Getting Intimate [and Hopefully Rowdy] with Wild Child

Rowdy Americana indie poppers Wild Child have been longtime friends of PHILTHY MAG, and they’ve graced the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection quite a handful of times...

Rowdy Americana indie poppers Wild Child have been longtime friends of PHILTHY MAG, and they’ve graced the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection quite a handful of times (Last time we spoke was last January, as they were preparing to play a beyond-sold-out Johnny Brenda’s, but since then, and the release of their third album, Fools, they’ve even managed to headline the mega-stage of Union Transfer.)  However, this weekend, when the band are technically going to be in town on business (You’ll read about that later.), they will be playing their two most intimate shows in ages (and likely for ages to come).  Wild Child will be taking the stage of Boot & Saddle this Saturday, July 23rd, and Sunday, July 24th (for a special all ages show).  The band, additionally, have a ton of major touring through the year’s end (including a Friday performance at the Newport Folk Festival).  Yesterday afternoon All Things Go premiered Ra Ra Riot’s remix of “Bullets,” off of Fools, and Alexander Beggins, vocalist, ukulele player, and co-founding member of Wild Child, took some time to chat with me once again and catch me up on what’s currently most exciting the band.

Izzy Cihak: You’ve played quite a lot of Philly shows at this point, so I’m curious what are your thoughts on the city.  Any particular favorite experiences?

Alexander Beggins: We all collectively love Philly. It has so much character and our shows are always lively and memorable. The first couple times we came through we were just in and out for the night but the last time we were in the city we had a day off to explore and really fell in love. Great dive bars, great thrifting, and great food. That’s really all we can ask for.

Izzy: The last time that we spoke was in January of last year.  What have been some of the highlights of the band since then?  You’ve put out your third album and done a whole ton of touring.

Alexander: There’s almost too many highlights to name, we’ve been really fortunate this past year. Just the simple fact that we get to wake up and do this every day still is mind blowing. I guess the biggest highlights are our developing friendships we’re making with other artists. Some of which we’ve idolized since we were teens. The music community begins to feel really small with endless touring and festivals.

Izzy: You recently released the official music video for “Break Bones,” which I really like.  What was the inspiration behind that?  How did that all come together?

Alexander: This was a special video. We wanted to try and make something, if you could believe it, serious. For the most part, we like our videos to be fun and a touch cheeky. It’s so easy to make a cheesy music video. You’re trying to cram a story in three minutes with the only dialogue being the music — it can go bad really quickly.  We sat down with our team and the director, Aaron Brown, who we did the “Rillo Talk” video with, and tried to come up with something that represented the feeling of the song. It’s dark and dreamy and sad and beautiful. We all took it really seriously and attempted to make something really beautiful and we all are incredibly proud of the outcome.

Izzy: This weekend you’re playing your most intimate local gigs by a longshot. (Your last time here you played Union Transfer, which holds up to 1,300, while Boot & Saddle only holds 150.)  What can fans expect of these super, super intimate shows?  I’m guessing this will be one of the only chances to see you in such a cozy room.

Alexander: Yeah, we’ve been excited for these shows. The small club shows tend to make the best memories. I remember seeing The National in 2005 in a 100 cap room and they gave it everything they had and it was one of the best shows I’ve ever seen. You feel really connected with the crowd like you’re all in it together. I hope it gets really rowdy.

Izzy: And you’ve got a ton of touring throughout the rest of the year as well. Are there any gigs you’re especially excited to play?

Alexander: Yeah we’re really excited to play Newport Folk Fest and Lollapalooza in the coming weeks. We’ve gotten to do most of the festivals but it will be our first time at both of those. Newport is so legendary and Lolla’s lineup is insane.

Izzy: Finally, what would you currently consider to be Wild Child’s most significant influences?  What can we expect of future sounds to come, if that’s even something that you’ve thought about at this point?

Alexander: Kelsey listens almost exclusively to the classics where I tend to try and stay current with what’s new and upcoming. But we write music based on what we feel and based on what we are going through in our lives. We have about 15 new songs and are going to start a new recording project next month. We’re actually coming to Philly to do some tracks with Scott McMicken of Dr. Dog. Not sure what future sound will be but we’re in great hands. Stay tuned.

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During the day Izzy Cihak teaches transgression, subversion, and revolution at Temple University. At night he haunts Philthy's best venues to cover worthwhile acts for Philthy Mag. Morrissey is everything to him and, in their own heads, all of his friends see themselves as Zooey Deschanel.