There is no disconnect between the sound of The Wild! on tape and their live show.
“It looks like it sounds. We’re called The Wild! with an exclamation mark, so you know you can’t name your band that and come out and play banjo with big beards and stomp your feet,” said Dylan Villain, lead vocals and guitarist.“We do what we’re supposed to do. We get really into it when we play. The show and the theatrics of it all is an extension of the music.”
Villain met two of his bandmates at a house party, where many of their shows would be played in the early days.
“There was actually a scene here, there was actually bands and venues, people that wanted to make it happen,” Villain said. “I wouldn’t say it has totally gone away or anything, but it’s just less prevalent than it was at one time. We definitely thrived off of it and we’re a group of individuals that were a catalyst in turning that to make more people want to play.”
The community supported each other at shows, Villain said, and it was out of this era that lifelong musical bonds were made with drummer Reese Lightning and the bassist/vocalist known as Boozus.
“It was just this thing where it really made sense, it felt the way it should feel,” Villain said. “It’s sort of like a relationship that way, you just know. It’s something beyond playing the right notes, it’s something beyond being on time musically speaking, it just feels right.”
The music video for their first single Road House went viral, rocketing The Wild! to the next level with endorsements from famed radio host Jason Ellis and Entourage star Adrian Grenier.
“We wanted it no matter what but then it just got more real for us,” Villain said.
It led to the group recording their first album in Vancouver with producer Mike Fraser.
“This is a guy who’s worked with AC/DC, Aerosmith, Van Halen and Metallica and he’s making our record. So then it was really, really real,” Villain said. “We just knew we were onto something.”
The Wild! are set to release their latest album, Wild At Heart, in February, 2017.
For Villain, making new music is a give and take with fans. He likened it to a chef taste testing new dishes.
“For us that’s what touring is all about,” Villain said. “I pay attention a lot to the fans and how they absorb our music. What parts in songs, what tempos and what little things that work. What catches their eyes and gets their head moving and all that.”
Throughout their last tour, Villain said he had a lot to observe.
“I really latched on to the things that I noticed were working and really tried to bring those to the forefront on this record,” Villain said.
He said music boils down to how well they can connect with fans at their live shows.
“What it really is about to me and the rest of the guys is playing that show every night, playing it well and just making people’s nights,” Villain said.