Interview by Sarah Williams.
Wild Tales are an exciting new indie-punk four-piece from the lush green hills of Surrey. They are the latest addition to the Lockjaw Records roster, fusing math-rock and indie influences with pop sensibilities and big choruses. They released their first single Hourglass on September 14th – it’s refreshingly accessible pop with a healthy dose of twiddly guitar work.
To find out more, we spoke to vocalist/guitarist Adam Rains about their future plans.
Hey! We’ve been enjoying your new single Hourglass, but it only scratches the surface of what you guys have to offer. How would you sum up Wild Tales for someone who’s just discovering you?
Why thank you. For those that haven’t heard us, Wild Tales are a mashup of technical tappy tip toeing with a solid foundation of pop sensibilities and catchy hooks that will make your grandmother simultaneously weep and hoot in joyous fashion.
You guys are brand new as a band, but you’re not brand new to the scene. Can you tell us a little bit about your previous musical projects?
All four of us have played in various bands over the past two decades but most recently, and most notably, in a couple of bands called Trails and Atiptoe. The common denominator, bassist James, joined Trails in 2010 whilst playing bass for Atiptoe and our friendship grew from there, with guitarist Iain eventually making a guest appearance on guitar for Trails at their final show back in 2015. It’s all a bit incestual and dutty if you ask me.
How do Wild Tales differ from Trails musically?
Similarities can definitely be drawn between the two but, generally speaking, Trails wrote heavier more punky tracks, whilst Wild Tales are more pop based in both melody and song structure. The ethos of being open to writing whatever feels right and having no limits on the direction or sound of a track is something that I feel both bands have embraced and is something that helped and helps both bands avoid becoming too generic or boring.
What inspired you to follow a different direction?
I don’t think we were ever aiming to follow a different direction when we formed Wild Tales. With a slightly different format in terms of line-up and the new combination of influences on the writing side of things we have naturally ended up in a different place to both Trails and Atiptoe. I think we’ve combined the best aspects of both bands and come up with something fresh and different to our previous projects.
Tell me a bit about how Wild Tales came to be – how did you meet?
We’d all known each other for years but it was a James and Iain collaborative reunion that sparked the beginning of the band late 2016. Sam had joined them at a few practices but it wasn’t until James and I had a chat over a beer at a Christmas gig that the full line-up came to be. As they say, the remaining facts happened at a previous time, or something like that.
Where did the name Wild Tales originate?
It’s taken from an awesome Argentinian film by the same name which, if you haven’t seen, you should. Black comedy revenge-based short stories galore and one of the best opening scenes for a film I’ve seen in years. View now!
Which bands kick-started your interest in music when you were younger?
I grew up on a very weird and eclectic collection of musical influences but the first time I remember discovering something of my own which excited the shit out of me was when I first blasted Nirvana’s live album, From The Muddy Banks Of The Wishkah, through my headphones. I think the raw live aspect of those recordings gave me that buzz which I later experienced for the first time in person whilst seeing Deftones tour Around The Fur at Portsmouth Pyramids. Since then, I’ve always wanted to play live music to feed my own addiction and if I’m lucky enough, to enable others to have that feeling as well.
And what bands are keeping the fires burning now? What new releases have got you really excited?
Vulfpeck and Anderson Paak have been awesome finds in recent years and whilst our influences are really varied which could lead us down a rabbit hole, I’ll keep things relevant and say The Xcerts, Thrice, Into It. Over It. and Tiny Moving Parts to name a few. In the current UK scene we’re digging bands like Delta Sleep, Orchards and Tangled Hair and it’s been really encouraging to see alternative bands getting more recognition in what seems to be an increase in interest in this genre over the past few years.
What’s inspired you most musically when writing for Wild Tales?
Any riff that leaves us astounded or any song that is catchy and grooves. If I’m nodding my head to it or singing the melody days after hearing it then I’ll eventually regurgitate it somewhere within our writing. We try and write un-obviously technical songs that still have solid grooves and catchy riffs and melodies and this isn’t limited to certain bands but more of a holistic capturing of grooves and melodies we hear from day to day.
What’s your creative process as a band?
Iain writes something amazing and twiddly which on occasion needs taming. The taming usually takes place at practice where we all chip in and form the basic structure of the song. I’ll then take the tune away, write some lyrics and melodies with the focus mainly on the melody and again the band chips in on bringing that all together with the music and structure. I think the most important part of our writing for us is that we form something both interesting to the most techy of musicians whilst keeping it accessible to those who just want to sing along to something, so the mix of Iain’s twiddly guitar lines and my focus on vocal melody makes for a good combination.
Lyrically, there’s a lot of depth in your new single Hourglass. Can you tell us more about the meaning behind the song?
I’ve come to realise through a love of all things space related along with the many crazy experiences I’ve had over the years that life is too short and futile in this epic universe for anything to be taken too seriously. It may sound bleak or hopeless to some but it’s personally liberating and a way I’ve helped myself cope with and decrease unnecessary stress. This song is asking the listener to question reality and telling them to not let the small issues in life cause them stress.
Can we expect something similar (both musically and lyrically) from other Wild Tales songs, or is there a variety?
We like to mix things up both musically and lyrically. As I mentioned earlier we don’t want to write music that will result in us sounding generic within our genre. We’ll always push to do something a little different to what we’ve already written otherwise it would become too boring too quickly for both us and the listener.
What are your ambitions for Wild Tales in the future?
Right now we just want to get out and play some shows so people can finally hear our music! Some of my fondest memories of being in Trails were out in Europe, meeting new people and making new friends, so I’m hoping we can get some shows under our belts and where it will lead us, who knows? It’s all about just having some fun right?
Interview by Sarah Williams.