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A Dirty Dozen with WAIT (WE ARE IN TRANSIT) – January 2022

| 21 January 2022 | Reply

According to a recent press release: “Baltimore tech-metal outfit WAIT (We Are In Transit) have released a new single from their upcoming debut album. The new track, titled “I Climb Downhill”, is out today and accompanied by a visualizer. WAIT first took shape when guitarist Charlie Eron partnered with Max Phelps (of Cynic and Defeated Sanity fame). The band released their self-titled EP in 2019, with bassist Alex Weber and drummer Anup Sastry rounding out the lineup at this point. The debut studio album from WAIT, The End of Noise, will see a February 11th, 2022 release via The Artisan Era!” We get Charlie and Max to discuss new music, influences, and more…

1. Tell us a little about your latest release.  What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through?  Are there any hidden nuggets you put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

Charlie: One of the things that may not be so obvious is the thematic reprisal that occurs throughout the record.  The opening motif in “Half-Funeral” is the same one that closes the record, in the song “A Path to Travel.”  Also, I put a lot of effort into the ambient effects in this record and I’m quite proud of them;  they’re not super present in the mix (as it should be), but after a few listens one might notice them. Oh yeah – we put in a dad joke in the lyrics of one of the songs.  A lot of people might miss it because Max is screaming the lyrics.

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

Charlie: I know the exact moment.  I was in 8th grade and our music teacher brought in a dvd of the G3 show, the one with Yngwie Malmsteen – he was my hero in 8th grade.

Max: My best friend played guitar when I was a kid, and I just kind of went from there.  It wasn’t so much a eureka moment for me, but at some point in late high school guitar just had replaced all my other hobbies.

3. Building on that, is there a specific song, album, performer, or live show that guided your musical taste?

Charlie: That’s a hard question to answer because there’s always been an ebb and flow of influences coming and going.  In college I was exposed to jazz and the concept of improvisation over a form, and that changed the way I looked at music forever.  Also, I saw Leprous live in Baltimore and it was a beautiful show.  Hard to top that.

Max: In general order of discovery: The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Tool, Rush, Opeth, Nevermore, Death, Allan Holdsworth, John Mclaughlin, Cynic, Emperor/Ihsahn, Meshuggah, Elliott Smith, Sikth, Wayne Shorter, Kurt Rosenwinkel and probably tons more.

4. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be, and why?

Charlie: Logistics and genre aside, J Dilla.  Or Allan Holdsworth. Or both at the same time.

Max: Any of the artists I mentioned earlier.

5. What is your favorite activity when out of the studio and/or not on tour?  What do you like to do to unwind?

Charlie: I like to cook.  If friends of mine are playing a show in my town I’ll bake them a cake or something and bring it to their show.  That is, unless the venue wants to fight me over bringing food in.

Max: Honestly I don’t think I have any other hobbies besides music.

6. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before? What is the one comparison a reviewer or fan has made that made you cringe or you disagreed with?

Charlie: Imagine you’re in a saltwater isolation tank, one of those ones where people go to meditate, but you drank too much coffee and you have to use the bathroom, and all of a sudden the speakers start blaring ambient city noises.  Finally, after fussing with the door handle you’re able to climb out and get to the bathroom in time.  Either that, or just “Progressive Metal.” I’d like to think that people can draw comparisons however they see fit; it’s always interesting to me the comparisons that people come up with.  Often I haven’t listened to them or heard of them, and wonder how our collective influences blend together to give them that idea.

7. When your band is hanging out together, who cooks, who gets the drinks in, and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

Charlie: Whenever we hang out it seems like I’m out wandering aimlessly in the woods (probably lost), Max is trying to start a fire, and Alex is at the grocery store looking for bananas.

8. When was the last time you were starstruck and who was it?

Charlie: I sat next to Robert DeNiro at a bar in the airport.  Nah, I haven’t really met anyone famous.  Working with Max and Alex is like being starstruck 24/7.

9. What is the best part of being a musician? If you could no longer be a musician for whatever reason, what would be your dream job?

Charlie: Best part of being a musician: when you’re at a party and someone asks “So, what do you do?” and you don’t want to talk about your day job, you just say “Oh, I’m a musician”.  If I couldn’t be a musician anymore, then I would probably want to just be independently wealthy.  Yeah, that’d be nice.

Max: The best part of being a musician is playing music and being engaged in it. The act of doing it is the reward itself. I probably enjoy recording more than playing live but both are great.

10. What is one question you have always wanted an interviewer to ask – and what is the answer? Conversely, what question are you tired of answering?

Charlie: I enjoy whenever someone asks specific questions about the music I write and wish it happened more often.  I love hearing people’s perspectives regarding my music.  Conversely, I wish random phone callers would stop asking for my social security number.

11. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over,” even if it didn’t change your current situation?

Charlie: Regarding WAIT, I feel like everything that has happened has been the best possible outcome, so I wouldn’t change a thing.  Now, if we’re talking personally, I wish I hadn’t been so mean to Allan back in 3rd grade.  He was a good guy.  Hope he’s doing well.

Max: I don’t really have any major regrets regarding any “music career” decisions, I’m sure there are a million things I could have done better if I had the insight I have now but I am not currently worried about said things. I do wish I was meaner to Allan in 3rd grade, he was a good guy. Key word: was.  Probably all the good guy compliments.

12. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

Charlie: Devin Townsend’s album Ki.  Probably in my top 10 favorite records of all time.  I’d probably just spend the whole session picking Devin’s brain about everything.  I actually got the mastering engineer for that record, Troy Glessner, to master our record The End of Noise.

Max: I’m also going to say Devin Townsend, but I would say his record Ocean Machine – that album has some sort of unquantifiable magic.





Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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