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SXSW 2015 Interview: The Lonely Wild

 
By on Monday, 23rd March 2015 at 11:00 am
 

Folk / pop / rock band The Lonely Wild are based in the creative hotbed of music in Los Angeles known as the Silverlake area. Tuesday afternoon at SXSW 2015, the five member strong band – comprised of frontman Andrew Carroll (vocals / guitar), Jessi Williams (synth, guitar, bass, trumpet), Andrew Schneider (bass), Ryan Ross (keys and trumpet) and Dave Farina (drums) – performed on one of the earliest afternoon showcases of the week, as part of the first day of bands put on at the StubHub Experience / Culture Collide event at Clive Bar, located in the heart of what us SXSW regulars call the Rainey Street area. I grabbed a chat with them after their performance in front of what was clearly an audience raring to go for the week.

The band have recorded a new album ‘Chasing White Light’, which is due out later this year (its official release date yet to be announced). In this interview, they tell me about the recording of the album in a new way and on analogue equipment with producer John Vanderslice, owner of the legendary Tiny Telephone studio in San Francisco’s Mission District. The group also provide insight into one of their new songs on the album, ‘Free from Harm’, which has been inspired by the two Andrews’ own marches towards fatherhood later this year, and we discuss the ever moving target for what an indie band is supposed to sound like. Listen to the interview in full below.

Thanks very much to The Lonely Wild for hanging around after their set to chat with me at Clive Bar. If you’re keen on reading my SXSW 2015 bands to watch preview I wrote on them that posted on TGTF back in January, go here; you can also read multi-instrumentalist Jessi Williams’ answers to the TGTF Quickfire Questions as well.

 

(SXSW 2015 flavoured!) Quickfire Questions #84: Jessi Williams of The Lonely Wild

 
By on Wednesday, 25th February 2015 at 11:00 am
 

Not long now before SXSW 2015! But just as we did for SXSW 2014 last year, we’ll be running a special version of the TGTF Quickfire Questions, served up SXSW style with an extra couple of questions to get inside bands’ and artists’ heads so they’ll tell us what they really think of the event. Our fifth interviewee is Jessi Williams of Silverlake, Los Angeles band The Lonely Wild, who I introduced you all to in this Bands to Watch feature in January. The poor girl is above board about her motion sickness and has some excellent tips for bands making their virgin voyage to SXSW this year. Have a read…

What are you most looking forward to doing while you’re in Austin?
PLAYING!!! We have been so busy in the studio and gearing up to release the album, it feels like we haven’t played in forever!! I’m about to explode (ya’ll may want to stay a few steps back from the stage). [Duly noted. We’ll bring ponchos… – Ed.]

Of the bands who have already been announced, do you have any that are must-sees on your schedule? If yes, who are they and why?
I hope to get to see some shows, but I haven’t even begun to figure out which ones. We’ve hit the party at Willie Nelson’s ranch the last two years and always have an amazing time there. I’m also planning on swinging by the Laguintas party. They’ve been awesome supporters and we LOVE their beer.

Name something you’re packing in your suitcase that we might find unusual. (You are welcome to elaborate.)
It’s SUPER rock’n’roll…. I get terrible motion sickness. I travel with every kind of ginger candy/food, motion sickness pill, sea bands and any remedy that I can find. (Suggestions welcome). I am really grateful that we don’t travel by boat. [I always keep mints in my purse. Oh, and carry my mp3 player everywhere so I can queue up a favourite song if needed – Ed.]

If we happen to run into you in a bar, we’d like to buy you a drink. What is your tipple of choice?
I’m a whiskey gal. I’d love a Buffalo Trace or a Belle Meade. Thank you 🙂

What advice would you give other bands who have never played at SXSW before?
Be realistic and manage your expectations. The first year can be loads of fun. Just be sure to give yourself enough time between shows to get where you need to go. Realize it’s going to be hard to park and most roads will be closed, so booking 5 shows in a day is probably a bad idea. Also, there are A LOT of shows going on… don’t be super disappointed if you have some that aren’t well attended. Give it everything you’ve got every time though. You never know who is watching. We’ve made lots of great contacts at SXSW.

Now on to our usual list of Quickfire Questions:

What song is your earliest musical memory?
‘My Boy’ by Neil Young. ‘Old Ways’ was released when I was 3. My parents must have just played it over and over. I remember riding in my dad’s GTO on the backroads of southern Indiana listening to this song.

What was your favourite song as a child?
When I was 6-7, I was completely obsessed with ‘Touch of Grey’ by the Grateful Dead. I loved watching the video (on MTV- imagine that!!) I just thought it was so clever when they turned into skeletons and the dog stole his leg. My mom bought me the cassette tape, which I still have actually.

What song makes you laugh?
‘Wooden Ships’ by Crosby, Stills and Nash. The lyrics: “‘Say, can I have some of your purple berries?’ ‘Yes, I’ve been eating them for 6 or 7 weeks now, haven’t got sick once. Probably keep us both alive’”: WTH? Haha. AND Bob Dylan, ‘Bear Mountain Picnic’…. “cops a-comin’, me a-runnin”.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jv7FNyckr7w[/youtube]

What song makes you cry?
‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps’, Every- Damn- Time. I used it to work up the tears I had to shed in our “Holiday” video released this past December. “What A Wonderful World” and “Imagine” are on that list too.

What song reminds you of the first time you fell in love? (It’s up to you if you want this to be sweet, naughty, etc.)
The Beatles, ‘I Saw her Standing There’. I was just 17 (get it?) and he was a college boy. We’d go stargazing in the corn field (that’s all I swear!) . We’d crank the Beatles, Beach Boys, Doors, Zombies…lots of British Invasion and Laurel Canyon folk stuff. That song in particular brings me back. It also sort of captures the whimsy and simplicity of being in love in high school.

What song makes you think of being upset / angry? (Example: maybe you heard it when you were angry with someone and it’s still with you, and/or something that calms you down when you’re upset, etc.)
Pearl Jam, ‘Spin the Black Circle’. ‘Vitalogy’ in general is just a GREAT album when you’re kind of ticked off and just want to let some aggression out.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O8v09-wlFiM[/youtube]

Which song (any song written in the last century / 100 years or so) do you wish you’d written yourself?
‘Chasing White Light’ by The Lonely Wild. haha, but seriously, I think, lyrically, this is the best that Andrew (Carroll) has written to date and I’m so super jealous. Musically, too, it makes me feel all of the feelings.

If that sounds too self-promote-y, which I assure you is not my intention, I’d go with something by Neil Young, who is BY FAR my favorite songwriter. Maybe ‘Expecting to Fly’ or ‘Thrasher’ or ‘Powderfinger’ or ‘Mr. Soul’. I can’t possibly pick!!

Who is your favourite writer? (This can be a songwriter or ANY kind of writer.)
That’s so tough!!! I read most of his stuff years and years ago, but I will always adore Kurt Vonnegut.

If you hadn’t become a singer/musician/songwriter/etc., what job do you think you’d be doing right now?
I would have to be professionally sad. I kid.

I’d need to feel creative in some way and not stuck behind a desk. Woodworking or gardening maybe… So a landscaper?

If God said you were allowed to bring only one album with you to Heaven, which would it be and why? (Sorry, but double albums do not count.)
What the hell kind of Heaven is that?! That God is a dick.

‘Dark Side of the Moon’. I’ve listened to a 1000 times or more since I was born and I’m still not sick of it, so I guess I could listen to it for, er, eternity.

Many thanks Jessi for answering these questions for us here at TGTF!

 

(SXSW 2015 flavoured!) Bands to Watch #327: The Lonely Wild

 
By on Monday, 19th January 2015 at 12:00 pm
 

At the first music festival I ever covered was a then little-known folk band from London called Mumford and Sons. I missed them because I was on a tour bus interviewing another band, but a journo’s gotta do what a journo’s gotta do. And we all know what happened to them, don’t we? I have been pondering what Mumford have been up to lately, seeing that their third album has yet to materialise after nearly a year from the time they said they’d be working on new songs. In the meantime though, I have been poring over the SXSW 2015 band list and considering who might sneak into their nu-folk while the tweedy Londoners have their backs turned. Perhaps The Lonely Wild will be just the people to do it.

Hailing now from the band-heavy and musically productive area of Silver Lake, Los Angeles, California, the Lonely Wild’s humble start was back in 2010, when lead singer and guitarist Andrew Carroll moved to the area to study music, meeting band mates Ryan Ross (multiple instruments) and Andrew Schneider (guitar) in school. After some line-up changes following the release of their 2011 debut EP ‘Dead End’, they’re now a five-piece, with the addition of multi-instrumentalist and backing vocalist Jessi Williams and drummer Dave Farina.

In April 2013, they released their debut album ‘The Sun As It Comes’ on their astrologically named own label Ursa Major Recordings, which benefitted from circulation through Sony’s RED Distribution. ‘Everything You Need’ has the folk plus horns sound reminiscent of ‘Winter Winds’; ‘Keep Us Whole’ could be an outtake from Husky‘s ‘Forever So’. At seemingly the opposite side of the sound spectrum, Carroll favours a twang in his voice in the first half of the contemplative ballad ‘Buried in the Murder’. But there’s a twist: he then brings out a raspy vocal while a rock guitar squeals to usher out the track. (What? Where did Jimi Hendrix come from? I know! I was surprised about that as you were.)

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TVgao9HCqZg[/youtube]

It’s this combination of indie folk vs. indie rock that just might endear them to mainstream radio: their sound is not hugely edgy (thus playable to the masses), but edgy and interesting enough to be hip. extremely hilarious, judging by the Thanks to their fans, their second album (name yet to be revealed) has already passed its PledgeMusic goal. Interesting, its release date is not until April 7, 2015, some 3 weeks after SXSW 2015. Guess the Lonely Wild will be using Austin as the new LP’s training ground, and with the expectation that Communion will host a showcase or two in March, I’m looking forward to see what punters will think about them. Something else they have going for them: they’re extremely funny, going by the video they filmed to encourage fans to donate towards the making of their album (watch below).

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xx_MCtZ-_vg[/youtube]

 
 
 

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