San Diego

Mean Jeans Unravel the Mystery of Jeans Wilder

Two Andrews, two Jeans Wilders and both have San Diego origins

Sometimes, you stumble upon a mystery you didn’t even know existed, replete with pseudonyms, doppelgangers and uncanny coincidence. 

So let's start from the top. In 2007, Andrew Caddick, former Fantastic Magic member (featuring Wavves' Nathan Williams), launched the project Jeans Wilder.

According to a San Diego Reader article, Caddick chose the name because, “It’s jeans. Pants. Pants Wilder. I used to toss around band names all the time, and I could never settle on one. I was starting and stopping projects every two weeks with a different band name.”

Jeans would quickly go on to become one of San Diego's better verby beach bum pop acts, earning an admirable, though not spectacular, 6.3 rating from Pitchfork for his album "Totally." 

Fast forward seven years and Jeans Wilder was all but lost in the sands of time, as Caddick had moved on to focus on Spirit Club, his new collaboration with Williams. 

Suffice it to say, I found it rather curious to discover that Jeans Wilder was suddenly playing in a Portland band called Mean Jeans. Naturally, I emailed them, asking if I could speak to Andrew -- a long shot, but a fruitful one, it turned out.

"Hey there, Andrew here," I received in response shortly thereafter. Was it possible that Caddick had a party-punk band in Oregon also?

Once I got Jeans Wilder on the phone, we started talking about San Diego, about how he spends his holidays there with this parents when he's not sopping wet from the Portland rain. 

Then, he started talking about Washington, D.C., and his days as a pizza delivery guy. At this point, my curiosity was sufficiently piqued. If this wasn't THE Jeans Wilder, then who was it?

Not until halfway through our conversation did we both realize the monumental coincidence we had both stumbled upon. Two Andrews, two Jeans Wilders and both of them had San Diego origins. 

According to the Mean Jeans Jeans Wilder, "First of all, I look like Gene Wilder, which is not a good thing ... He [Caddick] ripped off the name, and it's not even that good of a name."

(I should note that much of the banter in our conversation was largely made in jest and Portland's Jeans Wilder doesn't hold any actual resentment toward Caddick; he was as interested in unraveling the mystery as I was, considering it's been his pseudonym since he was a kid.)

Fortunately, it's never really caused a problem for the drummer and vocalist of Mean Jeans ... But, there was that one time Mean Jeans played a show with Best Coast, who had a split 7-inch out with Caddick's Jeans Wilder at the time. Talk about a confusing time at the merch table.

At least with Caddick onto different things now, there's only one Jeans Wilder.

Mean Jeans headline Tower Bar on Thursday, Jan. 18. Get tickets here.

Rutger Rosenborg was almost a Stanford poet-neuroscientist before he formed Ed Ghost Tucker. Whoops. He now fronts the Lulls and makes music on his own when he's not writing. Follow his updates on Instagram and Twitter (@RArosenborg), add him on Facebook or contact him directly.

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