By Maritza Castello
The folk-rock Portland based band Weinlandhas portrayed their musical genius ever since they came out with their first album, Demersville, in 2006. Now with the introduction of their second albumLa Lamentor, which was released March 4, 2008, they have once again proven their talent. This last album has been triumphant because of its gorgeously composed music which creates a sense of solace as one listens to the vocals as well as the beauty of instrumentation. This record absolutely touches one’s soul.
Freelance writer Maritza Castello sat down on April 19, 2008 with members of the band Weinland, lead singer Adam Shearer and multi-instrumentalist Aaron “Rantz” Pomerantz to learn more about who this band is.
Maritza Castello: What inspired you to start your band?
Adam Shearer: Aaron and I both began writing songs while working in a mental health ward together for a couple of years as counselors.
MC: Oh, okay. In what year did you both decide to start writing music?
AS: In 2001.
MC: Adam, did you write music before you met Aaron?
AS:Yes. I started when I was 15.
MC: Aaron, how did it happen that you decided you wanted to work with Adam permanently?
Aaron Pomerantz: I bought some solo demos from Adam [a short vinyl release called John Weinland which he had recorded in 2003], and then decided to learn the instruments to become a band with him. I was one of the first guys.
MC: How did you decide on your band name?
AS: The band was first called John Weinland, because my full name is John Adam Weinland Shearer, and I named it after myself because when a lot bands break up the songs just go away.
MC: You first named it after yourself so in case your band did break up it would still be yours, correct?
AS: So now it’s just Weinland. When did you decide to change the name to just Weinland?
Shearer: In 2007.
MC: How do you feel about the success of your most recent album and what do you like most about it?
AS: Where did you hear that our album is successful? [Laughs.] MC: Or do you think it is successful?
AS: Well, it’s ten times more successful than our last record, and what I like about the record is that the emotion put into it is to the fullest and the piano vocals are to the absolute maximum. Also, during this second album we got twice the help compared to the first album.
MC: So having a publicist really helped?
AS: Oh, yeah.
MC: What’s your favorite song on La Lamentor?
AS: “Piles of Clothes”.
MC: What’s that about?
AS: Two people separate their lives and it’s displaying one person’s perspective of that.
MC: You also have a song with the same title as the album. What’s the song “La Lamentor” about?
AS: The song “La Lamentor” is a story about a one-sided friendship. It’s based on an ‘I’ll help you if you help me kind of thing.’
MC: What was the first song ever composed?
AS: “Desiree”; it’s super simple.
MC: How were you inspired to write “Desiree”?
AS: Through creative ideas, such as looking at writings on bathroom walls. Stuff like that.
MC: Is writing music hard?
AS: Writing a song is really hard; thinking about writing is a long process.
MC: How do you feel that you have grown as a band?
AS: With our first album we had only done twenty shows and now we have done hundreds of shows. In addition to this, we have also been evaluated and critiqued.
MC: When you guys are playing shows, how does it make you feel to see your audience?
AS: In connecting to the audience through the art of music we feel that we are doing a good job as performers.
MC: Do either of you get nervous performing in front of a lot of people?
AP: In performing in front of a group of five people I feel way more nervous than in front of a larger group.
MC: Now as a last question, what message would you like to leave for your fans?
AS: That as a community we just all need to take care of each other.
MC: How about you, Aaron?
AP: That people who are paying attention to our music buy more records; buy La Lamentor.