Willdabeast: If Only For Yourself

by Emily Thompson

Willdabeast, the just-for-fun lovechild of local artists Will Glazier and Dan de Lisle, released If Only for Yourself, showing the long time musicians at the height of their musical partnership.

Both professional musicians, Glazier has been playing music since he was a young kid. He started in his teen years playing trumpet in a ska-punk band in Buffalo, New York. That band took off, releasing a couple albums and playing Warped Tour which got him “hooked on independent music and writing songs.”

Glazier moved west in 2006 and started at Whatcom Community College where he met de Lisle. “My first class was a jazz band class and… I stumbled in and to my left was Dan,” he said.

de Lisle, who was born and raised in Bellingham, has been playing trombone since he was young and got his start from forming groups with other musicians in town. “(Will) was obviously the best trumpet player I had met at the time and he had this funk band I was so giddy about,” de Lisle said. “We’ve been playing together ever since.”

Glazier and de Lisle formed a quick bond that turned into Snug Harbor, a funk-soul group that gained popularity in the Washington music scene. Glazier and de Lisle went onto to play in several other bands’ horn sections and even joining Michal Menert, going on a national tour and opening for the group as Willdabeast. They’ve collaborated with big names like Griz, DeFunk, The Floozies and others, and hold an impressive resume between the two of them.

“(Dan) plays trombone and flute and I play trumpet mostly,” Glazier said. “Most of the songs I write, and then Dan comes in and helps piece it together. The album [prior] was almost the opposite.”

With both de Lisle and Glazier assuming equal roles as proficient songwriters and musicians, the duo bounces off each other in their shows like you’ve never witnessed.

It’s difficult to force their music into a genre and the two know that. Like any longtime artist, Willdabeast realizes their sound has changed – in their own opinion – for the better. “Some people say that the first Willdabeast project is their first which I think is hilarious,” de Lisle said. They’ve released quite a bit of music; two albums, a remix album and several EPs.

There are some difficult parts about being an independent artist, they said. What is the one that proves the hardest? Choosing the right release date. They release their music independently and promote it themselves, a feat that proves hard for any artist in today’s world of easily accessible information via internet.

“I’m the kind of person who would never do any promo. I could release a song and have just my mom like it and be happy,” de Lisle said.

Of course, moms are not the only ones grooving to their funky bass lines and expansive knowledge of their instruments. However, finding the right audience isn’t always easy. “Our last album is almost ironically titled… If Only for Yourself because it’s like, why are we doing this? What are we doing?” Glazier said. “I hope other people can catch on and experience similar emotions and reactions like we did while making it.”

Glazier and de Lisle are making sure to have fun with Willdabeast but recognize how much the music industry has changed in the past couple years. For them, this project is purely for individual enjoyment. The aspect of making others dance to their music is an added bonus.

Willdabeast collaborates heavily with others in Bellingham and runs off of support from other artists from other parts of the country as well. “A lot of our best songs are with other people,” Glazier said. “On this new album, almost every single song has a featured artist or vocalist… many from Bellingham.”

Their sound is unique, tough to put into one single genre. The EP proves they’re capable of laying down a chill, easy-going beat and then follow it up with a head-banger, full of flawless horns and funky beats.

Even though they aren’t necessarily going for the full-time music career, Glazier and de Lisle are talented and have fun playing their music. With Bellingham being such a receptive city for local artists, they’re the duo that embodies the spirit of what Bellingham’s music scene consists of: fun times, great music, and a big ole dance party.

Catch Willdabeast at Moon Mountain Lodge in Sedro Woolley on June 28. See their Facebook page for updates at facebook.com/willdabeastofficial.