On The Road With Wylder

Wylder will release their sophomore album, Golden Age Thinking , on July 12th, but first they have a June 5th date at The Evening Muse wit...



Wylder will release their sophomore album, Golden Age Thinking, on July 12th, but first they have a June 5th date at The Evening Muse with Motherfolk. We caught up with Wylder frontman Will McCarry to talk about his dream music festival, what he looks for when he hits a new town, and how the band once gave up their stage to an old man.

Describe your music for our readers who may not be familiar with you.
Wylder fits somewhere between modern indie-folk and the impulses of alternative rock bands like Arcade Fire and The Killers. Our new album is typified by lush arrangements and organic production similar to Fleet Foxes or Radical Face.

What's the first concert you attended?
My first concert was HFStival, a music festival from a long defunct DC rock station. My friend and I (and his mom) went for the Offspring, but were also treated to performances by Yellowcard, Papa Roach and, strangely enough, The Cure. Lonnie's (guitar, mandolin) first concert was Taking Back Sunday and Jackson's (bass, piano) was Hall and Oates. Mike's (drums) first concert was the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I won't do this incredible event the disservice of attempting to describe it; you just kind of have to see it.

What's the strangest gig you've played?
We once performed at a bar for four straight hours on Halloween with no sound system. The venue had insisted there would be full sound, but, of course, there was not. We ended up finagling a way to run the vocal out of an amp and the rest of the band played almost entirely unplugged. We performed most of the set drowned out by a cacophonous costumed crowd until an old man rushed the stage (I say stage, but corner would be more appropriate) and demanded I give him my guitar and that he be allowed to play the blues. Since we were out of material and demoralized, I let him, and he finished the show while the rest of us watched.

What's the craziest thing a fan has done at one of your shows?
We're always wowed by the distance some fans will travel to see a show. We once had a fan fly in from Australia to see us play, and another fan drove 10 hours to be at a gig.



What's the first thing you look for when you hit a new town?
Bagels (we're usually disappointed).

How do you spend your days on the road?
On long drives (and they're all long drives) we will riff for hours on made-up scenarios or bits. One of my favorites was a delirious conversation that lasted up until the North Carolina border about a corn salesman named Burt Corn who owns a shop called Burt Corn's Burnt Corn and More Store, where you can burn your corns and buy burnt corn.

Do you have any pre-show rituals?
Right before we take the stage is about the time we each turn to one another and say, "Did anyone write a setlist?"

What's some advice you'd give to a band embarking on its first tour?
Finding somewhere comfortable (enough) and close (enough) to stay after the gig is essential to your sanity. Don't treat it as an afterthought!

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?
We'll go with each of our favorite bands: R.E.M., Fleet Foxes, Manchester Orchestra, and Radiohead, and we'll throw Vampire Weekend in there too, you know, just as an afterthought. And we're all gonna play Weezer's "Undone (The Sweater Song)."

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