Interview: Wyland - Lost

New Jersey rock band Wyland unleash their new single ‘Lost’ – and tell Annie Rew Shaw how it all came about!

‘Lost’ is a song about escaping the confines of your home and setting sail into the wild. Undeniably catchy, the track employs euphoric guitar riffs, uplifting vocal harmonies and a constant driving beat that relentlessly pushes you forward. 

I caught up with frontman Ryan Sloan to understand more about how the band found their feet, their musical influences and how a tweet led them to record in Ireland with producer Philip Magee… 

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Annie) Hey guys! Can you tell me about how you first formed as a band?

Wyland) Hey Annie. Thanks for having us. Well, where to begin? The band was conjured up sometime in 2013 after I had a pretty biblical experience at Bonnaroo in 2011. Among the sweat, blistering heat and overflowing porta potties in Manchester, Tennessee, I became extremely inspired by acts like the Arctic Monkeys, Arcade Fire, Vampire Weekend and many more. 

I drove the 13 hours straight thinking about pursuing music. I decided that the logical thing to do was to write some songs and see if it made any sense. So I get home, end up back in the routine of life in the suburbs of New Jersey. I didn’t write anything and I just went to work for an electrical company called Tel Star. 

That year my grandfather passed away. He was a great musician and he knew I had aspirations to play, so he left me everything. I took it as a sign and began trying to write songs. I released the first batch of unofficial Wyland songs in 2013. I wasn’t very happy with the recording experience or how the songs came out so I tweeted Philip Magee and told him one day we’d work together. He responded but it was still such a long shot for us. 

So I tried recording new tunes again in 2015 with IASOTU. We went to Lakehouse Studios in Asbury Park and it was a disaster. Pat Noon at 816 music studios saved the record. Again though, I felt like the recording process was negatively affecting the songs. Nobody seemed to understand what we were going for. So I decided the only thing I can do is go to someone with a proven track record next time. This person ended up being Philip Magee. More on him later.

I love your new single ‘Lost’. It conjures up images of driving along an open road full of anticipation. What’s the story behind the song?

Honoured you like it. The song is about feeling captive in the town you grew up in. Instead of giving up, you grab the only person in the world who understands and you escape. 

I’ll only sing something I believe in. Lyrically, I talk about where I’ve been for the past couple years with Ariella (the other lead singer of this band) and what that’s done to us. This song is about that.    

Your sound is really rich, combining lots of indie/alternative influences. Who are your biggest musical inspirations?

There are loads really. I think The Beatles are the biggest at this point but we’ve been digging around old Bowie, New Order, U2. Really love what acts like The Arctic Monkeys and Foals bring to the table. 

I see you’ve been recording in Ireland with producer Philip Magee. How was that?

It wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. Just kidding. It was lovely. He’s a ball of sunshine, that Philip Magee. We love the man. In retrospect, I wish we had more time in the studio with him. We’re happy with everything but we like to have the time to experiment and explore and our budget wasn’t really letting us do that. 

What’s been your favourite live show to date?

I think every show is upping the ante. Our previous show at Music Hall of Williamsburg was a really great time.

What’s coming up next for Wyland? Any live shows we should put in our diaries?

We’ve been writing loads. A handful of the new songs see me taking a step back from singing and have Ariella taking a bit more of the forefront so we’re excited about that. 

And yes, we’ve got tons of dates coming up. You can find that info on our website at