By Kasandra Garza
Fun Fun Fun Fest is especially known for its way to bring unknown bands to the forefront by giving them a platform to get their name out. This is especially true for the band Wild Ones, who performed before Sarah Jaffe.
Wild Ones began with Danielle and Thomas, who both went to high school together. Throughout college, the two were members of several bands. Wild Ones formed as a side project after college and turned into what the band is today by “touring all the f**king time,” Thomas said.
The name for the band came out of the love for Thin Lizzy’s song, “Wild One.”
“It was when Thomas and I were in High School and we were 17 and we listened to it all the time,” Danielle said. “When we started this band after college, it was clear what the name should be.”
“It got a lot of attention in Portland and we took it more seriously,” Thomas said. “We picked a chose the people we wanted to be in our band and brought on Sevy, Max and Nick and made a full band.”
Thomas and Danielle wrote their first song titled “Do the Right Thing,” a song most fans will never hear because, according to Danielle, people would cry because of how bad it is. Danielle said the song was later put on their first record but they will never play that song again. However, a few fans may still be able to find it.
“I’m sure not all of the albums were purchased from whatever record store they are in,” Danielle said. “I’m sure there’s some dusty copies in a box underneath the shelves.”
“We get sick of our music really quickly,” Danielle said. “After we finish one record cycle, we get really embarrassed of our music and I guess in a good way it propels us to put out new music.”
Wild Ones has performed at the past three SXSW shows in Austin, but this was the first time the band performed at Fun Fun Fun Fest.
“This is the first time I’ve ever been here without the chaos of SXSW,” Danielle said. “Even though Fun Fun Fun Fest seems a little bit insane.”
Though the tour has been a dream for the band, it has actually been a “shit-show.”
Nick said while driving from Toronto, it was extremely windy. The back trailer where all of the instruments were flew open and everything flew out. Most of their stuff ended up on the highway, like jackets, sleeping bags and pillows. Nick pulled over the side of the road to grab their stuff. Luckily the band was in Canada so everyone was nice enough to let them get their stuff.
“That was pretty insane, it was the first string of insane things on this tour,” Nick said. “We hit a deer on the way home, that was our first time doing that. Magical day.”
If that isn’t crazy enough, Danielle said the most terrifying thing that happened to her was when her zip up pants unzipped and her entire leg was exposed to the entire audience.
“I had to leave the stage and get pants and these guys didn’t know what to do so they just stood on stage and looked at each other and they started playing impromptu music,” Danielle said. “It was everybody’s living nightmare.”
But don’t feel too bad, the band has had their fair share of really good shows too.
Danielle’s favorite venue was in Washington D.C.
“I had low expectations because we had only played there one time and we were on a supporting tour at that time,” Danielle said. “When we went to play this show, there was so many folks there standing in the front row screaming all the words and it made me want to explode. That’s the best feeling in the world when you play a show.”
Nick’s favorite venue was in Atlanta because his mom was there.
“I got to kick it with my mom, I love you mom.”
Danielle said their sound was a long progression to try and recreate the music they loved growing up while also trying to focus their music.
“We want to have a cohesive record,” Danielle said. “I feel like with each record, were getting closer and closer to that.”
Thomas said their sound is more of a venn diagram of all of their musical tastes. Nick and Sevy played in punk bands prior to playing with Wild Ones. Max went to school for composing. Danielle and Thomas grew up listening to indie pop.
“Somewhere right in the middle, we all kind of agreed on what we liked and that is what we have for our sound,” Thomas said.
Thomas’ mom thinks Wild Ones sounds like Lorde, while Danielle’s mom tells her to turn down the music.
Thomas said the band was formed during the release of the film “Drive” featuring Ryan Gosseling. The soundtrack featured a lot of dark synth pop which inspired Thomas to have a band just like it.
Danielle has a unique taste in music. She listens to old country, like Mardie Robins, an artist from the 50s through the 80s. He mostly sang about “cowboys and Native Americans in gun fights.”
Nick is a soul junkie whose hero is Jamie Jamerson. Thomas listened to 70s synth bands that blended into the 80s, like Devo.
Usually, a song begins with Nick and Thomas creating the structure of it. Then, it’s passed onto Danielle who will add “totally nonsense words that have melody and harmony.” The end product later gets passed back between bands mates until they feel the song is completed.
Wild Ones’ most recent album is called Heatwave; It’s an EP with five tracks on it. Danielle said the album cover came from a song called “Loveless” about a gang of girls. This became the theme for the EP. Danielle wanted the album art to portray this powerful, mysterious woman. This is where the idea of the woman in a letterman with a hidden face came from.
Nick said the worst show he’s ever played was the first one he ever played as a band member. It was more like a “Welcome to the Family.” It was at a fancy dining restaurant in Oakland.
That’s not even the worst.
The worst show was when a sculptor was sitting in the front row, sculpting as they performed. Once the performance ended, mysterious sculptor went up to the band and critiqued them on everything he felt they did wrong.
“It was like the icing on top of the cake of a shitty night,” Thomas said.
The opening act was a 40-year-old who performed Bob Dylan covers. “We can get down to Bob Dylan, but that was the furthest thing from Bob Dylan,” Danielle said.
The best Netflix and chill films according to the band:
Frasier, Modern Family and Mind of a Chef.
Wild Ones is touring with Pure Bathing Company on their month and a half long tour in the United States and parts of Canada.