WYLDLIFE is probably still a new name to your ears, but they already have two albums out. The time has come to get to know about one of the best bands in the new US power pop/’77 punk/glam scene!
Can you tell us a bit about the band history? How did you get the idea of changing “Wild” into “Wyld”? The first time I saw the band’s name, I thought it was one of these 80s glam metal revival bands that send me emails every week!…
A lot of people think that at first. I don’t really know how we came up with the stupidest band name in the world. Oddly enough, there is a Christian-youth camp that teaches kids not to masturbate and to pray to God while rock-climbing or some bullshit, but we have nothing to do with any of that. I think Samm and I just watched Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure one too many times or something, but really the spelling means nothing.
As far as the history goes, Samm (guitar) and I have grown up playing in bands together, and then when we went off to college, that’s where Spencer (bass) and Russ (drums) got involved. Sadly, we are going to have to look for a new drummer soon, so there will soon be a new chapter of the WYLDLIFE lineup.
When was your very first show? How was it?
You know I can’t really remember the first show that we ever played together since, like I said, it’s been such a long time. But with this lineup, it was probably somewhere in Manhattan or in Jersey City. I remember our first Manhattan show ever back in 2005 (different lineup) at Don Pedro’s. That was fun, I’m sure, trying to sneak alcohol but I’m way happier with where we are at now.
You seem to be touring quite a lot in the US. Favourite cities? Favourite shows so far?
Yeah, these past 12 months was pretty good as far as being on the road goes. We went out three times in 13 months or something like that, but actually, that’s what sort of led to needing a new drummer. Rock ‘n’ roll is a hard life! But the cities we like playing most are Atlanta, Chicago and Milwaukee. We are always treated really well in those cities. Last tour in Milwaukee we got taken out on a party bus and got driven to a strip club where we were treated to lap dances. That was probably the most Motley Crue moment and I think that was one of the most welcoming gestures we’ve ever had!
As you said, touring in the USA is not easy when you’re not a big band with a tour bus and money. Is touring a priority for you?
It’s very fucking hard. You’re eating shit food every day, looking for a place to sleep, some nights you’ll have 10 people in the room; some nights you’ll have 200. It’s a lifestyle of extremes but I love it, because if you don’t love it, you’re gonna fucking hate it. Touring is a big priority only because it’s like a cross-country party when we play in foreign cities! We want everyone to have a good time. Maybe the money will come later, maybe not. But at least we’re going for it now.
Tell us about your album “The Time Has Come to Rock & Roll”… How different is it from the first one to you?
Well, our first record was all controlled by us. Samm produced and engineered the entire thing when we were at school. This new one was like leaping off a cliff for us because we had to trust other people with our music, but we had a feeling it would be OK with production because Tuk (Biters, Heart Attacks) is an awesome dude and a great musician, and Dan Dixon, who engineered the newest record, has made some awesome albums. The sound is a little bit more upfront, the guitars and drums are louder, a little bit sharper without being too slick. Then as the production got greased up a little bit more, the songs got simplified, at least in my head. We just wanted to convey this idea of each song having the ability to listen to while driving really fucking fast to the liquor store.
You’ve just released a video for “The Right!” Was the shooting as fun as the video itself? How did you come up with the pizza idea?
YES THE VIDEO WAS SUPER FUN! The only stressful bits were that it had to be shot in one day, and there are a lot of outdoor shots. It started raining at one point and I was tearing my hair out but once the weather cleared, I was hyped again. My roommate Elena is the main chick in there, and a bunch of my other friends pop up in different parts as well. As far as the concept goes, I love over-the-top violence in exploitation films, and all the double crossing, and just combined that for my love of pizza. It’s such a stupid, silly idea that you have to laugh at it.
Do you feel like you’re part of a new rock’n’roll/power pop/glam scene in the US (bands like The BITERS, PRIMA DONNA, etc.)? Any other US bands in that style we should check out?
There’s a sort of “newest wave” coming out of the US that we are really hyped to be a part of. I don’t think we’re as big as Biters or Prima Donna yet but to be associated with the same scene is awesome. That’s sort of where the title for our second LP came from, that rock ‘n’ roll is coming back in a huge, huge way. And yes, there are plenty of other bands to look out for, The No Tomorrow Boys, Dinos Boys, The Barreracudas, The Cry! Glitz, Hammered Satin… Probably a ton more I’m forgetting that will all be on the come up.
Rock scenes in America used to be linked to cities (Los Angeles for glam metal, Seattle for grunge, etc.) Do you think that something like this could still happen in this Internet age?
Not really. I mean every city has its own identity and its own little rules but as far as the sound goes, the internet sorta made everything everything, know what I mean? That’s pretty much the only good thing about the internet was that it made it really easy to find out about bands in different cities.
What are the first and last albums you bought?
The first album EVER? Fucked if I know. Probably some Oasis CD from Sam Goody or something. Last album I bought was the new Shocked Minds S/T LP, which everyone should get, as well as the new Oblivians LP, Desperation.
First and last tattoo?
Fun question. First tattoo I ever got were the words “BROTHERS BE BROTHERS” on my wrist, which is basically the only tattoo that has any real meaning to me. The last tattoo I got was Death holding a naked chick’s tits across my entire back. I still have a few sessions to go on that one but it’s looking pretty gnarly.
The EXPLODING HEARTS are listed in your influences. How did you get into them?
I actually have an Exploding Hearts tattoo as well! Myself and Samm have listened to them since we were in high school,probably a couple years after they died. They were amazing and I’d love to have met those guys and hear what they’d be doing now, but there is something really beautiful about leaving behind a flawless record in their wake, meaning, they never wrote a bad song. And “Shattered” I think is the best song they wrote so they were only getting better. Hearts forever!
Any chance to see WYLDLIFE in Europe soon?
It’s certainly not out of the question. If anyone out there reading this wants to help us set up a European tour and bring the party across the pond, we would be more than down to head over.