OEB’s 5 SXSW Q’s – The Lonely Wild
Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
OEB 2013 SXSW Review
The Lonely Wild are poised for a SXSW breakout this year as the folk rock outfit will be swinging through Austin just weeks before the release of their already anticipated record, The Sun As It Comes, due April 2nd. OEB was able to chat with the band last week to discuss how “Buried in the Murder” encapsulates the current sound of The Lonely Wild, the unconscious influence of spaghetti western soundtracks on the record and how Los Angeles has informed the band’s blend of roots and progression.
“Buried in the Murder" is quite an epic introduction to your upcoming full-length. Is the dense, building nature of the track indicative of the rest of the record?
"Buried in the Murder" was actually the last song written for the record, and once we were done recording it, we all immediately felt that it captured the mood of the album and our sound as a band, (at least to date). The album showcases some pretty major emotional and dynamic highs and lows, and "Buried" sort of distills it all into one song. It also appears at the end of the album and serves to mirror the opening/title track that has a similar structure with a slow, dynamic build.
I get hints of themes that sound like they come from an old Western soundtracks in your music. Is that sound an influence to you and what other musical forms inspired the sound of The Lonely Wild?
I still remember the first time I heard the theme to The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. It was on TV when I was eight years old, and I thought it was so cool. I never really played cowboys as a kid, but that music stuck with me. In recent years I’ve accumulated a sizable Ennio Morricone vinyl collection. When I first began writing what would become Lonely Wild songs, that Morricone influence wasn’t in the forefront of my mind, but as it came out, I ran with it and really started incorporating elements of that spaghetti western sonic pallet into our songs.
I’ve also been influenced by artists like Neil Young, Woody Guthrie, Johnny Cash, Leonard Cohen—all of whom wrote/write disarmingly personal songs, as well as songs with strong social messages. I also love Ravel, Dave Brubeck, Pink Floyd. The list goes on. I try to pull influence from various styles, because rock n roll that’s solely influenced by rock n roll gets boring and derivative.
I described your sound as a mix of laid-back, Laurel Canyon folk and the intensity of a major city. How has Los Angeles informed your sound?
Los Angeles has had a major influence on our sound. It’s this sprawling urban oasis built on a desert. It really shouldn’t exist. But this juxtaposition of nature, be it desert, mountains, or ocean, with a dense urban environment is sort of a microcosm for the rest of the world, and it serves to inspire a lot of amazing art. L.A. also draws in so many diverse cultures and music styles. You could go out any night of the week and hear music from all over the world here. So when we incorporate Latin-style brass into a Laurel Canyon-esque folk song, with spaghetti western drama, it’s all drawn from Los Angeles.
Do you have any gigs lined up for SXSW yet? It seems like your time in Austin can serve as a launching point to support the record - what’s on deck for The Lonely Wild in 2013?
We’re definitely hoping to stir up some buzz for the record in Austin. We have a handful of shows lined up right now, and we hope to keep booking more leading up to March.
We recently became part of the Thirty Tigers management and distribution family, so we’ll be playing their official SXSW showcase on Fri. March 15th. On the 14th we’re playing a party at Cheers on 6th St., on the 13th we’re playing Spaceland Productions/Origami Vinyl party, and on Monday the 11th we’re playing part of the Interactive side of the festival at an event sponsored by the non-profit group, Beaconfire.
After Austin, we’ll be doing some west coast touring in April and national touring in May and throughout the summer. If all goes according to plan, we’ll be on the road a lot this year.
Have you had a chance to check out the SXSW roster yet? Any artists you are looking forward to catching yourself while in town?
I honestly have barely had the time to look over the roster, but I know off hand that I’m really excited to check out Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds at the NPR showcase. I’ve never seen them, and I’m really digging the first couple of tracks I’ve heard off of their forthcoming record. There’s a new band out of Nashville called Luella and the Sun that I’ve heard really great things about as well, so I’m hoping to catch them. Overall, I’m really just hoping to play as much possible, and absorb as much music as possible. It’ll be good to get out of our little bubble and see what’s going on in the rest of the country, and the rest of the world, for that matter.