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Wake The Wild Returns

The Los Angeles trio is back with new songs made for your summer.

Photos By Bartlomiej Kurela

With Los Angeles finally turning the corner away from a pandemic and into summer, the music industry is roaring back to life. One band, in particular, is ready for the season with the perfect EP to fill your speakers at the beach. Wake The Wild has already been featured on some of your favorite Spotify playlists and is releasing a new EP. The group (consisting of Zach, Chase, and Forrest) took some time to sit down and talk through a couple of questions with us. Be sure to check out their latest single “Wasting Time” and “Made 4 U” wherever you stream.

Thank you so much for taking the time to answer some questions for BOP! To get started could you all introduce yourselves and share what roles you play in the band?

Hey, thanks so much! Yeah, we’re a three-piece group and we’ve actually known each other since as far back as first grade which is kind of crazy! We grew up playing music together playing jazz, R&B, pop, rock, etc… through a bunch of different projects.

Zach is our vocalist/keyboardist, Forrest plays drums and electronic percussion triggers, and Chase plays guitar, bass and a synth mallet instrument called the MalletStation that’s kind of like an electric marimba with 4 mallets. Growing up playing music together as a live band was crucial to our sound because we always try to bring that organic energy to our produced music and obviously our live show - which always ends up as a dance party.

When we’re writing and producing we have somewhat different roles but it’s super collaborative. Chase is our main technical guy playing a lot of the keys, guitar, bass parts and making the sound design and mix come together. Zach is always overflowing with vocal melodies and harmonies. He’s also much more efficient at writing lyrics than the other two of us in part because of his other professional work as a songwriter. Forrest kind of bridges these two worlds and is somewhat of the “quality control” and helps us determine what’s working both melodically, lyrically, and with the production. Overall, the vibe is very collaborative and fun. We end up writing and producing hundreds more songs than ever get put out and our process is always evolving.

What are the musical or cultural inspirations behind Wake The Wild’s sound?

Ohh great question! We grew up listening to classic funk and R&B like Prince, Michael Jackson, and Chaka Khan but we’re also super influenced by more modern artists such as KAYTRANADA, Anderson .Paak, Disclosure, NAO, and Laura Mvula. Basically, we’re trying to bridge the live and timeless energy of these legends with some of the more modern production sounds and hooks from modern dance music. Culturally, we’re just trying to bring a good vibe to any situation. As people, we don’t take ourselves too seriously and we like to have a good time so it feels authentic that our music conveys the same energy.

What are some hobbies outside of the band that you all are passionate about?

Well, the obvious one is Forrest. He is a true car connoisseur and he spends hours researching, modifying, and updating his mini fleet. Chase has the same problem but with instruments, the current count is 5 guitar, 2 basses, 3 keyboards, mallet percussion instruments, and endless effects pedals in the constant search for more sounds. Aside from those absurd hobbies, we all love traveling, spending time outdoors, and enjoying decadent meals.

Apparently, Spotify lets you see what playlists listeners have added your songs to. What have been the best playlists that Wake The Wild songs have ended up on?

We’ve been fortunate to have been featured on some pretty major Spotify Editorial Playlists which is the modern equivalent to radio play. Here are a few highlights:

  • Nu-Funk: Spotify Editorial Playlist - Guilty Pleasures 135.2k plays

  • Butter: Spotify Editorial Playlist - Guilty Pleasures 141.5k plays

  • Wochenende: Spotify Editorial - Playlist Numb 105.3k plays

  • Coffee Club: Spotify Editorial Playlist - Alone Together & Rewind 82.6k plays

  • Serotonin: Spotify Editorial Playlist - Guilty Pleasures & Made 4 U 81.1k plays

  • young & free: Spotify Editorial Playlist - Rewind 83.3k plays

  • Fresh Finds: Pop: Spotify Editorial Playlist - Pulse & Numb 12.5k plays

How did it feel to put out “Made 4 U” just in time for a vaccinated summer?

We actually started “Made 4 U” right at the start of lockdown in late March 2020. At that point, it was kind of a novelty to have more time to spend at home and with a small crew. Waiting to put it out until after this long journey back to normalcy does feel pretty nice though. The song has a very distinct feel-good, summer vibe that feels carefree. I think we could all use a little bit of that in our lives right now.

Can you walk us through the journey of putting together the songs for your upcoming EP ‘Made 4 U’ that is debuting this summer?

All of these songs were written at slightly different times. Made 4 U was written and produced right at the beginning of the pandemic and it came together really quickly in basically one night of jamming and recording.

“Wasting Time” came a few months later while messing around with some really lush R&B chords on point. That one was inspired by all of our girlfriends being too good for us (we’re too lucky and it feels like we’re punching above our weight sometimes lol)

“Too Late” was actually started all the way back in 2016. We were listening through old ideas just for fun and ended up giving it a second chance after a complete production overhaul. The vocal recording and guitar hook are the only elements that made it from the original production. Fun fact, the guitar solo was recorded at 2 am after way too many drinks but with lots of encouragement from Zach & Forrest, there’s something magic about it.

“All Day” was a fun track we wrote with two of our good friends Aaron Janik and Eren Cannata. Aaron is a world-class live and session trumpet player who Chase has known for years. Eren is a top-level songwriter and producer who writes for major pop artists. This was the first idea we started and it came together super quickly in one afternoon of good vibes.

Are there any plans to get some visuals (music videos) for some of your favorite songs off the upcoming EP?

Yes! Our good friend Hugo Shiboski made some incredible visual animation art to accompany Made 4 U and our second single Wasting Time. He’s a great saxophonist but has been moving into animation of all kinds and is incredibly talented. We’ve talked about how funny it’d be to see us as animated figures and he absolutely killed it. We’ll also be putting together some original video content that features us performing Made 4 U live. Excited for that one too!

Which song off ‘Made 4 U’ do you think will be a crowd favorite once you get back to playing live shows?

Ohh, we’ll have to find out! We have our first post-pandemic show booked for July 24th at Molly Malone’s in LA. We’ll be playing our classic jams and we’re super excited to play these new songs live for the first time. We’re also excited to bring a few special guests to the stage. "Made 4 U" might be a vibe, but also the energy of "Too Late" and "All Day" might be it. I guess you’ll have to come through to help us decide the crowd favorite!?

What is one thing you are proud of achieving during the pandemic?

I think we were actually very productive during the pandemic. It was a chance to experiment with a lot of new tracks and songs. Many of them are even going to make it to our 3rd upcoming EP and some upcoming singles after the Made 4 U EP.

During the last 6+ months, Zach also moved up to the Bay Area so we’ve been producing and writing most of our newest music all remotely through Zoom. Though it hasn’t been as easy as being in the same room together, we’re proud of all the music we’ve created while distant. Good thing he’s moving back this summer, I think we’re all tired of all this extra screen time!

Are you planning for a tour later this fall?

In the works! The live show is a huge part of our vibe and sound so we’ll definitely be setting up as many shows as possible. Stay posted.

What is one feeling you would like listeners to experience when listening to your music?

Hmmm, I think that can depend from listener to listener but we generally think our music should be the kind of thing that’s a fun and communal experience. We often do a “track test” by playing our works in progress casually in a playlist with other music at a hang or low-key party and secretly gauge our friend’s reaction. If the vibe stays up or gets better, we know we’re on to something. Like we said, our three personalities are very low-key, fun, and good energy so we like our music to also convey that. There are times to really get in your feels but if you’re trying to share a good time with your crew, Wake The Wild might be a better fit.

Be sure to follow Wake The Wild on social and more importantly check out their music below.

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