West Coast Canadian rockers, THE WILD! return with their new full-length album, Still Believe In Rock And Roll, out now via Entertainment One (“eOne”). Now, more than ever, Still Believe In Rock And Roll is a title that rings true as a definition of the band’s roots, and keeping the spirit of music alive. Front man Dylan Villain (vocals/ guitars) spoke to Hi Fi Way about the challenges of making the record.
It’s a tough time right now, are you hanging in there?
What a time to be releasing a record hey but here we are. It is a hell of thing and it can be frustrating as we have had several of our tour dates taken away from us and not knowing when we will be working again this year as a result of all this stuff. Positively we released the album and the day it came out it went to number one on the iTunes charts. I’ve got so many messages from fans all over the world saying how happy and relieved they were to have something new to escape from all this stuff going on. If anyone is getting anything positive out of it during this time that is a fantastic thing and I’m happy with that.
It is really good to have something positive to talk about because the album is really good?
Yeah man, like I said if there’s any positivity we can give right now we’ll wear that badge proudly.
As a band how do you navigate your way around this?
To be honest I try not to think about it because we get really frustrated. We went in to this record with a tonne of momentum and a whole year in front of us for touring to support that record and ensure that it got the most impact it could with that release. Having that taken away is incredibly frustrating and I try not to think about it as I just know that there are people out there going through worse than us and we are all going through it together. It is one of those situations where you need to think bigger picture than just yourself and ultimately that is the thought process that will get us out of this thing. That’s where I’m at with it and for everything else it’s Jagermeister!
Without touring how do you keep the momentum going?
We’re figuring it out as we go. We’re in the process of sorting some Facebook live concerts and it will be really cool. I’ve seen a lot of people doing it with just an iPhone and that’s cool, kudos to everyone putting shows together as everyone needs it but we want to take it ten steps further as we always do and do full scale production with multi-camera with sound board recording, really doing it balls to the way and big loud amps to help everyone take their minds off it. Other than that we’ll keep finding ways to stay connected with the fans whether that’s Q&A on Facebook or Instagram live or whatever it is. It’s about everyone in the world knowing we are going through the same shit together. It is really frustrating and a strange time and the way we stick together is by staying apart, the more we stick together and the conscious thought of being in it together the better it will be for all of us.
Do you use this time to write or do you need to stay in the head space of this album?
To be honest I went through hell, well not hell, but writing this last record was really hard and trying. I felt an enormous amount of pressure and I put a lot of pressure on myself to make an album that was better than good, to make something that was great and really impacted our fans, to get in to their eardrums and find a home for us to live. I wanted to do something that will stand the test of time and being better than just being an OK record. As a result of that I’m not focused on writing at the moment and frankly with all this shit going on around the world I’m feeling really uninspired. What I know is that before long I’ll pick up a guitar and start figuring things out because it is the time to write. I’m finding it difficult to think about, music is one thing and riffs are easy but I don’t want to be thinking about writing songs about sitting inside all day.
How did you manage that pressure of making this record?
I’m the kind of person that nothing is too difficult when it comes down to things that I care about and love. I love my band, I love rock and roll music, I love everything about it and I was dope for this gig in all aspects of it. The pressure is hard, I don’t sleep a lot on a good day and when I was making this record I think I was getting two or three hours a night for three months. That is how my brain works as I get obsessed with things, I need to seen them be to their moment of being finished. Until that moment is finished I can’t let it go. I put all the attention to detail I had in to it and made it as good as I felt it could be. That is the guy that I am, a perfectionist and I want things to be as good as they can be. I’m not afraid of putting in the time to get to that point.
What did you think when you played the record back?
I was happy, very rarely I’ve made a record where I felt that I made it the way I wanted it or not have any regrets or second thoughts of I could have done this or could have done that. With this record I don’t have that and I feel really strongly about it. I feel we have given it our best performance and the songs got the attention they deserved. I think things clicked for us on this record and I’m incredibly proud of it. I just hope that despite us going through this weird time of not being able to tour that the fans like it, keep listening to it and sharing it with their friends.
Interview By Rob Lyon
Have a listen to Still Believe In Rock and Roll on Spotify…