Finland’s Wheel are widely recognized as one of the fastest-growing metal acts in the world, and rightfully so, with their second full-length album Resident Human raising the bar once again.
With the release date of March 26 looming large, bass player Aki Virta joined HEAVY as snow tumbled around him in Helsinki to fill us in on what makes album number two so special.
“The album is really something that we are really excited and proud of,” he enthused. “As the second full-length album of Wheel it’s going to be even more of a Wheel record than anything previous. We are growing in strength and comparison to the music previously, for example, Tool and Karnivool which are of course big influences but we still don’t wish to be copycats so we’re looking for doing our own thing of course. I think on this album we’re starting to shape more clearly what is this band strictly about.”
One thing Wheel could never be accused of is stealing too much of the cumulative sounds of their influences, combining elements of their personal psyches but layering them with enough individuality to ensure their sound is fresh and unique.
“That’s great because that’s what we’re after,” he answered. “We have loads of influences and inspirations but I don’t mind. As an artist, you always draw more from somewhere. You steal a little bit from here and there, it’s completely natural. We have loads of influences and everyone has a bit of variety going on in there so it’s not just Tool or not just Karnivool. For example, there are loads of grunge bands that have influenced both James and Santeri a lot. Like Nirvana. It’s definitely in there. You can hear it in some of the guitar sounds but it’s not all just heavy metal distortion. For example, if you listen to “Movement” it’s funny how little distortion there is in the guitar but it still smashes you in the face.”
In the full interview, Aki talks about the album in greater detail, explains the almost 12-minute long album opener “Dissipate” and why they chose to start the album with such an epic tune, finding an album balance between ten minute plus songs and the more conventional length, how Covid has impacted Wheel and what it has cost them and more.
Watch “Fugue” below: