WYKAN Interview: Jeremy on the new band and a tribe of reindeer herders

Jeremy Perkins has proven himself to be an innovative musical composer incorporating different genres into his creations to form a seamless blend of metals, a sonic alloy if you will.  Whether it be with Eohum, who released their first album in 2015, or the new project, Wykan, Jeremy takes his music to new heights mixing metal sounds with tribal history and folklore, and the result is pretty damn awesome.

When the first Eohum album, Revelations, Aurora of An Epoch, came out in 2015,I was quite enthralled with the mix of genres and the inclusion of elements and sentiments from indigenous cultures.  So much that I sought an interview and had a great chat with founder and idea-man, Jeremy Perkins.  In fact, it was one of the most enjoyable interviews I had done to date.  Speaking with Jeremy I saw an educated music lover who had, not only an interest, but a deep connection to the histories of various native tribes and their cultures.

With the April release of an ep from Jeremy’s new band, Wykan, I was not surprised to learn that Solace was highly influenced by a tribe called the Saami who were reindeer herders before colonial expansion tore into their culture.  Stemming from an interest in Ethnobotany, Jeremy has taken something very old and incorporated it into something very new.  So I reached out once again and had another excellent conversation about music and the inspirations that Jeremy draws from:

Where does your interest in ethnobotany come from?

“At a young age I got into spiritualism quite young and I traveled quite a bit in North America and studied some medical anthropology.  I never ended up going anywhere with it, but you know, personally I always had an interest in nature, biology, plants.  I got into mycology and started doing some photography here at the university in Montreal for identification books.  From then on at an older age I just got into more of the ritualistic and spiritual side of it.  I mean, it’s a huge intrigue and it’s the last connection we have with Earth, it’s the relationship we have with Earth and plants.”

Who are the Sammi?

“The Sammi tribes are like the native American’s, but of Europe.  They look like your typical Finnish or Swedish gentlemen, but they’re reindeer herders and they have been doing it for thousands of years. Their territories reached from all the way from Russia down to what today is known as Sweden. Their heritage goes way back, and their particular heritage is tied in with the anamita mushroom right, so when Christianity came and paganism kind of banged heads in Europe, they kinda blended it with that old ancient doctrine.  So that’s why you’ve got red and white presents under trees where the anamita mushrooms grow, and the reindeer is flying with Santa claus.  That’s Saami culture right there.  When you delve into plants and its historical impact on humans, you see it’s pretty evident.”

Tell us about Wykan and the ep, Solace:

“Basically, I just missed doing my old stoner rock, doom, bluesy type riffs.  Eohum took off in a death and black direction in the last couple of years.  This is a side project that I put together about 8-10 months ago and once I got everybody together, the collaborators for that specific album, within the first month or two I had the three songs.  So I just jammed them out and perfected them, and we got Silver Wing studios to do the recording. He really worked well with us.  He’s really known in the metal scene, he did a lot of The Agonist, and Erima and a lot of good Montreal metal recordings.  He was able to not overdo it with the production and keep it almost all one-takes and whatnot.  It came out pretty good.”

Any future plans?

“We’re already working on the second ep, we have a lot of good collaborators. going to experiment more with the blues blend with the doom.  It’s a pretty tuned and working machine thus far!”

I know I’m looking forward to the next one.  Solace was a damn fine 3 track release!  Check out my review of Solace.  Also, listen to the full interview:


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