Shane McCarthy (WAYFARER) on RockOverdose: “We are always first and foremost a live band”

Few days before their european tour starts, guitarist and vocalist Shane McCarthyof Wayfarer talks to about their expectations from their first time ever in Athens - Greece. Moreover, he explains in details their musical perspective reflected on their latest album “American Gothic”.


Wayfarer claim to be - always first and foremost - a live band, so this is a chance to experience the full breadth of what Wayfarer is. 


Read below .



RockOverdose: First of all we’d like to welcome you to Rock Overdose pages. How did it feel to support live recently your latest album “American Gothic” and how did these gigs go in general?


Shane McCarthy (WAYFARER): Thank you! It has been exciting to bring the new record to the stage, the material always feels fully final when we can perform it live, and this has been a great experience with American Gothic. Looking forward to bringing it to Greece for the first time!


RockOverdose: It’s common for bands and musicians to claim their latest work is their best, but in your case, it is a given that the album is your finest hour so far, until the next probably. How do you feel for it after its release and what do you believe it had to offer compared to the previous albums?

Shane McCarthy (WAYFARER): We certainly feel like this album is the most focused, fully realized to date. Each album sort of develops its own world and furthers the vocabulary of the band musically, and this one is probably the most pointed and confident. I think its a darker, heavier and more cohesive experience and we are glad to be bringing this era of the band to the stage now.




RockOverdose: We would like to know what happened to the space between “A Romance With Violence” and “American Gothic” and how the pandemic affected you, if so. Do you believe it’s one of these cases it makes you wiser or more aware of what might follow and maybe appreciating things that are not taken for granted?


Shane McCarthy (WAYFARER): In a grander sense, absolutely. I feel the pandemic was a reset for most people, and definitely a time to consider what we do and what may be taken for granted. Music was one of the things that got a lot of people through, which was certainly true for us. ARWV was finished writing and was recorded in the heart of the pandemic in 2020, which was an interesting experience that changed the album a bit. This one saw us learning from that experience and going into the record with far more of a plan, or at least an awareness of what was at stake. I think that shows in the final product.


RockOverdose: Your sound is a mixture of various influences and continues to do so, is it about not getting stuck to something specific and maintaining the interest, or maybe is it about trying not to sound safe and you push it to each limit is offered at the moment?



Shane McCarthy (WAYFARER): I think mostly it is a product of us being people who listen to and absorb a lot of different types of music, and a lot of this is brought to the table with Wayfarer. We have no interest in treading ground that has already been covered by others, and therefore we keep open to a variety of influences - and really at this point we are most focused on furthering our own sound and taking it to new places.



RockOverdose: We know the band was formed to be an instrumental project. What made you change your mind into including lyrics eventually and how important is the lyric part for Wayfarer especially? What offers you inspiration while writing?


Shane McCarthy (WAYFARER): So really, it was always intended to be a band with vocals and lyrics, the early years of the band just consisted of the formative time where we worked on developing the music before fleshing out the vocals. The songs that were initially written instrumentally eventually had lyrics added to them to be complete. Lyrics are very important to the band - we are very concept driven and all of the music is about something even before the lyrics are written, with the intent of each song being in mind from the start. The lyrics help to flesh out those picture and tell the story more. As far as inspiration, we take it from many places - certainly film, this time being primarily 70s and early 80s New Hollywood era Westerns- as well as Ameican history, myth, and personal experience .


RockOverdose: It would be interesting to know your main influences as a vocalist and guitarist and which bands or persons made you want to start your own band. Are there any new bands that impress you with their composing approach?


Shane McCarthy (WAYFARER): There are a great many influences! In the early days I was most inspired by metal guitarists, such as Alexi Laiho of Children of Bodom and Dimebag Darrell of Pantera. From there it was discovery of songwriters such as Chuck Schuldiner of Death and Mikael Akerfeldt of Opeth that opened the world up to me of what metal could really be. Over time, these influences and others coalesce with influences like David Eugene Edward's or Wovenhand and 16 Horsepower, Fields of the Nephilim, and Siouxise and the Banshees, and all sorts of others that helped build the palette that personally led me to what Wayfarer is now. I certainly listen to more “old” music than new, but a few bands like The Ruins of Beverast, Oranssi Pazuzu and others are some that I think are doing something truly unique in heavy music these days.



RockOverdose: You are the ideal person to ask the question. I often hear people of any origin say “Americans have no history, they are a 250 year country”. Since you belong to a band with the historical vibe quite present, your answer already seems enlightening, if not mandatory the least.


Shane McCarthy (WAYFARER): That's kind of what has made the US such an interesting thing - so much has happened in what is certainly a short lifetime compared to other nations, especially one like Greece! The people who have been on the land here for thousands of years have their own storied histories, but the nation itself is young. But in that time there has been so much change and chaos that it is really difficult to comprehend. The  more you look into it the more interesting and enigmatic it presents itself to be, and that is something we dive into a lot with the band, and certainly American Gothic. I think there is a reason people around the world know something about the American West, even through dramatized versions, as it was a time like few others in the history of the world with a changing land and the evidence showing the nature of people in a scenario such as this.



RockOverdose: It’s been exactly 10 years since the first album. Given your evolution since then, the things you went through, the experience earned and the things that follow sooner or later, would you say you achieved a part of what you dreamt of while creating the band? Is sky the limit for any future endeavors of yours?


Shane McCarthy (WAYFARER): I would say so, sure. There is always more to go, places to be explored with the Music. But we set out to carve our own path, make something that was genuine and unique to us, and something that reflected where we come from and to tell that perspective. I feel we are accomplishing that, but there is certainly more to go. This is a work that will probably never be finished, and that is a positive thing in my eyes.

There is much more to be said with Wayfarer.


RockOverdose: We’re about to see you in Greece soon enough. I guess we might see a performance based on the latest album, is there a chance to play it as a whole? What would you say to the fans thinking about attending as a main key reason to finally be there?


Shane McCarthy (WAYFARER): We cannot wait for the performance in Greece, something we have wanted to do for years and it is an honor to finally do so. The performance will certainly center around American Gothic, while it will also touch on another couple records as well. While we will be doing a different set than the full record, we will be bringing much of it to life at this show. To any of those interested, I would say that we are always first and foremost a live band, so this is the chance to experience the full breadth of what Wayfarer is. We will bring the American West to Greece with full force.



RockOverdose: We would like to thank you very much for your time. I really believe you stand out as an example of being really unique and doing things your way. What advice would you give to any new bands that want to chase their dreams and start their own thing? Best of luck to what you’ll do in the future, see you in Athens.


Shane McCarthy (WAYFARER): Thank you for having us and for the kind words. What you have said is exactly the advice I would give - always be yourself with music. Life is too short to play music  that already exists, take the opportunity to tell your story your way with music. That is the beauty of what it is, is the humanity everyone brings with it.


On behalf of RockOverdose,

Aggelos Katsouras