If you’ve never heard of the L.A. three-piece Wildcat! Wildcat!, don’t fret: They haven’t officially released an album yet. But with an EP coming out this summer, and their full-length debut not far behind that, it’s sure you will very soon.
Even though the band has been together less than 18 months, childhood friends Jesse Taylor, Michael Wilson and Jesse Carmichael have been on the fast track to success lately. From a guest spot with Dirty Projectors to an opening slot on recent tours with Portugal. The Man and Alt-J, the psych-pop trio is quickly making a name for themselves.
SoundDiego recently spoke with Taylor, the band's singer, about everything from WildCat! Wildcat!’s success to what the future holds.
Scott McDonald: How are you?
Jesse Taylor: Great man, thanks.
SM: Things seems to be moving pretty quickly for you guys.
JT: Absolutely. There are moments when it seems like it’s moving super fast, and then there are moments when it doesn’t. We just can’t wait to get our music out there. It’s been great to have all of these recent shows where people can experience it live, but it will be great to get the recordings out.
SM: I hate to use the word lucky, but that seems appropriate.
JT: We are extremely fortunate to be in this position. And the three of us have known each other forever, so that makes it fun. Not a lot of people get to work so closely on something with their best friends.
SM: Did you know way back in junior high you wanted to do this together?
JT: Not really. Me and the other Jesse had played in bands together for a long time, but the three of us didn’t really start doing this until recently. And we didn’t even really intend to make it a band at the start -- we were just making music. Then we got thrown into playing shows, and people kept coming. We never planned it, but now we’re ready to keep it going.
SM: If you have so many songs, why are you putting the EP out first?
JT: The process of getting all of the songs we have ready for a full-length would just take too much time. And we’re looking at late fall or early winter for that, but we just wanted to get something out now.
SM: Has being on these bigger tours lately changed your perspective?
JT: I think a year ago playing to these crowds would have scared the s--- out of us. But you go on the road with these bigger bands, and you start to get really comfortable. And we really do love playing in the clubs. And now, it’s also giving us a chance to get back to playing our own shows, and that’s something we haven’t done in a while, as we’ve been an opening act. But San Diego, San Francisco and L.A. are our favorite places to play. We love San Diego. It’s just insane down there. There are just so many people there who give it back.
SM: Everyone loves a trio.
JT: We actually have a fourth guy that plays with us live. And he’s a really good friend as well. But we feel like you have to be a fully functioning company when you start out. You have to be ready to do your own artwork, figure out all of your own production and find ways to distribute the music on your own. So it’s great when everyone can come in and fulfill a role.
SM: Well, seems like so far, so good.
JT: It’s beyond anything we expected. It’s special. Whatever this position is, there are not a lot of people who get to be in it. But there are no guarantees. You have to keep working and carving out exactly what it is that we do.
SM: Have the songs changed by playing them out so much?
JT: We just sit for hours and days, and play melody after melody. But there are nuances to it when it’s live that can’t be ignored. You just try to breathe life into the recordings, and you try to breathe life into the live shows. There are a lot of things that we have control over and things we don’t. We just have to keep our work ethic and keep on the journey. But this new EP is the first step.
SM: What’s been the thing pushing you the most?
JT: From Day 1, we’ve just had so much support. But, to me, that also means that they like the music. And it reminds us that it does take a village, because there are so many people who made this band theirs from the very first show. It’s really cool to watch people experience it and then share that with us as we’re experiencing it. It’s been really cool so far.
Blogger Scott McDonald covers music in San Diego for a few different publications and is the editor of Eight24.com