WillDABeast: An animal of fusion

by Ian Fitch

Will Glazier is WillDABeast. A founding member and leader of the local soul staple, Snug Harbor, Glazier has reinvented his performing persona to become one of the newest additions to Bellingham’s scene by blending the carefully composed synthetic sounds of electronic music, and the irreplaceable authenticity of live musicians in a unique way that is entirely his own.
Glazier’s project is the culmination of more than a decade performing as a live musician, blowing his trumpet in many genres. “I actually started out in a metal band in junior high,” Glazier said.
With the influence of wide ranging musical tastes, he’s been building beats for years. But only recently he began to focus on piecing these labor intensive works together, which is why it is inaccurate to simply toss Glazier into the flooding pool of electronic DJs.
“For a while I just had to lock myself away, sometimes 10 hours a day, to make beats,” Glazier said. “I’ll start out on a drum pad, find a rhythm and go from there.” Then the added layers and samples are dissected and rearranged on top. But what separates Glazier as a composer is the integration of live elements into his work, which lends to his live performances when guest musicians can appear at any time to sit in on the drum set, pick up a guitar, and bring the electronic experience to life with Glazier, who always has his trumpet nearby.
The other aspect that puts this project into its own category is the sheer depth of samples that are seamlessly slipped into the grooves, sometimes hard to detect unless you listen closely. One track that begins with an extended Nat King Cole piano sample eventually morphs into a sample of a hard hitting verse from Method Man. The range of sampled artists includes Diana Ross, Kool & the Gang, and Missy Elliott. Glazier’s musical tastes are on full display throughout his work.
“My intention is to blend the natural with the digital,” Glazier said. This theme is prominent in his upcoming release Into the Wild, due out in early April. The variety within the music makes it hard to define, and Glazier has found himself straddling a line between the diehard EDM fans who rely on a throbbing bass line, and the music lovers who can’t bear to watch a show without a live instrument on stage.
“I’ve been calling it future soul,” he said. Without a premade label to slap on his creation, Glazier invented the genre with a perfectly appropriate title for a sound that is coincidentally reflective of an era when our past clashes violently against the rapid modernization of our society. Glazier proves that this unavoidable reality doesn’t have to be an uncomfortable, awkward transition met with resistance – with the right perspective it can be a truly beautiful thing.
Whether you come to dance or dig some of Bellingham’s finest musicians doing their thing, WillDABeast has got the goods. He will be playing each Wednesday night at the Green Frog from 10 p.m. to close, offering hits from the 50s to present day.