Los Angeles is a wonderful city for many reasons, one of which is the mere fact that on any given night you can go out and find quality live entertainment. Whether it be film, live music or theater, anything you want is right here. On one such evening out, a band was performing at The Mint on Pico in LA, and the music was so incredibly powerful, and addicting, that I just had to introduce myself to the lead singer. Wayland is what they call themselves and Mitch Arnold is the singer referred to here.
In addition to Arnold, who also plays both the guitar and piano, there is Phillip Vilenski, Arnold's partner in song writing and lead guitarist; Dean Pizzazz who plays bass; and there is Tyler Coburn, who plays the drums with a passion. In addition to their other roles in the band, Vilenski, Pizzazz and Coburn all sing back up to Arnold, as well, forming a cohesive group of talented musicians with such classic influences as Journey, Led Zeppelin and Kings of Leon.
The four are so finely in tune with one another on stage that you won’t even notice that you are immediately moving along to the music while trying as quickly as you can to learn the lyrics. These guys truly put on a show!
Immediately after seeing them perform, they were off on a tour to play shows in the Midwest. Gone for at least a few months, Arnold and I conducted the interview via sporadic emails as he and the guys travelled all over the U.S. Their trek around the country to share their music with their fans includes various stops in Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee. Enjoying life on the road, Arnold says, “In the spring we want to expand and head south and out east more.” Wayland shows no signs of stopping or even slowing down anytime soon.
Their sound is reminiscent of the classic rock n’ roll of the seventies and eighties. Though I never said anything to him about his voice, which literally stopped me in my tracks, Arnold's incredible pipes sound a lot like Whitesnake’s David Coverdale. Per Arnold, “Our band, Wayland, is a modern take on vintage rock n' roll. Hard hitting with harmonies and melodic vocal melodies, combined with memorable guitar solos. We are bringing the guitar solo back to rock n’ roll. Our music is reminiscent of rock n' roll in the late 70’s and early 80’s.”
Dana Feldman – How did you come up with the name Wayland?
Mitch Arnold - The name, Wayland, is actually a small town in Michigan where Phill is from. It's a place very dear to all of our hearts.
DF – It is always so interesting to hear how a band came together originally. Can you please tell me how you all came together to form Wayland?
MA - Ten years ago, Phill and I met in Orange County. We had both moved from the Midwest to pursue a career in music. Phill, from Wayland, and myself from Bloomington, IN. We hit it off and started writing music. In the process, we became friends with Dean, who moved in with us. At the time, Dean was a struggling actor who was a fan of the music. After years without a steady bass player, Phill and I asked Dean to quit acting and his job, and take up playing the bass guitar. He's become an incredible bass player and an amazing musician. Five years ago, a family friend knew we were looking for a drummer and referred Tyler Coburn, who was living in Michigan at the time. We were living in Echo Park right outside of Downtown LA at that time. We spoke on the phone and felt a connection and we all decided that if Tyler was interested in auditioning for the band, we would send him some music and he would have to film himself playing it.
Weeks later, they received the awaited VHS tape in the mail. Arnold tells how Coburn had set up a PA system in a small room. He sat at his drums and told them a little bit about himself. Then, after his charming interview, he played the music they had sent through the PA, playing along on his drums. Extremely impressed with his drum work, they called him and invited him to join the band. Without any doubts, he accepted and the band has all lived together ever since.
DF – So, how is the tour going so far?
MA - We are so excited to be on the road and sharing this music. All of us are incredibly proud of the record, which was recorded in Can Am Studios (Appetite For Destruction, Get A Grip, among many others who have recorded there). Mike Gurley produced and Florian Ammon engineered and co-produced our album. Mike and Florian are also credited as co-writers on the album, as well.
DF – How would you describe what your music means to you guys?
MA - We all believe we were brought together to share this music with the world and transform souls with the incredible power of rock n' roll! Since the birth of true rock n' roll, artists have inspired millions of people to spread love instead of hate, peace instead of war, to be better people and to simply have a great time. As Wayland, we are so proud to be a part of this continued movement.
Truly a band worth checking out, the guys of ‘Wayland’ are well on their way to success. In late November of 2010, Wayland released their self-titled debut album, which is available at all of their shows, as well as on iTunes, and it is for sale on their website at www.waylandtheband.com.
Also on the website, you can find video footage, tour dates, and different ways to purchase the record. Other sites for the band include: