NRR sat down with Wysteria for a totally spontaneous and unplanned chat a few weeks ago at Rock USA, following their performance at the festival to discuss the band, their music, and their now recently release debut cd EP titled Electroshock Zombie Parade.
The band was welcoming, and charismatic vocalist JC Stang got things started by offering everyone mini Pnut Punch candy bars.
NRR: So letâ€™s start with you guys introducing yourselves and giving the fans a little background on each of you.
JC: Iâ€™m JC, the lead vocalist of Wysteria. Logan (Michaels) and I were in a band called â€˜Death Glare.â€™ The two guitarists decided to leave and pursue their own projects.
Thatâ€™s when we put an ad on Craigslist and Vern Bower answered the ad. When he found out that it was me (smiling) he turned around and said, â€œBy the way you found your guitarist, you can take your ad down.â€ As soon as he said that I went on Craigslist and hit DELETE (everyone laughs).
NRR: Thatâ€™s awesome!
Matt: (chiming in) Hi, Iâ€™m Matt, the guitar player, the freshman here. Joined about 2 or 3 months ago. I found out about the band from Logan. Me and Logan were in a band for a long time, Iâ€™ve known him for about 10 or 15 years at this point. So the second he gave me the opportunity to play with him again, I couldnâ€™t say no to that.
The first audition didnâ€™t go so well, f****** (everyone laughs), it went well but took a while. This is an awesome show and glad to be with these guys.
NRR: Do you guys (Matt and Vern) trade of lead solos?
Matt: Eventually itâ€™s going to happen. Iâ€™m pretty good at this since I spent time learning this stuff. Next time we do a festival like this thereâ€™ll be a lot more of that stuff going around.
NRR: When you auditioned did you have to play their songs?
Matt: Yeah, we went at it and it fit like a glove.
Logan: Iâ€™m JC, f*** (everyone laughs)
NRR: So we have two JCâ€™s in the band! (everyone laughs)
Logan: Well, Iâ€™m Logan Michaels, drummer, Wysteria drummer. Same deal, I was playing forever and I was out of the metal scene for a little bit, really itching to get back into it.
Iâ€™m a professional drummer by trade so thatâ€™s all I do. Was in a lot of other bands like event bands and things like that, so there was not that creative outlet I was looking for.
So when I decided to get back into it I found JC, I was like I just want to have fun, I just want to jam some good tunes with some good people, and it wound up turning into this.
All of a sudden, things started to happen and I was like, so this is like a real band (everyone laughs), and we went from there.
NRR: Thatâ€™s great!
Vern: I play guitar, second guitar. Iâ€™ve known JC for a long time. His old band and my old band used to play shows together, so when I answered his Craigslist ad I said, I have a feeling this is JC from â€˜50 miles to Frequencyâ€™ and sure enough it was.
Logan: Either that, or the one from â€˜Nâ€™ Sync (everyone laughs)
Vern: JC Chasez! (everyone still laughing)
JC: Actually I had a radio interview, wonâ€™t mention the radio station, but they actually called me that jokingly on the air. Yeah! I was ready to do some â€˜Nâ€™ Sync, like break out some dance, you know. (laughing)
Vern: So basically, Eric and I started a punk band and couldnâ€™t find any musicians for it, so that got put to rest and then once I got together with him (JC), and he said we need a bass player, sure enough I said I know somebody and brought Eric in. Thatâ€™s it!
Logan: Package deal.
Vern: Package deal, yeah!
NRR: When you guys say punk are you going back to bands like the â€˜Sex Pistols?â€™
Matt: Weâ€™ve talked about direction. I think weâ€™re going to go a little bit heavier.
Eric: Our influences lie more in like Bad Religion, Strung Out, more on the heavier side of punk.
Matt: What you guys heard today was just the tip of the iceberg. Some of it was the old Death Glare stuff.
NRR: The title track from your new EP sounded great live.
Vern: Thatâ€™s actually an old song of his (pointing to Eric) that we did, made it a little heavier and faster.
Eric: Killed it!
JC: That and the opening song â€˜Digital Heroesâ€™ are the newer songs, the newer sound, the newer direction. Weâ€™re even going to go heavier than that.
NRR: Did you go back and redo some of the older stuff for the EP?
Eric: Yeah, some of the older tracks that are on there from the previous band, weâ€™re combining that with our newer sound. Thatâ€™s going to be the EP but from here on weâ€™re really excited about writing as a band and just getting to know each other.
Matt: We have a few very unique songwriters between (points to Eric) your punk influence, (points to Matt and Vern) your technical and death metal, and my background is melodic metal.
When it all comes together itâ€™s going to be really interesting. We havenâ€™t all really written as a band yet so when we â€˜smooshâ€™ it all together.
Vern: (pointing to Matt) Heâ€™s got tons of material and Eric and myself have about 3 albums worth of stuff. Between all the stuff that everybody has itâ€™s really different and really good and Iâ€™m all up for playing that stuff.
NRR: Where will the EP be available?
JC: It will be available on most digital outlets. It will available on Amazon (please see link below), iTunes, as well as other avenues. ‘Electroshock Zombie Parade’ is a very strong song and we think that would absolutely be a killer, killer track.
Matt: (Pointing to JC and Vern, Matt) You kill on the vocals of that song.
Vern: Absolutely, the harmonies are on point.
JC: (smiling) Thank you! Thank you!
Vern: You certainly switched the verses around.
JC: (smiling) You noticed that.
JC: (with conviction) Somebody noticed that! (laughs)
NRR: Is there anything else you guys would like to say to the fans out there?
Matt: The best is yet to come.
JC: This is just the beginning of our adventure.
Matt: Just wait till this gets polished. It will be f****** amazing.
NRR: That sounds great. Thank you all very much.
Wysteria: Thank you!
To sum things up JC wrote a few days later, â€œWisteriaâ€ like the flower represents the life we breathe into this music, and the Kingâ€™s Park Psychiatric Centers Wysteria House land mark is a throw back to where â€œWysteriaâ€ began right here on Long Island!
JC Stang: Lead vocals
Logan Michaels: Drums
Vern Boward: Guitars/vocals
Matt Scriva: Guitars/vocals
Eric Hamilton: Bass/vocals
Stay tuned to NRR for a review of Wysteriaâ€™s Electroshock Zombie Parade, â€˜ coming soon. In the meantime click on the links below to find out more about this rocking group of guys and download their cd.
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