Making Music That Sounds Like Home | An Interview With Wild Leaves

–by Quincy Tejani, Music Connoisseur

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Wild Leaves

To me, Wild Leaves’ aesthetic feels like home. Sounds of warmth and comfort fill the air every time their track “Fallen Robin” blares from my laptop speakers. Successful bands are the ones who can evoke strong emotions with their music and that is exactly what this folk band from New York is able to do with each one of their songs. In this interview Adam Lytle from Wild Leaves sheds a little light on what it’s like to be in a band with your best friends and the process that goes into creating the bands’ art.

Quincy Tejani: Wild Leaves have been around for a while now. Can you tell us about what it is that makes the five of you have such great chemistry together? What keeps you excited to keep making music?

Adam Lytle: History is a big factor. We’ve known each other since college and worked together, creatively, in many different formats since then. It’s all about embracing the growth that each individual goes through. With a group this large, the dynamic is always changing. It never really gets old because someone always has a new idea or a new perspective.

QT: Do you feel like the band performs better on stage or in the studio? What’s your main element?

AL: The two have always come hand in hand for us. We always record basic tracks live. It just feels right for our sound. We cut our teeth as a live band in NYC. Playing overbooked venues with a very short changeover time between acts. It trained us to come in ready to go. There’s no time to mess with your guitar tone or practice your vocal harmony in that situation. You’ve got to have your guitar tuned up, your pedals dialed in, and your vocal part imprinted on your brain. Being in the studio is not that different. When you’re paying for a studio, an engineer, and a producer, you need to come in ready to go, otherwise that EP is going to get expensive very fast.

693230391-1QT: You’ve described your music as “distinctly relevant to today- like the sound of a memory not yet lost.” Could you explain a little bit about what that means to you?

WL: It’s all about knowing your history. I’ve been an obsessive music listener since I was a small fry – taking in everything I could and letting my interests lead the way. I listened long enough to start having opinions about the way songs are written or recorded. Fast-forward to 2016 and we’ve got so many beautiful tools at our disposal and so much history to learn from. You can make a record, in your bedroom, that sounds like it was recorded at Abbey Road. The key is to not just replicate the sound, but learn from it and add something new. Bob Dylan is the classic example. He replicated folk songs until he was ready to turn them upside down.

QT: Am I right to assume that the release of your latest track “Fallen Robin” means that there may be an LP in store for us?

AL: You are correct! We’re finishing mixing on 10 songs that will form our debut LP which will be released in Spring 2017.

QT: You guys have a lot of shows coming up around your home city of Brooklyn. Are you planning to ever tour north of the border? We sure would love to see you in Toronto.

AL: Yes! We love Toronto. We played at NXNE a couple years ago and it was the most fun we’ve ever had at a festival. Everyone was so friendly and hospitable. It was also the only time a fan has ever brought us a pre-rolled joint, and it happened twice in one night! We’ll definitely be back.

QT: That sounds amazing! Okay, lastly, do you think that you would rather legally change your last name to Hitler or never eat chocolate again?

AL: I’d give up Chocolate, no problem. It’s all teeth rot anyway. 

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Quincy Tejani is the co-founder of The Violet Wave and is also editor of music. When he’s not listening to or writing about music you can probably find him walking through the forests of Ontario or questioning the inner workings of the universe. He also never turns down a cold Pabst… never.

Twitter: @thevioletwave

Facebook: The Violet Wave

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