Every now and then a band emerges into the music scene with a very distinct yet refreshing sound that reminds us of just how important an instrument can be to a group’s melody and unique sound. Almost all successful artists use variations of a particular instrument, including vocals, to distinguish themselves from other artists and to capture the likes of their audience (Grace Jones’ contralto vocal range, The Cure’s melodic bass guitar, Beirut’s use of the trumpet, and Gary Clark Jr.’s electric and acoustic guitar, just to name a few…). On the same note, with the release of their first full album entitled No Moon at All, Los Angeles band Wildcat! Wildcat! has been added to this list with their unique sound brought by the hard-to-miss sound of the keyboard played by bandmate Michael Wilson.
With their No Moon at All tour well underway, the boys of Wildcat! Wildcat!, Michael Wilson, Jesse Carmichael and Jesse Taylor, were able to sit down with Surf Collective for a little Q and A session at Bowery Ballroom before they hit the stage.
SC: What would you say your biggest accomplishment or most notable event that has happened to you as a group has been?
WW: Putting out a full-length album and selling out a show in LA all by ourselves without any kind of help. We have had a lot of really great accomplishments so I think it is important to recognize them all, but those in particular really stand out because not a lot of bands even get those opportunities.
SC: What is the biggest difference between Wildcat! Wildcat! and other bands you all have been part of?
WW: Well this is the first time we have all been in a band together even though we’ve known each other for a long time growing up in LA.
SC: If there was one band or artist that you would say has been the biggest inspiration to your group, who would it be? And is there an era of music that has been most influential to your career as musicians?
WW: [JT] Probably the last hundred years, [MW] I’d say it was the 80’s New Wave movement especially because I listened to a lot of Orange Juice and Brian Eno growing up and I was inspired by them when writing a lot of key parts of songs for Wildcat! Wildcat!… it is definitely really strange music since its not pop its not rock but it is really fun to listen to you. [JT] 50’s or 60’s blues and jazz for me has been really important.
SC: If you were each forced to listen to one song for the rest of your lives what would it be?
WW: [JT] “In My Solitude” by Billie Holiday, [MW] Blue in Green by Miles Davis [JC] Something by Sigur Ros
SC: If you didn’t join a band or do anything with music what would you guys do instead?
WW: [JT] I was an art conservator because Wildcat! Wildcat! started out as just a fun thing for us to do together. I think everything we’ve done has been geared towards keeping our music going. [JC] I’d be a Bartender, that’s the only other skill I know.
SC: What is one of the coolest or weirdest things that have ever happened since being on tour?
WW: We sat in the car for 4.5 hours on the highway because there was a huge accident, but I also think this whole arctic invasion thing has been pretty intense since we didn’t really come prepared… especially when you only bring Vans and Converse as your shoes of choice.
SC: What is one thing that most people don’t know about you all?
WW: We gather around in a circle and check the weather before we hit the stage at every show.
SC: Where is one place you’d like to go on tour?
WW: Japan, France, New Zealand, or Australia… and outer space. We have a fan in Alaska that we won over at a Portugal the Man show who has been hitting us up about doing an Alaskan tour and he’s awesome and he would be our spirit and physical guide up there. The music scene is very different there so it will definitely need to be filmed.
SC: What are some of your favorite songs and or up and coming artists at the moment?
WW: Binaural, RL Grime’s song Always, Benzel and their EP called Man, Multiply by ASAP Rocky, Die the Water Green by Bibio, Basecamp’s cover of All That She Wants by Ace of Base, Giraffage, and finally Nobody by Keith Sweat
SC: So after talking with you all and realizing that some of you surf quite often, I must ask, what is your favorite thing about surfing?
WW: The green room, going out with friends and being out with someone on the west coast and seeing the sunset.
PHOTOS BY JAKE