Thoughts On Your Hometown (Stories From The Road)

After our final away show in our hometown of Ladysmith and an amazing after party hosted by my wonderful mom featuring a 2 AM singalong to Civil War and All Star, it took me a couple of days of winding down to figure out what I wanted to say about the whole thing.

It all came to me as I was walking to a friends house at midnight down the same streets I had walked so many times at that time of night. I walked past the park where I had met up with my ex-girlfriend and her best friend to give back her books and Chinese horror movies she had left at my house. I walked past the parking lot where my buddies and I used to pretend we were in a scooter gang and do terrible jumps off of the curb. I thought about what I was going to eat after a few drinks, fully knowing that 7-11 would be my only option and that made me smile.

All of those memories are so precious. This was the first trip that I really felt like I didn't miss it all. I've finally got to the point where I can enjoy remembering all of those moments instead of longing for them back. It all happened for a reason and it all changes for just another reason. As I walked down the middle of the road, a fair few beers deep, I thought I was quite the prophet as I wrote this down in my phone for later.

That change is so important and that's what made this final show in our hometown so special. Griffin and Kyle (the show organizers) are two young bucks, each with new families, who are rock 'n rollers till death. Griffin and I have been friends for a while now and have been chatting about these Concerts in The Park and how, with the proper leadership, they could really be something special and affect all aspects of the community. For years, we've seen the same bands, again and again, with no change. This was the first year that Griffin and Kyle took over the Concerts In The Park and they really nailed it. They're taking risks, bringing in bands that might not fit the exact bill of what a sleepy small town might generally go for. But that's why it's so great and so exciting! We need those game changers in all of our lives! Thank god for hometown heroes like Griffin and Kyle. Thank god for the people who are willing to try something new, not be afraid and stand by what they believe in. 

Keep the change coming. Don't get stuck on how things used to be. Let "Yes! And..." guide your life instead of "No! But..."

Thanks for the great times everybody.

-evan

P.S. Here is the song I was listening to as I walked down the road that night.

 

 

Only Three Days In (Stories From The Road)

Three days in and we've already got so many stories to tell.

I'll start with what is probably the most hilarious and traumatic of them all. We were driving to Kelowna on Friday after a great outdoor show in Kamloops the night before, when I decided to text our friend, Heather, who is taking care of our place while we are gone and getting it ready for Air BnB guests. They were arriving that day so I just wanted to check in with her and make sure there wasn't anything else that she needed from us. What I got back was a simple, "No it's all good, I'm meeting up with them this afternoon." Okay, nice and easy. 

The next minute I look back at my phone and see a bombardment of texts starting with "Holy fuck Evan oh my god oh my god". This was followed by a detailed phone call about how a bird had come in through the window of our freshly cleaned house and decided to leave copious amounts of both blood and feces all over the walls and furniture. There was blood spattered up the wall as if a gruesome murder had just happened and bloody peck marks all against the glass windows. Did I mention the guests were coming in 10 minutes?

Heather is the true hero of this story. While hysterically laughing and potentially crying she managed to clean it all up before the guests came to stay in what will now be a must-see spot on the Murder House Tour of Vancouver. 

Our first stop at Music in The Park in Kamloops.

Our first stop at Music in The Park in Kamloops.

After a rowdy show in Kelowna at Fernando's Pub we packed the van and took our sun-burnt faces up to somewhere none of us had never been before, let alone heard of. Birch Island.

All I can really say about Serenity Music at Birch Island is that it is magic. Shirley and everyone came out to the outdoor farm stage were so full of love and kindness. There was a lightning storm was we played and, instead of hiding away, the audience decided to get out of there seats and start dancing in the rain. The smile on my face couldn't have been bigger in that moment. We all celebrated late into the night. It was the most laughter I have ever heard in one space. Oh, and Jarred took of his shirt and wrestled Eric. Again, magic.

-Evan

At Serenity Music

At Serenity Music

 

 

An Update + A Playlist

It's been two months since we last posted on this here blog. We really do hope that you've all been able to live your lives and enjoy the beginning of the summer, as we have been doing. 

We recently began the recording of our next LP at Blue Light Studio with our good friend, JP Maurice. Before we had started working together, I was watching a video of one of my favourite artists, The Tallest Man on Earth, and he was talking about how on his latest record he did everything the opposite of what he had done before. Instead of recording in the winter, he recorded in the summer. Instead of recording in a dark basement, he recorded in window-heavy room in his backyard. Instead of working alone, he worked with his friends. This was a huge inspiration for us as a band and from the minute we stepped into Blue Light, it had all those changes we were looking for. It's summertime, the space is beautiful, we are working with friends and there's a place called Continental Sausage: Consignment Meat a few blocks over. What more could we even ask for?

We will also be hitting the road starting in July and making our way through Western Canada in August. Those tour dates will be coming out next week and we are so excited to play for so many new, beautiful faces as well as some old, familiar ones. 

In conclusion, I've made up this playlist that I have dubbed 'Souls That Shook Up Mine'. So many of these songs remind of summer times past. The interesting thing is that, when I was making this, I noticed that I gravitated to many slower songs rather than fast which seemed opposite of what a summer playlist should be. Summer is filled with so many more emotions than we think... I think. 

-Evan

Souls That Shook Up Mine Playlist Link:

https://open.spotify.com/user/thewildromantics/playlist/57T7IHtQAWeDnfN3iTMQTN

Hustle and Flow

"Surround yourself with good people and write great music."

After hearing this statement from a very wise man many months ago, it has quickly become our band mantra. As soon as we adopted it, our world has started to become exactly that. Right now, as we take a break from playing live to get all of our ducks in a row for the rest of the year, we are surrounded by some of the most wonderful human beings that we have ever met. It's a pretty great feeling to step back for a minute and think, "Wow, not only do I feel so fortunate to be working side by side with these people but I also couldn't be happier that we are friends as well." It doesn't happen all the time, trust me.

It's interesting, because I think that sometimes people just connect and there's no need to explain anymore but I also believe that it really has to do with meeting people who sincerely love what they are doing and will continue doing it even when they think they've got nothing left. Those people are the hustlers in life. Those people are our people. At the end of the day, if you love what you're doing, you find a way to make it happen no matter what. I've always been an avid basketball fan and, as a player, I wasn't very good. But the thing that kept me going every time I got put out on the court was that I knew I was going to give 110 percent for every second I was up there. Whether it was the quickness of how I sprung to my feet when the coach called my name, taking countless elbows to the teeth from bigger players or sliding into the wall to try and go for a loose ball; I gave it everything I had. 

That's where we are at with The Wild Romantics right now and we are feeling so excited about it all. The flow of life has lead us to this point right now, with many ups and downs already in our short career and we couldn't be happier about it. Accept the flow of life and everything it throws at you and hustle your ass off to make your life what you want it to be.

This song really suits the mood of this writing. Enjoy.

-Evan

"Baby, you were there through it all. Now we're back on the horse again." - Rolla Olak

Photo by RMS Media - www.rmsmedia.ca

Victoria Bound

In less than one week, we will be headed to Victoria to play one of our biggest island shows to date with Jon and Roy + Zoubi and The Sea at Sugar Nightclub. It's pretty damn cool to be invited to play with these guys at such a great venue. It seems like it wasn't even a year ago that we were loading into the now closed (RIP) Lacey-Lou Tapas Lounge, thinking that we were the hottest shit ever. Things have definitely changed since then. I mean, we still think that we are No. 1 celebrities, followed closely by Kim Kardashian, don't get us wrong. But as we were ending practice the other day, talking about the upcoming weekend in Victoria, we realized that Victoria is the one city on the island that always accepts us (and all other indie artists) with loving, open arms.

In the last couple of months, we have experienced that love at the utmost level. We got to embrace our island roots by being noted as The Zone 91.3's Band of The Month in January. We did two ferry trips there throughout the month, borrowing my mom's really cool Hybrid Prius to drive the Malahat with and each time, the crew at The Zone treated us like we were already a part of the family. Our chat with Pol Plastino and Jon Williams was our first on-air interview and it legitimately felt like we were talking with our favourite, long lost cousin. We're so stoked to visit all of you guys again, this Friday, before the show.

Another really sweet thing that comes with being a part of The Band of Month deal is that we get to go record a cover song at the Electric City Sound recording studio in Victoria. Basically how it works is that their is a list of about 20 songs that the 12 bands throughout the year can pick and do their own interpretation of. We've actually struggled picking a song that we felt we really could connect with. We wrestled with that Elle King song, 'Exe's and Oh's' for way too long. We finally decided that maybe that song only is cool when she does it (and after a lot of youtube-ing, we were right). We've ended up with the song 'Believe' from the new Mumfords album and we couldn't be more excited about recording it at ECS. Instead of being an all out, balls to the wall, rock 'n roll song, it has forced us to exercise patience and care. Something that doesn't happen on an everyday basis. 

So that's it for now. We're excited to see all of our island friends and family next weekend, play a killer show, record a sweet cover and eat and drink some of Victorias finest foods. I, personally, am going to make my way over to Wheelies for one of their delicious looking Chorizo sandwiches and maybe grab a vintage motorcycle while I'm at it. You know, just for kicks. See you soon, Victoria.

-Evan


Who Ya Foolin' (The Recap)

It's been a little while. We've been taking some necessary down time to hide out in our bedroom sized jam space to work on new songs, re-hash old ones and really just get into the flow of 2016.

Most recently, we have put out the video for our song 'Who Ya Foolin'' directed by our good buddy, James Ryan. It feels like we shot it a year ago. It's almost like we had a baby but didn't tell our friends or families for months. We're glad that our little one is out in the world now and taking it's first steps in the eyes of millions.

The other day while were on The Zone 91.3 talking shop with Pol Plastino, he asked what this particular song was about. I gave the little story of how the song came about which in short is that someone wrote a love song but didn't want show anybody. That's the boring version. But that's what we do, isn't it? We all take little things and make them big. Which, in the spectrum of storytelling, is a pretty damn great thing. 

The line in the song that I always think sums up Who Ya Foolin' best is the first line.

"You, you don't ever change. You just cut your hair and say you're strange."

That's what it's really all about. It's about all of these appearances that we try to uphold and take so much time and effort to do so while our insides stay rigid and unchanging. It's about boring people that are masters at pretending to be interesting. Sometimes I sort of wish that we were more blunt and called the song, "Are You Fucking Kidding Me?" I feel like radio would be all over that.

-Evan


Last Christmas

Tonight we get to go play our songs at The Biltmore for Music BC's 25th Anniversary/Christmas Party. It feels like yesterday that Aleisha and I were both getting off work and walking (we were trying to save money by never taking the bus anywhere...) to last years Music BC Christmas Party. I can't recall who the bands were that played that night or if there was any live music in general. I only really remember two things about that night.

One of them was that we won a gift card to Urban Winery which we only got around to using last month. The funny thing about that night was that we were there because of music but I don't think music came up once in the couple of hours that we were there. That rarely happens with us. 

The other was the feeling of community that I felt that night. Now I know a lot of people talk about this and it can get to excruciatingly boring with so many of us trying to tell you who we're best pals with and who we talked to last night. But it didn't feel like all of that BS. Sure, there were people there who were solely trying to hand out there business card and whatnot, but that didn't matter. What really felt great was the fact that we had been in the city for barely 5 months and we were at a party with friends we would have never thought would be in our lives. 

Now a year later we are going back to the same venue to see those friends again and to celebrate another fabulous year of music in B.C. 

Damn, it feels good to be a part of it all. Thanks for having us Vancouver. We love ya.

See you all tonight.

-Evan

 


C'est La Vie (You Never Can Tell)

It's been a while! 

The last week has been a whirlwind of events. We played a three back-to-back shows with our pals Good for Grapes, all of which were fantastic. This will not be the last time that you see our two bands together and we wish them the best of luck as they continue on their Cross Canada tour. We also barely made it back in time to play a hell of a show at The Biltmore for their Taylor Swift Tribute Night. Thank you to everyone who came out to all the shows and made them some of the best we have played so far.

On the final day of the mini-tour our van exploded from the inside. Luckily, no one was hurt and Grapes saved our asses by turning around to come and pick up all of our gear plus our drummer and guitarist but the $400 tow sure did hurt the ol' wallet. After three days of phone calls to the auto shop, our dearest van was deemed scrap. In the moment it seemed like a huge blow but then Aleisha turned to me and said, "The universe is doing this for a reason." 

Sometimes it feels strange to accept that sort of fate but at the end of the day that is what we've always done. We've always trusted that things happen for a reason even if it that means having your main source of transportation leak red fluid all the way down the highway. You never can tell just exactly why life happens the way it does.

Anyways, we're in the market for a van. 

-Evan

 



That's What People Say

"Oh god, really? I hate her."

This is one of the general reactions that I have gotten when mentioning to people that we are a part of the amazing Taylor Swift Tribute Night coming up on November 18th at The Biltmore Cabaret. 

It's very interesting to see people have such an adverse reaction to something that is clearly not affecting their lives in the slightest. Whenever Taylor Swift comes up, though, this seems very normal. I've gotten a lot of, "Well, she has a whole team doing everything for her.." and "I just think of all of the bitches I hated in high school when I think of her." I used to let this slide because I just didn't really give on f#&k about engaging with such a negative attitude but lately I've been choosing to take it on. 

Someone very close to me recently said the above comment of, "Well she has a whole team doing everything for her..." I had been thinking of rebuttal to this for a while now so I said my thing. It went something like this.

We (we who foolishly pride ourselves on listening to "indie" music) seem to think that indie artists are pure truth. We think nothing about them is manufactured. Not their image, lyrics, persona, etc. But when it comes to pop artists (especially women) we immediately say that they have teams choosing everything for them and that everything they do is planned. Yes, their are pop artists like this but whether it be in a big or little way, professional artists everywhere do this to a degree! Take Father John Misty for example. Sad, hateful, cynical people everywhere love this man and his music. I for one, also love his music but not for one second do I think that the FJM team didn't sit down and go, "Yeah, let's keep up the whole everything is shitty attitude. The kids love it!" J. Tillman has gone through multiple transformations himself. So why is it that we immediately jump on people like Taylor Swift for having a particular image crafted towards a particular crowd of people? 

Every artist who is truly committed to not only music, but also branding, has a team of people that are going to help them to move forward with their brand. Indie artists, pop artists, metal artists, reggae, you name it and they've got people helping them out. So why are we so against this? It's just reality! Sam Phillips to Johnny Cash to buck the f%$k up and sing country rather than the shitty gospel music he was singing when he auditioned for Sun Records. If no one had told him otherwise, the world may never have experienced the Johnny Cash we know and love. 

At the end of the day people might just be really bored and don't have anything else to fight for except the same boring view that has been beat to death a billion times.

See you all on the 18th for the T-Swift Tribute Night at The Biltmore. We are incredibly excited to join a group of talented bands to sing the songs of one the biggest stars of our time. 

-Evan

The Last Showcase

Last year at this time we were playing Fortune Sound Club for our Peak Performance Project Show Case. Tonight is the last Peak showcase to ever happen in Vancouver. All of the folks at The Peak and Music BC changed our lives and we have so much love for them. Let's go give Fortune a proper send off. See you tonight, friends.

-Evan

Video by James Ryan

Photo by Ryan Deasley

It's The Little Things

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After a whirlwind tour to the island, Kelowna and Calgary, we are back at home. The shows were great, the trip was great and we can't wait to get out on that open road again as soon as possible. As we were coming back into Vancouver today from Salmon Arm one of us said, "Oh yeah... It's Thanksgiving weekend." So instead of telling you how the tour went, I am going to tell you about some of the people that we met along the way and how thankful we are to have met them.

We decided to play a last minute show in our hometown of Ladysmith, B.C as the first stop. We went full Canadian and played at the local legion to a solid amount of people for a Wednesday night. Aleisha's mom, Becky, is a member of this particular legion and took it upon herself to take full control of the entire event. My god, that woman can get sh*t done! The minute we got there she was running around setting up tables, ordering pizzas, grabbing drinks, corralling the troops, you name it, she had it covered. Without her, that whole show would never have happened. 

Aleisha's Dad, Ian, housed us for the two days we were on the island in his beautiful, log cabin of a home, over on a secluded beach on the other side of Ladysmith. We've stayed there before and man, it really beats staying in a Howard Johnson. We swam naked in the ocean, lit off some fireworks and had a nice outdoor fire to end the evening. That doesn't happen all the time. 

My Mom, Alison, had us over the next day for a homemade lunch (which doesn't happen often on the road) while we celebrated my baby sisters 2nd birthday. It was so nice to be able to just sit down, eat a good meal, visit with family and relax for the afternoon. My mom always has a "Come if you can and if you can't that's okay" attitude which I will always appreciate as we are on this hectic journey. There aren't many people in the world who have that mentality. Most people feel like they deserve so much out of each one of their family members or friends. 

Thank you to our parents for being the best.

 

So as to not take up your whole entire day I will write out a quick list of the characters we met along the way and why we hold a spot in our hearts for them.

1. Don The Mechanic

As many of you know, our propane van broke down right as entered Chilliwack. We got a tow to one gas station where the lady clearly had no idea what she was doing and sent us away saying we were full on propane. We then got towed to a little Auto shop where we met Don and his crew. They worked away on the van for over an hour, went and got us propane and then some. We were a bit scared to see the bill at the end of it all but Don came up to us, smiling, and asked if we were a band. We said yes and then he started to tell us about his career as a songwriter and singer and that he had a CD inside he'd love to trade for ours. The conversation was lovely and at the end of it all he charged us only for the propane and said, "I guess it's your lucky day." We'll be back soon Don, hopefully just to say hi this time.

2. Elaine The Gramma 

When we got to Revelstoke we quickly found out that there was nowhere in town to fill up on Propane. Obviously from the events before we were scared to death to get stuck somewhere else along the way. We decided that we would have to unload some gear somewhere to make it over Rogers Pass without breaking down. Our guitar player Rory's sisters fiance's Gramma (not making this up) happened to live in town so we gave her a call. We arrived at the little home, none of us having met Elaine before and there she was, backing us into the driveway into the garage where we could unload our stuff. We got out and all introduced ourselves, thanking her profusely and she then introduced herself with her nickname, Turbo. We never asked why that was her nickname and I sort of hope it will always be a mystery. When we went to get our stuff on the way home we told her that our drummer, Eric, had flown from Calgary instead of driving back with the rest of us. To this she replied, "Well you can let him know that he's a wussy."

3. Old Friends

It was our first show in Calgary and we were excited to play. We didn't know many people in the city so it was kind of a toss up of how many people were going to be at the show. It turned out there was a fair amount and leading it all was four of my good buddies from high school. They drove 3 hours from Edmonton just to come see us play our first show in Calgary, all of them wearing Wild Romantics shirts and the biggest grins I have seen in a long time. It was just a really nice moment to realize that the people you don't talk to or see all of the time will love you no matter what. It didn't matter how close we were in high school or if we text everyday, it only mattered that we were all there at that moment, together. 

Happy Thanksgiving everybody.

-Evan

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The Wes Anderson Theory

Whew. It's hard to believe that our album is finally out. Even though the songs are now out in the universe and it seems like they aren't ours anymore, now is the time we get to delve even deeper into them by coming up with videos for each of them.

We only have a couple of videos out on the internet (I think that there are only 3 that we've actually made ourselves to be honest) but every single video we have worked with the same crew. I am using the word "crew" very loosely here. The crew being myself, Aleisha and one of our closest buddies, James Ryan. 

The reason that I am bringing this is up is because 1) I am just damn excited to start making videos with our crew again and ripping these songs apart for meanings that we may have missed and 2) I wanted to just touch on the importance of a good team here at The Wild Romantics Industries. Just this year Aleisha has really gotten me into the films of Mr. Wes Anderson and I have immediately fallen in love with all of the things that everyone else has already fallen in love with like the camera angles, colours, etc. But my favourite thing about it all, is that he seems to love working with the same team over and over again. Some people might see this as a very close off style of working but I think it really applies to everything! Bands, relationships, sports, etc. 

We met up with James just yesterday to discuss the details for our upcoming video shoot for "Who Ya Foolin'" and hot damn, the guy just has it. All of the big picture ideas are perfectly balanced with the tiniest details that a normal person might never think of. All three of us went through the same improv program and were schooled in the "Yes! And...." attitude. I think this is what really brings us together and keeps us wanting to work with each other whenever a project comes up. It's not a comfort thing, it's actually a, "Hell yeah this person is actually going to one-up me and make me one-up them and I'm stoked on that" sort of thing. I can just picture Wes Anderson and Owen Wilson shooting the sh!t in Wes' perfectly symmetrical, lavender living room bouncing ideas off of each other in the good old fashioned kiddie way of "Okay! Now pretend that...." and thats what we find ourselves doing for hours as we imagine and script out ideas.

So yeah, we love the guy and we are excited to get to work on this music video so that we can show it to you all. It may or may not involve an exorcism....

That's it for now!

-Evan

82 Weeks

It all started almost 2 years ago. We hopped on a ferry with the innocent and naive idea that we were going to be done our debut EP in all but a week. And now here we are, a week away from releasing the album we started 82 weeks ago. 

This has been the most uniquely difficult journey of my life thus far. We have pushed harder than either of us knew we could and survived on Dollarama pancake mix longer than a human should be physically able to.  I had no idea that, in climbing towards these dreams we would have to dig so deep within ourselves. It seems so odd, the idea to climb higher that you must dig deeper. But maybe it's all we pulled from ourselves that has built the path before us. 

I can safely say this past year can best be compared to the process a caterpillar goes though in its journey to become a butterfly. It's so cheesy- but so true.

I had lost myself before meeting Evan and creating this band together. I was crawling, spinning and was at an all time low. And then- we began the album.

This was the cocoon stage. We were wrapped in the studio, wrapped in The Peak Performance Project, wrapped ourselves in the Vancouver mist, and within ourselves trying to wrap our minds  around the mind bending tasks we had before us. Like jumping into cold water we launched ourselves over the edge of the rocks forgetting for that split second the water ahead of us was foreign and cold. But we threw ourselves forward anyways on the pure fact that we wanted to swim. But just as you land in cold water it takes time to adjust, and the next year of our lives would be just that- rediscovering how to use our limbs, rediscovering our  breath, and finally how to stay afloat. But finally- we did just that. And though you never forget why you jumped, you finally begin to enjoy what called you there. So enter the age of aviation for the little caterpillars within ourselves.

As this album comes to an end and it is no longer our own, I can now feel the call to let go, make space and set sights on a new ridge to throw ourselves off of. I have watched all my dreams make their way into my reality and now it is with great anticipation that I make room for that which I haven't dreamt up yet. 

So cue the sage smudge sticks, the piles of thrift store clothes, and fresh vision boards. May the release of this album leave space for all the great things life has in store. 

-Aleisha