Will Wood Talks About His 4th Album: “In case I make it”
Singer/songwriter Will Wood recently released his fourth studio album “In case I make it” and unfortunately, it might be his last. The singer rose to prominence in 2020 with experimental and upbeat single I/Me/Myself which especially resonated with the queer community and music lovers in general that relished in the poppy sensations contrasting with melancholy lyrics. Since “The Normal Album” in 2020, Will has delved into some darker themes due to his newfound fame, which he shares hasn’t always had the best mental effect. “In case I make it” serves as a farewell to Will as he heads into the next chapter of his career as well as delivering another set of thought-provoking, somber songs for fans to enjoy in the years to come.
Q. I like many fans, first heard of you when hearing your song I/Me/Myself. How has your career progressed since the virality of that song?
A. That virality brought me my first real period of genuine success, which brought with it a lot of attention that I wasn’t prepared for. I’m grateful to see the turnout at shows and I love the feeling of connecting with an audience, but especially in the era of social media there’s a downside most people don’t really like to talk about. The way people interact with media right now and the manner in which its currently commodified seems to exacerbate the more difficult elements. I’ve experienced people developing antagonistic parasocial relationships with me, which a handful of times has culminated in actual criminal behavior. My position can create increased difficulty navigating the dynamics of one’s personal life, and the way having an audience can sort of atomize your identity and make it public domain is tough to ignore.
The “microcelebrity” doesn’t have the resources and connections to others with similar experiences that a celebrity does, which can be isolating and sometimes sort of dangerous. Taking this and the sort of endless workload into consideration, I need to give myself a break for the sake of my health and to reassess a lot of my values, goals, and ideas about myself and the world. I’m going to be taking an indefinite hiatus starting in the next couple weeks once I wade through one last workload. I’ll have a live album out on streaming services soon, and then I’ll see ya later.
Q. Your music has been described a myriad of ways. How would you personally describe/categorize your music?
A. I tend to think of it as singer-songwriter, pop, experimental sort of stuff. I never wanted to commit to a genre, and have always loved using genre as a tool for self-expression rather than a category for me to work in, so it’s hard for me to say myself.
Q. You recently collabed with another band I spoke to a little bit ago, Human Zoo. What was that experience like?
A. It was a lot of fun. The folks in that band and I go way back, and I’m really happy to see them get some more attention. Hopefully they’ll find the success they deserve.
Q. Your latest single “Ferryman” is a collaboration with Shayfer James. How was working with him and putting this song together?
A. It’s really Shayfer’s song, I can’t say I had a hand in “putting it together” aside from writing my bridge and helping to lay down some baritone sax with Matt Berger. But he’s such a kind, genuine, and relentlessly positive person. He really loves what he does and it shows while you work with him. It was a pleasure touring with him too.
Q. You do a lot more than create music. Talk about some of your other projects.
A. I do a comedy podcast called “Life in the World to Come” with my friend and longtime collaborator Chris Dunne. I also occasionally write and do some visual art that I hope to create more of while I’m on my hiatus, although I’d approach it without the intent to publish I think.
Q. What’s a project or song that you’ve worked on that you really feel speaks to you and your career as a whole.
A. One’s artistic identity will always be a fictional character to a certain extent, whether you try to create a fictionalized persona or not. So there’s always a story you’re telling in your discography, whether you intend to or not. I intended my latest album originally as a farewell in the event that I checked out early so to speak, but when I started to recover from the rough times those songs came from, I changed the name from “In Case I Die” to “In case I make it.” I talked about that publicly with a focus on the hope present in the new title, and I chose to express using more major key work and softer vocals on the record, a lot of fans have told me they “can tell you’re doing better” on it, which is about as far from the reality of where those songs came from as can be.
If the story goes that “Will Wood” recovers over the course of his discography, I’m fairly satisfied with that. It’s a nice story, and fictionalization is inevitable so I don’t mind telling it. It says a lot that way, and speaks to me and parts of my career fairly well in that context. But I think I want to at least try to say something more accurately “based on a true story” before I finish it. So I’ll be calling my upcoming live album what I was originally going to call the studio release, to re-contextualize the songs and give a more raw look at the material.
Q. In the future, do you see yourself still engaging in music and other multimedia? Or do you see yourself heading in another direction?
A. Sure, I plan to keep doing “Life in the World to Come” and may take on other projects, but I won’t be doing music and I’ll be limiting public appearances for the foreseeable future.