Thomas Wynn & The Be­liev­ers

These Florida roots-rock­ers are on a right­eous path from ad­dic­tion to redemp­tion.

Classic Rock - - Dirt -

All of us are sin­ners. But it’s never too late to be saved. It’s a phi­los­o­phy that has helped Thomas Wynn back from the brink – and pro­vides the con­cept be­hind The Be­liev­ers’ third al­bum, Wade Waist Deep. “I be­lieve that peo­ple can change,” Wynn tells us. “Some­times it just takes us be­ing pushed up against a wall. I know that I’ve changed in lots of ways. When I look at my past and the things that may have hurt some­one yes­ter­day… I don’t want to do that again.”

Now in his thir­ties, Wynn has shed a few skins over the years. There was the church-go­ing kid from Or­lando, Florida, who learnt his mu­si­cal craft un­der the nose of his fa­ther (a some­time drum­mer for 70s coun­try-rock­ers Cow­boy). The brother who spent years tight­en­ing the “blood har­monies” with younger sis­ter Olivia that now de­fine The Be­liev­ers’ rootsy south­ern­coun­try sound. The ad­dict whose pain spilled out in the band’s con­fes­sional early ma­te­rial. “How bad did things get?” he re­flects. “The dis­solv­ing of a mar­riage. But it hap­pened. And you can ei­ther let that change you for the bet­ter, or I could be wal­low­ing for the rest of my life.”

Hap­pily, there’s also Wynn’s cur­rent in­car­na­tion: a lov­ing hus­band, fa­ther-of-one and band­leader whose third al­bum, re­leased last year, is tipped as The Be­liev­ers’ break­through. Mu­si­cally, his songs are of­ten up­lift­ing, from the ti­tle track’s rootsy shuf­fle to the garage-gospel of I Don’t Re­gret. Yet death is never far from the lyric­sheet, whether on the brit­tle hard rock of We Could All Die Scream­ing or the hushed soul of My Eyes Won’t Be Open, where Wynn con­sid­ers how his son might re­mem­ber him af­ter he’s gone. “In Norse mythol­ogy, peo­ple would find corpses,” he ex­plains, “and if the corpse had their eyes open, it meant they re­gret­ted de­ci­sions in their life. At the time I wrote that, I was think­ing: ‘How do I do right by my son, so when I die, my eyes won’t be open?’”

Given the re­cur­ring theme of death, should we be wor­ried about Wynn?

“No,” he shrugs. “I mean, you could worry about me as much as you worry about any­one else. We’re all gonna die.”

For now, Wynn is more con­cerned about up­lift­ing the lives of those who hear his band. “I feel like we’ve lost some cul­tural depth,” he con­sid­ers. “I don’t even know when we lost it or if we ever had it, but it seems to me like self­ish­ness is the ruler of the day. I’d like us to be lov­ing. I’d like to move and grow in love – for all peo­ple.”

Isn’t that a bit spir­i­tual for us Brits?

“One re­viewer called me a fat Je­sus, he says, laugh­ing. “I thought that was kinda funny. Wasn’t I of­fended? No. If I’m fat, it’s be­cause I’m do­ing it to my­self. And if they think I’m like Je­sus, then who bet­ter to be like?” HY

“One re­viewer called me a fat Je­sus. I thought

that was funny.”

Wade Waist Deep is out now via Mas­cot/Provogue. The band tour the U K un­til July 4 (in­clud­ing Ram­blin Man Fair June 30).

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