Sunday, March 11, 2012


New York City rejoice - punk is back and its as loud, fast and furious as ever. Wyldlife, New York's four piece are making waves and marks in the city that never sleeps and will be reaching a town near you this summer. Signed to Mike Dirt of The Bravery's Merrifield Records, Wyldlife have been thrashing their way around the boroughs for sometime and with their own brand of D.I.Y. aesthetic, Wyldlife are creating their own future and blueprint as to how they want to do things on their own terms. We spoke with singer Dangerous Dave about the bands influences, New York and the interesting spelling of their name. Take a look at the interview below.

How would you describe your sound to someone that has never heard of you before?

We're sweet and tough but we try not to take ourselves too seriously. Have you ever seen the episode of "Hey Vern, It's Ernest!" Where Ernest is hosting a costume party and he's serving punch out of a leather boot? That's what we sound like. We're a 1970s-inspired punk/powerpop band.

Who are some of your influences?

All of the dudes from the late 70s are hugely inspirational to our band like The Ramones, The Dead Boys, The Saints, Iggy Pop, The Undertones, The Only Ones, The Buzzcocks plus all of the Stiff Records guys like Nick Lowe, Elvis Costello, Wreckless Eric, etc. There are too many to name! The Exploding Hearts were one of the best bands that could've been, even though they were way more recent. As a lyricist, I would say Paul Westerberg and the Replacements are crucial to me. We all love the Rolling Stones, especially how they can make an awesome rock and roll track and then switch it up and make a great honky-tonk song.

The band formed out of SUNY Purchase College, many great acts have come from there – Jenny Owen Youngs, Regina Spector, Fireflies, Dan Deacon. Do you feel you need to live up to the Purchase legacy?

Not to mention Wesley Snipes! Nah, I don't feel that we have to live up to any sort of legacy, but you're right that there has been a large amount of successful bands coming from Purchase. If we can attain the level of popularity those bands have, we'd all be psyched, but we do not feel any sort of pressure. We're all happy to be asked to come back and play there, which we are doing this October.

Who came up with the spelling of the bands name and how did it come about?

I have a feeling we're going to get a lot of questions about the spelling in future interviews. I believe the spelling was orginally conceived by Sam and me. What's funny is now every time I see the word "wildlife" I think that it's spelled wrong. I guess we're too reckless for correct spelling.

The bands sound is very raw and very harsh, do you consider yourself punk or straight rock and roll?

I used to tell people we were just a straight rock and roll band but because everything is so niche-oriented, I can't say that too easily anymore. It somehow caught on and people started calling us a punk band, which in a way is true but only in the way that those aforementioned bands were punk. But really, all those guys were just writing pop tunes that happened to be a bit louder and faster. I'd like to think we're doing the same thing. I like things to be raw, I don't think everything has to be so polished. If people want to call us punk, they can.

You just released your debut LP, what was that experience like?

It took a damn long time! What's funny is that S.W.A.K. and "(She's Makin' Me) Nervous" were written within days of our recording deadline. Each of us helped out in some way or another. Sam mixed and produced all of the tracks in his bedroom, Spencer did the artwork, Russ researched mastering studios. It was a cool group project. My job is to take care of the vinyl, which I'm still working on. There was a time when I thought, "Wow, once we submit this for review it is up to other people to judge and criticize what we've created." That is a scary thought, but we do want as many people to hear this thing as possible and I believe we've put out something worth hearing.

You released it via Mike Dirt of The Bravery’s Merrifield Records. What is it like to be working with Dirt and be part of the Merrifield label?

Mike Hindert is the fucking man! He is such a supportive dude, and will sometimes just randomly text me from tour to talk to me about Pawn Stars or random crap. He is also an excellent bowler and a sharp dresser. We're all psyched to be on his team. Merrifield is rad, too. I like to think of it as more of a social club than a record label, but Mike and everyone else works their asses off to make sure people are listening.

How much fun are you having going on stage and having the time of your lives?

Like you said, the time of our lives. It's even better when there's no stage, really. One time I separated my shoulder hopping on top of a bar and singing down into the crowd. We didn't stop though because it's all so fun. When my shoulder finally came back into place, MAN did it feel good! We love crowd interaction. Were like the cats from that musical... I think it was called, Cats. Licking random chicks' faces, drinking beer and getting all sweaty, it's a righteous thing. I have to say that I hate between-song banter because I am terrible at it. It's a curse that we play the way we do because when a song ends, unless we're going right into the next one, the brief silence kills me. We just want to play our songs and move because that's all we know how to do.

What is it like to play in front of a room of faces that may or may not have heard of you before? Do you go any different or do you work harder to gain their attention?

I don't know if we work harder. The most important thing with any band is that the music is good and that the sound is tight. You can lick beer off the floor all night but if your songs suck and you don't sound good as a collective unit, then you just look stupid. Luckily, Sam is a great songwriter and we practice together before our shows. After that, we just play as we always do and try and have fun. All the other "attention-grabbing" shit comes natural to us and we hope people like it.

Where do you see Wyldlife in a year?

After some thought, I'd like to still be licking beer off of floors, just hopefully bigger and better floors. Maybe tour Europe, that would be incredible. I see us working on another EP or maybe even another LP. We'll have a couple music videos and we'll be telling stories from a U.S. tour we did. I'm not expecting us to be huge overnight like how it works for some bands. What I can envision is that somewhere in America, some DJ will be playing our record to a group of friends saying, "Dig this band." That's what we all want: for more people to know who we are, to keep playing, and to keep having fun.