Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Interview with Tim Kyle of Wild Light

So, I've been listening to the new Wild Light album (review to come soon) pretty much consistently since they're amazing PR people sent it to me a few days ago. Tim Kyle, the lead singer for the band, was kind enough to answer a small slew of questions for the blog before he and the guys went out on tour with Tapes n Tapes.

These guys are going to be huge in 2009.

Shimmy ShakeFirst, how did Wild Light come to be? I read in a press release
that you guys all grew up together. How long have you been playing?
What's the backstory on Wild Light?

Tim Kyle, lead singer for Wild LightWell, we all knew each other when we were younger, Jordan and I (timothy) were in 4th grade together after I moved to New Hampshire and was the new kid in class, then we started writing songs together when we were like 13 or so. Then in high school we recruited Seth Pitman (with whom i went to high school) to start a band, and later Seth Kasper became our 2nd drummer. This was the final line-up of our band in high school. Then that band split up and we all went our separate ways with no expectation of ever having a band together again, but then in summer 2005 fate intervened decreed that we start Wild Light. We moved into a shit-hole cold house in Quincy just south of boston where we wrote, rehearsed, and suffered for a couple years before things started to happen.

SSHow would you describe your sound? Who are some of your influences?

TKGiven the choice, I would not descirbe our sound at all. But we usually don't get that choice, so I try to say something evasive and ultimately not very helpful. I would call us, "Classic Rock." or "Metaphysical Pop" or "Major Label Indie" or something else that doesn't really mean anything. But to be sort of serious, I think we just make pop music. We care about melody and lyrics, and stuff that likewise cares about those things are what we tend to be influenced by. Rock N Roll peaked early, the Beatles and Dylan did it the best and we're all just trying get a piece of that action.

SSYou all have a pretty extensive tour pedigree, opening for some of
the biggest names in indie rock (Arcade Fire, LCD Soundsystem, MGMT,
Tapes N Tapes). How'd that come about?

TKAll our shows have come via friends and booking agents.

SSIt's been almost two years since you put out the red-covered "EP."
What are we going to find different between that and "Adult Nights"?
What have you all gained in that interim?

TKThe production on the album is more 'produced' than on the EP fer sure. Maybe not quite so dense. You could say it is a little more 'slick.' The songs are also more concise, and shorter than they used to be. Rob Shnapf pushed us to cut out a bunch of stuff that didn't really need to be there out of the arrangements. As for what we have gained since the EP, Rob also pushed us to learn how to tune, which is something we'll probably need this year.

SS"California On My Mind," the first single from "Adult Nights," is
just a great song (if not altogether radio friendly). First, I can't
imagine you disliking The Golden State (or just the Bay Area) that
much, but it's fun singing it. And the new version of "New Hampshire"
is more upbeat. Does the rest of the album carry over that energy?
What are some of your favorite songs from the new album?

TKYeah, everybody in our band loves California. That song is more about a bad day than hating the state of California. It could be anything, it's just about feeling pissed and frustrated and so you say, "fuck -----," -whatever happens to be in front of you. I think yes, the album is more upbeat than our EP and demos.

SSYou're putting the album out with StarTime and Almost Gold records,
who distributes through Universal. That's pretty big time. Talk about
the move from unsigned indie band to working with the majors.

TKActually we're mainly on Startime right now, which goes through Columbia not Universal, but your question still stands. So far our label situation is a good mix of working with a major and an indie, in that we mostly only deal directly with Startime who is a tiny 3 person office of people who know and like good music and aren't going from working on our record to working on the new System Of A Down album within the same hour, or something like that. Not too much dealing with suits so far. But then, when and if we should require, Columbia's muscles are there if things start to take off, they will be there to push it. My understanding is that they like the record as well, so that's good. In general, I really can't complain so far. I think it feels kind of cool being on a major. All the bands we loved growing up were on majors. It's not really as fashionable anymore for the coolest indie bands to be on a major, seems to make people pretty suspicious, and not totally without reason. But hey, The Clash was on a major, the Cure was on a major. There might not have been many other options at the time, but those bands wouldn't have been the "larger-than-life" kind of bands they were without being on a major. Then of course the flipside is stuff like the fact that Joe Strummer had to pretty much sit out the 80's while his terrible contract ran its course. But that kind of stuff is less common now, and we definitely were careful not to sign a stupid contract after hearing those kinds of stories, and being unsure about majors to begin with, but no one was trying to pull anything over on us anyway. So far, so good, no complaints. For people like us who aren't very good at dealing with all the day to day logisitcal and pragmatic details of making a band run, having somebody organized and competent getting shit done is comforting.

SSThe Boston Area loves you. And that's not an easy feat, considering
there is a ton of great music coming out of there. How important was
it to play locally and develop that fan base, and what do you take
from it when playing in across the States or in Europe?

TKIt's funny, suddenly Boston supposedly loves us, but nobody ever came to see us when we lived and played there, except for our friends. We never really got any press or attention there until we started making a more national splash. We headlined a show at TT the Bear's the night before we flew to LA to start making our record and there were 4 or 5 people there. But we just got that award from the BMA's, which was kind of cool. Hopefully now we can start to make friends with Boston.

SSThis winter/spring tour with Tapes N Tapes is pretty much going to
take you all across country. What are you looking most forward to on
the tour?

TKWhat I'm looking forward to about the tour the most is just getting in a groove, shaking the rust off, and getting tight with our playing and performance. Rehearsal can only take you so far, for us, we've got to tour to really get into a good zone playing-wise. I'm looking forward to just playing everyday.

SSWhat are you currently listening to on your iPod/CD
player/8-track/gramophone? What can't you get enough of?

TKMy ipod is broken and I have no money, so I've just been listening to the radio when I drive, mostly stupid classic rock stations, pop stations. Stuff that rots your brain. Sports radio. If I could listen to some music, it would probably be Morrissey, Bob Dylan's last Bootleg thing - Tell Tale Signs, I like the last Wolf Parade record. Maybe some classical stuff, Bach and Ravel.

No comments: