INTERVIEW: Steven Wheeler
Hi Steven, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?
Good, thank you!
Can you talk to us more about the track “Terminal Velocity”?
Terminal Velocity is one of the first tracks that I wrote for the upcoming album. Like pretty much everything on the album, it’s got a strong percussive vibe to it while still maintaining a strong sense of melodic focus.
Did any event in particular inspired you to write this song?
Not really a particular event. I try to stay in a constant state of music, whether I’m writing something new in the DAW, listening to music, practicing my instruments, diving for new sounds, or teaching students in writing music for media. My day pretty much begins and ends with music.
Any plans to release a video for the song?
Funny you should mention that… I’m currently learning a little bit about motion graphics creation, and I’ve got some ideas I need to get to soon.
Why naming the album after this track in particular?
For me, it’s one of the stronger tracks on the album, so I went with that. Not a really exciting answer, but a true one, haha.
Would you call this a conceptual record?
It’s not really got a theme or story that ties it all together, but there are certain songs that have stories or themes that go with them. The Endless March of Time is kind of about man’s struggle against time, and how we can try to run from it, but in the end, time always prevails.
How was the recording and writing process?
Rather comfortable for the most part. I’m lucky enough to be able to do these tracks from home, and I’ve spent a lot of time and resources building up a toolset that’s versatile as well as comfortable to work with.
What role does New England play in your music?
I grew up in New England on Cape Cod. Kind of a boring place to grow up, however, there were some really talented and dedicated music educators living in that area that I owe a lot of my development as a musician to.
Would you call this a departure from your previous work?
Less of a departure and more of a combination of a lot of the styles that I’ve worked on in the past. In a sense, I haven’t done this particular combination of styles before but some of the underlying material is familiar.
How E.S. Posthumous and Hans Zimmer has influence your writing?
I really enjoy their work. Posthumous for his seamless integration of rock and new age into orchestra. Hans Zimmer for the great atmosphere that he creates with his music. Both are kind of giants I definitely look up to.
Do you tend to take a different approach when you are scoring a film or a TV show rather than in this album?
Definitely. With a film or TV show, the music is always in service of the visual. This usually comes with a set of limitation in the form of the length of the music, hit points (musical accents for action on screen), and the overall mood needs to contribute to what’s happening on screen. With this album, it was a lot freer in the sense that I didn’t have to serve the visual. I could do what I wanted. Not to say that either way of writing is better than the other, but they are a bit different.
Where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?
I think the inspiration for me for this stuff is just to see how far I can take it. How big can I go? How many genres can I blend while still making it sound good?
Any plans to hit the road?
Not currently. This would be a pretty tough act to put on a live show for, but if it starts leaning more in the rock direction, who knows?
What else is happening next in Steven Wheeler’s world?
Right now, I’m teaching Music Production for Media at Full Sail University. I’m also getting married in November which I’m quite looking forward to as well.
Thank you very much for taking the time to ask me some questions! I appreciate it.
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