Weeks before Augustana’s first Manila gig in Wanderland 2015, we learned an interesting tidbit about frontman Dan Layus.
“My father, who legally adopted me and raised me alongside my mother, is Filipino, as well as his entire extended family. I’ve been told that my last name Layus has Filipino roots and ties, and the family came to the United States only a few generations ago,” the vocalist said in an e-mail interview with Inquirer Super.
He added: “I’ve personally never been to the Philippines, but I cannot wait to get there and see Manila and be a part of this wonderful lineup of artists and musicians from around the world.”
Augustana joins rapper Kid Cudi, indie-pop group Youngblood Hawke, indietronica outfit RAC and Australian band The Jungle Giants in headlining this year’s Wanderland music and arts festival on April 25 at the Globe Circuit Event Grounds in Makati City.
“We’ve never played at a large festival outside of the United States, so this will be quite the fresh experience for us, and I cannot wait to see how it goes,” said Layus.
Formed in 2002, the piano-based rock band from California is best known for the melancholy ballad “Boston” from the 2005 album “All the Stars and Boulevards.” The song, which Layus had written when he was just 19, climbed the Billboard charts and was featured in a bunch of television dramas including “Smallville,” “Scrubs” and “One Tree Hill.”
The band’s next two albums had songs that landed in more TV soundtracks and became radio favorites; most notable were the heartrendingly beautiful “Sweet and Low” from 2007’s “Can’t Love, Can’t Hurt,” and “Steal Your Heart” from 2011’s self-titled LP.
Apart from headlining concerts, the band has also toured with the likes of Dashboard Confessional, The Fray, Switchfoot and Maroon 5 over the years.
In 2011, Layus and the core members amicably parted ways. Continuing to perform under the Augustana name, Layus released a new album, “Life Imitating Life” last year, with “Ash and Ember” as lead single.
“I’ve assembled a few different touring musicians alongside me over the past three to four years, and our most recent full-length LP was written, produced and performed by various musicians and producers alongside myself,” said Layus.
“The process of creating ‘Life Imitating Life’ was far different from previous experiences with making records,” he explained. “Generally, in the past, there was a more formal process in writing, producing and releasing our albums; however, the way this album came together was a bit more piece by piece over the course of two or three years.”
The band lineup and creative process may have changed with “Life,” but Layus assures fans that this album—“a thorough and sincere reflection of where I was emotionally and musically at that time in my life,” he said—is still very much an Augustana album, full of the earnest, folk-infused rock tunes that fans have enjoyed throughout the band’s 13-year career.
“I would like to believe that I’ll be able to keep elements from all four Augustana LPs authentically intact while moving forward with progress and the future in the front of my mind,” Layus said. “I feel that I still have so much more to say and create and perform in the days ahead.”
Wanderland Camp 2015 is a music-and-arts festival mounted by Karpos Multimedia Inc. The event is presented by Globe and, locally, copresented by Fox and Star World, and sponsored by Topshop/Topman and Smirnoff Mule. Visit SM Tickets outlets or www.smtickets.com.