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INTERVIEW: WYLDER

How would you classify your music? 

Wylder fits somewhere between modern indie-folk and the poppier impulses of alternative rock bands like Arcade Fire and The Killers.

Who are some of your top 5 musical influences? 

I gravitate toward bands and artists with strong, intricate arrangements and grounded, descriptive lyrics. My favorites acts are those that perfectly meld the two. I’ve been particularly inspired by Radical Face, Vampire Weekend and Wilco. Most recently I’ve been loving Henry Jamison’s album The Wilds.

What do you want fans to take from your music? 

My goal is to tell stories that feel genuine—not only through my lyrics, but also the sonic elements of our songs. I write a lot about relationships of all kinds, and I hope fans find something of themselves in the music.

How’s the music scene in your locale? 

DC is home to some absolutely amazing venues—more than I could list here. In February we headlined U Street Music Hall for a show presented by the folks at 930 Club. It’s hard to understate the fantastic staff and crew that put on these shows.

What is the best concert you have been to? What do you like most about playing live?

I saw my favorite artist, Radical Face’s Ben Cooper, perform at a tiny church in Virginia for one his earliest shows under that band name. The venue had told him there was a PA available—there wasn’t—and a group of kids from the congregation had agreed to sing back-up vocals during the performance—an interesting, if ultimately disappointingly, bad idea. Still, Ben and his bandmates took it all in stride, remaining upbeat. Hearing him perform his songs stripped down for a small group of dedicated fans stuck with me not only as a fan, but also as a performer and has guided me through my touring experience with Wylder.

Is there a song on your latest release here that stands out as your personal favorite, and why?

Our new single Ready to Break to me represents the next logical step for Wylder. It’s also the first track we’re releasing from our upcoming sophomore record, which I can’t wait for fans to hear.

How have you evolved as an artist over the last year? 

Tracing back farther than a year, between this release and our 2016 album Rain and Laura, Wylder went through a difficult line up shift, with several founding members departing the group. In the wake of that loss, I was able to rethink what I wanted the band to be and fully own my role as songwriter for the group.

If you could meet, play a gig, co-write a song, have dinner, have a drink with any band or artist (dead or alive) who would it be?  

It would be amazing to sit down and talk songwriting over dinner with Rivers Cuomo. I’m fascinated by him and his songs.

What’s next for you?  

This summer we tracked our sophomore record, and we hope to release it next year. These new songs are the most fully realized version of what I’ve always wanted this band to be. It is at once a major departure from Rain and Laura and an expansion on all the things fans enjoy about that record.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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