You’ve played over 400 live shows across North America. Can you share one of your favourite memories or stories from those shows?
There’s so so many, and so many that are not fit to print. But one great memory was arriving in Wichita, Kansas, and having not particularly great expectations and two nights booked at two different bars. The first one was a little Irish style dive bar, whose patrons were so appreciative and into us it was mind blowing. They showered us with praise and drinks, and the owner let us hook up to the power so we could sleep in our van in the parking lot. The next show was at a different bar, and so many of the same patrons showed up to watch us again! One of them even hooked us up with free dinner at a nearby restaurant. To this day I still have nothing but fond feelings for the people of Wichita.
This summer you played 4 shows within 24 hours, how did that go?
It was a rush to say the least. Our only show in 2020 was in January and the rest of our time, pre-pandemic was spent rehearsing, demoing and recording. To go seven months without playing a show to all of a sudden playing four in 24 hours was a whirlwind. We spent a good amount of time rehearsing as soon as phase two allowed us to do so, so we felt very ready to play and we couldn’t wait to get at it. We’ve always been a live band – it’s our bread and butter. The day itself was a mixture of exhausting, stressful, emotional and fantastic. It felt so good to play again, people came out and even braved a torrential downpouring during one of our sets. Planning a show at the best of times is stressful, let alone during a pandemic. But we pulled it off, played damn well and kept everyone safe at all four shows which makes us very proud.
Drive in shows are an innovative new way to keep live music going during this pandemic, how did it feel to play one?
I’d be lying if I didn’t mention how exhausting it was. We finished the shows the night prior and spent 3 hours tearing down the stage. By the time everything was packed up it was 1am and we were in bed by 2am. Load-in the next morning at the drive-in was at 8:30am which was about an hour’s drive from where we were so needless to say there wasn’t much sleep. The shows themselves were great. It was a little strange to play to a sea of cars instead of people and to hear the honking of horns instead of applause. However, again, I can’t stress how good it felt to play to an audience again, albeit an audience who listened to us through their car radios. We would do it again in a heartbeat!
You guys have a Patreon page set up, which is a great way for fans to support artists directly and something more and more bands are doing. What can you tell us about your Patron?
We use our Patreon to generate some income for us and an even better way to provide exclusive content for the fans who support us through it. I could tell you more, but it would be better if you signed up to our Patreon to see for yourselves!
Can you tell us about The Bathhouse?
The Bathouse is an incredibly special place. Everywhere you look there is rock and roll history hanging on it’s walls. I don’t think it would have been possible to record the album we did anywhere else. Having Rob Baker of The Tragically Hip and their in house engineer Nyles Spencer (who is a genius) work on the record was a dream come true. I love that studio. It feels like home!
What can fans expect next from The Wilderness?
We were forced to shift our focus away from touring due to COVID-19 and towards high quality online content. Keep your eyes peeled for some of the videos we’re putting out over the coming months. That and world domination, of course!
Do you have any words of hope for our readers during these crazy times?
I’m a huge Lord of the Rings nerd and found a lot of comfort in these words especially right now!
“How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer.” – JRR Tolkein
Interview by: Jesse Read
Photo by: Céline Klein