Last updated: 01/01/2003 09:39:46 PM
Waylander was formed in 1993 by brothers Ciaran and Dermot O'Hagan. The initial idea was to play Metal in the 80s-style, but by total coincidence, the first song that was written had a distinctive Celtic sound to it, this becoming Waylander's trademark-sound for the future! This first song, "Born to the Fight", is to this day the most requested song by fans at Waylander's gigs. Many members were auditioned over the coming months before the first steady line-up of Ciaran O'Hagan (vocals), Dermot O'Hagan (guitars), Den Ferran (drums) and Jason Barriskill (bass)recorded the debut demo, "Once Upon an Era" in late 1994. This demo received excellent reviews throughout the worldwide Metal underground scene and this, along with the many live-shows played throughout Ireland, established Waylander as one of the front-runners of the expanding Irish Metal-scene.
In late 1995, it became clear that Jason didn't have the same commitment as the rest of the band, so he was removed and within a few minutes was replaced on bass by Michael Proctor. It was with this line-up that "Dawning of a New Age", the second demo, was recorded and released in early 1996. The sound on this demo had greatly evolved, helped by the use of the Irish traditional-instrument the tin-whistle and it was obvious that Waylander had created something totally original in a scene which had been overflowed with run-of-the-mill Black Metal and Death Metal bands.
Shortly after the release of "Dawning of a New Age", Waylander realised that a full-time tin-whistle player was needed to progress any further, and at around the same time they met up with Mairtin Mac Cormaic at one of their gigs, a new friendship was formed and a new chapter in the life of Waylander was written.
Over the next 2 years, Waylander played many gigs throughout Ireland, Scotland and England, and by this stage they had built up a fairly impressive fan-base, including Century Media Records who decided to sign the band. In January 1998, Waylander travelled to Germany to record their debut-album with renowned producer Andy Classen (Rotting Christ, Asphyx, Holy Moses, Richthofen, etc.) at his Stage One Studios. "Reawakening Pride Once Lost" received excellent reactions and reviews worldwide, and led to Waylander being top of the playlists on many international radio shows for some time. The CD contained 11 tracks, ranging from full-throttle Metal to mellow Irish traditional music to something inbetween, and included Waylander's own version of the 2000+ year-old Irish tune "King of the Fairies", which is widely regarded in Irish music circles as one of the best versions of this tune ever!
The music on offer on the first CD has been compared to many very different bands, such as Slayer, Skyclad, Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, Thin Lizzy, Horslips, Clannad, Sabbat, Kretaor and many more...
In 1999, Waylander realised that they needed to add a second guitarist to the line-up in order to add more power and influences to the band. This was when Peter Boylan, a member of Waylander way back in the pre-demo days was taken on board.
In early 2001, Waylander secured a deal with England's Blackend Records (a division of Candlelight/Plastic Head) and a follow-up to the 1998 debut was recorded in No Sweat Productions (the same studio as was used for the 2nd demo!) on the northern coast of Ireland. The music this time around has progressed a lot since the first CD, being a more melodic, with an all-round darker atmosphere, and anyone who has heard the new material to date has been astounded by the mature sound that the band has achieved. The new album will be called "The Light, the Dark and the Endless Knot..." and will be released through Blackend Records on September 10th 2001, to be followed by an intensive European tour.