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Q&A with Wild Pink | Feature Interview

by Catherine Vianale (@catherineveeee)

In the summer of 2015, Wild Pink premiered their EP entitled Good Life, released via Texas is Funny Records. This past August, the band announced that they will be releasing their new EP, 4 Songs, via Tiny Engines Records and have recently embarked on a tour (all dates below) to promote their latest release. I spoke with John Ross, lead songwriter and front man of the group, about early musical influences, nostalgic tour moments, and self-identity in an ever-changing scene. This group runs the gamut from soft, sultry ballads to rock bangers with poignant lyrics that center on nostalgia and past haunts; all are guaranteed to leave you teary eyed in the driversā€™ seat on your ride home.

Catherine Vianale: How long has Wild Pink been an active project and what instrument do you play?

John Ross: Wild Pink has been around since the fall of 2014 and I play guitar and sing. TC Brownell plays bass and Dan Keegan plays drums.

CV: What was a formative band(s) for you growing up and how do your early music tastes influence your writing style for Wild Pink?

JR: Earliest formative bands would have to be Nirvana, R.E.M and Queen. My sister is older than me and I remember when I was 5 or 6 she drove in from Baltimore and brought over a tape of R.E.M's Green and taught me how to pogo dance to 'Stand' on the back porch. That's one of my earliest musical memories. There was also a babysitter who would bring over her CD book and I remember listening to In Utero a lot and being blown away at how heavy and dark it was. Later on, artists like Jackson Browne, Tom Petty and Bruce Springsteen all had a big impact on my life and the way I write music. Their songs are simple and powerful so I think that's why I keep Wild Pink's songs simple.

CV: In a similar vein, how do your roots in your hometown music scene influence your writing? Did you develop new styles and ideas after moving to NY?

JR: Florida is where I started writing songs and playing in bands which helped me form as a person. Central and North Florida are special places and show up in my songs a lot. Some of the most creative people I've met have lived in Tallahassee at some point.

There's plenty of inspiration in New York too though. There are so many good shows every week. In the last few years I've experimented with writing different styles and genres and still do but Wild Pink feels more like a continuation of what I've always been interested in.

CV: You guys are embarking on a tour soon for 4 Songs, and have done a few tours before. What initially intrigued you to pursue touring DIY? What are some rewards and setbacks you've experienced in planning your own tours?

JR: Touring is really fun but it was also pretty challenging at first. Seeing a band like Ex-Breathers who toured seemingly constantly kinda showed me that it's possible if you really want to do it. 

CV: Do you have a favorite show you've played or favorite memory as a band?

JR: It's hard to nail down a favorite show or memory but recording the full length with Justin Pizzoferrato is up there. Also the house shows we've played in St Louis, Pittsburgh and Akron are too. 

CV: Are there any upcoming shows or albums from artists you like that you're excited for?

JR: I'm excited to hear the new Ratboys record. Julia's songwriting and commitment to touring is inspiring. I'm also excited to hear the rest of Return To Love from LVL UP and Cymbals Eat Guitars' and Pile's next records. Show-wise, I'm looking forward to seeing Built To Spill next Friday!

CV: If you could be the master of anything, what would it be?

JR: I'd master the animal kingdom with telepathy.

CV: Is there anything else you want to tell us about?

JR: New solo project: Its called B and the EP is called US 1. They're mostly ambient, country inspired songs about US 1 and I'm hoping to put it up on Bandcamp this fall.

TOUR DATES:

OCT 12 - Atlanta, GA @ 529 *
OCT 13 - Savannah, GA @ Cake Factory *
OCT 14 - Tallahassee, FL @ The Wolf's Den *
OCT 15 - Orlando, FL @ Space Bar *
OCT 16 - St. Petersburg, FL @ The Bends *
OCT 18 - New Orleans, LA @ Saturn Bar +
OCT 19 - Memphis, TN @ Hi Tone +
OCT 20 - St Louis, MO @ Dugan Haus +
OCT 21 - Nashville, TN @ Charlie Bob's +
OCT 22 - Evansville, IN @ PG +
OCT 23 - Milwaukee, WI @ Bremen Cafe +
OCT 24 - Chicago, IL @ Subterranean Downstairs +
OCT 25 - Akron, OH @ It's a Kling! Thing +
OCT 26 - Buffalo, NY @ Nietczhe's
OCT 27 - Toronto, ON @ The Silver Dollar
OCT 28 - Montreal, QB @ The Bog
OCT 29 - Amherst, MA @ Red Cross House
NOV 01 - Brooklyn, NY @ Shea Stadium

* w/ Hypoluxo
+ w/ Vetter Kids