The Wrens’ Kevin Whelan and Charles Bissell open up about their ongoing feud

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“I let my dreams sit on the bottom shelf for a long time”

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The Wrens’ Kevin Whelan and Charles Bissell have opened up about their ongoing feud after the New Jersey indie-rock band broke up.

  • Read more: It’s time to stop treating beef as a bitch
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Whelan is set to release her debut album Observatory as Aon Station on Sub Pop next month. It was previewed in September by the lead single ‘Queens’, set to arrive on 10 December.

Half of the album was originally recorded for inclusion on the next Wrens album, the long-awaited follow-up to 2003’s acclaimed ‘The Meadowlands’. However, due to a falling out with former Wrens bandmate Bissell, he decided to take half his album and use it as part of the ‘Observatory’, with the help of the other two Wrens, brothers Greg Whelan and Jerry Macdonald.


Bissell also plans to release his songs from the now unreleased Wrens LP as a solo album.

in a new interview with GuardianIn this article, the pair opens up personally about the band’s breakup, their personal downfall, why it took them so long to release the music, and what inspired their new material.

Whelan said that some tension between him and Bissell goes back to 2014, when The Wrens announced they had signed a record deal and Bissell posted: “My best years and work is clearly behind me. Which is sad, because I’ve burned down every available moment of the past four years doing the least I can.” The album, which was asked to be completed by this point, returned to a state of uncertainty.

Whelan said he was upset by Bissell publicly sharing misconceptions about the music: “You gonna bring people on a trip like you’re Kim Kardashian?” They told Guardian, “It’s repulsive to me. We can throw it in the trash and start again, but we don’t have to tell Jonas.”

He said that he had chosen the name Aeon Station for his next project to reflect the aeon-long wait for his music to be released, and the cover image of the half-constructed office block communicates that “projects never -It just never ends”.


It has long been claimed that Bissell, who produced the music and worked on it for more than a decade, wanted more credit and a larger financial stake in the unreleased album. with feature Guardian, he denied that this was the case.

He claims to have contributed arrangements and guitar parts to Aeon Station music that has been retained or re-recorded without credit. ,[Whelan’s] The story is that I worked on the album for a very long time, but at the same time I had nothing to do with [the Aeon Station] songs,” Bissell said.

“I suddenly found myself being portrayed not as baddie, as if I had somehow held him back, intentionally or at least thoughtlessly and selfishly, which I must say, was really confused and It was weird.”

The Wrens in 1992. credit: Martin Goodacre / Getty Images

Speaking about the time it took to record the follow-up to “The Meadowlands” and the February 2021 deadline he gave to Bissell to finish it, Whelan said: “Ultimatums are sometimes taken as a bad word. But if you wait from 2007 to 2021, I think you were very generous.”

Addressing the notion that Bissell is entitled to an increased financial stake in the recording, he said: “If you hire someone to paint your walls and it takes 10 years, how are you going to pay him? should do?”

He continued: “I let my dreams sit on the bottom shelf for a long time. It’s a betrayal that I let go of a decade of my life and did nothing.”

‘Observatory’ to release on December 10 – see track list below:

1. ‘Wait’
2. ‘Leaves’
3. ‘Fade’
4. ‘Everything at Once’
5. ‘Move’
6. ‘Queens’
7. ‘Empty Rooms’
8. ‘Air’
9. ‘Better Love’
10. ‘Alpine Drive’

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