Melbourne’s indie delights Merpire and Feelds have teamed up to create a brand-new side project during their time in lockdown – an iso baby is born, welcome to the world Wilson’s Prom. November 4 is a big with the release of their self-titled EP which boasts singles Love Fool and Manifest Protagonist. James and Rhiannon drop by for a quick interview with Hi Fi Way.
Is there a feeling of relief or excitement that your EP is about to come out?
A bit of both! Wilson’s Prom has actually been our most relaxed approach to putting out music. it’s been really, really enjoyable. We are just super keen to let everyone hear the EP, to get lost in the prom night, find the characters, connect their stories.
Was it as much hard work as you thought?
Having a number of musical works out between us, we knew what we did and didn’t want to do with Wilson’s Prom based on previous experience. We don’t really know where Wilson’s Prom is going to do. As best as we can, we’re just focusing on the now. So we’re trying not to worry too much about how much we’re engaging with socials. It’s been nice just to share it with our friends and let people find it through fab blogs such as yourselves.
Did COVID add another layer of complexity in getting it done?
If it wasn’t for COVID, Wilson’s Prom may never have been. We figured it out as we went. We let the EP come together in it’s own time, not deciding on a release date for even the first single until it was all done. Taking that pressure off really allowed us to focus on the story within the music, develop it into the world it is now.
Sonically, how would you describe your music?
We like to think it bends genres, decades and emotions. Each song is inside the head of one of three characters attending the prom who all connect in a way you’ll just have to listen to work out. So there are moments in a couple of songs you can hear when the character is inside their head, feeling all their feelings and then when they’re “back in the room” listening to and taking in their surroundings. We’ve been indulgent instrumentally and production-wise, creating sounds we know and love. Whether that’s certain guitar tones, synth sounds and vocal effects. It’s as much for us as it is for whoever chooses to listen.
How did you both find each other?
James who has a solo project called Feelds is the co-producer for my solo project, Merpire and has been playing in my band for the last couple of years. Writing and producing together outside of those projects within that time, our own band was bound to form sooner or later. Why not during a pandemic?
What are some of your main shared influences?
Pinegrove, Kate Davis, Soccer Mommy, Phoebe Bridgers, Father John Misty.
Is there anything symbolic about the name Wilson’s Prom?
While it is a holiday destination in Victoria, Wilson’s Prom for us is a fictional prom night at a high school called Wilson I guess.
Are there plans for more new music?
There’s always new music we’re writing. The establishment of Wilson’s Prom has filled us with excitement for what else we could do together. It could be more Wilson’s Prom, or, because the self-titled EP is based around one night, maybe we’ll start another new band with another theme. This pandemic has been a great reminder that you can really do whatever you want, as long as it’s meaningful.
How excited are you about the prospect of touring?
If our planets align, we would love to! I guess it goes without saying that we’d have to do a tour of dance halls to really bring the prom to life. Only thing is, we’d have to combine both of our solo projects bands to play, like we did for the live version of Love Fool (link to the YouTube video there maybe?) and that’s a solid 9 band members. Spice Girls tour bus here we come!
What’s a fun fact that your fans wouldn’t know about Wilson’s Prom?
We used a different drummer for every track on the EP!
Interview By Rob Lyon