Set to have a breakout year, the Rose City hardcore outfit shares their love of Lamb of God, the hell of lockdown, and the bright future of the band despite such turbulent times.
Dying Wish is at the forefront of the next generation of heavy music. But they aren’t afraid to give props to some of metal’s bigger bands for the inspiration of metal and hardcore.
“As a band, we all grew up on Lamb of God,” guitarist Sam Reynolds said. “Lamb of God is one of our bucket list bands to tour with, we love that band,” said vocalist Emma Boster.
This makes sense, because along with Lamb of God, one can hear traces of bands like Slayer, Hatebreed, Bleeding Through, and Fear Factory in Dying Wish’s conglomerate of heaviness. As a leading force in Portland’s raging hardcore scene, there’s no denying the furious urgency the band radiates; the volatility of the band’s music is crushing and the lyrical content is both personal and political.
Dying Wish is an ensemble that includes guitarists Sam Reynolds and Pedro Carrillo, bassist Andrew Le, drummer Jeff Yambra and vocalist Emma Boster. Like all bands, last year’s shutdown due to the pandemic threw a monkey wrench in Dying Wish’s plans.
“Our last show before the lockdown, we were out on tour with Sanction and a bunch of other bands,” Booster said. “It was at The Black Water Bar in Portland, and we hadn’t played a show here in months, so a lot of people came out.”
“But the pandemic came around the corner and altered everyone’s plans,” said Reynolds. “That was last March and it’s now been over a year. Without going too much into detail, mentally the pandemic was Hell. But, I got through it and made it this far.”
Boster also said things were rough but she considers herself fortunate. “I actually enjoyed the downtime, I am always working or on tour, so it was nice to have some time off, but also we needed it to reflect, and take our time, making this new album, and if we had a tour, it might have distracted us,” Boster said.
Though Dying Wish has recorded a new LP due out sometime later this Fall, Boster and Reynolds said current events played a major role in inspiring the songs and lyrics. “There is so much to talk about in our world whether it deals with the pandemic, the economy, or all the civil unrest and social injustices,” she said.
“On our record, we talk about a lot of things pertinent to what’s happening right now. I feel optimistic about the future of Dying Wish, but everything else not so much. I’m angry, and scared that we’re living in this moment and we’re not seeing the future.”
Even though the band has been known for in-your-face emotional and powerfully political lyrics and themes, Reynolds said Dying Wish is not an overt strictly political band. “We definitely need to have a balance and not write about one thing with our music,” he said.
The band recently released a new video for a track off of the unreleased new album, called “Innate Thirst.” “We filmed the music video in May, during the height of the pandemic, and it was interesting,” said Boster. “For our first video, we went with it the premise of the song, which is written about a person who takes advantage of uprisings or movements for their own personal gain then they’re exposed, and the ugliness behind that,” she said.
The video features images of the band playing, and a beautiful woman, who is then shown in a bathtub. “The woman in the video is portrayed as this vain character and gets into the bathtub and her toxicity ruins the tub of pretty flowers,” Boster said.
With the band’s live footage, in the video, it is certain the band is eager to play live shows again once things are safe. “All of us in Dying Wish will be getting vaccinated, and now and as more people do, we just hope this pandemic gets better, but we’ll just have to wait like everyone else,” Boster said.
Dying Wish loves its hometown and the hardcore scene it is helping to define, but want to branch out. “We try to play with different bands when we can, there are not a lot of bands in Portland that sound like us,” Boster said. “When shows come back, we definitely want to get our toes wet in some other scenes.”
Reynolds echoed the sentiment and overall said the band misses the connection and energy that only live shows can bring. “We love the interaction with a crowd, especially the energy from hardcore dancing,” he said. “We haven’t really gotten too much crazy circle pits or wall of death type stuff at our shows, it’s mostly been some crowd surfers and stage divers, but we thrive on that energy.”
“We write our music with the intention of us wanting people to move,” Boster said. “So whatever that means circle pit., moshing, or hardcore dancing, we don’t care we just crave the energy as long as it’s positive.”
“Yeah, as long as people are having a good time getting into our music and not getting hurt, we don’t care. Circle pit, hardcore dance, do what you gotta do let it out.”
Regarded as one of the genre’s most intriguing, quickly ascending prospects, Dying Wish is slated to drop highly-anticipated new music out later this year, but cannot release the date yet. “Keep your eyes peeled for fall this year of a new record,” Boster said. “We’ll have some singles before then to promote it, it’s coming we promise!”