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19 October 2016

When The Sun Hits Interviews Wildhoney.

Baltimore-based Wildhoney is comprised of five members: Zach Inscho (drums), Joe Trainor (guitar), Nathan O'Dell (guitar), Alan Everhart (bass) and Lauren Shusterich (vox). Wildhoney released not one but two extremely significant records in 2015 – the Your Face Sideways 12” EP and their debut LP Sleep Through It. While the preceding EPs, Seventeen Forever and Wildhoney, are both excellent, Sleep Through It and Your Face Sideways showcase a band in full bloom. 

Wildhoney has a gift for nailing perfect pop gems with precision accuracy, offering a sound both concise and sonically complex. Lauren’s catchy vocal melodies sparkle amid the striking instrumental work provided by her bandmates while pop hooks and constructions shine out through sprays of translucent sonic vapor. Their songs capture a punk-tinged energy that effervesces wonderfully in live performance, a setting in which the band truly unleashes its squall. We are proud to present the following interview to you.

When The Sun Hits Interviews Wildhoney

How and when was the band formed?
The band was formed on a winter night in Baltimore. We imagined that we might feel better about life if we turned some of our negative experiences into pop songs.

Can you tell us what the band has been working on and what you've got forthcoming in the near future (any new releases, tour, etc.)?
We recently released a four way split 12" called Continental Drift on Slumberland Records in the US, and on Fortuna POP! in the UK. The other bands on it are Mercury Girls, The Spook School and Tigercats. It's humbling to have put music out on two labels who have released many of our favourite records and influenced us as artists.

We just finished a full US/CAN tour in support of Cymbals Eat Guitars with Field Mouse. We debuted a bunch of new songs from our next LP at the shows (the LP is an untitled work in progress as of now).

 Also, Lauren made a shirt with an alien giving you the finger.

Do you consider your music to be part of the current shoegaze/dream pop scene, or any scene? Defining one's sound by genre can be tiresome, but do you feel that the band identifies closely with any genre? How do you feel about genres in music, in a general sense?
We want our music to be something you don't have to be some anorak shoegazer to understand. We believe in songs, not pedals. Since the beginning we've always thought of ourselves as a Pop band and not necessarily limited to any one style. And yes, being pigeonholed in with those genres is tiresome.

What do you think of modern shoegaze/dream pop/psychedelia artists, any favorites?
As stated earlier, current shoegaze isn't something we necessarily identify with. Most of its modern derivatives seem more concerned with cool equipment and “atmosphere” than actual tunes. The first wave of those sort of bands were great songwriters first, and sonic experimenters second.

What is the most important piece of gear for your sound? Any particular guitars/pedals/amps that you prefer?
Lauren’s voice is the most important piece of "gear" to Wildhoney’s sound. Without her we wouldn't be the band we are.

When it comes to label releases versus DIY/bandcamp and the like, what is your stance, if any?
We started by self-releasing a couple cassettes and putting them on Bandcamp. It got us enough attention that labels started to take notice. So they're both good.

Do you prefer vinyl, CD, cassette tape or mp3 format when listening to music? Do you have any strong feelings toward any of them?
We prefer tapes and records. We don't get bent out of shape about it though.

What artists (musicians or otherwise) have most influenced your work?
Stereolab, Deerhunter, Bjork, The Beach Boys and Brian Eno all influence our work because these were/are creatively restless artists. Always striving to put great art out into the world, not compromising their visions, trends were meaningless, just timeless music. It goes without saying, film, literature, the visual arts all influence us greatly as well, but in a less direct way.

What is your philosophy (on life), if any, that you live by?
We have a Charlie Brown toy super glued to the dashboard of our van. He sums it up when you press his button. ‘Good grief!’ Being a musician can be very difficult sometimes but then there are always more beautiful unexpected moments just around the corner.

Please add whatever additional comments you would like here:
You should listen to: Romantic States, Wume, Post Pink, Gauche, Flasher, Tony Molina, Beverly, Dva, Big Hush, Snail Mail, Flowers, Wallflower, Sneaks, Cigarette, TV Ugly, Real Numbers, Birdstriking, Porridge Radio, Literature, Waveless, Big Baby, Strange Passage, Blacksage, T.O.Y.S., Eze Jackson, Bond Street District, Joanna Gruesome, Hurry, Blowdryer, Outer Spaces, The Field Mice, Weed Hounds, Eternal Summers, Draa, Shopping, The Mantles, Evans the Death, Expert Alterations, and clearly the other bands on the split.

Also, Zach looks cool as fuck in this photo (Ed. note: We agree 100%):

11/07 Washington DC @ DC9  w/ Pure Disgust
11/08 Baltimore, MD @ The Wind Up Space w/ Wipe Out and Snail Mail
11/09 Philly, PA @ Kungfu Necktie w/ Radiator Hospital
11/10 New Haven, CT @ Cafe Nine w/ Bilge Rat
11/11 Cambridge, MA @ Middle East (Upstairs)
11/12 Brooklyn, NYC @ Union Pool
11/13 New Brunswick, NJ @ House Show w/ Home Blitz
11/14 Pittsburgh, PA @ Gooski's w/ Chiller
11/15 Columbus, OH @ Big Room Bar w/ Connections
11/17 Chicago, IL @ Beat Kitchen
11/18 Ohio @ TBA w/ Leggy
11/19 Meadville, PA @ Arter Theater