Jesse Taylor, Michael Wilson, and Jesse Carmichael are three lifelong friends, together known as Wildcat! Wildcat! Known for their hit single “Mr. Quiche,” the band looks to continue their success with their new album, No Moon At All.
Every song from the album is redemptive, upbeat, and bright, even when the lyrics are a little deeper and mysterious. This combination is extremely successful, which will grab your attention with the first listen and will keep your attention with the storytelling that lays beneath. Returning to their hometown of Los Angeles to play a show at the El Rey Theater, Ferrvor Magazine’s Music Contributor, Jay Campbell, had the opportunity to sit down with them before their show for an exclusive interview.
Ferrvor: The Feed the Beat: SXSW 2013 documentary covers your first experience at South-By Southwest. Could you tell me more about your time there, did you get to go out and enjoy the city?
Michael: It was hectic. We played 12 shows in the span of 7 days, and were always on the move. It was definitely an awesome experience for us though. We didn’t get to go out on our own that much during the week due to all of the shows. But we did get to go out the last night and we saw Smashing Pumpkins, Fitz and the Tantrums, and Cold War Kids.
Ferrvor: You just released your new album, No Moon At All, what was the process like for creating the album?
Michael: It only took us a month or two in the studio actually recording the album. The rest of the process is what took time. There was a lot of album prep on the road, writing new songs and trying to narrow down songs for the album. We probably had around 40 songs that didn’t make the cut for the album; we wanted everything to fit well together, and we chose what we thought was the best fit. One of the hardest things we had to decide was whether or not to include “Mr. Quiche” on the album. It was already successful on its own, and it’s usually standard to put your hit single on the debut album, but for us we felt our album was perfect without having to force it.
Ferrvor: One of our favorite songs on the album is “Garden Grays.” Can you explain to our readers the writing process and story behind it?
Jesse T: It actually started off as just us playing around on bass and keys, and then it started to slowly develop into the finished product. In October 2012, we began working on it more, and began writing for it. New ideas came, a whole new groove, and became a completed song, rather than just that idea.
Michael: It’s all about coming out on the other side. Its the small victories each day that matter, it’s about the real life triumphs. Staying in it for the long haul, and knowing everything will be alright.
Ferrvor: Who would you guys say is the unsung hero of Wildcat! Wildcat!, and why?
Michael: It has to be Jesse’s sister, Ashley. She passed away about five and a half years ago now. She’s our inspiration everyday, to be better than the day before. She’s actually on the cover of the EP!
Ferrvor: What are your plans for after the tour ends? Any big holiday events planned, or just planning to take some time off and relax?
Jesse C: Definitely take some time off and enjoy the holidays. Maybe even get a Christmas tree?! We’ll definitely start to plan out our next moves, but very carefully.
Michael: We have a lot to plan out. Labels, another album, maybe even tour overseas. We definitely want to go overseas, they’re actually one of our biggest fan bases. It goes LA, France, San Francisco, and New York. So we want to go across the pond and visit.
Ferrvor: So you mention labels. They get a lot of negative publicity nowadays, even though they all aren’t out to screw over artists like the media makes it seem. What would it take for you to sign with a record label? Are there any requirements you would have for one?
Michael: They would have to be unique, like us, and be able to agree with us on decisions. We have early support of our music already and know there is more to come, and a label could definitely help open new doors. It just has to ultimately feel right. We can only control our songs and decisions, and if there’s an opportunity that allows us to do what we love, then we’ll see! Our decision has to be in our best interest, and be rewarding for us at the end of the day.
Ferrvor: What are your favorite albums that have influenced your lives and careers? Also, who are your favorite new artists people should be aware of?
Jesse C: Led Zeppelin. If you haven’t heard them, well, you’re missing out! But seriously, Björk’s Vespertine, Sigur Rós’ (Untitled), and A$AP Rocky’s Live.Love.A$AP.
Michael: Anything by Pinback. They’re a great band, actually from San Diego, and are an awesome band! I don’t think they’re doing anything new right now, but still, they’re great.
Jesse T: New artists to suggest is hard, but if I had to choose one, it would be Local Natives!
Ferrvor: If you could leave the listeners with one piece of advice, what would it be?
Jesse C: “Life’s too short. Do whatever is going to make you happy.”
Michael: “Don’t lose your vision. Have a full heart and have fun. Glam will come later if it’s meant to be. If you’re not having fun, if you’re not happy, you’re f****** up!”
Jesse T: “Don’t join a band.” (jokingly)
Listen to their new album, No Moon at All, and let us know what you think!