The Wise Man's Fear is a 5-piece Fantasycore band from central Indiana. Their name stems from a fantasy novel of the same title written by Patrick Rothfuss that chronicles the adventures of the greatest arcanist of the age. The name itself is a statement against the destructive power of pride.
Please list all of your band members and their roles in the band.
The Wise Man’s Fear is:
Joe Dennis – Harsh vocals
Tyler Eads – Clean vocals/bass guitar
Codi Chambers – Lead guitar
Nathan Kane – Rhythm guitar/backing vocals
Paul Lierman – Drums
For starters, what bands were you guys a part of prior to The Wise Man’s Fear? How long has the band been around?
Before we all started playing together Joe used to be in a band with some friends from high school called Alias. It was through the fallout of that group that he met our old guitarist and connected with the rest of us. Even before Alias, Tyler and Joe were in a band called Dreamers and Creators together (they’ve known each other for a pretty long while now). Codi used to be in a band called Skies of Auburn in Massachusetts while he was living there. As for The Wise Man’s Fear, we’ve been around for a little over two years now! We formed in the spring of 2013.
What’s the origin of that name and have you changed the band’s name before?
We actually ended up changing our name a couple months after we formed. At the very start we were going by the name “A Star-Crossed Wasteland” but we didn’t have much reasoning behind the meaning of the name and it felt a little stale to us so we decided to change it up.
We picked The Wise Man’s Fear based on a fantasy novel of the same name by Patrick Rothfuss. The series the book is part of explores the challenges and triumphs of its main character as he works his way through the world looking for answers and ultimately his place in life. His challenges force him to grow and develop as a person and an intellectual. For our own purposes we readapted the name to be a statement against the destructive power of pride. We believe that truly wise men are almost always humble to the extent that they seem to be fearful of pride. So the name really is a caution against becoming prideful no matter who you are or what you do.
Who writes your songs? What are the main themes or topics for most of your songs and do you think these topics will change over time?
We don’t really have one set model for songwriting; the method varies pretty widely from song to song. There are a couple of tracks on the record Codi completely structured on guitar then we fleshed out together, but Nathan, Tyler, and Joe have also written tracks from the ground up and then had the rest of the band chime in and work around their skeleton. Paul wrote most of the lyrics on the record. We’ve started some songs with just the lyrics and a mood/tone we know we want to hit and we’ve had others that we just built lyrics into.
Lyrically, Castle in the Clouds has some really strong themes. The album was composed to function as one cohesive body that can be listened to in any order, but that delivers the most impact and meaning when listened to straight through. The record is essentially a storyline about a knight on a quest to find the answers to some of life’s great questions. It levers the lyrical content, tone shifts, and trajectory of the album’s arc to tell a story all the way through in the most dynamic way we could.
As for our content’s topics, we’ve done our best to draw in a lot of the challenges, triumphs, and experiences that are quintessential to life and roll them into one narrative. By doing this, hopefully we’ve created a record that is really relatable to listeners because of the familiar subjects it covers while avoiding some of the tropes of lyric writing in the genre by using a new point of view and storytelling angle.
The topics of our lyrics will definitely change over time, but I think we plan on keeping the same delivery/style of writing. I don’t think it would be too much of a stretch to speculate that we might write about topics or characters that are related to the knight from Castle in a future release.
What bands are currently inspiring the music that you’re making?
There were definitely lots of different influences going into the writing of Castle in the Clouds. Artists we drew inspiration from range everywhere a group called City in the Sea (for whom we had the pleasure of opening last year), Saosin, Envy on the Coast, Helia, and Underoath. The sixth track on the record ends with a really insane tempo slow that leads into a breakdown that we modeled off of something like what The Chariot would do in their live performances. Lyrically, we drew a lot of inspiration from a group called Make Them Suffer’s album Neverbloom, another concept album that tells a story centered on a main character.
Was there a particular band/artist or concert that inspired you to start a band?
We each had some really impactful first concert experiences growing up, but one event we sort of all shared in common was going to Warped tours in the summer and watching dozens of bands perform all day. That was one event that kind of inspired us all.
What do you do to prepare for a show? Any flexing, exercises, ect …
We all stretch and warm up before we go on stage, and a lot of the time we’ll make up new mock stage moves that we tell each other we are going to unveil during the set. Most of them don’t make it past the developmental stage, but every once in a while you get a keeper like the Odd Thomas, or the Steamboat Willie.
What has been the biggest highlight of the band’s career so far?
We’d probably have to agree that our proudest achievement and greatest memories came from our time spent in the studio with Johnny Franck. We broke the recording process into three sessions for a total of twenty days and each time we went into the studio we pushed our boundaries as musicians and had an absolute blast while doing it. We also could not possibly be happier with the finished product; it turned out better than we could have imagined going into it.
If you could tour with any bands, past or present, who would they be and why?
That’s a really tough one…If we could tour with any bands we wanted, we’d probably pick Issues, City in the Sea, Underoath, Of Mice & Men, Make Them Suffer, and The Chariot. That would be the all-time dream lineup.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Of course we would like to deeply thank all of our friends who support us from the bottom of our hearts. We appreciate and cherish every interaction we have at shows in person as well as online. Your support truly means the world! We’d also just like to take the opportunity to say that we are so incredibly excited for the future. We poured our hearts into the creation of Castle in the Clouds, and we really believe that what we ended up with is something very special. We can’t wait to share it with you all!