Sounding Board: Can you tell us how the magic sparked to begin Wild Ones’ coming together?
Danielle: Thomas and I went to high school together and traded mix CDs full of electronic music and northwest indie pop. We obsessed over bands like Broken Social Scene, Spoon, and Mogwai. Although Thomas had been playing piano for years, I had never sang in public and felt tremendous anxiety about sharing it with anyone. Wild Ones began as a college bedroom recording project where he would make a demo and send it to me, and I would add vocals and harmonies on top. We soon added Nick, who is our other primary songwriter, and then Seve and Max.
Sounding Board: What types of artists acted as inspirations for finding the sound you guys craft?
Danielle: We have been inspired and influenced by so many artists! The list would look very different depending on which band member was fielding this question, so I’ll just speak for myself here. When it comes to vocalists that I’ve worshipped over the years and have helped me find my voice I must include Jenny Lewis, Mirah, and Chan Marshall of Cat Power.
Sounding Board: You guys released your last EP entitled “Heatwave” in 2015, Have you been working on completing new material for a full length album since the release of “Heatwave”?
Danielle: Yes! We have been working on a new record over the past year and are in the mixing phase now. This work feels like a natural progression from Heatwave with more emphasis on percussion and darker lyrical themes. It certainly still fits under the dream pop umbrella, but at times it feels more urgent than ethereal.
Sounding Board: That’s great to hear! Do guys each have a favorite Wild Ones’ song you love to perform most?
Danielle: My favorite song to play live is “Show Me Islands” off Heatwave. It feels so good to sing and has a disco jam out ending that always makes me laugh. I have a new favorite off of our upcoming record but, as of now, we haven’t yet played it live. It has this big belting chorus release that feels so cathartic to sing.
Sounding Board: That’s awesome! There’s a lot of music out there, but is there a song you wish you had written or seems incredibly important to you guys as a band?
Danielle: When I was younger I was so obsessed with the song The Only Living Boy in New York by Simon & Garfunkel. I would listen to it over and over in my headphones in the back of my dad’s truck. I tried to imagine what it would feel like to write and perform a song like that. My teenage mind was in total awe of the idea.
Sounding Board: How has Portland and the east coast music scene made an impact on you guys? Either sound wise or just as people?
Danielle: The Portland music scene has been very influential in the life of our band and general musicianship. Thomas, Nick, Seve, and I all came up in the house show scene and have played every tiny hole of a venue in this town over the past ten years. Despite the incredible number of bands and genres, there is still a strong sense of camaraderie and support here.
Sounding Board: It’s always hard to work in music no matter the capacity, but women especially have made incredible strides in the music industry. Have there been times you have you faced obstacles fronting a band as a woman?
Danielle: I have certainly experienced my fair share of condescension and patting on the head in this industry. To be honest, I think I’ve experienced a lot fewer obstacles than other women seeking roles in the music industry that are historically held by men such as audio engineer, producer, mixing engineer, etc. I hope that youth music programs keep popping up and encouraging young girls to develop skills in many different musical capacities and not just “front person”.
Sounding Board: Do you guys feel the need to comment on any political themes or do you prefer to bring more upbeat, relatable music to your audience?
Danielle: This is a really tough question that I’ve been struggling with this past year. What I enjoy writing about most is strange and powerful female figures. That in itself feels like a political statement these days, which is unfortunate. There is one pointed political song on our upcoming record and it was the very last song we wrote for it. I’ve never written directly about political themes before, but it felt important and honest and so there it is.
Sounding Board: How do the people in your life impact the songs you write? Do you ever have reservations writing about someone who makes you happy?
Danielle: All of our songs begin with a personal experience or relationship and evolve to become their own story entirely. I never feel like I’m calling anyone out because it’s always an even mix of nonfiction and fiction.
Sounding Board: What should we be on the lookout for next?
Danielle: We are in the final phases of making our new record which will be out later this year! We will be playing shows and trying out our new material this summer, so keep your eyes peeled for dates in your town.
Sounding Board: Can’t wait to hear it! Thanks for taking the time to speak with us!