INTERVIEW: Wildlife

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Toronto based Wildlife has been in the music industry for well over seven years now. The group is still able to draw fans in with their indie-rock music, even more now with the release of their second album On the Heart. With the amount of touring going on, Dean and Derek chatted about their tour memories, 2014 plans and Toronto music scene. Read Winnie’s interview below or on our 16th issue now.

I heard that you guys actually met in college?
Dean: Not really…The iteration of the band is here right now. Graham and I met when we were teenagers, so we’ve known each other for a long time. But for someone who’s been playing with us for touring for the last year, Daryl, he and I met in university.

Did you guys met at Queens?
Dean: Yeah, we met at Queens and then after, we went to Glasgow and played in the first version of Wildlife that sort of just disbanded for a few months.

How did you come up with the band’s name?
Dean: There were a lot of people who had animal band names at the time.
Derek: We just figured we’d do the big ones.
Dean: Yeah, just steal them all! It was funnier that way.

How was your tour?
Derek: Pretty awesome! We love touring around and playing in the States is fun. We’ve done quite a bit of it now.

Any fun memories from tour?
Derek: We had a really late night in Missouri once in St-Louis and went to the Arch and just ran around like a bunch of idiots. It was fun.
Dean: Yeah, it was good. We just played in New York and the CMJ Festival was really fun; we played in Chicago and that was really cool. The stories could go on and on probably.

Are you guys planning to play NXNE again in 2014?
Derek: We haven’t really talked about it yet. We usually end up playing it.
Dean: We’ll play if it’s a good idea or if it’s a fun show – if it’s a fun show and a fun place, we’re in!

What do you like about Toronto’s crowds?
Dean: I don’t know, a lot of our friends live here. Toronto crowds are notoriously standstill and don’t love dancing, but if you get the right crowd of people, it’s all just about trying to create the right environment for people to have fun on a Saturday night.

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You released your second album last March, can you tell us about it?
Derek: We recorded it in Connecticut with a man named Peter Katis and he was someone we really wanted to work with, so it was pretty great to do. We were in Connecticut for a few months and did a bit of recording in New York City (in Brooklyn).
Dean: Peter Katis, Gus Van Go and Werner were the guys that we made the album with. It was pretty fun.

What inspired the cover art with the arrow through the heart?
Dean: It’s really low brow. The album is called On the Heart and it’s about all things relating to that. So that anatomical image with the arrow is just the graphic quality that we were looking for.
Derek: We like to describe the overall aesthetic as romantic and violent.

Do you have anything planned for 2014?
Dean: A year long vacation, hopefully, not a hiatus, but a vacation.
Derek: Some naps.
Dean: We’re going to go on tour and just not play any shows.
Derek: Yeah, just going to tour around and do a restaurant tour.

So a break for a few months?
Derek: Nah! We’ll take a break through Christmas probably and get back into it in the New Year and do another tour. Nothing’s lined up yet, but that’s usually what happens.
Dean: We’re getting bored, so we’ll start writing songs together again, probably in the next little while and start making plans for our next record – not that we know when that’s going to happen, but we got to lay the groundwork.

What do you think about the Toronto music scene?
Derek: So far? There’s a million different music scenes in Toronto – not a million, but there’s a lot.
Dean: Toronto has the best music scene in Canada.
Derek: Definitely. Montreal and Vancouver all say that they’ve got the greatest music scene, but Toronto is the hub of Canadian music.
Dean: Sorry Vancouver, you don’t win this one, but you’re still great. It’s a good city to play in, for sure. I’m glad that when we first started to play here, there were a lot of bands we liked, but there were very folky bands and we were a loud band, so it was hard for us to find people to mash up and play with.
Derek: We’ve been doing this for seven years now and it’s certainly changed.

Wildlife will be performing at Virgin Mobile Mod Club with White Lies on February 27th.

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