B&L: What animal do you associate yourself with (given our ties to oxen)?
Kinsey Lee:- Dolphin (because personality)
Sharon Sadie Silva:- Cocker spaniel (because the ears)
Mack Howe: – Snake / Chihuahua in a dress (because connectedness and being a Taurus)
B&L: Why music? Why do you seek it? Why do you create it? How’d it come calling to you?
Silva: I loved singing at an early age and wrote short songs to myself in my grandma’s garden. My mom used the play the piano and my sister and I would run and dance around the living room- music has always given me a surplus of energy… I’m so stoked I get to finally put it all somewhere.
No other art form ever called to me as strongly as music – the expression feels infinite to me.
B&L: What’s the making of a great show?
Silva: The performers believing what they’re saying and playing. You can spot the difference. You can’t always feel it 100% every night, but that’s where the good vibes from the crowd come in handy— so much so that they can save the show if you as the performer are having a rocky night. Also, we just started working with our own sound engineer and honestly it’s done wonders for us.
“One great rock show can change the world” -Jack Black (School of Rock)
B&L: Is it weird to step foot onstage and play to a room full of (mostly) strangers? Or, does that add fuel to the whole shebang?
Silva: Honestly I think it mostly adds fuel because if they aren’t paying attention or are cold, we tend to want to reel them in. If they’re loving it, we also want to play that much harder. Only thing that’s a bummer is when people get too drunk and therefore too loud. Even when they’re excited it can affect the atmosphere for other fans and I hate to see anybody bummed out out there.
B&L: Let’s talk about your brand spanking new record, “Cheers.” What sort of goals you had for yourself when you set out to make this record?
Silva: We wanted to attempt to capture the energy we have from our live shows, so we ended up tracking a lot of songs mostly live. We also wanted to further dip into our own individual creativity on each song- we didn’t want to limit ourselves like we have in times past. We said “yes” more often than “no.” I feel like we tried it all. We experimented more than ever before. I think it ended up with a lot more heart than our past records, and provides a deeper look into the vast dynamic that ebbs and flows in our live performances.
B&L: The record has been out for a month now. How’s the reception been? What excites you about having it out there in the wild for the masses to consume?
Silva: It’s been great. It’s really hard to tell how it’s doing when you’re in the thing. People know the words to the new tunes at the shows so that’s got to mean something good!
It feels great having it out there because it took so much hard work. We all really sacrificed for it and put our T-L-C into it. We tried to focus on every last detail, and that takes a great deal of time and energy. Our entire team at Lucy’s Meat Market and the Panoramic House did as well. That being said, we wound up with what we agree is our best work yet!
B&L: Is songwriting an easy or arduous process for the band? How does it all unfold? Do the words come first, or a riff/melody?
Silva: Depends on the song, sometimes it takes months to chip away at it arrangement wise. Even lyrically with this last record we probably spent the most time we ever have adjusting and tweaking bits here and there. We came up with a lot of riff’s and lead lines in the studio tracking live too. Often times the initial line and melody come at the same time for me, but it’s different for all of us. You just have to follow it when you get the itch.
B&L: What’s the importance of vocal harmonies? They run rampant in The Wild Reeds. What do appreciate about utilizing the power of voice as an instrument? Who all were your influences in this realm of your music?
Silva: Harmony fills out the kind of folk-based some that we right, and we super benefit from them in some of the more rock stuff we play. It’s just like playing a full chord on the piano or guitar – when we are sing the three notes it opens up the song in what feels like a giant way.
As far as influences go it’s a super mixed bag. I super dig Carter family harmonies and old traditional American folk tunes. Kinsey and I listened to a ton of The Boswell Sisters and it opened us up to complex parts, though sometimes nothing beats the basic stuff. Crosby Stills Nash and Young, The Mamas and the Papas, ABBA. Being able to blend voices is such a thrill for me, and with us you can still pick out who’s who for the most part actually- it’s because we aren’t related! Honestly though just the extra support that you feel when someone harmonizes with you on a song is like nothing else.
B&L: What’s one tune (or, heck, a couple) that exists out there in the ether that blows you away that you kind of wish you had written yourself?
Silva: “No One to Blame” by Villagers, “What Peace” by Deep Pools, and/or “If It Makes You Happy” by Sheryl Crow.
B&L: What can folks expect when they come out to see you perform at the Stone Church on April 13th?
B&L: Do you all enjoy the road? Who controls the soundtrack in the van?
Silva: We’re enjoying it especially right now because we haven’t been on tour in what feels like forever! Hardest part is different for everyone, I know the girls and I hate it when our legs fall asleep… oh and no privacy.
When it comes to choosing tunes it’s usually up to the driver and co-pilot, but every once in a while the back bench yells a request. Last time it was Lou Bega’s “Mambo No. 5”.
B&L: Question number 12. If you could have a dozen of anything, what would that dozen of something be?
Silva: Kombucha? Geez, how do we answer that? Rolls of toilet paper? 60s Fender off-set guitars? Everything feels greedy. Fresh socks for the band.
Presented in unison with T-Law & Associates, The Wild Reeds will celebrate the release of “Cheers” at the Stone Church on Saturday, April 13th. For more information click here (but note, the show is SOLD OUT).