From press & staff reports
Mississippi has always had a rich tradition in musical talents, ranging in all types of genres of music.
Ready to make another step in that tradition, a pair of Winston County residents is making their mark with their debut album.
Area musicians Wil Bane and Alan White have come together to form the metal band “Children of Aries.” Bane, who described their sound as a “cross between Black Sabbath and Metallica”, met fellow band mate White in high school at Nanih Waiya Attendance Center.
Bane serves as guitarist and vocalist for the band, while White performs the drums.
Bane gave details of their recent album.
“We have an album that was released on September 9, in fact,” Bane said. “It’s called “The Sands of Time”.
“I have copies of the CD, so does Alan. ‘Sands’ is out on just about every digital retailer you can think of. iTunes, amazonMP3, Google Play, you name it, it’s probably there.”
“We started as a side-project of mine when I was in another band called ‘Sworn To Secrecy’,” Bane said. “That band, at the time, was just me and another guy. He ended up joining ‘Addonexus’, which was Children of Aries’ original name.”
Both Bane and White are students of their trade as they described some of their musical, as well as non-musical influences. “I’m a big fan of 80s hair metal,” White said. “Poison, Motley Crue, bands like that. Sure, I like Metallica and Black Sabbath, too. I’m a huge Kid Rock fan. As far as my drumming influences, Lars Ulrich from Metallica, Rikki Rockett from Poison, and Vinnie Paul from Pantera influenced me a lot.”
Bane was more detailed with his list of influences. “Metallica is my biggest influence,” Bane said. “James Hetfield is my idol, both vocally and guitar-wise. Other dudes that influence my style of playing and singing are Jeff Hanneman (RIP) of Slayer, Tony Iommi Black Sabbath, Ronnie James Dio, Derrick Green of Sepultura, Tom Araya of Slayer, and Cannibal Corpse have all played a big influence in me shaping what I want my voice to be. Some other artists that have had some influence over my style are John Legend, Greydon Square, Akira Yamaoka, who scored all of the Silent Hill series, and others.”
With these influences, it is easy to see that the duo is very involved in music as a whole, and how music for them is a way of life.
“Music is one of the most powerful forces in the world,” Bane said. “It can change a mood or a situation in the blink of an eye. Movie and TV scores are great evidence of that.”
With strong emotional ties to the music they make, it is no surprise that both Bane and White’s focus is not just merely to make a buck, but make something that goes beyond the monetary.
“Our inspiration is just the love of playing and creativity,” White said. “We like making music and if people like it, great. If they don’t, they don’t have to. That’s fine. Go listen to Bieber or One Direction or something.”
Bane’s sentiments were the same. “Our goal is really, to just play,” Bane said. “Music is art and this is our music. We’d love to share our art with as many people as possible.”
Bane and White then gave details regarding their material and song content. “I write about 80 to 85% of the music and lyrics,” Bane said. “Alan typically writes all his own drum lines, but occasionally a drum idea I have will get used. Sometimes he even writes lyrics. The topics vary widely. Some songs topics are about personal feelings on subjects that Alan or I feel very strongly about, like our Libertarian beliefs and other political songs, songs on religion discriminating against people and ideas, science, space and space-time, racism, and sometimes just personal situations that we’d rather just keep a mystery.”
With “Children of Aries” having such a heavy tone, which is characterized on the band’s Facebook page as “Death/Thrash Metal” is not to be taken as an actual reflection of the band members.
“Other songs; ones that some people would consider ‘scary’, are just for entertainment,” Bane said. “That’s something that always gets me about some people. They’ll go watch a horror flick where horrible things happen left and right, yet they’ll get all uptight and even offended if someone writes a song about the same thing happening.”
Being in a small community can be challenging for local artists to get the word out and about in regards to their music. Promotion is the very key to being a performer and artist, and both Bane and White know it.
“We are using lots and lots of online promos like Facebook statuses and using a musicians’ social site called Reverb Nation, which offers lots of tools for promotion,” Bane said. “We’re going to look into using CD Baby’s promotional tools as well. They’re a music digital distribution company, probably the most popular one. We barely get to play shows because of our often misaligned work schedules and venues for a metal band.”
The challenge of playing a genre of music that is not familiar with the local residents, geographical issues, as well as those previously mentioned misaligned work schedules are some of the obstacles that “Children of Aries” faces at this time.
Even with these items to address, neither Bane nor White have not lost their passion, and encourage others to do the same.
“Go for it,” Bane said. “Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t. I’m 21 and I’m still learning things about it and still will be when I’m 51. So you’re never too young or old to start. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t make the music you want. You have the freedom of speech and expression to make whatever you want.”
If you would like to listen to “Children of Aries”, or purchase their new album, you may visit their web page on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ChildrenOfAries, or go to any digital retailer such as iTunes, amazonMP3, Google Play, etc.