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Interview: Wild Horse
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
I think my parents really gave me the first push when it comes to music. They made sure that I grew up listening to the sounds of classic rock like The Rolling Stones and The Who (my Dad’s influence) and also some classic Motown pop like Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder and Micheal Jackson (my mum’s influence). I do remember the first time I genuinely became invested in music to the point where I knew I wanted to do it myself. I was about 10 years old and I was into my video games and stuff like that. I was playing Call of Duty and then Sympathy for the Devil by The Rolling Stones came on in the background and I was instantly hooked. I’d never heard anything that sounded so effortlessly cool before and I kept replaying that part of the game just so I could hear the song. And that’s when I thought, I can do that. Since then, I’ve been spending my life trying to recreate that feeling I felt back then through my own music with Wild Horse. And to answer where I would be today without music, I honestly have no clue. Music has been such a big part of my life for over ten years now and has meant I have had to sacrifice a lot of things along the way. So without music, I would probably be a very different person. I would have not have had to sacrifice things like time with friends, relationships, education etc but I would most definitely be no where near as happy, because music is the thing that really makes me feel alive.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
When I’m not making music or being onstage with the band, I like to live a fairly normal and quiet life. People are often surprised when they see me on stage with the band and then meet me in person, as I am very different in person to how I am on stage. I have so much energy and confidence on stage, which is a part of me, but when I’m off stage I genuinely live out the quieter side to my personality. It’s like a double life really. When I’m not doing music I usually just go to work, meet up with friends at the pub and try to keep healthy. I think this influences my creativity with music as living a normal life allows me to keep grounded and approach my music with a clear and fresh mind. If I were to act like I do onstage in all areas of my life, it would be chaos. I would probably have no strength left by this point lol.
How long has your band been around?
Wild Horse has been going since I was 11 years old, which sounds crazy when I realize that I’m 20 now. In those 9 years, we’ve never lost our passion for music and our drive to keep pushing musical boundaries and hopefully be the blueprint for something new and influence as many as possible along the way.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
We are based out of a tiny country village about 40 minutes from Brighton, called Burwash. It’a probably got more sheep and cows in it than it has people. Living in the countryside has definitely influenced our music as it has provided us with a certain tranquility and lack of urgency that you don’t get in cities. This allows us to take a relaxed approach to making music, giving us an environment where we feel we can be as creative as we like and we don’t have to rush anything that we are working on.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
It is somewhat disputed how we came up with the name of the band. Henry (bass, guitar, keys, backing vocals) and Ed (drums, backing vocals, guitar) think that we already had it for our first show, whereas I don’t think we did. I seem to remember that we were discussing it in the car on our way back from our first show and somebody suggested it and we all liked it better than other suggestions like Eric The Pug or Rusty Spanner and The Tool Kits. It essentially came from The Rolling Stones classic Wild Horses and Neil Young’s band Crazy Horse, as both of them were and still are massive influences on us. It definitely means something special to me as it symbolizes everything we have been through collectively as a band to this point, all the highs, all the lows. Everything. It is essentially the title to our lives.
Tell me about your most memorable shows.
We’ve had so many incredible shows so I won’t be able to recall all of them but there are a few that stand out. Recently, we did a sort of home coming show at the Forum in Tunbridge Wells, an iconic venue near where we’re from. It sold out and the crowd were all singing every single lyric back to us and looked like they were having a lot of fun. There is no greater feeling than hearing a crowd sing your lyrics back to you. It just shows that you are having somewhat of an impact, no matter how small, on people’s lives which is really our number one goal with our music. Another memorable show, for slightly different reasons, was in Paris when we were around 12-14. We were offered the gig and thought why not. So we got to the venue and saw all the cages with polls in them. We were going to question it but at this point we were too distracted watching cockroaches coming out of the power socket we were told to plug into. So later on when the show started it came to fruition that the place we were playing in, as essentially children, was a strip club. That one always makes us laugh.
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
I really love playing the Forum in Tunbridge Wells, I know that’s Ed’s favorite venue as well. It’s just a really cool venue that everybody loves going to and it’s had some iconic bands play on their stage, like Oasis and a whole stack load of others. So it always feels good to play on the same stage as so many legends. I also really like the Green Door Store in Brighton, it has a really cool stage lighting rig which makes it really hot to play under but makes us look cool. We also love the Prince Albert in Brighton as every single time we’ve played there we’ve had a great time and an incredible gig.
And of course, there are many stages we would like to play but haven’t yet. To name a few, the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury Festival, The Royal Albert Hall, MSG, and any stadium really. As you can tell, we’re not aiming too highly in this band.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
I would love to play a show with The Rolling Stones. That would be incredible. Mick Jagger if for some reason you stumble upon this, I would give a kidney to make Wild Horse be your opening act on tour! I would also love to duet Wild Horses with them on stage one day. It just feels right to me that that has to happen. I’m manifesting it!
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
When you first think of starting a band, you might think that it’s an easy life where it’s all just fun, partying and immediate success. Don’t be fooled into thinking that. I can tell you now if you are serious about making a career with your band, you have to sacrifice a lot of things in your life. It is a lot of hard work. Talent isn’t enough. You have to work harder than everyone else if you want to succeed, and even then, it takes a long time. We’ve been together for 9 years and the first sign of any big step forward to major success has been very recently, within the last year and a half. So, my advice would be to be prepared to work your ass off.
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
I think my advice to my younger self would be to slow down, relax and trust the process. I think at times I expected too much of myself at such a young age and maybe put pressure on myself to be something I wasn’t ready for yet. As a result of this I maybe wasn’t as confident in myself as I should have been. Looking back now as an extremely confident assured adult I can see now that it is important to allow yourself time to grow and I would often get stressed about things which would figure themselves out as I grew up. I should have probably just relaxed a bit more.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
I think all of our songs mean so much to all of us as they are a part of us. Being a musician and songwriter is actually a very vulnerable thing as you are opening up parts of your life to the word. At the moment though, I would say the song that means the most to me is a song which is at this time unreleased. It’s a song essentially about my anger towards the lack of gun control laws in the U.S and how many innocent lives are taken, as we have seen recently, yet we all know nothing will change because of money and corruption. There is also a verse in the song about the levels of knife crime in the UK and how the knife problem here is similar to the gun problem in the US. It also talks about racism which is still very much present in the world. It means quite a lot to me as I don’t usually get political in the band’s music but I just felt that i needed to vent my frustrations on this issue the only way I really know how to: with music. It is genuinely one of my favorite songs I’ve ever written but not many people have heard it yet. It will come out at some point but I want it to come out when it feels right to me that it should come out.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
My favorite songs to play vary a lot. I really enjoy playing our new single JOY RIDE as it’s just really fun and creates a care free vibe with the audience who always react well every time we play it. I also love playing COFFEE IN THE MORNING as it’s a different side to us musically and I feel that song in particular helps to bring the band closer to the crowd because of how intimate it is. I’m also really enjoying playing a new song which is unreleased, called BABY! We always joke that Durex should sponsor us because it’s about safe sex. However, I’m not sure if it’s a joke anymore because apparently some of our fans have actually DM’d them on instagram saying that they should sponsor us, which I think is absolutely brilliant!
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
There is really no set creative process. Most of the time I will just hear a riff or a hook in my head and then i will try my best to transfer that from my head into reality. It usually starts off with the musical side of things, and then the lyrics come later. I always record demos of new songs I’ve written to that I can play around with production ideas as well. I like to get a really clear expression of what it is I want a certain idea to sound like.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
Our main message is really just for people to have fun. That’s what we feel life it all about. You shouldn’t take yourself to seriously. Life will have ups and downs but it is important to try and enjoy every moment of it. Our goal really is to provide part of the soundtrack to our listener’s lives as we all navigate living in this world together.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
Yes, all the time. Me and Henry are actually brothers so there is always that element of sibling rivalry. Usually, Ed acts as the middle man as he is close friends with both of us so he acts as the mediator who will tell us when we’re being ridiculous. We’re lucky to have Ed because he knows how to break up a disagreement by making us laugh and forget about it.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
We always have plans for the future. We hope to be playing stadiums one day. We are always working on new music and our next release will be coming in the next few months. We are about to head back into the studio and record some new songs. We are really excited about some new songs that we are writing right now. We are always playing shows and we hope to be planning a tour soon. So there will be plenty of things coming up. We are not going anywhere.