If you’ve ever spent time to look up how the punk rock scene in Chicago fairs, you’ll find out that it’s a heavy breeding ground for some great bands and unique sounds. With the likes of Knuckle Puck taking the Chicago punk scene by storm, they’ve given many bands hope that they can one day reach their level of success.
One of the bands that’s rising in the city of Chicago is Wayside Story, and let me tell you, they have the talent to do so.
Wayside Story was crafted in 2013 by Brian Werdell, the bassist of Wayside, when he was looking for some people to jam with. That is where Brian met lead guitarist Casey Murdock via Craigslist. “We were both looking for someone to jam to some punk rock songs with,” said Casey. He continued, “Our styles clicked pretty quickly, and then we wanted to bring together a full band to start writing our own material.”
Brian and Casey again went to Craigslist to find new members for their band, which is where they found Kevin Hsu for guitar and vocals and their first drummer Corbin Wyatt. “Believe me, we met some interesting people along the way before settling on a group.” said Casey joking, “Craigslist is like a dating site for musicians.”
However, the group wasn’t completely sealed. After a while, their first drummer Corbin had to leave the band for personal reasons, but this is where they found their official drummer Alex Porter through the local punk music scene. No Craigslist for that one!
The band was thrilled with what he could bring to the band creatively and immediately welcomed Alex into the band as their permanent drummer.
Some could say getting together a group of people from various backgrounds, like Wayside Story, with different ideas of punk rock music can be a challenge when it’s time to come together and make music for yourselves. Creativity can be much different, sounds can be different, and more importantly, the way the songs are constructed can be way different.
With the pop punk and punk rock genre blowing up and covering such a large variety of music, people’s idea of punk music can be much different from another.
“We each seem to favor different ones (genres). The process can get tricky, trying to put together our varying viewpoints, since we each have a say when it comes to songwriting.” Said Casey. Sometime’s its the creative indifference that drives a band off the ledge into hiatus, other times its a crutch for some of the most unique sounds a band can create. For Wayside Story, it was a blessing.
“I think the dynamic element really pushes us and each other to expand our boundaries and deliver the best music possible. We actually believe that this democratic, diverse songwriting process is what makes this band unique and will continue to help us grow as a band.”
The band was able to give one another’s input in what their sound can be individually, which has helped them cover a lot of punk rock sounds. With musical backgrounds in pop punk like Blink-182, Green Day, Yellowcard, and then into more heavy-ish punk with NOFX, and Rise Against, they’re able to develop a mixed sound from the early 2000’s, which is rare to see with punk rock bands these days, who in which are apart of a punk rock revolution with a new sound approach to punk rock.
“A lot of our songwriting blends together the different styles of who we grew up listening to, which includes a lot of original punk/pop-punk. That said, we also listen to more current pop-punk bands that are capturing the scene, and they certainly influence our style as well.”
Maintaining a classic punk sound while also dabbling into the newer punk genre is what is helping Wayside Story gather more and more attention throughout the world, but more importantly in the Chicago scene.
“The Chicago scene is amazing!” said Casey. He continued, “Not only is it filled with a wide range of talent, but all of the bands in it are so supportive of one another. From sharing our music, to coming to our shows, we wouldn’t be nearly as successful without the other bands’ support.”
When your biggest fans are your opposing musicians, the community for the punk scene can skyrocket. It’s what creates a community of musicians, rather than a survival of the fittest battleground, in which only one band comes out alive. That’s what makes the music much more diverse, yet satisfying. Wayside Story is another one of the reasons that is, by the way they passed the torch with that ideology outside of Chicago.
Wayside recently crafted a split E.P with Better Days, a punk rock band from Newcastle, England. They’re another unique band from across the globe, that I highly recommend for any punk band. AllPunkedUp did an interview with them not too long ago, that you can read here.
The split E.P was phenomenal. Both bands met through their management, Word is Bond. Wayside Story had a few songs written that they thought could work perfectly with Better Days and their style of music. With hopes of reaching a bigger audience, Better Days was the perfect fit and vice versa.
“WiB introduced us to Better Days; we listened to their music and thought they’d be a great fit to put outran split E.P with. We reached out to them and it came together really quickly!” Said Casey.
If you want to listen to the split, you can download it for free here. Both of the bands’ mixed together perfectly to create this E.P, which have clashed both sides of the Atlantic Ocean together it seems. “Honestly, we didn’t even hear their songs until just before it released and it’s amazing how well they fit in with our new songs!” The split was ideal for both sides, as it touched on how similar the punk rock scene can be on the other side of the world.
With the split done, the band isn’t taking much time off creating new music. Despite being focused on promoting their newest songs and stepping up their live performances in Chicago and around the midwest, they’ve begun writing for their next release as well. Wayside stated, “We hope to put out another E.P of our own by the end of 2017. You all will have to stay tuned, more to come from Wayside Story!”
However, being in a band means a lot more to Wayside than a lot of other bands. Ever since their origin from Craigslist, they’ve always been humble just making music they love and enjoying jamming with great friends, which was their goal from day one.
“Our main goal from day one has been to write/play music we enjoy, and to have fun doing it…We’d love to see this band turn into a regular touring band and we understand we have a long way to go before that happens. We’ve giving it our all by continuing to write new music, play more shows, and promote constantly, hoping to push this band as far as it can go.”
Obviously, the future is never given and no one knows what can happen. Wayside Story knows that, but they’re ready for whatever the future throws at them. They stated, “No matter what happens, we’re going to enjoy every step of the way and embrace what comes.”
However, Wayside shouldn’t worry about falling out of the spotlight, as their music is already growing into something nearly generational. If you’d like to see more of Wayside Story, follow up on what they’re doing, follow them on Twitter below!