Interview with Indigo Wild
Once again our friend Dean Tartaglia (Silent Lions) has turned us on to some great Columbus, Ohio music. Indigo Wild released their debut EP, If By Sea, in 2011 and listening to it makes me wonder if Local Natives used it as inspiration for their newest album, Hummingbird. Since then, the guys have released a new acoustic single, “Pacific”, which acts as a step toward their first full length LP. The guys are currently out touring with The Yugos and are set to play New Way Bar in Ferndale on Thursday. I got to chat with Chris (bass/vocals), Garet (guitar/keys,vocals), Michael (guitar/vocals), and Jason (drums) to talk about the band’s history, tour, and future.
How was Indigo Wild formed?
Garet: Indigo Wild was formed in a pretty strange way, to be honest haha. Michael and I met each other in the dorms freshman year of college. Our group of friends was super into sharing music and art, so we naturally had a few healthy jam sessions in our hall’s piano room. Once we started writing together it just didn’t stop, and we kind of reached this point at the end of the year when we decided we needed a full band. So, this literally happened…I messaged this girl from my English class who I saw at a show in Columbus and randomly asked if she knew any drummers. For some reason I figured “she was at a cool show, so she’s gotta know cool musicians”. Lo and behold, she messages back “Oh yeah, my boyfriend is actually looking for a band.” Fast-forward 5 weeks and Jason set up his drums in my parents’ basement with Michael and I. Naturally…I turned to Facebook for finding a bassist too. Chris was this dude I knew about but had never actually spoken to. I knew he maybe played guitar and sang…so I messaged him. Literally a week later he came over with his bass and threw down a rad bass line for “Rowboats” and then we were a band. It’s weird and I cringe saying this but…I think we owe a lot of our happiness and livelihood to Mark Zuckerberg.
What inspires your music?
Garet: Our music has tons of different sources of inspiration, but I’d say a lot of our new material is inspired by our passion for music itself. It’s weird…we were split in two different cities for about 3 years because of college. Though we’re all from Columbus originally, Chris and Jason were the only two who went to school here; Michael and I went to school in Cincinnati. So for the longest time, we’ve been like 4 lovers in a long-distance relationship. When we wanted to play a “local” show, half of us had to drive 2 hours. And the same was true for writing or practicing or just hanging out. It was crazy, especially when I was in New York City for two semesters on an internship. But through that whole process we learned a ton about ourselves and our band. It was really hard to be split up for so long; we had to keep each other motivated and be super patient. And now that that period of separation is over, we’re all back in Columbus and making more progress than we’ve ever made. We’re finally fleshing out those demos we emailed back and forth for years. We’re finally doing what we’ve been waiting to do. And I think that passion itself is fueling us.
I’ve really been enjoying the If By Sea EP over the last week or so, are there plans for a full length album?
Garet: Thank you! I’m glad you dig the tunes :] There are definitely plans for a full length album. Possibly even a smaller release before that. But yeah… our main goal, once we get back from this tour, is to just write, demo, and repeat. We’ve got a lot of material outside of If By Sea already written; it’s just a matter of hammering out the many fine details between that and a release date haha.
What can listeners expect from it? How does the full length album recording process differ from putting together an EP?
Garet: For us, there is a huge difference in the songs on If By Sea and the ones we’ve written after it. If By Sea was written and recorded within the first year and some months of us being a band. Those songs represent a younger us, I think…lyrically and instrumentally. We had this vision for our “sound” and we went with our gut on it. But I think we’ve all come a long way as individuals since then, so naturally our new material is going to reflect that. Instead of focusing on sounding a specific way, we’re more focused now on making our audience feel something. We’re trying to pull from the depths of all that we’ve experienced and present it to people in a way that moves them too. And from a technical/nerdy standpoint, we’ve got a lot of new gear that we’re super excited about too. We’re using samples for the first time, we’ve got new amplifiers, new effects pedals, and we’ve even switched from a shitty Casio keyboard to MIDI! So putting together the full length is going to be a lot of demoing new sounds and making sure we’ve got it perfect before we do the damned thing. But we’re really excited about the process.
How did the tour with The Yugos come about?
Jason: The Yugos have been our buds since we started. I believe the first show we ever played with them was when they invited us to play at a coffee shop in the suburbs of Cincinnati. It was immediately apparent that the energies of our two bands matched up perfectly. We couldn’t believe how young they were! Since then, we’ve been playing shows together and sharing each other’s music. It always feels like hanging out with old friends when we get together. We were looking to do another tour and were lucky to jump on a week with them. It’s exciting to spend a week with a group of musicians we highly respect.
What’s your favorite thing about being on the road and performing live?
Jason: My favorite thing about being on the road is experiencing a new city. Being able to go to places I’ve never been before and play music for people is my greatest joy. I try to spend at least an hour in every city walking around and figuring out the vibe, trying restaurants, walking into coffee shops, finding record stores, or anything that gives me an idea of what a city is all about. There’s a lot of stress and uncertainty to being on the road and playing shows, but there’s also a lot of positivity and comradery. No matter what happens, we’re all in it together.
Favorite thing about this particular tour or anything that’s set it apart from other tours you guys have done?
Jason: This is our second tour, so we’ve definitely learned a little bit from our first experience. We’ve worked on a completely new set as well, so we hope to take our new-found knowledge and new list of songs into brand new cities. On our last tour we were out on our own, so having The Yugos with us all week is encouraging. We’re looking forward to the shared experience, and being in Michigan for the first time as a band!
Columbus has quite the music scene going right now, what does being an up and coming band from that area mean to you? How has that particular music scene influenced your music / band?
Jason: I think the first thing people notice about the Columbus music scene is the sense of community. It’s a constant support system. You know if you play a show, your friends from other bands are going to be there. Everybody is constantly sharing each other’s music and getting excited about what each other are doing, and everyone is learning from what each other are doing. I have my list of personally influential musicians just like everybody else, but sometimes my biggest influences come from watching other Columbus musicians play. When one of my friends plays me a track from their upcoming record, or I hear them play some new songs at a show, it motivates me to want to share the same things. “That’s so cool! I want to share something cool too!” When we’re outside of Columbus, we’re representing where we come from. We want to bring that sense of positivity and community when we’re on the road, and we want to give Columbus a good name. When we get on stage and say, “We’re Indigo Wild from Columbus, Ohio!” We want to make sure that we represent well, and maybe it encourages people to listen to what else Columbus has to offer. There’s a wealth of talent here.
So come down to the New Way Bar if you can and make sure to stop by the merch table to meet the guys and maybe pick up an If By Sea EP (each one is hand stamped and therefore completely unique) or one of their new t-shirts. You can also find the guys on the interwebs by checking out the links below.