This Wild Life recently released their new album ‘Clouded‘ via Epitaph Records and spent a couple of weeks touring Australia. Now they are about to embark on the entire leg of the US Vans Warped Tour. ‘Clouded’ is available on iTunes [Here], CD [Here] and Vinyl / bundles [Here]. Give the album a listen [Here]. This week in The Hotseat we catch up with Kevin from the duo to answer our questions. Expand this post to take a read of his answers.
Name : Kevin Jordan
Band : This Wild Life
Job In Band : Vocals – Guitar
Website Address : www.thiswildlifeband.com
Hometown : Long Beach, CA
Hometown is best known for : Snoop Dogg mostly, but there’s tons to do in our area. We’re on the ocean, an hour from the mountains, and an hour from the desert, so you can really find things to do outdoors all year long. Like most cities, there’s sketchy parts and really nice parts. I live in one of the sketchy parts unfortunately.
Best venue in your hometown : Not in Long Beach, but Chain Reaction in Anaheim. It’s pretty much the only all ages venue around anymore and they’ve ran a successful business for many years without selling alcohol. Great punk venue.
Favourite show you’ve seen in your hometown : As Cities Burn at Chain Reaction a very long time ago. I wrung out my shirt covered in sweat after the show, it was so hot and humid in there that sweat was dripping from the ceiling. Absolutely disgusting.
Favourite show you’ve played in your hometown : We played a show at the Whiskey A Go-Go in Hollywood earlier this year while we were on tour with Emery and it was a blast. Such a legendary venue and the crowd was a complete new audience that we had to earn. It was the first show our label came out to see us at and we just had a great time.
How did the band first come to exist? Anthony and I met while working at a guitar shop in Orange County and we realized that we only lived a few blocks away from each other in Long Beach. After getting to know each other we found out that we had incredibly similar taste in music and we started This Wild Life as a four piece pop punk band. Anthony played drums and initially I wasn’t the singer. A long string of member changes and shuffling around on instruments and we ended up a two piece acoustic band.
How long has the band been going? We’ve been together for a little over three years at this point, but the current form and sound of the band is less than a year and a half old.
Any particular story behind the name? Band names are such a nightmare for me, they always have been. You obsess over them and criticize the hell out of all the options that the band comes up with, but once you land on something it’s like you never think about it again. We were going to be “The Wildlife” but when you googled it nothing but Zoo animals showed up and the URL’s were all taken so we just got creative with it and moved around the words a little.
What’s your most recent release? Tell us a little about it… We just released our debut full length “Clouded” last week. It’s our first full acoustic record and we recorded it in August of 2013 with Aaron Marsh of the band Copeland. We were unsigned and completely DIY at the time, so we self funded the record and got to make the exact record that we wanted to make. It has a basic foundation of acoustic guitar and my vocal throughout the record, but we built on top of that by implementing strings, piano, bass, drums, and tons of other elements to create a different sound on each song.
Got a personal stand out achievement of your band to date? We will be playing this years entire Vans Warped Tour which has been a dream of mine for over ten years. Always hoped that we could play the tour, but never really knew if it would happen.
OFF THE STAGE
What was your first introduction to music that made you think seriously about playing it? Anthony and I both grew up with older brothers who played drums in the house. Eventually we each got a hand me down drum set and learned to play. Although we lived on opposite sides of the country and didn’t know each other existed, we had really similar musical upbringings.
Any particular band / album or song that you personally credit as a major influence? Our biggest direct influence would be Dashboard Confessional. We both listened to a lot of Dashboard at a young age and the reason I picked up an acoustic guitar to begin with was to sing along to Dashboard songs with my friends in High School. I think a lot of their writing style comes through in our music.
Your first band name, and what style did you play? Discrepancy. We were a punk band (at least we TRIED to be a punk band) and it was with the singer of the Greenery who is another band from Long Beach, CA. We played Minor Threat covers and wrote really poor originals as well.
Most prized music related item you own? I’m not a huge sentimental guy when it comes to musical gear, I always sell whatever I have to get something else. Right now I’m playing a beautiful Taylor 410CE that I won’t get rid of for a long long time.
When you’re not doing band related stuff, what are you usually found doing? I’m a bit of a home body, I play a ton of video games and binge watch shows on Netflix. Currently waiting for the second season of Orange Is The New Black. Once that comes out I’ll go into hibernation for a few days and knock out the entire season before I read any spoilers. The Internet is a dangerous place.
The thing you most look forward to just before a tour is… I love visiting new places and meeting new bands, so touring in general is always a real pleasure to me. I love being on the road and playing music full time.
The thing you least look forward to before a tour is… Stressing out that I’m forgetting something, or just making sure the van is running and we have all the merch and equipment necessary to have a successful tour.
ON THE STAGE
When on offer, what’s your one must have item on the rider? We try to stay healthy and energetic on the road and it’s incredibly hard to do. We’re not big rockstars so our rider is really boring. Grilled chicken, green salad, gatorade, peanut butter and jelly, and a veggie tray.
Favourite place you’ve toured… and why? Australia hands down. Such a beautiful country and the people there are so friendly. We just got back a couple weeks ago and I can’t wait to get back out there.
Most memorable show you’ve played? and why? Our sold out headlining show at the Barfly in London. It was our first time every playing there and it was such a surreal experience to be playing these songs I wrote in my bedroom and have hundreds of people singing them back to me. There’s nothing more gratifying to me than people connecting to our music and sharing the live experience together.
Got a favourite song to play live? I still love to play one of our earlier songs called “Ripped Away”. It’s a special song to me and the crowd participation is always awesome for that particular song.
Any embarrassing on stage moments come to mind? Anthony once played an entire song with his capo on the wrong fret and he had NO CLUE. It was atrocious sounding haha.
Any pre-show rituals? Just stretching and doing vocal warmups. We try to relax a little before we play, get the voice and the hands warm and loose.
What do you find is the hardest aspect of touring in a band today? Hurry up and wait. Everything is always in a huge rush, but then you get somewhere and you have to just wait around for hours at a time. Being cooped up in a van isn’t the greatest thing in the world either. Especially when you’re touring in the states and you have incredibly long drives.
Last song you listened to? Something on the “Daughter” record, can’t remember the song title, but that whole album in general is amazing. So beautiful and dark.
Last album you picked up? The new Architects record is killer, they are constantly evolving and pushing the boundaries of their own sound.
Which band or album is currently on high rotation? I’ve been listening to a lot of Northlane lately. Singularity is so good, blurs the lines of brutal and melodic music in a fresh way.
Tell us an up and coming band or artist you think we should go and listen to right now? There’s a pop punk band from our area called Seasons Change who just signed to No Sleep Records and will be releasing their debut full length this Summer. Really good dudes who’ve been working hard and making waves in Southern California.
What’s on the cards for the next few months for the band? Just the Warped Tour at the moment, we will be back in the UK this November with Tonight Alive and the Summer Set playing some of the biggest rooms we’ve ever played before. Super excited for that.
You can pick any one album for your band to cover in full, what would it be and why? Probably “Little Voice” by Sara Bareilles. I love that whole record and I sing those songs all the time in the car.
You can pick any one band / artist to cover one of your albums in full, what would it be, and why? I’d love to hear Hayley Williams from Paramore sing some This Wild Life songs, I’m a huge fan of her voice and it would be really unique to hear a female sing some of our songs.
One band you wish you were able to see live but never had the chance? Emanuel. They were an awesome punk kinda band from the early 2000’s and they broke up before I really got into them. Two great records, then complete silence. Such a bummer.
One venue you have yet to play that you would love to? I’m just gonna dream big cause why the hell wouldn’t I? Wembley and the Opera House. I would poop my pants.
The chance comes up to fill in for a member of a band for one tour, which band would it be, and why? I’d love to play drums for a metalcore band like Parkway Drive or Like Moths To Flames. SO much fun to play that style.
A headline tour overseas comes up, tell us two bands you’d take along to support your band. We’d love to take bands on tour with us that sound nothing like us, so I’d say a band like the Color Morale and a band like The Story So Far (clearly both of those bands are far bigger than us)
Got any final words? Please pick up Clouded now via Epitaph Records!
THIS WILD LIFE – ‘Clouded‘
Available now on Epitaph Records.
Grab it on iTunes [Here], or pick up the CD [Here]. Vinyl and bundles [Here].