Sometimes it seems like people in Los Angeles fall into one of two camps; they are either actors or musicians. Carry on a conversation longer than three minutes with anyone in this town and you’re bound to find out where their last audition was or when their next gig is. What’s rare in LA is talking to an artist that has such a genuine passion for their art that pretense is shed and all you can see is the love for their craft. Newcomer indie band, Wildling, falls into that beautiful uncommon camp of humbled and talented artists.
Recently they took to the stage at iconic Satellite club in LA. The Satellite has been host to a slew of hit makers over the years that include Foo Fighters, Beck and Foster the People. They are also host to Los Angeles radio station KROQ’s ‘Locals Only’ show which features up and coming local bands. This January Wilding has been headlining the residency for the ‘Locals Only’ show at the Satellite.
Wildling is a tride and true rock band. They dish out a sound that is in the same vein as popular acts like Young the Giant and The Killers. That mature sound is truly impressive for a band that is so young. Not necessarily young in age, although these are all good looking young dudes, they have only been playing together as a unit since October 2014! You’d never know it when hearing or seeing them live. They are a group of solid musicians that listen and really vibe off of one another, and it comes across resulting in a captivating show.
When Wildling cranked into their single “Humingbird”, which has spent 8 weeks in the top 5 of the ‘Locals Only’ show, they really shined. As the first note broke out the crowd and air became electrified. It’s a song that’s got everything you want; cranking guitar riffs, pushing base drum, a massive emotional build, sing-out-loud-in-your-car lyrics with some “oooo, oooo’s” for good measure.
Another stand out track is “Like You Do” which is a sexy song featuring the voice of Grace Kelly. Her swinging soulful voice is a great match to the masculine anthem voice of singer Ryan Levine. On stage their chemistry was close to explosive.
They also invited friend Eric Cannata of Young the Giant (more on them below) onstage to play with them as they closed out the set. They killed it and shut down the set with the crowd cheering and begging for more as they stood arm in arm and bowed! Yeah, these LA guys took a bow, not something you see in this jaded town much.
I had a chance to talk to lead singer and guitarist Ryan Levine about their sound and what we can expect from this year.
I know that this was only your fourth show playing together (wow!).
We played our first show together in November of last year (2014) opening for our friends Heaps n Heaps. We’d been practicing about a month before that show. Our second show was the first night of our residency at The Satellite. I know that sounds crazy, but that’s the truth!!
You guys have a very strong vibe on stage. It feels as if you’ve been playing together and making records for years, what is that connects you all?
There is something very organic, and very special about this group of people. We’ve all been doing music in different capacities for most of our lives. We’ve all played in different bands, different styles of music, had some success, and struggled to continue making music for a living. I think our individual paths play a big part in why we work so well together. Everyone knows how hard it is to make music for a living, and how lucky we are to have a shot at doing it the way we’ve always dreamed of. We LOVE the music we play together, we love the songs, and we love being on stage together and sharing them with people. It’s pure and it’s genuine and I think people feel that when we play.
Any news on the release of the EP?
We don’t have an exact release date just yet, but there will be music coming soon, we promise!
How about a tour in 2015?
We play the last show of our January residency on the 26th and after that we’re looking to do one or two more shows in Los Angeles in February/March before heading off to SXSW. After SXSW we will be home finishing recording, and then are super excited to be hitting the road with Young the Giant this fall!!
You heard it right here, people, Wildling is going to be making massive crowds feel the electricity of what they are rocking. Prepare yourselves to hear everyone everywhere buzzing about our guys Wildling!
Why does music matter to Wildling?
From the time I was born my parents listened to Breakfast with the Beatles every Sunday morning. My father introduced Justin (Bass) and I to Joni Mitchell, Simon and Garfunkel, Neil Young and all the great singer/songwriters at a very early age. Music was always around. When I was 11 years old I wanted to learn how to play Elvis Presley’s “Heartbreak Hotel” on guitar, and when I did it was like being struck by lightning. I couldn’t believe the feeling of playing that fucking song!!!! From that point on music has basically been the most important thing in my life. I can’t speak for the rest of the guys, but I know music touches them as deeply as it touches me. We talk a lot about inspiration in the band…always wanting to capture that moment of true inspiration, in writing and in performing. To communicate something without any pretense. music matters because it allows us to express ourselves, and hopefully to connect with other people. That’s really the point, to connect, we need that.
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