Who Is Nate Wylz And What “Transcendental Hallucinationz” Are He Talking About?
More and more people seem to be growing aware of Los Angeles rising star Nate Wylz, and his band “WYLZ”, formerly known as “NATE WYLZ & SOUNDZ”. Despite the band’s nearly three year hiatus that began just as the band was starting to find success in the underground music scene of Los Angeles, California, it seems that more and more people are learning about this unique, out of this world band, responsible for radio singles “Remember The Future” and “Don’t Feel Bad”. Their first album, VISIONZ, debuted in 2018, and for the first couple of months, the album saw very little success. If you can even use the word “success.” Their sales didn’t even make it to the thousands.. It wasn’t until their US tour of 2019 that the album, and the band, began to find success, particularly and mostly on College Radio, where the respective DJs would receive several requests every day to play Nate Wylz & Soundz. With this growth, the band then began to receive airplay on radio stations all over the nation, though most of these plays took place in the mid-western and western US states, but most of those plays were on various Los Angeles radio stations. But that tour proved to be one of the more important series of events in the band’s short history.Not only did they find their cult following, but they also had the opportunity to perform all over the country, began doing interviews for magazines and have been featured in many other news outlets across the states, as well as in Canada and parts of South America. As the band was beginning to see more success with VISIONZ, and as they had become the target of multiple offers from various record labels, the band decided to begin production on their second album with legendary musician and record producer Bob Knight.
Production began and was running as smoothly as one could hope for, with nearly all of the instrumentals being recorded within the first month and a half, but then we all know what happened at the end of 2019/beginning of 2020 …The COVID-19 Pandemic swept across the world and quickly complicated the lives of every human being that it didn’t completely take altogether. And with this unexpected Pandemic, many people lost loved ones, jobs, homes, businesses and so much more. Everything was closing down. Hollywood Blvd, Venice Beach, the Santa Monica Pier and every other popular place that is seemingly always populated that you can think of, all looked to be completely empty. Dead. Silent. And with this unbelievable fact, the city of Los Angeles (as well as almost every other US city) was forced by the state to essentially shut down the film and record studios, and unfortunately, this forced the band’s second studio album into a hiatus that they were unsure they would ever resurrect from. The band’s income ceased, lead singer Nate Wylz moved back to his hometown of Memphis, TN and attempted to wait it out and work on his art until this all blew over. But just when things didn’t seem like they could get any worse, a tragedy befell the band, as Nate Wylz’s first and original drummer and long time friend, Doug McClew, passed away at the age of 25.
For a few months, this caused Nate Wylz and band to lose hope that they would ever recover from all of these hard hits that life threw at them. Their new album would never see its release, they wouldn’t get any more calls from any of the interested labels, VISIONZ had seen an exponential decrease in sales, until eventually there were no more sales, and their streams went from over 400,000 in their best month to less than one hundred …ouch! And oh how unfortunate of timing it was! The band had just started seeing success and were even referred to as “The rising stars of tomorrow” by LAmag. They had a cult following and were on the rise for something more when this monstrous COVID-19 shaped figure plagued every step forward that the band attempted to make. Mourning the loss of their drummer, the band decided to release an homage to McClew, in the form of an unofficial album release full of raw demos recorded during practices, some tracks that were recorded professionally and meant to be released on one of the band’s studio albums and even some songs that were recorded by Nate Wylz and Doug McClew in the band they were active in during their high school years. This homage was titled “BAZEMENT SOUNDZ” and was released to little success, as the band refused to promote it, market it or even mention the fact that they had even released anything new. For the band, it wasn’t about that.
So why are they relevant enough for us to write this article? Are they relevant at all? Don’t I have something better to write about? Well you see, the band finally made time to get back to that album they started recording all those years ago, and they finished it. A mammoth of an album; with a runtime that exceeds 2 hours, 19 tracks that span so many different genres that you would think it was a compilation album if it wasn’t for that Nate Wylz style that drips from every number on the album. With exactly three years, eight months and eight days passed since their debut release, VISIONZ, , (released on December 8th, 2022, under the name “Nate Wylz & Soundz”) The band finally returns with their second studio album, TRANSCENDENTAL HALLUCINATIONZ, and releases it with a whole new band name “WYLZ” Originally scheduled for a June 13th release, the album was delayed yet again, as the band became the target of a bidding war between various independent record labels. The new album, TRANSCENDENTAL HALLUCINATIONZ, was released on August 16th, 2022 in stores all across the US, UK, Canada, South America, Germany, China, Japan and many other parts of the world. And again, this monster of an album contains 19 tracks, spanning a plethora of genres and styles from the classic rock sounds of the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s, hip hop, punk rock, heavy metal, jazz, classical, reggae, blues, Psychedelic Rock, Folk, Indie, and even some songs that are almost genre-defying. The album even contains two or three thought provoking spoken word poetry tracks and even an acapella track.
The final song on the album clocks in at over 30 minutes and tells the life story of a fictional character named Ozzy Dunn and I had never heard anything like it before. It was an ambitious piece of music that takes you on a journey, and seems to be a mini album by itself. It’s almost as though you’re watching a movie or listening to an audio book as the characters have a certain depth that you never get from other characters that only exist within songs. And something tells me that this Ozzy Dunn character has a lot of similarities with his writer, the one who narrates the story with melodic vocals that range from deep bass to high enough to communicate with mice, and of course there are some points that must be screamed to be made. And with an instrumental piece that is basically the modern day answer to classical music (and the album also contains a number that gives us a pop/rock latter section, and beginning section that happens to be a classical piano piece with Wylz’s unique, beautiful vocals.
The lyrics are strange, visual, one of a kind, well written, poetic, expressive, meaningful, emotional and almost prophetic in a way. During my first experience of the album, it seemed that one moment I would be listening to a soft, beautiful song with comlex lyrics of a philosophical nature that really made me think and reflect on my life, others, who or what I am, and even had me challenging my own beliefs. I can honestly say that this album made me think in a way I never had before, and that is probably the best compliment I could give about any piece of art out there. And I wouldn’t say it if it weren’t absolutely true. So one second, I’m contemplating the meaning of life, what it even means to have meaning, while another song was so hilarious I couldn’t seem to stop laughing and replaying it. I laughed until my sides hurt. Then another song may tell me a story about a centipede eating away at someone’s insides, or of the life to death story of a fictional character he created. And then Wylz seems to be opening up with past traumatic events or some bad things that he has done, or that occurred in his life, or maybe that someone else had done. Whatever the case, there is meaning and purpose to every word on the album. Free Will, religiosity vs atheism, objectivity vs subjectivity, how we use our flawed, conscious experience of life to evaluate features of existence and the laws that govern them ..so that we can determine what reality is in the first place. There even seems to be moments where the bass guitar seems to be playing some kind of hidden message in morse code or binary code or something of the sorts. But I may be wrong about that. There is nothing out there quite like this album.
The music is the perfect blend of simple, moderate, intricate and complex. It doesn’t try to be more than it is, it just is. An ambitious release, and arguably the best album to come out this year, it is clear that this band is going places. The lead singer, Nate Wylz, is as enigmatic as he is awe-inspiring. With his unique vocal styles that seem to blend the soft and melodic with the strange and absurd, it is also clear that this man has a lot to say, a lot to accomplish, and obviously has an objective with it all. You can’t look at the band’s website or facebook page without running into endless posts all but obsessing over just how good-looking he is, and they aren’t wrong. Nate Wylz is the heart-throb of the near future! WYLZ seems to be destined for a greatness beyond the members’ comprehension. And the new album, TRANSCENDENTAL HALLUCINATIONZ, very likely has a future in every list of most notable albums of the century. It feels a bit wrong to even call it an album. It’s an experience of sorts! As though the band intends for the audience to lay back, put on a pair of headphones, shut their eyes and listen as the sounds transport them to another realm, where Nate Wylz can take them by the hand and be their guide on this unique experience unlike any other. If I were to recommend only one album that has released in 2022 for people to listen to, knowing they wouldn’t be able to listen to anything else, this would be the album of choice. So far, it is by far the best thing I have heard all year, and maybe even the best thing I have heard over the past few years. TRANSCENDENTAL HALLUCINATIONZ is available on CD and Vinyl. And is available on streaming platforms everywhere.
It is rumored that the band will be releasing several albums back to back, and that Nate Wylz will be releasing a solo acoustic album under his own name. Nate Wylz has also mentioned that he will be publishing his first novel soon, and has created his own board game, has announced a book informing the reader on his view of the laws of physics and how they manage to govern reality, and has even scored the starring role in a film that has yet to begin production. Needless to say, we have not heard the last of Nate Wylz. That is a fact that I am willing to bet money on. The “higher-ups” of the entertainment industry never seem to let an obvious future star with immense talent, killer good looks and an intelligence level that seems to be flaunted by the music itself, although “apparent” or “obvious may have been a better word. I am not getting paid by the band. I have not made contact with them. They don’t even know I’m writing this. A friend of mine was wearing a shirt with their debut album cover on it and I asked about it. She took me to her room and put on a vinyl record of that very same album. I thought it was great, and told her how obvious the potential was. I think I used the words, “These guys could really make something special if they put their mind to it. I’ve never heard anything quite like it.” I listened to them maybe a few more times over the years, but then when their new album came out and I gave it a listen, I had to give up my many failed attempts of lifting my jaw off the floor, as I was absolutely astonished by what I was hearing. The album has been out for four days as I am writing this article and I must have heard it a dozen times by now. I look forward to hearing what the band has for us in the near and far future. If you’re interested in checking them out, their Facebook page is simply called WYLZ. And I know they have a band website but I don’t really remember what its called. But that’s nothing a quick Google search can’t fit. Although I’m not in the business of promoting musical artists, bands or really any form of entertainment, this album doesn’t really qualify. It seems to be something much more.