Friday Find #23 – Dom Wier

Dom Wier takes each day as it comes.

His path until now has not been inflexible and the road hasn’t been without detours. Throughout the journey, however, his songwriting has pushed him towards his true musical character and driven him closer to his most comfortable sound, and indirectly towards his most comfortable self.

Released everywhere today, Wier’s Wayward Skies LP re-introduces the St. Louis-area-born, Nashville resident as a singer-songwriter with versatility and truth in his music; specifically, one who thrives on determination and self-belief.

After more than a decade in the business and with thousands of miles under his belt, with each day that passes Wier becomes more familiar with the voice that feels most comfortable to him. Always aiming to write music reflective of his current state of mind, he admits that his music has undoubtedly evolved over the years because of his life’s experiences.

The Wayward Skies’ opening titled “One Way Road” is an indirect introduction to Wier’s personal story, backed by his rhythmic confidence. Dynamic guitars and harmonious vocals help narrate his overarching career outlook, which includes following his dreams and always pushing forward, be it an inch or a step at a time.

Dom Wier performing the record’s opening number, “One Way Road”, at Rockwood Music Hall in Manhattan, New York. October 2018.

Describing the album’s title and its appearance in the first song’s lyrics, Wier attests the phrase to his attitude of rolling with the punches. By taking little for granted and holding himself to a certain standard it becomes easier for him to improve; on a similar note, his core principles and deterministic mindset shine brightly through the album’s fourth track, the harnessed acoustic number, “Mission Statement”.

“It’s about how things always change and move on.  The skies are blue, gray and unpredictable, kind of like life.  We run around day to day just trying to learn and survive on our own paths, but we’re all connected because we all meet the same fate.  That’s kind of the “One Way Road” idea. It’s the acceptance of what we’ve been given and making the most of it. “

From a young age Wier recognized music’s role in his life, but now admits to waiting until age 20 or so before investing more heavily in his songwriting and artistry. Raised by a musical family and receiving his first guitar at age 15, Wier describes his hometown’s music scene as an eclectic combination of musical sounds that are always emerging from the Southern Illinois-based St. Louis area.

Taking in “pretty much every style of music growing up,” he thinks immediately to the classic rock, singer-songwriter influences as early inspiration for him but then quickly jumps towards 90s grunge as another once-passion before finally identifying music of the 1970s as his true favorite. Spending long hours on the road while playing 100-150 shows a year he says that he’s always trying to continue expanding his musical horizons by finding and supporting new artists from any period whose music he can get behind.

“Some of the harder parts are late night drives, long hours and the general self doubt that can crop up, but at the end of the day, I love [traveling from show to show]….And I still listen to plenty of [older music] but I always try to find new writers/artists that I think are great and support them.”

The seventh track of Wayward Skies, “I Got a Name” acts as a first-hand look into Wier’s thoughts as a traveling guitar man. With his name, his songs, and his dreams, the winding roads and seemingly-endless drives inspire him to persevere. “Rolling down the highway so life won’t pass [him] by,” the excitement and atmosphere at his live shows make up for the long in-betweens and even when times are tough encourage him to keep driving, and keep writing. A shared love of music is the force majeure between him and the crowd at his countless performances, and after hundreds of shows he is confident that this universal love of music is what keeps him steadfast on his occasionally lonesome musical journey.

“The best thing is actually playing the show and having folks be receptive to what you’re doing.  I like seeing the country too and meeting new people; people like music, it’s something that brings them together….I’ve played in the most sophisticated martini lounges and the dirtiest bars in the south.  With all the division in the world, music is a uniter. There’s a difference in clientele between a motorcycle rally and a theater gig of course, but the appreciation of music is the same.”

Preceding the Wayward Skies record with his 2018 New Waters EP, Wier spent roughly two months last fall living in New York City; exploring, taking in the sights and sounds, gigging, and meeting musicians, he had fond thoughts of his New York experience. Speaking to Wier about his brief tenure on Flatbush Avenue near the Barclay’s Center, he remembers the lasting impressions that the individual histories, boundless dreams and goals, and determination pervasive throughout the five boroughs had on him.

Dom Wier in the Lower East Side, New York City. October 2018.

The latest edition in the Wier library introduces a thoughtful and wise side of Dom, which he attests to years of hard work and countless challenging experiences. The song “That Don’t Mean It’s the Truth” shows a darker side of an otherwise bright-eyed musician, providing a first-hand look into the hardships often endured as a touring musician.

Speaking about the song, Wier reflects, “I took it too far one night, many nights, and it’s about self reflection, loneliness and saving face for your friends/family…. It’s about telling people you’re ok, even when you’re not, just so they don’t worry about you.  [But] I think we’ve got to be honest with ourselves first. Realize and accept who you’ve become but if you don’t like it, try your damnedest to change it.”

With a baby on the way and countless learning experiences in his arsenal Wier puts his grit and passion on full display in the open-book series of journal entries that is the Wayward Skies record. A comfortable blend of country, folk, rock, and blues, the twelve song LP is the truest Wier to date and presents his stories as carefully-crafted songs best served up on a single- spotlight stage. While the next chapters are waiting to be written, Wier’s thoughts are waiting to be heard.

Dom Wier has 2019 shows lined up throughout the American southeast to unveil the Wayward Skies record. Listen to the album and find out more about Wier at his website here, and stay up to date with him on his social accounts below.

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