Jumping the Family Wagon

Local hard rock quintet Family Wagon announce a big change

Move over, Family Wagon -- some wild, young bucks are set to take your place.

In a surprising move, the local hard rock quintet announced Thursday that they officially changed their name in anticipation of a forthcoming EP. Out with the old and in with the new: Family Wagon is now the Young Wild -- and they’ll be unleashing a fresh musical direction on fans and strangers alike when they play their first show under their newly minted moniker Thursday, July 17, at Bang Bang downtown.
"I think [the name] suits us better, to be honest," bassist Gareth Moore explained. "We’ve grown up a little. Our tastes have evolved a bit; we’ve added more synth -- we’re not a dance rock band by any means -- but [the new EP] reminds me a little bit of the Killers and Arcade Fire. It’s got a more 'modern' sound to it. Our style’s changed quite a bit since we first started. We’re not the straightforward rock & roll band that we used to be."
In March 2013, the band (which is comprised of Moore, vocalist Calen Lucas, guitarist Bryan Bangerter, drummer Brandon Zedaker and keyboardist Jarel Paguio) took to Kickstarter to fund the recording, tour and promotion of a new record. Their fans responded fiercely, reaching the campaign goal quickly and eventually raising $14,000. The band finished recording the currently untitled five-song EP, but even with the funds, Moore admitted, they still went over budget.
"Expensewise, we went a few thousand dollars over," Moore said. "I’d be selling my unborn children at this point, if we tried to record another six songs to make a whole full-length [laughs]. The reason it cost more than we thought is 'cause it's radio quality -- you can literally put this up against anything on the radio and it'll be just as good."
And lest you were afraid you'd be kept in the dark, the group just released its debut single as the Young Wild -- the catchy, choir-led "Moment Goes" (which you can listen to and watch here). As  Moore pointed out, the sound is distinctly different from Family Wagon’s prior efforts. If this single is any indication, their blues-based, rock chargers have been replaced by a smoother, pop-centric sound similar in style to chart topping acts like Foster the People and Imagine Dragons.
"The new stuff stands on its own really well," Moore said. "We really feel like it's just good music. I think it’s the best material we've ever put down. It's more intricate; there’s still a simplicity to it -- and it's taken us some time, but we're writing better songs now. It's been a long battle, but we’ve finally found a combination that works, and it seems to be received really well by the people who've heard it."
According to Moore, we’ll have to sit tight a few more months for the official EP release: "It'll come out late September, early October. It's also contingent on when all of us can hit the road for a little bit. I'm excited to start playing again -- I'm excited about the prospects that could happen with it. We've got a really cool team and a lot of ambition, and I think we can turn this into something that's quite a bit bigger than it is right now."
The Young Wild perform their forthcoming EP in its entirety, along with several other brand new songs, at Bang Bang on July 17. The show is 21+ and entry is free.

Dustin Lothspeich plays in Old Tiger, Chess Wars and Boy King. Follow his updates on Twitter or contact him directly.

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