25 February 2020
The Musician Spotlight Series shines a light on up-and-coming bands and solo acts creating heartfelt and original work across genres, giving them an opportunity to talk about their music, their collaborators, and why they do what they do.
“What happens when an Englishman, a Frenchman, two Americans and two Canadians take over an open mic? “The Wilderness” – borrowing influences from Bruce Springsteen, Mumford and Sons and Paul Simon to create their own lively brand of rock’n’roll. They’re no strangers to discomfort and lengthy drives to entertain audiences of all sorts. The Wilderness’ sound is a fabric of guitars, saxophone and keys, woven by powerful vocals led by an intricate groove of percussion, drums and bass. Four years and over 400 shows later, their music continues to drive them forward to new horizons. When not performing on stage, you can find them on the road, busking or sleeping at a truck stop somewhere between two cities”.
When did you know you wanted to be a musician?
I was really young, probably around 7 or 8. Growing up, my parents always had music playing around the house. I remember one day my parents were doing some spring cleaning while listening to Bruce Springsteen. I was really taken by it and from then I was looking for any excuse to play music. Then I saw school of rock at about 10 years old and that was it. I’ve never wanted to do anything else since then!
Are you trained? How did you develop your skills?
I started playing music without much skill or even a basic understanding of how music works. I sang in a choir for a hot minute around 9 or 10 but I hated it. After listening to a lot of blink 182 I convinced my parents to buy me a bass guitar. From there it was a quick transition to picking up a guitar and learning a few chords. I’d take my mums old classical guitar to the street and play my heart out. I sucked a lot but I never stopped playing after that. I kinda regret not taking lessons more seriously when I was young. I didn’t have the patience for them. It’s been harder to learn theory and unlearn some bad techniques as an adult. Being surrounded by better musicians than myself in this band has really driven me to almost force myself to improve.
Who are some of your biggest musical influences?
Bruce Springsteen is the short answer. The long answer could go on and on. In short, I really connect with good songwriters. People who write songs that feel like they were written for you. Any piece of music that makes you really feel something.
How would you describe your sound?
Hot, sweaty rock and roll with a dose of folk? I don’t know, it’s always a tough one to answer.
What’s your favourite tune in your repertoire and why?
American Rage. I get really anxious before shows but as soon as we start playing that song it disappears. It’s some of my favourite lyrical work and it’s one of those songs that I love playing every single time.
What can audiences expect from one of your live shows?
We have so much fun playing. Our shows can be a bit of a cathartic whirlwind. It’s almost like going to see a punk show but we’re not playing punk music?
Where can we find your music?
Anywhere online. Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes or on our website thewildernessband.com