Fresh off their new EP release, I.L.Y., and opening slot for COIN, we talk to Anderson College’s very own, The Wldlfe. There may not be a song I listened to more than “Text Me?” last year, so I am excited to introduce you all to the Indianapolis quartet. Jansen Hogan spoke with me about the band, the new EP, and 2017.
Initially the first thing that stands out to me is the lack of ‘I’ in the band’s name, so naturally I asked why this is the case. He says, “In a way, we really want it to have the same sentiment. There are a lot of people behind the scenes that we as a band consider a part of The Wldlfe. We get to be in the pictures and perform on the stage, but there are so many other people that are a part of this. We decided to take those “I’s” out for those people, so to speak.” Just like the saying “There’s no I in team”, there’s no “I” in The Wldlfe.
The Wldlfe started from cover videos to being a full-fledged band. Jansen filled us in on every stage of their development. He says, “I was one of those kids that was into a little bit of everything growing up. I played every sport imaginable and even played a little soccer in high school, but I decided one day that I was done with that and really devoted myself to music from high school until now. I had played drums since I was 10 years old, but taught myself piano and guitar in high school, and began to write songs. I put up covers because it was something to do. A part of me hoped that maybe I would get a ton of views, but it was really just for fun. I wrote my first solo record during my senior year of high school and recorded it as soon as I got to college. I felt good about the record but was still coming into my own as an artist. The Wldlfe came about when I just wanted a change. I didn’t really have the desire to be a solo act anymore. Geoff (Jones) and Jason (Boucouras) had always been close friends that had played music with me for quite a while, so I brought up the idea that we would continue as band and they were all for it. We added Jack (Crane) a couple months later and the rest is history.”
With I.L.Y. having been out for almost a month now, I wanted to know how they felt about the response, but also about the creative process for the EP. He says, “I think that we feel really good so far. It’s humbling to see so many people tweeting at us and about the record. That’s something we are really thankful for. We haven’t heard anything too negative about it and are hoping for that trend to continue.” As far as the creative process he adds, “The writing was a very case by case basis. There was no sitting down to write the record. It was very much written throughout the past year and I think that is what helped this album to flow as well as we think it does. We always knew we wanted the production on this record to be a little more out there than our previous work. We spent some particularly long days in the studio really picking apart the songs and making sure they were the way we wanted them to be. Certainly had a few crazy moments during our time in there.”
Lastly, we had to know who the guys “fangirl” over. He says, “Probably much of the same people that everybody is into right now. I don’t think you could find a band that has more polarizing tastes in music than us, but I think that’s an advantage that we try to utilize when we were are writing. I personally am a huge fan of The 1975 and Jon Bellion. I think those are probably the two artists that I might get a bit starstruck to meet. Geoff would probably say Twenty One Pilots, Jason – Circa Survive, Jack – Dance Gavin Dance.”
The Wldlfe will be playing some shows with The Band CAMINO, Northern National, and others this spring. Be on the lookout for more from this upcoming band.
Watch their video for “Text Me?”