As the saying goes "How time flies" which is where we are due to it being 4 years, since first and last speaking with Wualle Wright. During that point and time he was releasing his fifth and last album in his assortment of releases, this release being "The Orange Line". Since releasing that album, lot has been going on with Wullae Wright since, changes, issues, all revolving around his own life, music, if not more than that possibly is impossible but yet true. Wualle Wright has disclosed the matters in which has happened between when we spoke last time up until this point in time. Discovering what, where, how, and why is just the beginning to his own future.
1. It's been 4 years since we last and first spoke, so what has the mighty Wullae Wright been up too?
It is amazing to be chatting again; it is almost like the last 4 years was just a few weeks ago to me. How time flies. Haha thank you, I aim to be mighty but very rarely pull it off. I have been painstaking trying to piece together my sixth album ‘COGs’. Finishing this thing has left me feeling all but mighty haha. Life circumstances have definitely had a significant impact on what I have been doing over the last 4 years.
2. During our last chat in May 2013, you were working on at the time your fifth full-length album to date entitled "The Orange Line". That album receiving it's release just a few months later in August 2013. So tell me a brief summary about it's release, and did you get the album that you wanted?
I am very proud of ‘The Orange Line’. The album became something bigger than expected. Each track slotted into place and it became a very easy album to manage. I promoted it heavily, took more time and effort producing it, and embroiled the music with the artwork. ‘The Orange Line’ helped me achieve what I set out to do with my music – create a piece of art people could enjoy.
3. Can you tell me how "The Orange Line" compares, differs, and is in comparsion to your sixth album to date "COGs"?
‘COGs’ is a very raw production, both in sound and imagery, much like ‘The Orange Line’. It is not perfect by any means, but I am happy with that. I am not a fan of over-polished, over-produced music. Life isn’t over-polished.
‘COGs’ is very different to ‘The Orange Line’ in most other respects. ‘COGs’ is honest and factual; ‘The Orange Line’ is almost solely metaphorical. ‘COGs’ is dark, rough, and to the point, whereas ‘The Orange Line’ is light with a lot of forward movement, almost hopeful at times.
Even the instruments, sounds and arrangements in ‘COGs’ are influenced by a variety of new bands and artists: Nils Frahm, Woodkid, Everything Everything, and Nothing but Thieves. Older influences creep in too, like Radiohead, Queens of the Stone Age and Death from Above.
4. How does it feel to be upon your sixth, sixth, sixth, album that is titled "COGs"? What are the initials of the word "COGs"?
Haha I like the emphasis. I know, sixth, can’t believe it. Next year will be 10 years since I released my first album ‘AFTER. THE. RUSH. HOUR’S. GONE.’. I am quite excited about that.
‘COGs’ has been a very difficult yet liberating album to work on. It gives the listener a window into the some of my experiences of pain, hurt, heartache and anger.
‘COGs’ doesn’t aim to have a mainstream sound. The subject matter does the same looking at topics wrapped in stigma like depression, suicide, fear and the modern world. I considered not releasing this album so many times. Are the lyrics too close to the bone, too personal? As a whole, I am proud to have finished ‘COGs’.
‘COGs’ is quite literally the word cogs capitalised to give it more emphasis, and is about cogs that make a machine operate. ‘COGs’ refers to me as a machine, made of mechanisms. There are consistent mentions of the hate machine, a metaphor for that devil on your shoulder, or alter ego. It is about the mask people wear to survive in this world. I am sure most people can relate to that on some level.
5. Give in more detail, some information about your latest album "COGs" and why you kept thinking back on not wanting to release? What was holding you back? When working upon this album you went on to do it completely with only a few instruments, an acoustic guitar, and a dusty old keyboard, to make up what you consider "electro acoustic". But it only lead to this staple due to some mishaps in-between, so you never intended on creating the album this way, right? It just ended up as that way in the end, what was the original idea you had full on with it? The album that is this one, will you go back to create the album that this album was suppose to be on a future release or it is as it is and the next release will be something all new as well?
Times were hard when writing and recording ‘COGs’. After finishing my fifth album ‘The Orange Line’ I struggled with finances. I became disconcertingly close to loosing my home. I also had battles with neighbours, people vandalising and setting fire to my home, I called police daily; watched loved ones nearly die, going through severe health issues; people leaving, giving up and taking their own lives.
Yes ‘COGs’ would have possibly been a completely different album if I had not had to sell my electric guitars and bass guitar. I had to sell these keep my head above water financially. I felt bitter and empty about this. I was left with only my electro-acoustic, and a few years later acquired my old broken keyboard that had been lying in someone’s garage for the last 6 years. I had to be creative with very little to finish ‘COGs’, it being made up completely of an electro-acoustic, old keyboard and a couple of synth samples.
My intention for album six was to either make an album like ‘The Orange Line’ but with a more brass-led sound; or make an electronic dance album. I probably wouldn’t have had acoustic or piano in it at all.
Great question about revisiting and recreating an intended album. I probably wouldn’t do that. What is done is done. ‘COGs’ has been a very emotive journey and I am keen to move on to something new, something more positive.
6. You have always been known wo write, perform, record, produce, and create the artwork for your variety of releases over the years. So tell me about the artwork behind "COGs". What is it depicting and does it represent anything for the music that appears on this album?
I have always enjoyed trying to create the whole package: music, sound, production, imagery, etc. I am naturally a creative person. The ‘COGs’ artwork is very much linked to the music. A lot of it shows destruction, hurt, and confusion. ‘The Orange Line’ used very urbanised, vibrant images; whereas ‘COGs’ uses more rural, isolated images e.g. trees and black and white.
7. Do you ever get tired of being the everyman for your own music career, as said previously you do everything, write, record, perform, produce, artwork artist, etc. Wouldn't you want to hand off some of the work to someone else to help you along? Or do you prefer the DIY approach to what you do?
I am only able to pull each album together and keep confidence in myself because of other people. I was supported and motivated by so many people when creating ‘The Orange Line’.
For example lifelong friend and musician Stuart Carroll has been a huge inspiration. We grew up learning the guitar together and writing songs from 2000 onwards. He supported and contributed to ‘The Orange Line’ in 2012-2014; and this year have started work on a collab project called ‘the Heads of State’. Stuart’s contribution to ‘The Orange Line’ helped push it into an area I couldn’t have.
I was considering giving up on ‘COGs’ a few years ago until Claudia LaFille on Twitter was incredibly positive and encouraging about track 11 ‘The Dictator is Dead’. That was a significant moment and reason for me to keep going with the album.
I do enjoy the autonomy and independence of writing and making an album based on what I want, when I want. I have been in bands, written songs with others which I love doing but I continue to enjoy being able to still do my own thing.
8. Out of the 2 EP's and 6 full-length albums under your belt, have you self-released all of them?
I have self-released all my albums and EPs. I have had singles or individual tracks released under labels or on compilations.
For example, Freaky Pug Records – now no longer a label, released ‘Vixen – Part 1, 2, 3 & 4’ from my first album ‘AFTER. THE. RUSH. HOUR’S. GONE’ as a single. Similarly ‘Superhero’ from ‘The Orange Line’ was released on Macaroni Penguin Records as a single. My songs ‘UFO’, ‘Red Bridge’, ‘Plasticland’, ‘Building a Nest’ and ‘All the Time’ were featured on compilation albums.
9. If you are not signed to a label, would you want to be signed to a label?
I did want to be signed to a label, that was my biggest dream. I did sign to independent label Freaky Pug Records briefly in 2012 https://open.spotify.com/album/4pa7Cyg5OvlMT0zZnZakCw but things just weren’t right for me at that time. I am also featured on the roster of independent label Macaroni Penguin Records http://macaronipenguinmusic.com/label/ who sadly ceased this year. I did offer ‘COGs’ to a couple of independent labels but had no takers. The offer for a label to release ‘COGs’ is still open.
10. What should labels/zines/promoters know about you as an artist? Why should they be interested?
Labels, zines, promoters, etc., should know that I love to collaborate and promote music. I thrive on working with others. I promote things I am passionate about. I work with people who share my passion and I promote people who take the time to include me.
11. How often do you practice and work on new material?
Time for practicing and working on new material has been so constricted and constrained over the last few years as a result of huge changes in my life. Recently things are positive and moving away from subject matter in the ‘COGs’ album. I am starting to find more time to create and practice again which is excellent.
12. Do you play live often? Do you like abroad gigs?
The last live gig I had was in 2011, when I was writing my third album ‘Anonymous’. The idea of gigging again seems great, especially abroad but I don’t know if I will gig again.
13. What do you plan on doing in mean time?
I plan to promote ‘COGs’, to try and help me feel like I did this album justice. I want to look back on it and feel satisfied with the outcome.
Maybe work on new material. I have nothing concrete in mind at the moment...
14. Any message to our readers?
As mentioned ‘COGs’ is not a mainstream album. It has real, raw subject matter. I hope people will find it relatable to moments in their own life, maybe even giving some people hope and confidence about moving on. For others, I hope they just enjoy the music and art for what it is.
15. Is that your final answer?