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The Way Down Wanderers Present A More Vulnerable Side On Their New Album 'More Like Tomorrow'

The Way Down Wanderers

Fatherhood and addiction are two of the meaty subjects tackled on the new album from Peoria’s alt-folk quintet, The Way Down Wanderers.

Band members Collin Krause and Austin Krause-Thompson spoke with WCBU's Daniel Musisi about their new album, “More Like Tomorrow.”

Collin Krause: One thing we do as writers is really try to let the song kind of dictate the sonic arrangement. So, you know, some songs just feel better with acoustic guitar and just a banjo and some vocals, but then others feel like they yield more to a keyboard part or something more in terms of electric instruments. So, we really like to let the song kind of determine where we go with it.

Daniel Musisi: The album touches on so many big important themes: acceptance, or self-forgiveness, the joys and complexities of parenting, addiction and recovery, and joy or peace alongside the acknowledgement of the struggles of others. Are these new themes?

Collin Krause: I think we all went through a lot. In between albums, a lot of time passes. So, some of these themes are new. For instance, since the last album, I'm really excited to be three years sober from alcohol. I’ve been kind of accepting that identity and learning that it's something to be proud of. So yeah, we I think in this album, we've really allowed ourselves to be a little bit more vulnerable, in terms of subject matter. But I hope that that certainly could be more relatable to the listener, even if it's something that is very personal to me.

Austin Krause-Thompson: The vulnerability I think, is something we've grown to be a little more comfortable with. With the third record, we've kind of become more self aware and okay with putting those things out there. And just knowing that people relate.

Daniel Musisi: Collin you wrote a song named after a street here in Peoria. The song Parkside Drive has a pretty tough back story.

Collin Krause: Yeah, that song really is, you know, very personal and special to me, because it really does touch on my recovery process, which is an ongoing thing. You don't kind of wake up one day, and oh, you're recovered! It’s something that you just take one day at a time. So, I was running a lot in Peoria, and living on Main Street and Parkside drive. So, I was inspired to write that song, just during meditations and running to kind of work some stuff out, in a way.

Daniel Musisi: And Austin, you write about parenting on the album. How has becoming a parent influenced your songwriting?

Austin Krause-Thompson: You know, yeah, it's really just changed my perception a little bit, just to have a few deeper paths to dive down in terms of writing. You know, I try to just keep an equal balance in my writing, between it being about the kids, or just what this point in life has made me perceive other things in life as. But yeah, it's been a whirlwind.

Daniel Musisi: There's something intriguing about albums whose name is not a song on the album. “More Like Tomorrow” is one of those albums. Can you talk a bit about the meaning of the title?

Austin Krause-Thompson: The title actually comes from a lyric and one of the tracks. The song was called Dark Marks. And I think for a while, we were actually toying with naming the song More Like Tomorrow, but I just always called it Dark Marks, so we moved to that, and we used it as the title. But really, it really can mean so many things like more like tomorrow… is when we get there, like we're still working. And it's always a continuous thing in relation to some of the tracks.

Collin Krause: I like to interpret the album as kind of this idea that progress is sometimes accepting that it's not going to happen right now. So for me, it means very literally, well, we'll try again tomorrow.

To learn more about The Way Down Wanderers and to hear their latest album "More Like Tomorrow", visit The Way Down Wanderers website.

Daniel Musisi is WCBU's Assistant Audio Director. He's also the host of our daily newsmagazine All Things Peoria.