On The Road With Wild Rivers

Canadian Americana band Wild Rivers will be performing at the Cat's Cradle Back Room on September 19th . We caught up with 3 of the 4 ...

Canadian Americana band Wild Rivers will be performing at the Cat's Cradle Back Room on September 19th. We caught up with 3 of the 4 members of the band as they told us about life out on the road!

Describe your music for our readers who may not be familiar with you.
Khalid Yassein: We're all pretty influenced by older music of the '60s and '70s: Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Jackson Browne, Elton John etc. We grew up listening to these people and they definitely left a lasting impact on our songwriting and tastes. Beyond that base, we listen to a ton of contemporary music, especially in the Americana and pop world. So we kind of have a mix of a classic inspired sound at our core while mixed with a few of our modern influences. If you had to put it in a box, we would probably say "indie folk," whatever that means!

What's the first concert you attended?
Devan Glover: Spice World Tour!

Andrew Oliver: Black Eyed Peas :(

Khalid: Brad Paisley. Three very uncool answers!

What's the strangest gig you've played?
Devan: In the early days of the band, we definitely played some strange ones. We once played on the top level of a double-decker bus that was driving around Toronto. We had to duck for some street signs and almost fell over at stop lights a couple times, but for the most part it was pretty cool! Definitely a unique experience. We also played a retirement home once and a grumpy old man told us that he didn't like our music :)

What's the craziest thing a fan has done at one of your shows?
Khalid: Last week a woman flew from Peru to come see our show in NYC. That kind of stuff will never ever cease to amaze us.

What's the first thing you look for when you hit a new town?
Devan: Vintage shops, record stores, coffee!! Khalid is the king of Yelp reviews. He always finds us the best local spots to eat at.

Khalid: Yeah, it's a little tough to find a cheap healthy option on the road so I usually get to googling or ask a local for an inside tip. We also try to see interesting things in town that aren't necessarily the typical busy tourist attraction. We usually chat with fans after the show too and they usually steer us in the right direction.

How do you spend your days on the road?
Devan: When we're in the car we listen to lots of music, podcasts, and when we really run out of things to do we usually resort to asking each other dumb hypothetical "Would You Rather," and playing some good old car games. If we have free time or a day off, we'll usually try to make the most of it by exploring the city that we're in, eating good local food, walking around, etc. We most recently spent our day off in DC riding around on electric scooters looking like dorks… it was a great way to get see the sights! If we could spend every day off like that we definitely would.

Do you have any pre-show rituals?
Devan: We usually huddle up backstage and someone takes the floor to give a few motivational words. Then we count to three and say "TEAM" and bang our heads together.

Khalid: We also have an embarrassing vocal warmup that involves some crazy lip buzzing sounds. We hope it never sees the light of day.

What's some advice you'd give to a band embarking on its first tour?
Devan: Have fun!! But also look after yourself... the first few times we went on tour we were so excited and treated it like a party/vacation, which it kind of is, but we all got sick and burned out pretty early on. We still have fun and go out, but now we balance that with good sleeps and healthy eating to keep our stamina up. Nothing worse than playing a show when you're sick and exhausted!

Andrew: Be present. There's a lot going on and it's easy to get to kind of just follow the motions when your tired. For me it's often not until after it's over that I realize how fun it was. So my advice is be in the moment and appreciate how unique the experience is.

Khalid: Hydrate.

Final question: You're the opening act of a music festival. You can get any five artists, living or dead, to perform on the bill with you. Which five acts do you choose and what song do you all perform together for the final jam?
Devan: Fleetwood Mac, Elton John, Marvin Gaye, James Taylor, Florence + The Machine… That would be quite the crew.

Andrew: Paul McCartney on Bass, Bahamas on Guitar, Daft Punk with the beats, Seal on lead vocals, and Schoolboy Q comes in with a hot verse.

Khalid: In this order: Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Eagles, Springsteen, and Queen (late night show). Final jam, let's say Geddy Lee on bass, Clapton and John Mayer trading off lead guitar, Elton on the keys, Aretha on lead vocals, John Bohnam on the drums, and Michael Jackson just cutting a rug in the back.

More Wild Rivers: Official | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter


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Strange Carolinas is the Travelogue Of The Offbeat, a wry look at the interesting, unique, and offbeat roadside attractions, people, music, art, food, and festivals in North and South Carolina.


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