The Young Wild: The Band You Have To Know About
October 8, 2015 11:04 pm

The Young Wild, a fresh new band hailing from San Diego has been slowly making their way known in the music industry, having toured with Barcelona, Switchfoot and currently with ZZ Ward. Their story started 7 years ago when Brian and Gareth formed a classic-rock cover band in school, while Brandon was playing drums a jazz band. Although Brandon told himself multiple times that he’d “never join that band”, they ended up getting together 14 or 15 months ago. I was lucky enough to have a chat with them right after their energetic set at Irving Plaza and get to know them a little more.

The Young Wild

So you’ve only been together a bit more than a year and you’re already signed. How’d that happen?

I think really just putting our heads together and committing to the idea…All the ideas behind the band we want to be put forward was kind of what maybe earned that attention, or at least that opportunity. And as mid-20 somethings it’s right where we want to be. It’s an opportunity to grow the band and sound, and just put everything into practice that we learned up to this point.

What are they hearing besides just one kind of genre?

You get a lot of aspects. It’s indie rock, indie pop, there’s soul and hip-hop undertones to a lot of the stuff. A lot of big beats and brains soulful voice. It allows us to make a really big approachable sound and it also works for everybody’s hopes you know? It has enough rock, it has enough pop, it has enough of the soul influence to really kind of cover everybody. Those are the groups or the individuals that really make an impact across the ages with the ideas that are able to wear multiple hats. It’s like listening to that Bruno Mars song Uptown Funk. Everybody says that it’s a pop song but you know what he’s paying respect to honor wise. So maybe in a given night you hear our band, you hear our little bit of this and that. Groove is paramount and melody is paramount to pop music, but we are big fans of hip hop, soul, rock and roll and good pop songs. I mean we probably like Taylor Swift and One Direction as any one person could.

The Young Wild

So are any of you Taylor Swift fans?

As far as sonic references go her recordings are probably the most well recorded songs currently out. To listen to those songs and go into your own music tells you what you really bring. I mean, if we’re going to speak explicitly about that Taylor Swift record- First of all, let me clear this up. There’s no guilt in me that I like Taylor Swift! It’s all out in the open. There are a lot of writers that Brian and I(Brandon) really look up to and a lot of producers that worked and contributed to that record. And man, I think it would be an absolute honor to kind of be in the same idea and same vein as those talented creative people. Just because it’s really commercially successful. That’s kind of what pop music is right? It’s something that’s going to reach a broader audience and it’s going to be in a sense of desirable, attainable or listenable by most people and a lot of times that where pop kind of has a real negative connotation to it. But going back to that record, sonically it’s a really impressive piece of work. The mixes and the masters and all the technical sides were so impressive. If we can even kind of do the same thing with our music, I think that’s kind of the goal. For me, if I get a call from my grandma and my mom saying that they like the music, then thats awesome. Not to say that we’re a grandma band but there should be something for everyone.

Would you say you’re sound is still evolving?

Yeah, it’s even shifted in the last year. We’re still finding it and we’re trying to find it on this first record we’re working on. At the end of every night the best part of it is that it feels real, it’s gotta feel real to us and I think we’re being really honest with what gets us excited to do this on stage or whoever will listen. If the authenticity isn’t there, you can figure that out in the first song. So if anything, it’s always going to be honest all the way through even if we’re still kind of evolving. Our experience as a band has been exciting so far and the tours have been a great opportunity to try out all the new songs.


All three of you have very different looks. Has anybody questioned your chemistry? 

We’re kind of an eclectic look of guys mainly because I can’t grow a beard(like Brendan) or a super long flow of hair(like Gareth), but we perform as one. Someone came to the merch table and said something about the image, cause our drum player and bass player look like they’re from a slayer cover band. But hopefully you feel that we’re pretty approachable and our sensibility as far as music goes more in the pop and soulful stuff you know. I’d even hope that that kind of represents our sound as well. Brian is musically way different from where I come from and even where Gareth comes from. And again, I’d hope there there’d be kind of a little sample, a taster of all these incredible works of art that we can categorize into different music genres. Maybe it’s better that we all look different.

Do you think you’ll be pressured into having a certain look in the future?

It’s kind of those things where I think as a consumer in music I can look at a band or an entire package and I’d say wow, it’s really well put together. Sometimes you can manufacture that, but I think other times we just kind of are who we are. I am who I am, Brian is who he is, etc. I guess we’d say we’re still young in our career, we’re still exploring what that looks like and I hope that’s an evolutionary process. You look at a band like Coldplay and man, their entire picture/image has changed for the last 15 years. They’ve never done the same thing twice and I’m really inspired by that. So I don’t think it’s quite as quantifiable.

Name 3 things California does better than New York City.

1.The California Burrito, that’s the one thing that California is known for. There’s french fries, sometimes carne asada or boy asada, some guacamole, salsa, sour cream…Its magical. Put all of your hopes and dreams into a burrito and that’s what you get! Mexican food is our culinary gift to the world.

2.The Weather. I mean it’s pretty easy to live there because we don’t experience nearly what rest of the country goes through as far as the cold weather and even heat.

3.Traffic-wise, for a big city, it’s very tame. There is maybe an hour in the day where you can be frustrated for 5 mins in traffic and then it kind of dissipates.

Shooting the Shit with Midnight Pilot
May 27, 2015 6:47 pm

I know you guys are all from Holland Michigan, Did you grow up together and how did you formulate the band?

Grant: We did grow up together, Kyle and I have been friends since birth. Our parents know each other and Chris is Kyle’s brother, so we have all known each other since we were little kids. We started playing music together in middle school, playing instruments and trying to figure them out and I started writing songs my Freshmen year of high school or so.

Since you guys have moved to Nashville, Tennessee, how has Nashville panned out for you?

Kyle: Two years ago we all moved to Nashville. I had been there for a while but eventually the rest of the guys came.

Grant: The transition has been great, Nashville makes for a good central location for a band; especially if you are going anywhere in the country. Everyone is in a touring band there and it’s a good musicians community. Everybody knows each other, everybody hangs out in the same places, it feels like a small town at the same time being big.

The level of musicianship is really great, so Nashville seemed like a good fit for us to try and get in that scene, and because we all have connections in that area, Nashville just seemed like an obvious spot to be in for all of us.

Kyle: Nashville is not huge, it’s definitely not the size of New York but it’s so concentrated with musicians, so when you knock on you neighbor’s door, they very well could be the greatest guitar player of all time. It ‘s a good environment to be in for music.


What is the significance of the name Midnight Pilot?

Kyle: We have actually been playing music for a long time under other names. When we made the move to Nashville we wanted to rebrand and start over. It was a struggle to come up with a name. Funny fact, before coming up with Midnight Pilot we chose a new name, had it for one month, put out an EP under it, and then we got a cease and desist letter from someone who had trademarked that name. So once we came up with the name, we were ecstatic about it.

Grant: We came up with the name after I was reading a book called Fly Boys, and there is a section bout these dudes who went to bomb Tokyo during World War 2 and there was a line that said Midnight Pilot. I thought that would make for a good band name. We also thought the imagery of the book fit the music.

Chris: We had a database with hundreds of names that we used to combined different nouns. We liked the name Pilot and Midnight so it worked out.

You’ve played alongside singer/songwriter Damian Rice. What was that like?

Grant: So my brother was in charged of putting a choir together at The Ryman in Nashville. He was out of town so I ended up putting together who would choir for the Damian Rice show. So we didn’t play along side him, we were actually choir members at his show.

Kyle: But even so, it was awesome to choir for Damian and to play the Ryman, which is a historic place.


Your New album “Midnight Pilot” was just released on the 5th of this month. Can you shed some light on what to expect for those who haven’t yet made the purchase?

Kyle: It’s a full-length full band record. It has a little more rock n’ roll than we usually put out in our singer/songwriter way.

Grant: We have kind of been in the Americana genre for our entire existence, and this was more of a fusion of genres. Some of the songs are about the move to Nashville and trying to make it in the music scene and all the effort that goes into it. Some of the songs are about girls that don’t exist.

Kyle: We used to write songs that were totally introspective, songs that were written about our individual situations specifically. That’s still there in this album but we tried not to do that as much. We tried to write about broader things like taking chances in your life and giving it your best.

Grant: More Positive vibes than in previous albums.

What is the plan musically the next 6 months?

Kyle: We are here in New York now, we’re on a bit of a northeast show run and we are doing a bunch of college radio visits. We hope to continue doing this over the summer performing some weekend shows and what not. We hope that we can play at some college shows in the fall and continue to stay busy. We are hopefully planning for some more content and summer festivals for next year.

Which are some of your dream venues to perform at?

Grant: Our dream would be to play at the Ryman in Nashville, also Carnegie Hall. Any place that has a classic vibe were many legends have played. Anything that has a historic feel to it would be my dream venue.

Kyle: I have to say a fun fact about that because that was Grant’s answer yesterday when asked. Just a funny thing that I don’t think many people can say, we did actually play at Ryman with Damian Rice and in High School Chris played Saxophone, Grant played trumpet and I played Tuba all in our high school band. Our high school band won a competition and got to play at Carnegie Hall, so we have actually played not Midnight Pilot music but have played a whole concert at Carnegie Hall. So we have dipped our toe at playing at some historic places, hopefully we can jump all the way in.

Grant: We grew up in the Midwest, so that’s were we think our music connects with people the most, so that’s a region that we would also like to continue to play at.

If you could open for a band, what band would it be?

Kyle: I would choose Coldplay probably.

Grant: I would say Jeff Lynne of Electric Light Orchestra because it’s not obtainable but he’s not quite as big as those people in the way that there is a chance.

Chris: I said that past few days that I would like to play with Muse, also not obtainable. I also think our sound would be good for opening up for Tom Petty.

Grant: We Don’t have a lot of obtainable dreams.

Who are you listening to?

Kyle: I am listening to an Indie rock band that just put out new record last year called Colony House. A couple of friends from Nashville made the record and it was my favorite record of last year.

Grant: Some of the more recent bands that I have been listening to would be Blake Mills is one my favorites, one of the best guitar players of all time and he writes some really great songs. Natalie Prass, I have really enjoyed her record, she blew up recently. Tobias Jesso Jr. put out a record recently that I really liked.

Chris: There is just a lot of good talent in town for sure, so just a lot of good local bands. Probably my favorite Nashville band is Paper Route who are acquaintances of the band. Bahamas is a solo artist from Canada.

Be sure to grab hold of Midnight Pilot’s new self-titled album!