By Jonathan Hammer
When I was only a wee sophomore in high school back in 2010 – 2011, I remember playing some of my first metal shows at The Space and a now-long-gone café called The Blue Z, and wishing I was a rock star. Back then, there were a few Connecticut local metal band names who were dominating the music scene – however, none of the names I remember seem to have survived except for Currents. Once named We Came With Plague, the CT metal band has evolved into a powerhouse of musicality, professionalism, and brute force live over the past 5 years; as one of the state’s most successful metal bands, and also one of my favorite bands to listen to on the way to the gym, I was excited to interview guitarist and primary song writer Chris Wiseman.
As a long time listener of the band, I’m really humbled to interview Currents. You guys have been around for a long time now and have gone through a few lineup changes; how have you feel you’ve developed your sound over time, and how would you describe your sound now?
The sound definitely changed quite a bit since before 2014; [former guitarists] Mitch Lobuglio and Troy Wilson wrote the music for the band, and after they left I became the writer for the band. That, coupled with a new vocalist as well, already makes the sound quite a bit different. With Life//Lost [a 2015 release], I tried to keep a lot of the old aspects while throwing in some of my own style, and for the upcoming album I’m writing there’s an even further departure from the original sound. The new style is far more structured, intricate, and more creative as well. I would say that the new sound is darker but with the addition of singing, more melodic as well.
Despite the great melodies and crushing heaviness you guys write, one of the notable aspects of Currents is that the band is managed by Modern Empire Management (Attila, Betraying the Martyrs, Vanna); what was the process like to find management, how did the band make the decision, and can you provide any insight for non-managed bands about what having a manager has done for the band?
Kyle [from Modern Empire] has been a friend of the band for a while but he didn’t have much interest in us until we brought Brian into the band on vocals. The moment we knew he became interested we hopped on virtually immediately. Having managers like Kyle and Scott [also from Modern Empire] is definitely one of the best things that have happened to us. They’re responsible for hooking us up with JJ from Circle Talent Agency as our booking agent who has been booking some great shows/tours for us. Most importantly, they are always helping steer us in the right direction to help us further the band. They are also responsible for doing all of the talking on our behalf to any professionals who are interested in working with the band.
The band just got endorsed by ESP Guitars; what models does everyone play now, and how has the endorsement affected the band?
I use an E-II Elias Viljanen M-II 7 and an Andy James AJ-1; Ryan uses a Stephen Carpenter-607B and an E-II Horizon 7B, and Dee uses a B-155DX and a B-205SM NS. ESP hasn’t changed much in the band, they just give us great deals on their instruments for us to use on stage.
You guys are gearing up to tour with Within The Ruins, another notable name under Modern Empire’s roster. Have you been on tour before? If so, what was the experience like? Regardless, what are you expecting out of your time on the road?
We’ve been on some short runs with bands such as Varials and Sentinels. They were very fun and definitely something we want to do more of on a larger scale. We are hoping to make a lot of friends and fans on the road.
Rockn’ Derby, Texas So What?!, and various Connecticut shows with up-and-coming metal bands are in the band’s track record. Is there any one specific live moment that stands out to the band/individual members of the band more than others?
The times we have played Warped Tour are most likely the best live moments. Those shows had the biggest crowds and were the most fun to play.
You wake up to a phone call from your manager and he tells you that you either have to use band money to buy a zebra or a giraffe— exotic pets are all the rage now! What does the band pick, and why?
We will have to go with the giraffe because the long neck could definitely come in handy.
Having achieved what you have, what is your take of the Connecticut music scene, and how do you feel Currents is perceived in it?
For whatever reason, it doesn’t seem like the Connecticut music scene thrives as well as it does in other parts of the country. We lost two venues in 2014 – The Room in Brookfield, CT and The Heirloom Arts Theatre in Danbury, CT – due to operating costs not being covered by show attendance. It’s definitely a hard state to make a name for yourself in since Hatebreed is one of the only major metal/hardcore acts I can think of that has come out of CT. We definitely have a lot of great friends and fans in the CT music scene, but obviously some people like certain types of music and other people don’t and that’s perfectly fine.