[Altwire Interview] Jesse Taylor & Jesse Carmichael of Wildcat! Wildcat!

Wildcat! Wildcat! is currently working on new music since the release of their self titled album No Moon at All. The duo will be releasing each track individually for free over the course of 2016, starting with “Straight to the Top” which was released late January. Altwire had the chance to chat with the duo on how they were formed and their plans for the year.

Altwire [Danny Benavides]: Hey guys, how is going?!

Wildcat! Wildcat!: We are good, man. It’s hot out here!

AW: Oh haha, where are you at today?

WW: We are in downtown Los Angeles

AW: I’m in Austin, and surprisingly it’s not that hot here. 

WW: Oh nice.

AW: So going back to the beginning, how did you guys get together? 

WW: Well we actually grew up together. We grew outside Los Angeles and met in High School. We have known each other for a long time. We played in bands together all throughout high school, had different project with different artists and stuff. Doing this stuff for Wildcat started back in 2012, so we go pretty far back

AW: How did you come up with the name of Wildcat! Wildcat!?

WW: It’s actually a quote from The Royal Tenenbaums. Owen Wilson is being interviewed and rambles off and says Wildcat twice. It’s been a favorite movie of ours forever. With the list of names we came up with when we were joking around, that one kind of stuff. We do our own artwork and everything so once that got put into the imagery, releasing the songs and all, that was the name that best for us.

We had a buddy who had a music blog and he heard the very first version of the very first song we ever worked on, he was like “Hey I want to put this on my playlist for my blog but I got to be able to call it something.” We threw that name out there just to give him something and realized yeah, it’s pretty cool.

AW: A lot of the ways I discover new music is by going to local shows at events like SXSW, which is actually how I came across you guys. Back in 2013, I don’t remember who hosted the party but it was at Cedar Street Courtyard.

WW: Yeah, It was a Filter Party actually. That was a really fun one. We did like 12 shows that week.

AW: Any plans to come by again this year?

WW: Not this year, maybe next year. We definitely had a good time last time we were there. Maybe not play as many shows. Hopefully next year.

AW: You released “Straight to the Top” a couple of weeks ago. I noticed your planning to release each of the tracks individually, throughout the year. How did this idea come about?

WW: I think the decision to do that was based on how we were releasing music when we started. We just started releasing one song at a time and it allowed us to go through a process with the people who were listening and coming out to the shows. I feel like that feeling was a bit lost when all 10 songs came out at the same time. We take a long time to just write one song so it works for us before and it’s much more comfortable approaching it like that now.

AW: Any guest appearances or producers that you guys were able to work with for your new music this year?

WW: We are working with a Rand Jackson, from LA. He is from a band called the Daylights. He has been doing a bunch of writing and production stuff. He is a really good friend of our s and we like working with him. So we started putting together a bunch of songs and doing a bunch of our own production and threw it in a box and took it to him to tweak it and re-record stuff. A way to rethink a few things, a new perspective on it a little bit. It’s actually pretty cool.

AW: What has been some of your influences when making music?

WW: Which era of our lives, haha?

AW: Let’s say this year, or lately.

WW: I have been on a big hip hop kick for a while and the beats. We grew up listening to dark emotional pop that kind of finds itself in. We don’t really listen to music that much while we are writing. We stay removed from what is going on in the music world to keep things fresh and not let any outside influences come in. We find more influences in things that aren’t musical, relationships, things in our lives, city we live in, so yeah it’s pretty across the board.

AW: Since you guys are releasing the tracks individually, do you already have a schedule or a process of how you will be releasing the tracks for the rest of the year?

WW: The process dictates the timeline, but also the timeline helps us move more. There is a game plan of how we want to do this this year. We want to take this year to release the record and are working on instrumentals to release with each song.  As many as we can put out the better and by the end of the year it will be a record or double EP, I don’t know.

I think the concept behind doing this is to keep it fresh and in real-time. To work on something and put it out and get it to people sooner after we finish it and move on and treat every song like its own piece of art as oppose to hunker down to work for our record and not be able to release it 8 months later. We want to share it while we are still excited about it.

AW: I saw you guys also added “Straight to the Top” on Spotify as well, how do you guys feel about streaming services like Spotify?

WW: I really like them, I use Spotify pretty regularly. There are definitely arguments on both sides. There are pros and cons to it.

We still have our core fans that will buy a vinyl or t-shirt at shows or if they want a physical artifact or a piece of art to represent their excitement then they can still find that.

The streaming service makes a lot of sense, it takes a lot of time and money to be constantly up-to-date in new music. This makes it so much more accessible. I think for bands, you kind of have to adjust your mindset like “we are not going to be making tons off our music anymore.” It’s about getting music out and as many as you can and people involved and invested to coming to a show and that’s where you can really connect to them anyway.

There are so many bands that wouldn’t really have a fan base if it wasn’t for Spotify. Like Soundcloud is a huge one for us, it’s a place where we can put our music and fans can listen. Spotify is a little more artist tailored. You can’t really just upload the music yourself. These services and iTunes are radio take our music where we can’t.

AW: Awesome. Well I’m excited to see what you guys bring this year and next time you are in Austin, I’ll definitely come by. 

WW: Right on, man. thank you!


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