WHEEL – PROG METAL DONE RIGHT
One thing leads to another
I met James first time through Saku Mattila, who was at the time the solo guitarist in James’s band Wheel. Saku had invited me to their debut gig in Helsinki, and when they blasted off on stage… I became a fan. Period.
I would describe Wheel as prog metal done right. The music – song and melody – always come first priority – and whatever else there is, be it the hypnotic polyrhythms, otherworldly moods breaking into infernal riffing or instrumental acrobatics, these additional elements are always there for a reason: to complement the song itself. Mesmerizing, to say the least.
Yeah, I’m a sucker for prog rock, and Wheel had definitely something magical about them. Something different. After that first gig James and I drifted talking about their music and guitars, and noticed immediately we’re on the same wavelength – and we became friends.
Lefty to the finest detail
I kept on going to Wheel gigs, and we ended up working a bit on James’s guitars too… and I guess James liked what we were doing, as he decided to order a custom Unicorn model from us.
Making a lefty guitar offers always a bit more challenge than making a right-handed guitar, cause none of us at the shop play left-handed. We have however gathered over the years many loyal left-handed clients, and we’ve worked hard with them to find ways to make it 100% sure that the lefty guitars are every bit as great all the way to the finest detail as the rest of our guitars… And yet, no matter how many lefty guitars we make, I find it every time somehow a bit more nerve-wrecking than usual to hand over those guitars to the owners..!
All photos on this page by Toni B. Gunner. Thank you Toni for letting us use these fantastic shots!
WHEEL – WHERE THE PIECES LIE
James Lascelles: Vocals, Guitar ⏐ JC Halttunen: Lead Guitar
Aki ‘Conan’ Virta: Bass ⏐ Santeri Saksala: Drums