THE WILDERNESS: EXPANSIVE INDIE ROCKERS ON THE COME-UP TRAIL!
By Mike O’Cull, independent music journalist. www.mikeocull.com
The Wilderness is an indie rock band from Kingston, Ontario that has been turning some heads recently with its new single “Fall (Despite What You Do).” It’s a spacious, emotional track about feeling helpless with a powerful, atmospheric vibe and an indelible hook. This is tough-but-vulnerable songwriter rock done well, rendered with chimey guitars and moody, expressive vocals. It just hit the street July 19th, 2019 and is already getting lots of the right kind of attention.
Lead singer and rhythm guitarist for The Wilderness Jonas Lewis-Anthony was good enough to drop by and hang out with us here at the MikeOCull.com home office/studio complex not long ago and dropped some insider info about how the band works and where songs like “Fall (Despite What You Do)” come from. Here’s a bit of our conversation. To learn more, visit https://thewildernessband.com/. Check out “Fall (Despite What You Do)” on Spotify right here: https://open.spotify.com/track/6uNxU5h7j3KBSFO1cEMMAw?si=aJc5jgY1Se2J8hjBOcw-UQ
MIKE - HOW DID THE BAND COME TOGETHER?
JONAS - The band originally formed in 2015 after meeting at an open mic at Musiikki cafe in Kingston, ON. The band hit the ground running, performing locally almost immediately and embarking on their first US and Canadian tours (in Rhonda, their 2000 Honda Odyssey) within the first two years. Over the next two years the band added two additional members and continued to tour, play, and record relentlessly.
MIKE - WHAT IS THE CREATIVE PROCESS LIKE? DO YOU WRITE AS A GROUP?
JONAS - The creative process has evolved over the course of the band’s existence. Early songs were primarily written by individual members (specifically singer Jonas Lewis-Anthony, and bassist Karl Tombak), and then workshopped as a group to allow each member their own creative input. Currently the creative process still works like this, but with a much greater emphasis on the communal aspect of writing.
MIKE - WHAT INSPIRED “Fall (Despite What You Do)”?
JONAS - The song is about the feeling of helplessness that can accompany being in a touring band. It was originally inspired by a specific tragic event in one of the band members lives that he received while we were on the road.
MIKE - IS MUSIC POLITICAL?
JONAS - Music can certainly be political. The beauty of music is that it is simultaneously a means, for the musician, of expressing something to their audience, as well as a way for listeners to contextualize the feelings they have in their own lives. This means that you have not only the intention of the musicians to make a political statement, but also the possibility that the audience will interpret an artist’s message as political or repurpose it to further political agendas of their own.
MIKE - WHAT COMES NEXT FOR THE BAND?
JONAS - Hopefully continuing to do what we do now, i.e. playing and recording as much as we can! We’re already back in the studio working on our next single, and plan on hitting in both the US and Canada, and hopefully Europe next year.
MIKE - WHAT GIVES YOU HOPE FOR THE FUTURE?
JONAS - We’ve begun to experience a continuous growth in recent years, both commercially and artistically. That evolution has given us a great deal of hope that our continued efforts as a group are going to pay off with even greater levels of success in the future.
MIKE - WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE SONGWRITER?
JONAS - Each member of the band would give you a different answer to that question, but some of the standouts would be Paul Simon, Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Wonder, Levon Helm, Neil Young, and Bob Dylan.