WYO Chat About Their Growth on New Album, "Changes": "Every Song Has a Special Memory for Me"
Los Angeles based (by way of Jackson, Wyoming) indie-pop band WYO kicked off their new year with the release of their new single, “Moonlight,” and with their second album, Changes on the horizon, they’re not slowing down any time soon. We caught up with the band recently to chat about Changes, their growth following their debut album, Untamed and plans for the rest of 2019.
Taking inspiration from the stunning landscapes and majestic mountains he grew up around, singer-songwriter Andy Sorge utilizes an organic instrument palette to create the soundscape that is WYO. That inspiration can be seen directly in the duo’s new video for “Moonlight,” which can be seen now below. The video, shot under the stars at 3 Spear Ranch in Dubois, Wyoming, captures the story through stunning visuals that follow a couple while they escape from the reality they live in. Fans can expect more beautiful storytelling from Changes, and with a new single out this week, it’ll be coming sooner rather than later.
Interview by Dom Vigil
Can you tell us a little bit about WYO for anyone who might not be familiar? How did you first meet and begin writing music together?
WYO was formed in Jackson, Wyoming between myself (Andy Sorge) and Scott Mckay Gibson. About 8 years ago Scott and I met through a mutual friend who raved about his audio engineering talents.
Once we started working together I realized he was a writer as well and said to myself “I need this guy on my team! Not only can he make the music sound better and clearer, but he plays multiple instruments and can help me start the band I always dreamed of!” From there on out we worked countless hours on music both for film projects and for WYO. After we recorded enough demos I approached Brad Wood, a producer in Los Angeles, who listened to the music and helped us bring our first album, Untamed, through the finish line.
You guys are getting ready to release your second album, Changes, later this year. What are you most excited for fans to hear on the album?
After releasing our first album, Untamed, we performed at a number of venues and had a lot of fun with that music. But there was one performance in particular at Music Box in San Diego where we took the stage at midnight and I realized we needed some more uptempo tracks in our arsenal to keep the crowd moving. I’m excited for fans to hear some of that new music, but also for fans to hear songs like “All I know” which was written 8 years ago and didn’t make it on the first album.
How do you feel you've grown as musicians with the writing and recording of Changes since the release of Untamed?
Our first album, Untamed, took years to create through a lot of trial and error. Our 2nd album, Changes, took a fraction of the time because of the learning curve acquired from the first. One of my main focuses on this second album was writing catchy vocal melodies that will liven up a crowd.
Now that Untamed has been out for a little bit, what are some of your favorite things about the album? Is there anything you wanted to accomplish on Changes that you didn't get the chance to with Untamed?
Looking back on our first album, Untamed, I honestly wouldn’t change a thing. It’s ironic because it was such a painfully long process, but people seem to really respect all the hard work we put into it, and it’s nice to look back on that album knowing we did the best work we could as “freshmen”.
We took the process very seriously, re-wrote songs multiple times to get them right, and every song has a special memory for me.
What was the most rewarding part about working on Changes?
For me it was working with our producer Brad Wood on melodies and lyrics. Brad once mentioned how much he enjoyed reading lyric charts as a kid, and that inspired me to collaborate with him on lyrics for Changes. Brad said it was the most successful collaboration he’s ever had with someone, and coming from such a veteran producer like Brad, that was very rewarding to hear :)
You guys just recently released your first single, "Moonlight", from the upcoming album! What inspired this track in particular?
"Moonlight" is part of a story that unfolds on each song on Changes. Throughout the album there is a story told about a couple that is in trouble and running away from a bad situation, and "Moonlight" signifies a breaking point where the couple escapes into the night together.
Not only is your name inspired by your home state, but the video for "Moonlight" features footage of Wyoming. What effect has your home state had on the music you write today?
After spending my childhood in Wilson, Wyoming, returning there to write music has been so inspiring for me. The mountains are very humbling, and having all of those memories as a kid fishing and playing in nature is an easy way to escape and get back on solid ground and to get in-touch with those feelings needed to write music.
Where did the idea for the "Moonlight" video come from?
With a song like "Moonlight" we wanted the video to be really visual and fully capture this pivotal moment of this couple escaping together into the unknown. The night sky easily came to mind and the stars became a theme throughout the video. After filming in Teton valley quite a bit we drove up to Dubois to check out my friend's land called, Three Spear Ranch. We were all blown away by the beauty in Dubois, and how different it looked from Jackson. We decided to film "Moonlight" up there to switch it up, and get a different take on Wyoming.
With "Moonlight" out now, can we expect to hear some more new music from Changes soon?
Yes! “On your Own” our next track from Changes is coming out on Friday, March 29th!
Do you have any other big plans in the works for 2019?
To perform as much as possible and to start the recording process of our 3rd album by the end of 2019!