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.
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.
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.