Following the release of their single The Devil Makes Three, California trio Wildeor kindly took part in an interview to tell us more about how their sound came to be, how the folk scene is right now in LA, and what their thoughts are on finding the right band. Here’s how it went.
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Hi guys – thanks for your time today! For those who are new to your work, what prompted you all to start making music together, and where did the name come from?
Thanks for having us! We met and became good friends pretty quickly while playing together. Over time the band gelled and became more serious. The name comes from an Old English word, “wilddeor,” that means wild beast. I was very inspired early on by Anglo-Saxon, Old English and medieval literature, so I wanted to choose a name that represented that origin.
You say you connected over shared inspirations – could you share some of those, and in what ways do these appear (if at all) in your music?
We all have a classical background and that shows up in a few different ways in the writing style and instrumentation of the songs. That’s our unifying theme — otherwise we all bring really different things to the table and that’s partly what makes us such a good team.
How did The Devil Makes Three come about, and where in the process did that leading riff appear – namely the piano heard in the intro and throughout?
The melody and lyrics of the line “You and me and the devil makes three” just popped into my head one day while I was driving through Northern California. That piano riff actually came together pretty early on in the writing process, before I had the chorus and verse worked out. I spent a couple of days writing all of the melodies, and the lyrics took a little time to fill in/work out. I wrote many versions of the chorus lyrics before landing on the final one.
Do you ever disagree creatively?
Pretty rarely. We each have our own area of creativity and responsibility in the band and we respect that. We give each other input and support to create the best possible sound but try not to step on each other’s toes. If we do disagree it’s usually something minor, and we discuss it until we are in agreement or find a compromise. We’re a pretty low-drama group.
How important is live performance for you as a band, and what would you say makes for a truly memorable live show?
I think that live performance is important for any band or artist. It’s a totally different experience from recording. I think having a great show is all about energy and being really connected to the material. If you love what you are doing up there people will feel that and go through that experience with you.
How does LA respond lately to this kind of alternative folk music – what’s the scene like, and the audience reception?
It does depend somewhat on the venue and the crowd but we’ve gotten very positive responses. We’ve played some noisy bar venues where people actually quieted down and listened, and came up to us to say how much they enjoyed our music, and we’ve played some quiet cafe spots where people didn’t seem to know we were there. You never know what you’re going to get. That’s part of the fun. But most of the time people are receptive. A lot of people pick up on the Celtic influence in our music and respond really well to that.
If you could play any event or venue in the world, which would you choose, and why?
That’s a tough one. I know there are some incredible venues out there that I’m not even aware of. In LA, I would love to play The Wiltern or The Greek Theatre.
What advice could you give to musically inspired individuals who are yet to find the right band to perform with?
Keep looking and don’t be afraid to be proactive about it. I spent some time in the LA music scene playing out, meeting other musicians and hoping I would happen to meet other people to play with, but it didn’t happen that way. I met some people, played with some people, but it didn’t quite fit. So I sent an email to the UCLA music department. I met with a few different musicians who responded and while I was sitting outside talking to one of them, Mark happened to be walking by. We connected and I ended up playing with him instead.
That was incredibly lucky and kind of down to fate, but I also wouldn’t have been sitting on that bench that he happened to be walking past if I hadn’t sent those emails. And Caleb was one of the drummers who responded to my email. He had a different musical sensibility than other drummers I had played with in the past and it just worked. In summary, I would say listen to your gut, give it time, and don’t push too hard. It’s just as important to find the right people and to develop the relationships as it is to find talented musicians and develop your sound. The friendship is what makes it work.
What does the future hold for Wildeor – what are your plans and hopes over the coming years?
Well, some of that is out of our hands — you never know what is going to happen. We are always working on new material and are working on our next couple of projects — a new single in the next few months and a full album, hopefully in the next year. Beyond that, continuing to grow artistically, develop our fan base, and go after every opportunity we can. And of course we hope that our music is loved and makes an impact.
Is there anything else we should know?
We are absolutely a band of misfits.
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