Emerging from the depths of the Canadian wilderness, Toronto indie-rockers Wildlife are set to take the Drake Underground stage on October 14, celebrating the release of their third full-length studio album Age of Everything, which promises to be a raucous sonic adventure. Together for ten years, the album marks the first offering from the band since their 2013 release On the Heart, which spawned the Top 10 hit “Lightning Tent.”
We sat down with Wildlife to reminisce, grab some advice for emerging artists and to debate the spelling Frebeze.
You’ve been together for ten years now. How has your music evolved over the past decade?
I think in some ways our music evolves because we are always excited about how the sound will change next. In other ways, it's been forced to change by nature with people leaving, money, and mental priorities: the difference between capturing what really comes out naturally vs. capturing a kind of vision that really interests you.
We always seem to take quite a bit of time to work on things. And every time we go to make a record we make a pretty concerted effort to do it much differently than the one before, no matter how much we enjoyed the outcome. But, over time, things seem to have gotten a little darker and a little more in line with the lyrics maybe? Early on there seemed to be a lot of really upbeat, pop-hooky, synth line or crowd vocal kinda stuff. I'm pretty sure this new record comes with a 100% No "Whoa-o" guarantee. It has really "big" sounding parts. That's one common thing we always seem to want to try: Can we make this even BIGGER.
Who initiated the idea of forming a band and what was the first reaction to the idea?
I was living in Glasgow at the time (as you so kindly pointed out, a f*cking decade ago) playing in a very primordial version of Wildlife and was talking on the phone homesick to our former guitarist Graham. He was very enthusiastic to be living with our now drummer Dwayne, and to have a space to play. I told him I was thinking of coming back to Ontario. I had a bunch of songs and he had literally never owned an electric guitar, but we just said, "let's party".
What is the best part about performing at an intimate venue like Drake Underground?
They are always the best shows. Hands down. The bigger things get, the crazier the opportunities can be, but we talk about this all the time: whenever we are reminiscing about some totally insane night, it's always somewhere with a bunch of people crammed into a room, psyched to have a great time and there to let loose with friends. It's always somewhere like The Drake, where we look dead into the eyes of all those people and end up on the floor or hanging from rafters.
If you could be any animal living in the wild, what animal would you be?
Not a polar bear.
What is your must have when touring?
A working stereo and Febreeze. As a side note, I can say firsthand that if Febreeze is sprayed directly into your eyes, you may flinch in terror, but it does not cause pain in any way. It actually has a cooling kind of effect, which is almost scarier. Side-side note, apparently it's spelled "Febreze…"
What is the one piece of advice you could give to a group of friends who are considering forming a band.
There's a chance there will be a lot of pressure at times to do things that don't necessarily feel right. Don't do those things. It's so weird and everyone knows this, but at some point this mistake befalls the best of us. It's one of, like, five actual human lessons that are out there. Should I eat this? If you're asking, probably not. Should I get a lawyer? Yes, probably. If someone is telling you NOT to get one, you definitely should. Should I take this pill? Well jeez, it doesn't have to go directly into your mouth, so just put it in your pocket, you don't want to seem rude.