author: ethan butterfield | a&c editor
Sweet, sweet tunes / Joelsview Photography
Keep an eye out for this B.C. band
The Wild! recently performed an energetic and electric show at Casino Regina on Oct. 12, and I was lucky enough to interview the lead singer, Dylan Villain. The interview is just below:
So, first question. How did the band get the name, The Wild!?
Ah, it just sort of came from the songs. It’s sort of the whole ‘chicken or the egg’ theory over this where, all the songs I was writing at the time just really held a common thread, ‘cause of the vibe. And I think that, really, how that comes to be is through the attitude and lifestyle and energy and explosiveness that goes into, or really comprises, what our band is all about and who we are. Then, you know, when you have those sort of marriages between the style of songs that you’re writing or playing or whatever, and you have a seam and then the band name really encompasses all of that, I think it’s a really cool thing and that’s exactly what happened with our band.
It sounds really cool! So, in regard to your EP (GxDxWxB) that just exploded onto the charts, how did the band react to that reception?
Yeah, it was cool man, it was an interesting time for the band, ‘cause it was all happening as we were touring. That’s what made it sort of special, ‘cause you get in this rhythm of touring and it’s no different from today where you just keep your head down, shut your mouth, and go to work. Then, you kind of have these moments where people are hitting you up or you get a call from management or whatever, and, that record, the first record, it was like, “Hey, your single’s top twenty.” Cool man, you know, and keep playing. Then, “Hey, your single’s top fifteen.” Cool. Keep playing. “Hey, you’re top ten, hey, you’re top five.” Then, you know, you get chasing it, you get addicted to the feeling of ‘what’s going to be next.’ It’s all very exciting and we’ve always been that band that’s worked super hard. So, all the success that’s come from the last two records, it doesn’t come from anything else aside from hard work and having great support from our fan base. From both of those things, the ability to have work ethic and our ability to have the love and support of our fans. I’m, appropriately enough, very thankful on this Thanksgiving holiday.
Nice tie-in (laughter). So, speaking of hard work, what is the feeling of playing live like for you?
Oh, it’s just really the reason that we do it, you know, that’s what it’s all about. We live in an age, especially in rock n’ roll, where the whole thing of this industry is geared around paying live. It’s just how it is, people don’t buy records like they used to due to streaming and all sorts of things I could bore you with. However, truly relevant because it really comes back to the show, and we are a show, we are a band that needs to be disgusted live. You know, you can throw on our records and we can say, “We’re up this chart, up that chart, bumped Metallica out of the number two spot on chart.” Like whatever, and that’s all cool and that’s cool for the rocker, but at the end of the day you got to see us live, to really understand what kind of a band we are, what kind of guys we are, the whole package. And, writing music, we’ve always written music that’s geared around the live show because, partially, that’s just the kind of music we want to write, but also, you’re going to be spending the majority of your time on the road, that’s just…if you want to play rock n’ roll music in 2018, you better get used to it. So, if that’s how it is, if I’m going to be spending eight to nine months away from home on the road every year, I better enjoy the songs that I’m playing (laughter), you know what I mean. So that’s really what it’s about.
Now, you spoke before about your writing process being directed to live music. Is that where your song writing comes from, or are there other aspects to that?
Well, musically, it’s very easy and very organic for me to come up with ideas in songs. So, that whole aspect of it being energetic and wanting it to be geared around the live show is second nature to me already, in a roundabout way I think it always has been, ‘cause I’m not really one for writing ballads. So that’s happening organically, but there’s another aspect of it lyrically to that, for me, is a real process. I feel it’s really important, and your duty as a songwriter, to write about things, no matter what they are, that are real to you. That you believe in, or that you know about well enough to speak on, ‘cause I feel there’s a lot of fluff. In this day and age, there’s a lot of vanilla, wishy-washy, ‘WooOooOoo’ courses, and I don’t care, I don’t care. And that’s fine. I’m not saying it’s not good music if people like it, that’s great, if you can relate to it, awesome. But, you know, at least have the stones to sing about something that you believe in and that you really care about, whatever it is. So, musically, the live thing is wrapped into my song process already organically. Lyrically, there’s all sorts of things I’m trying to draw from, but again, it’s always got to be stuff from my walk of life. And if other people can relate to that, that’s awesome, love it.
So, last question. Is that process what we’ll find in The Wild!’s newest album?
Yeah, it’s just been a continuation really; there were lot of things that went into that record that were new to me at the time, for sure. You know, half of it was written at one point and another half was written at another point, just due to touring schedule. But it’s always sort of been the same and a continuation from the first one, and that’s the idea with a band, as you know, is that you get a sound and develop a sound or an image or whatever, and you put it together and you grow with it. You either know yourself from the first record, which is improvise, or you’re finding yourself along the way. Good bands just continue to take whatever sound and idea they have and make it better, some don’t. It’s like a company, man. You put a company together and start selling hotdogs, well all the sudden you’re not going to start selling rubber boots. You got to stick to what you started with and go along the way. So, maybe your hotdogs get a bit crazier in the process, but by no means should you start selling those rubber boots, my friend.