Wildling’s Wild Year

According to Ryan and Justin Levine of Wildling, there were some whispers in the air that some of the guys from Young The Giant were going to be at one of their shows right here in LA. The night came and after being impressed by what they seen – those dudes reached out and took Wildling on their most recent fall tour. The young LA band couldn’t believe their luck, but know that opportunities like that don’t happen every day and are grateful for everything they’ve experienced thus far. Now let’s get to know more about this band through the words of their resident brothers.

Kendra: You’ve accomplished quite a lot for a new band, things that bands who’ve been doing it five times as long have yet to. What do you account that to?

Ryan and Justin Levine: Thank you, we can’t even begin to express how thankful we are for everything that’s happened in the last year. It’s crazy! Honestly as cliche as it may sound, I’d account that to very hard work and a bit of luck. Everyone in this band has been writing and playing music for a long time, honing their craft and gaining experience. With that being said though, it was clear after our first show that there was something special about this group of people and these songs. The way people seemed to connect with us and the music was something none of us had experienced before. I say we’ve been lucky because we’ve met so many people who have dedicated their time, energy, and talent in pushing this band to the next level, it’s pretty incredible.

Kendra: How was it touring with Young The Giant over the last month or so?

Ryan and Justin: Unbelievable in every way. It really exceeded all of our expectations. We’ve become super close with those guys back home, so it was really like being at summer camp with your best friends. They’re fans were so incredible to us, they welcomed us with open arms in every city and we could not be more thankful to have had such a great opportunity!! Missing it already.

Kendra: Will you look back as it as more a learning experience or a good time?

Ryan and Justin: Equal parts both. We learned a lot about ourselves as a band; how to interact with a bigger audience from a live perspective, and what songs really connect in that setting, and we had an absolutely blast the entire tour.

Kendra: Did you do any songwriting on the road, or were you more focused on the record you have out now and just playing the hell out of that every night?

Ryan and Justin: There definitely wasn’t a lot of time to write…but we had a few days off in Knoxville, TN and we rented this amazing home through Airbnb that had an old upright piano in it; we ended up starting two songs there that we’re really excited to finish!!!

Kendra: One of the most notable tracks on the record is “Hummingbird,” a vigorous little animal. Would you say that’s the best animalistic representation of Wildling or is there another creature that’s a better fit and why?

Ryan and Justin: Haha never been asked a question quite that way, dig… hummingbird is definitely a special song for us, it was the first song that people really heard of ours and still is one of the best moments of the live show. As far as an animalistic representation for the group, not sure a hummingbird would be the first one that comes to mind. Maybe a pride of lions, we’re hungry.

Kendra: Also heard some hip hop influences. Being west coasters, whose beats are you currently loving?

Ryan and Justin: It’s interesting, we definitely like hip hop and listen to a decent amount of it on the road (Kendrick Lamar being a current favorite), but I think that “hip hop” sound you’re referencing with regards to our work stems more from our love of the dusty Atlantic soul, Stax and Hi Records artists like Solomon Burke, Little Milton, the Bar Kays, Syl Johnson and more. I think many hip hop records draw from those records too…We’re also big fans of Dave Sitek’s records as well, so it’s all in there.

Kendra: You just wrapped a pretty awesome tour, but are you already planning your next outing or are you it’s going to chill during the holidays?

Ryan and Justin: As of now we’re in town for the holidays. Coming into the new year we’ll see. There’s definitely going to be a full length coming, but I know we’d like to get back out on the road as soon as possible !

Kendra: You guys got some great opportunities based on your live show skills. Are there any other newer acts who’ve impressed you in that way recently?

Ryan and Justin: We played a show in September of this year with a band called Good Graeff. They were amazing! Great songs, and really fun to watch live. There’s two sisters in the band, and we have two brothers in our band, so maybe we have a soft spot for groups with siblings.

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