lose.”

“You don’t really experience loss unless you’ve grown accustomed to loving something or someone that you lose.”

This theme of loss—strung through the fuzzed-out guitars, wandering synths, and bucolic acoustic strums of 1000 Days—is, perhaps ironically, a result of the band’s tireless work ethic. “It’s never separate. Your life doesn’t either begin or end when you’re on tour, it just continues,” says Hanson. “You experience the same losses and gains, but you’re also doing something on top of it that is sometimes very rewarding and sometimes excruciating. Touring is a very intense form of existence.”

The group was championed early on by patron saint of garage rock Ty Segall, a musician whose famously prolific output makes him something of a blood brother to Hanson’s group. Segall’s influence looms large, but Hanson’s production on 1000 Days lends the album an idiosyncratic flair. It was his first time in the producer’s chair. “We got to be the people who were in charge,” Hanson says. “It’s all just my fingers moving faders, turning knobs, flipping switches, panning things, sending audio through a matrix of different effects and hardware and seeing how it comes out the other side.”

So now, with a bit more control, an insatiable desire to create on one hand, and the resulting fatigue on the other, Wand are looking to slow things down—even as they begin plotting their fourth record.

“I think we’re a little more interested in having some more creative elbow room to push out something that feels like the right next step, rather than having this consistent output of record, tour, record, tour,” says Hanson. “Having a little bit more time to work could only benefit the way that we think about making records at this point.” FL


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