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Screaming into 2023 with a long-awaited return to Australia, Massachusetts melodic hardcore legends A Wilhelm Scream will be hitting up Melbourne, Hobart, Adelaide, Newcastle, the Gold Coast, Brisbane, Sydney and Wollongong this March, accompanied by Hobart heavies Knife Hands and a sea of locals along the way.
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While hailing from the opposite side of the globe, the quintet may as well be honorary Australians at this stage of their career, with a devoted and growing following down under that constantly sees Sydney listeners take out the #1 streaming spot on Spotify, and Australia in general landing in the top three countries worldwide.
Set to celebrate the band’s extensive back catalogue, as well as introduce Aussie fans to new songs from their recent album Lose Your Delusion for the first time in a live setting, there will be shreds and high-octane precision lying in wait this March – and the band are entirely pumped to finally get back to Australia.
“We’ve been looking forward to this one for a while now,” drummer Nicholas Pasquale Angelini recently shared with HysteriaMag.com. “And it’s been a lot of fun so far to be playing some new songs, and we’ve gotten some really good responses from our fans, a lot of the lyrics that Trevor [Reilly] wrote seem to be helping a lot of people.”
“A lot of people got depressed over the pandemic,” Angelini continues, “and it’s just been amazing now, I kind of forgot what it was like to have a new record. It’s been so long, it’s like nine years or something like that!”
With time nowadays itself being somewhat of a delusion for many, the wait for fans to finally get their ears around Lose Your Delusion following its 2013 predecessor Partystarter was entirely worth it. And for the band themselves, the addition of new music to their setlists has allowed them to continue to branch outside of stagnant muscle memory and comfort zones.
“Every time we put a record out, it’s always my favourite,” enthuses Angelini, “which I guess is cool, because you don’t really want to go backwards. But the album seems to be getting a really good response, and playing these new songs are really challenging! And that makes it a lot more fun to do when the new songs come up in the set, rather than just going through the motions.”
“You’ve got to really concentrate in those moments, and make sure that they’re going to come off good, you really want people to enjoy the new stuff too. It’s been really exciting and really challenging and awesome. That’s what I love about our band, all of the songs are hard to play so you’re not just going through the motions. And I think that’s pretty cool.”
We’re going to probably write another record, hopefully. We’ve got a few songs in the works. We don’t want to wait another nine years before we put another record.
[ Nicholas Pasquale Angelini ]
While plans for the AWS upcoming Aussie shows are currently under wraps, although Angelini does cheekily declare that he “may or may not have thought of some cool things to do”, the upcoming tour is by no means a first visit down under for the band. And, as Angelini reveals, he has some pretty varied Australian memories already under his belt – even if some may not be entirely safe for work.
“One thing I always think about,” says Angelini, reminiscing about his Aussie memories, “is when some friends of ours took us out on a boat in the Sydney Harbour. We cruised around where the opera house is and whatnot, then we jumped off, swam out to the beach and had a couple of beers on the beach. It was amazing, it was something I really never thought I’d be able to do. That’s one of the cleaner ones I can share…”
But it’s not just beers and beaches that spring to mind for Angelini when it comes to Australia, with a particularly woody memory also popping up – and it’s entirely on brand for Angelini who builds hand-made custom drums via his company Wail City Percussion.
“I’m a drum builder nerd, so I also like to find these weird woods that I find lying around,” shares Angelini. “Last time I was in Australia, I had a guy tell me where I could buy these exotic hardwoods. In fact, I remember the last time I was there, I snuck back these illegal woods in my bag, and I was kind of sweating bullets the whole time I was going through customs because I had all these timbers that I wasn’t supposed to have in my luggage.”
“This time round, I’m probably going to try to find some weird wood.”
An AWS member since 1997, Angelini has certainly tasted the highs, lows, and ever-changing landscape surrounding life in a modern band. And while the group have tasted multiple successes and cultivated a devoted fanbase, one thing ultimately never ceases to stop propelling Angelini creatively forward.
“It’s probably a boring answer, but the thing I love most is being on stage,” Angelini reveals, “and just trying to do the best job I can pulling these songs off live. And getting charged from the crowd and loving them back.”
“I guess people say you only get paid to move your gear around and travel and stuff. But when you’re onstage, it’s free. And that’s pretty true for me. It’s really awesome, I feel really lucky to be able to play my instrument in front of people, because there’s so many talented people out there who don’t really get the chance to do that.”
“I’ve been able to do it all over the world and I’ve met so many cool people, there are just friends everywhere. I feel really, really lucky.”
As someone with an ever-growing legacy in the hardcore and punk rock realms, it would be easy to assume Angelini’s listening habits stick firmly in his professional genre wheelhouse when not dishing out A Wilhelm Scream beats onstage. But currently devouring new music via Questlove’s book Music is History and with a varied collection starting in his youth, Angelini’s past and present listening habits may prove to be the very key to his complex yet entirely nuanced drumming style and onstage presence.
“I’ve been really into Animals as Leaders lately,” shares Angelini, “because I just really have no idea what the hell’s happening. It’s nice to just be able to listen to something and not really dissect it at all.”
“And I’m old enough for this, when stuff was 45s – the first 45 I got was Uptown Girl by Billy Joel. Uptown Girl, go figure! But the second one was Van Halen’s Jump, those were my first two records back in the day.”
With an imminent Australian tour fast approaching (and the long plane ride that comes with it), A Wilhelm Scream will be keeping plenty busy over the next few months. But if one were to glance into an AWS crystal ball, what exactly does the future hold?
“We’re going to probably write another record, hopefully,” says Angelini of A Wilhelm Scream’s 2023 plans. “We’ve got a few songs in the works. We don’t want to wait another nine years before we put another record out!”
“We’re going to try to write some songs and probably do some more touring as well. Stay busy touring, stay busy writing, and just keep charging along. It’s nice to be able to get out after three years of nothing from the pandemic, like everybody else.”
“We just wanna get back at it like we were before and keep moving.”