Kelowna rockers The Wild! have just released their second album Wild At Heart in February, and are heading out on a two month long tour this summer. The tour consist of ten Canadian dates with Pennsylvania band CKY as well as 27 shows across the U.S. with the heavy metal super group Adrenaline Mob.

The front man Dylan Villain says the band is eager to get on the road again after finishing a tour late last year.

“We’ve been around in Canada for a while now and we’ve definitely had success, and we have our fan base here.  Touring in the U.S. only started for us at the end of last year when we played there extensively back to back.” He said. “We definitely have American fans and they’re great to us and totally supportive, but it’s such a bigger landscape just geographically and there are so many more people there to reach, so it’s like starting all over again. We’re definitely not afraid of that, we’re hungry and we love to work, so we go at it hard and are really earning those fans every night.”

The Wild! Photo by Joelsview Photography.

The members of the band have been playing together for thirteen years, when Villain moved from Ontario to Kelowna, BC. The Wild!, as it is today, was born around five years ago.

“It’s truly an amazing feeling to be sitting here five years later, and going “wow, we’re still doing it and it’s still working”. For us, this is our job, and it’s amazing that we’re able to make it so. Me and the guys just love playing music, we love playing shows and we love being on the road.” Villain said.

When it comes to influences, Villain says he tends to move backwards in time when it comes to music he listens to. From the more bluesy artists, Howlin’ Wolf and T-Bone Walker to Stevie Ray Vaughan, to punk rock pioneers The Ramones and Sex Pistols, and rock bands such as The Rolling Stones to The Black Crows, he sticks to the records he loves that register with him.

For the new album, the band worked again with the Canadian producer Mike Fraser who has worked with bands such as AC/DC, Metallica, Aerosmith and Rush. The collaboration with Fraser started from Villain’s friendship with him, and Villain says working together with a friend on a project this scale is very special.

“We’ve been friends for a long time, since before the inception of the first record. We have a bond on a personal level so when get together in studio, that’s where the magic happens. He (Fraser) just knows where my ideas are going before I even get my words out.” Villain said.

According to him, the new record came from a place when The Wild! was gaining a lot of momentum after the release of their first album, and the band was super hungry to play everywhere and keep writing more music.

“Writing this record was definitely different than the first time. After the first record we had the top 5 singles and we were touring a lot and, and were in different instances of life in terms of our musical career.  We were playing a lot of shows, our songs were playing on the radio and we were gaining popularity.” He said. “I’m very proud of this record and when I listen to it, I can’t help but to remember the time it was all happening.  I just think it shows the term of age and time a bit, and there’s a lot of growth on this second record vs. the first one, which is a natural progression for sure. ”

The Wild! perform at John St. Pub in Arnprior, ON photo by Dave Di Ubaldo

So what does rock’n’roll mean to Villain?

“It’s more of a feeling and an attitude than a sound. There’s The Stones who are the epitome of rock’n’roll, The Beatles are rock’n’roll, Chuck Berry was rock’n’roll. And these are bands that on paper sound nothing like The Wild, but our band was always influenced by them.” he said. “AC/DC, Motorhead are rock’n’roll. Those bands are more geared to what we sound like, but what I’m trying to say is that it’s a very wide variety of things. It’s not something that can be classified in terms of necessarily a genre or a sound. It’s about the spirit inside you, of how it makes you feel, and your attitude, and that’s rock’n’roll.”

The Wild! plays at L’Anti in Quebec City on June 4, at Babylon in Ottawa on June 5th, and at Virgin Mobile Mod Club in Toronto on June 6. For more Canadian and U.S dates, visit The Wild! website here.

By Laura Collins.