WORDS and PHOTOS by BEN LINDBLOOM
Wildcat! Wildcat! – California’s hidden gem, DHM’s most hugest band crush.
The Los Angeles trio have peaked their heads into the limelight after touring the West Coast with Alt-J. Although they have a solid regional fan base, they had not spent much time outside Southern California. Their recent tour with the UK’s Alt-J was prolific in gaining some serious exposure which surely put them on the map. Those who showed up to Seattle’s Crocodile for the last show of their tour were in for a treat. The crowd stood anxiously waiting, some a little upset, but as soon as they kicked off the show everyone was enamored by their highly energetic disco-pop. There was no doubt that W!W! stole the night.
The evening of Monday, December 17th will go down in my diary as my ‘Almost Famous’ moment.’ I was so lucky as to hang out and interview W!W! Jesse Carmichael (Drums), Jesse Taylor (Bass, Vocals), and Michael Wilson (Keys, Vocals) make music that I can listen to on repeat without growing the least bit tired of. They were also some of the most laid back, modest musicians I’ve ever met. We became best friends by the end of the night (they should be getting the other third of their friendship bracelet soon).
If you could make up a name for your genre, what would it be?
JT: I think our genre is indie but I like to call it “Indie Hip-Pop.” (H-I-P-P-O-P)
MW: [Side-note] A lot of people say that our recordings are very clean, precise and calculated and then they see us live and its refreshing to see more raw behavior where it’s not necessarily perfect or anything like that but, like there’s this song we scream on just because we feel the energy. Even though our recordings are very precise, calculated and crisp, our live performance has more of a house party comfortable feel to it where you can hear how imperfect it is but also how much we care about it as well.
Any highlights from the tour?
JC: Playing the Fonda Theater in LA. I’ve seen a lot of shows there but had never played, and never had such a large crowd. Also, being able to overcome the perils of being an opening band as far as not having sound check, but still keeping it together and putting on a good show. You really feel a sense of achievement.
JT: I think that each show has had its own highlight. Just being on the road with these guys. It’s our first time out of town and whether it’s a show or people that we meet or funny quotes, it’s just been really fun. We couldn’t have been on a better tour than with Alt-J; we caravanned with their tour tech over the pass in Oregon. They’re great guys. We had two shows with them earlier this year which led up to this tour.
Who came up with the idea to bring a Saxophone into the mix on “The Chief”?
JT: I used to work at a yoga studio in downtown LA and he was someone that also worked there. He’s a bassoon player in the Dorothy Chandler Opera and he lived in the same building that Jesse Carmichael and I live in downtown. He had just recently picked up a saxophone when we were working on “The Chief” and we thought it would be a cool idea to have him come down and see what he could do, so we did. He did like ten tracks and we cut it together and made a sax part out of it. I think about a third of the shows we get to have him come out and play it live which is really fun for us and for the people watching the show. It’s a nice little treat!
What is your spirit animal?
JC: What someone has told me is a badger, but I like to think of myself as more of a wolverine because they’re pretty mellow and not that intense, except when they feel threatened. And they’re super protective. They can get crazy if they need to. I’ve got a bit of that in me. Like a ‘Badgerine.’
MW: I think I’m some sort of ant (chuckles). I feel like I work really hard at something that’s right in front of my face but for a bigger purpose. Like when I’m writing music or something I’ll work really hard at parts and then all of a sudden it’s something much bigger. I also I don’t feel I’m much to look at and I think I’m really annoying a lot of times. Ants are pretty resilient; they’ll go anywhere and do anything.”
JT: My cousin works in a wilderness survival program for youths in North Carolina and my wife went out to visit him and they had made a traditional Lakota sweat lodge and I had never done that before. They put a skin over a wooden frame and then put a bunch of hot rocks in there and one of the guys did a spirit animal vision quest and you’re supposed to close your eyes and you do this whole thing and you imagine a road and the first animal that comes out of the woods is your spirit animal and mine was a deer with horns.
Any New Year’s Resolutions?
JT: Drink more juice and sit in a sauna for like the first 30 days of the year. It’s like an oil change.
MW: I tend to stay away from resolutions because I just disappoint myself buuuuut I would honestly say is that I would hope to get Wildcat! Wildcat! off the ground and running and we would be able to play across the country or have something like that set up by the end of the year.
As a final note, Wildcat! Wildcat! are indubitably my favorite band from 2012. I wish them the best in 2013 and will be awaiting their full length album, which they said should be out within the year (?) For more live photo documentation, see our Facebook or Flickr.