Meet Wild Creature - SLC, UT
While calmly (frantically) planning The Hard Chew 1st Anniversary Show, Alan (bassist of Lord Vox as we knew him) reached out to us about another project he was forming with some local artists. He sent over a demo for our listening pleasure and we quickly realized that this group was what our show’s lineup was missing.
As we ran into what seemed like every setback possible come show day, we were feeling a bit of the mess occurring behind the scenes. Luckily, Wild Creature showed up, set up their gear, rolled with the equipment delays, and kicked off the show. As soon as they started their set, the room was pulled into a crowd in front of the stage. We looked out over the heads that were bobbing and the bodies that were swaying in the crowd of people who were enjoying the music as much as we did when we peeped the demo... and just like that, the jamming celebration show was in full effect.
After they finished their set, countless people came up to us throughout the night asking for more information about the killer opening band. So, without further adieu, we present to you, an inside look at Wild Creature.
Meet Braydon (vocs & bass), Alan (guitar), Ian (guitar), Diego (drums).
With the intense, electrically rich sound that this group puts out, it may surprise you to learn that half of the members grew up playing mainly acoustic folk music in the mountains of Peru. The beautiful music culture there incorporates many lovely acoustic sounds and instruments like Spanish guitar and zampoña.
“I started playing guitar when I was around 8 years old, and that was all acoustic. But I fell in love with it when I was maybe 15, and then I just didn’t stop.” Alan explains.
The Hard Chew: So after developing your unique, electric style of playing and ending up here, you met up with Diego?
Diego: “I actually met Alan in college back in Peru. My first experience with music was at a young age as well, but they don’t really have drums in our culture’s music style, it’s a little different. I started learning the basics of drums when I was a teenager, but I wasn’t really into it. Then I started really playing and expanding on the drums when I was about 20.”
While he may not have been playing since his first steps like some drummers, Diego seems to have a keen ability to pick up on his band mates’ energy and add the solid, rock-essential sounds to it that take the music to that higher level. While playing, he appears to be less focused on the actual instrument in front of him and instead uses it as a tool to enhance and communicate what he is feeling in the room as the other instruments blaze their melodies.
Alan: “About a year after I came out here Diego ended up moving out to Salt Lake too so we started playing music together.”
After playing as a two piece in their spare time, Diego and Alan decided they wanted to add some additional members to their setup, but they were having trouble finding people who were like-minded in the sound they wanted to develop.
Alan *laughing*: “We actually ended up posting an ad on KSL, and Braydon answered it.”
(Hey, KSL… this is a great commercial opportunity. Just saying)
“They had mentioned the sound they were looking for in the ad-- Queens of the Stone Age, The Black Keys, Royal Blood-- and I was like, ‘dude… your musical interests are the same as mine. Let’s jam!” Says Braydon. “It was just all over the spectrum of Rock n’ Roll music that I love.”
Braydon grew up playing mostly guitar after his granddad handed him an acoustic at a young age. He moved to electric 6 months after that and has been playing ever since. Now he plays bass and in his words is “trying to do vocals.”
We can assure you, he is succeeding. It’s not every day that you find vocal lines that can handle a sound like Wild Creature’s, but Braydon manages to carry the energy forward and hold his own up front while these hard-hitting tunes come melting through.
The Hard Chew: Did you and Ian already know each other at that point then?
Braydon *laughs*: “We have known each other for too damn long.”
“Braydon and I have had a really good long friendship for sure.”
Ian started learning to play guitar through his dad as a kid and then started exploring and picking it up on his own. “It just kind of stuck.” He says. He also dabbled a bit in synth and did some backup vocals at one point, but mainly stays on the guitar.
The Hard Chew: So Braydon called you up and out came Wild Creature?
“I actually had met Alan before too and had seen him play a few times. I don’t remember where… but I do remember loving his style. So when I heard that these guys were looking for someone to play with, I thought “Oh, hell yeah, I’m in.” Ian explains. “There’s these amazing fuzz tones in Alan’s playing that he has managed to make his own. There’s like, a Sonic Youth vibe in some of his stuff and it hits a soft spot for me.”
We can attest to the unique and dreamy tones that Ian is referring to here. Alan has a wonderful way of diving into the guitar (and bass as well) that pulls you in with him and gives you those rhythmic chills. He sometimes falls into such a deep trance while playing that he actually closes his eyes while delivering these mystical sounds to the crowd.
Alan: “I had met Ian a few times around and he was always a very nice guy. But then I went to a show one time and I heard him play, and his music is… it’s for… very smart people, is how I can best describe it.”
We believe what Alan is getting at here is that Ian is very layered in his skills as a guitarist. He by no means simply plays the guitar. With different techniques and effects coming through in every song, his playing seems well-thought-out but at the same time, completely and totally natural; as if his instrument is merely an extension of himself.
Ian *laughs* and thanks Alan for the warm compliment.
The Hard Chew: You guys all speak very highly of each other’s talents. Do you think that helps with the dynamic?
Braydon: “It definitely helps to have that foundation and respect as a group. We’re all still learning the process of crafting songs together, and we know each other a lot better musically now.”
Ian: “As musicians, we have to be able to pick up on each other and get to that place, so it’s awesome to see that developing.”
The Hard Chew: What can we expect to see from you guys in the future? Is there an album coming soon?
*Everyone responding* “Yes.”
Ian: “Well, yeah. Why not. Let’s say we’ll have it done by end of 2019.
We have enough material but we’re messing around with the length a bit still. You know, it might be an extra long EP, it might be something else entirely. But there are definitely some solid things on the horizon.”
The Hard Chew: What about live shows?
Alan: “I think we’re just focusing more on practicing together right now and polishing our sound up.”
Braydon: “Taking it from 80% to 100%... we’re also going back and adding more to some of our earlier songs and tweaking them a little bit right now."
The Hard Chew: Do you think you ever fall into the trap of always wanting to add to/change earlier stuff?
Braydon: “Well, I think that’s kind of the nature of creating art. You’re always growing and evolving so it’s easy to start feeling like what you did previously could be better, but we understand that there’s a point where you just have to say, ‘Okay, this is solid, we’re moving forward.”
Ian: “A friend of mine said to me once, ‘Make sure that every time you write a song, it’s the best thing you have ever done’ and it’s a good thing to remember. So I think we’re just looking forward to the next best song we have ever written.”
Side note: Diego has not left the room… he is just a little louder on the drums than he is in his speech.
“This band is like a dream for me right now.” Says Alan. “We all have similar influences and sounds we love but we’re really trying to do our own, original thing.”
Braydon: “Yeah, absolutely. We all have our heroes, for sure. I used to say things like ‘I want to sound like this group!' or 'I want to play like this musician’ and Ian actually taught me differently.”
“I feel like that sounds kind of bad” laughs Ian.
Braydon: “No, not at all. He’d say ‘Well, yeah, you can definitely take that influence but you also have to spin it and create something that’s your own art.” So that’s something he has reminded me through the years.”
When these guys aren’t melting faces with their tunes, you can catch them restoring old motorcycles and cars, going to school for electrical engineering, rocking out at local shows, and playing soccer. Though, Alan hasn’t been able to play soccer for a minute due to a broken rib.
The Hard Chew: Uh oh… What happened?
Alan: “Car accident.
But… I’m okay!” He assured us, just in case we were not convinced enough by him sitting before us in one piece.
Before they gave us an up-close personal show, we all decided to have a soccer match sometime… but eventually landed on the fact that we’d probably end up just hanging out with some beers and taking it easy. Or, as Ian mentioned, possibly making a video with a cat chasing behind us. (stay tuned for that… maybe)
Wild Creature is near the top of our list for bands we hope to see a lot more of in 2019. They are truly putting their own spin on the everlasting, timeless genre of rock n’ roll music and they are doing it with an unmatched intensity that you don’t want to miss out on. You can listen to some demo recordings on their bandcamp page: https://wildcreature.bandcamp.com/releases
and you can watch the exclusive post-interview mini show on our YouTube page: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVRd9yvD7yPdMI8w455a3yQ
Don’t forget to follow them on social media (or we’ll haunt you from the grave) and say hello to them at shows. Check back for updates as we track their progress and keep you posted on their latest happenings.
Photos and videos from their performance at our anniversary show on our Facebook & Instagram page.