Denver's Wayfarer has carved out a road all their own in the ever-turbulent metal landscape.
Harnessing the best of their love and influence for a mad concoction best labeled as Western American Metal, the unit of Shane McCarthy (guitars, vocals), Isaac Faulk (drums, keys), Jamie Hansen (bass, vocals) and Joe Strong-Truscelli (guitars) roar back with their fifth studio album, American Gothic.
"It's more kind of a broader stroke, like trying to paint a time and a place and a feeling more than anything," McCarthy shared of the album during a sit-down with Metal Injection.
"You know, we always like to dive into all these concepts about the American West, or this time kind of a broader view of the idea of the country in general. But we definitely don't profess to have any answers to these great questions. It's just something to explore and try to capture a certain lens of and a certain feeling of."
Following up on ideas explored in 2020's A Romance With Violence, American Gothic dives into the death of the proverbial American dream.
"The last record is kind of largely about the interpretation of the American West and the depiction of it and kind of the mythology that grew out of it and kind of deconstructing that throughout the record A Romance With Violence. The one bit of linear sort of connection is at the end of A Romance With Violence, the last track 'Vaudeville', which is kind of like in summation of a lot of the kind of the show of it all.
"The last lines of it are like, where is the dream? Where has it gone? Where is this romantic vision we had built up? Did it ever exist? Where is it? And so that's where American Gothic starts from the point of the dream is dead and it may have never existed at all. And that's the reality of this album. So there is kind of that through line and it just kind of picks up from there and is therefore a darker and more kind of contained viewpoint this time."
Harnessing their mutual love for black metal and Americana, Wayfarer remains steadfast and their authenticity, trudging forward with a totally unique and unabashedly artistic style.
In a world full of black and white, Wayfarer bleeds crimson red.
"I think first and foremost, the most important thing is always to be genuine and true to yourself and not try too hard to do anything. If you're cut from the cloth of really being a die-hard Venom black heavy metaler and that's like what you see, then that is probably what you should be doing. I think there are people who definitely are trying too hard to recapture a certain thing or like tap into an aesthetic that already exists," shares McCarthy.
"And then on the other hand, we always have to be, or choose to be really careful in terms of like crossing over something like the Western Americana aesthetic with metal, because it would be so easy to be gimmicky about it, to be like hokey and just kind of like, Hey, look at us, we're doing this. I have no interest in doing that, and I think it's really easy to be cheap with it. So it's really important to us that it's also coming from a genuine place where it was a natural melding of kind of two interests musically."