Interview: Trevor Reilly of A Wilhelm Scream

A Wilhelm Scream

I had the opportunity to conduct this online interview with Trevor Reilly, guitarist/vocalist for A Wilhelm Scream. Their fantastic second album, Ruiner, came out on Nitro Records last year. The band puts on a killer live show that I highly recommend you check out.

Who do you cite as your influences as a band?

Lemme see here, Bad Religion, Propagandhi, Maiden, Sparklehorse, Bob Mould, the black metal guitar hero stuff that was popular in the late 90’s, Paul Westerberg, Dinosaur Jr., Samiam, Descendents, i could go on for fucking hours dude. That doesn’t even scratch the surface really.

Where do you see A Wilhelm Scream in about five years?

Wow, I have no clue. If this is still fun for all of us, we’ll be doing the same shit, touring 9 months out of the year and writing new records.

I was really impressed with your live show (I got the opportunity to see you last Friday in Ft. Lauderdale). How difficult is it for you guys to get the album to translate that well live?

Thank you. I don’t really think about translating the songs, we just worry about being able to pull off the shit that the people that know the songs wanna hear, like the little guitar things or vocal harmonies and stuff. If it’s on the record, we’re gonna do it live. I’m not interested in dissappointing anybody, ya know?

How is your fill-in bassist working out for you guys? How does someone learn all of the bass parts for your songs in a day and a half? That’s amazing.

Nick was amazing. He learned all the songs in a day because he’s a fucking phenom, for real. Everybody came up to us every day saying that was the best we’d sounded in years, and I attribute that to both Nick’s virtuosity and the band’s newfound determination and anger in the face of lameness. As for Nick, check out his full time band The Swellers, they’re coming out on Nitro, they’re young and talented as hell. Nick’s also a straightedge vegan and a weirdo and I love him to death.

User elemenohpe has the following six questions:

On Mute Print it sounds pretty obvious to me that at least two different people are doing the vocals on the record. Ruiner, though, sounds like the vocals were handled soley by Nuno. Were even the backing vocals on Ruiner recorded by Nuno or did you guys work to get a similar (almost indistinguishable) timbre to your voices?

No, Jon Teves and I did all the backups and I did some of the lead vocals. We don’t usually go the singer doing his own harmonies route because we want you to hear what you’ll be hearing live, so we all sing. I’m very adamant about that actually. I think that after years of singing together, Jon and Nuno specifically kinda melded together nicely. Me and Jon did get burly with our singing on a few tracks now that I think of it…

Ruiner was in my top 3 of 2005, what were your top 3 records of last year?

The new Propagandhi record holds all three spots, sir.

If you could tour with any act, living or dead, who would it be and why?

Maybe Maiden? Bad Religion definitely…

Last year, you guys did a very short run on Warped Tour, are there any plans to tackle the whole tour this summer?

No, actually during the summer we’ll be with Lagwagon and the Lawrence Arms and we’re excited as fuck about it. THE punk tour to see this summer; those bands kick my fuckin’ ass and the new Larry Arms cd is killer, man.

How do you feel about the way Nitro have promoted Ruiner? What might you have done differently?

Nitro has been very supportive of our band these past two years and I love them. They took on our band and threw us out there when nobody gave a flying fuck about us, for real. Great people working over there. Personally that’s all I am concerned with. As for marketing and shit like that, dude I have no idea how to market an album so I’m not the right guy to ask. Keep an eye on Nitro, they’re signing all my friends’ bands!

You mentioned that a more colorful version of the story involving Curtis’s recent departure would be more likely heard if someone got “drunk or stoned” for an interview. Are you drunk or stoned?
a. Follow up to a “No” answer: Awww, why not?
b. Follow up to a “Yes” answer: So… what happened?
c. Follow up to a “Little bit” answer: If I asked you to explain, would it be colorful?

Ha ha ha I’m not drunk or stoned because it’s early in the day for me. I’m not gonna go into specifics in an online interview, but I would in person. I will say that he made us look like iron men in that we didn’t cancel a show, had his replacement ready in three hours and finished the tour like men and the whole thing made me realize that my band is the real deal and we’re not going away. Impressed the Less than Jake guys, I know that. So thanks C-lo! Seriously though, the support we’ve received from friends and fans has been amazing and I wanna take this opportunity to thank all of you for that. It means so much to us and that’s not just some bullshit for an interview. i mean that sincerely.

User I.O had the following six questions:

How did the guitarist break his wrist awhile back? Was it hard to play?

Chris actually broke his wrist during a footrace in Denver with our boy Bukkake. It was hard to play i am sure of it. He may have cried. I KNOW he whined about it, that’s for sure. Ha ha.

Who is doing his Japanese style sleeve? Is it almost complete?

Not sure who’s doing his sleeve, but the guy’s really good i know that. He’s completing it this month actually.

What’s it like to have an amazing booking agent? Every tour keeps getting better and better.

Corrie is incredible and we love her deliriously. And the bands that have taken us out must be thanked for finding us and offering us these tours, this year’s been a blast.

Do you plan on recording with Bill Stevenson again, and did he mention anything about a Descendents tour?

Absolutely to the recording thing, but I have no idea about a Descendents tour, you gotta ask him. I’d love to see it though, i’d shit my pants.

Will you please tour with The Descendents?

I would crap my pants homie. YES YES AND YES we would.

What is the difference between touring with Smackin Isaiah and AWS; do you miss the old days?

I look back on those days fondly and I am reminded of how important those si tours were for us every time someone comes up to me and talks about how they saw us in a shack or in some empty club or Vietnam vets hall somewhere and that we changed their life. And I get that all the fucking time and I am sincerely humbled by it every single time. Those are fans for life, we’ve always been lucky like that, to have fans that are that loyal to us. As far as differences, for us we play our show, there’s no difference there, it’s still fun as hell, just now there’s catering budgets.

User GlassyLight had the following question:

Are we going to see the ridiculously quick turn around from one album to another like we did between Mute Print and Ruiner? I realize that Mute Print was written/recorded long before it came out, but it would be great to see some more new Wilhelm this year.

We’re working on new material as we speak, while working out new bass prospects, so we’ll see. I will say the new stuff is very hard to play, very Mute Print-y, with some very new shit going on and i am confused by it (a good thing!), but we will work it out and have the new stuff ready as soon as I feel we’ve kicked our last album, Ruiner’s ass you can count on that shit. That’s the timetable for me. In the meantime don’t be surprised if we come out with some cool shit before the next full length though, so many things in the works it’s crazy, so stay tuned. For now the newest thing is our first 7-inch ever called Diver. You can get it from Jumpstart Records. It’s a techy song we saved from the Mute Print sessions.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

I wanna say thanks to you and your web site for all the support over the past 2 years, thanks for talking with me and GO RED SOX!!!!!!!!!!!! Late.

Thank you very much.

Thank you sir.

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