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What I Learned at Bandcamp: Wild Child, Whiskey Shivers

Whiskey Shivers, Bandcamp, Wild Child, Interview

In 2013, Texas-based  Whiskey Shivers was named “Best Austin Band” and Wild Child was named “Best New Indie and Folk Artist” by The Austin Chronicle.

Both bands put modern twists on classic folk music and will play together at Scottsdale‘s Pub Rock Live  on Aug. 1 with locals Mr. Mudd and Mr. Gold and Dusty Drennen.

The Spec interviewed vocalist/guitarist Horti from Whiskey Shivers and lead vocalist Alexander Beggins from Wild Child about their band’s beginnings and plans for the future, read what each had to say below…

How long have you been making music?
Wild Child: I’ve been playing in bands in Houston since I was about 14. Kelsey [Wilson] has been playing fiddle since she was a kid. She only recently started singing when we started Wild Child in 2010.

Whiskey Shivers: The band itself has been together around four years. Individually, it varies, but we all started young, all before teenage years. None of us originally played the instruments we play now, and none of us started out to be in a bluegrass band either.

I played drums originally, when I was about 8, and picked up guitar at 13. Like most of the band, I played rock, punk, some funk, metal, pop, alternative, grunge, just whatever came up. Actually, country was the last thing I wanted to be involved in; growing up in southeast Kentucky, bluegrass and country were always pretty lame in my eyes. It wasn’t until I grew up and moved out that I realized how shred nasty some of those dudes really were underneath their polished exterior.

How did you guys meet and form the band?
Wild Child: Kelsey, Carey [McGraw] and I were back-up musicians for a Danish band call The Migrant. We started writing songs together in the back of the van on that first Migrant tour. My cousin Evan Magers heard the first Wild Child demos and started putting together some piano parts. Then he came down to Austin and we rented a house and recorded Pillow Talk. The band kind of formed around the record. We brought in our friend’s little sister Sadie Wolfe to play cello and our friend Chris D’Annunzio to play bass, and that’s WILD CHILD!!

Whiskey Shivers: I met Bobby, Andrew, and Evan (our original banjist) at a party November 2010. Their guitarist had moved away that morning, actually, and I stepped in to jam with them. Bob and Andy met on Craigslist in mid 2009. Evan and Joe were both intermittent members, with James stepping in on banjo every so often. The lineup today was finally solidified in October 2012, with commemorative matching tattoos.

Who/what are your influences?
Wild Child: We all have a lot of different influences, too many to name!

Whiskey Shivers: Damn, that’s tough. Today, it’s important to be well versed as a musician. Especially in the young Austin scene. My first influences were drummers like Mitch Mitchell, John Bonham, Chad Smith, The Brain, but also the classic rock guitarists, the slap bassists, rappers like Thalib Kweli who have a smooth steady flow. I’m also into singer/songwriters like Sam Beam, as well as plenty of bluegrass. Clarence White, to me is the coolest flatpicker ever. Umm, plenty of vocalists too. Sam Cooke. I’ve a strong affinity for Spanish music, and jazz too. Too many to name, unless you want an early 2000s MySpace-esq “my favorite music” section of a budding emo-hipster who lists everything. ‘Cause I can do that.

Upcoming projects, where do you want to go from here?
Wild Child: Our new record The Runaround comes out Oct. 8! We are super excited. We are going to be touring most of the rest of the year to support the record, then who knows? We are working on a musical, then maybe Europe!

Whiskey Shivers: I take Shivers pretty seriously, and right now we’re focusing on writing a new album, as well as figuring out which old standards we want to put our spin on. That’s part of the bluegrass tradition, after all. Otherwise, I just plan to jam around town with other musicians, but not have anything too serious. Just have the opportunities to spread my wings, and really feel out the art.

What inspires your music?
Wild Child: Love, life, the smallest thing and the biggest heartbreak.

Whiskey Shivers: Everything! Relationships, friends, jokes, movies, books, other bands, family, personal conflicts of right verse wrong, the news, academic discourse, etc.

What musicians or bands do you look up to?
Wild Child: Head and the Heart, Shovels and Rope are a couple of national acts. We love so many of the other bands from Austin, Shakey Graves, Holiday Mountain, Whiskey Shivers (of course).

Whiskey Shivers: I’d have to say, off the bat, Old Crow is a big influence. They’ve been around for over a decade now, but back when I first heard them, they were still a pretty fresh band, scraping to break into the scene like we are now. I’m inspired by a lot of local musicians too. Austin is full of fresh ideas and young energetic performers, as well as seasoned veterans who know the craft well.

Why do you make music?
Wild Child: Because it’s the only way to live.

Whiskey Shivers: I think I have to! It’s what I’ve wanted to do since I was a kid. Now that we have this great opportunity to keep growing, there’s really no reason to stop. It’s so easy to grow tired of music, because I think about it constantly, and work on it a lot, but the truth is, it’s shaped my life since I was very young. When you experience a good song that really captures you, or see a great live performance, there’s really no other art that communicates to me so much as that.

Anything else you’d like readers to know that we haven’t asked you about?
Wild Child: We can’t wait to be in Scottsdale!!

Whiskey Shivers: Look out for us on tour! We’ll be doing it a lot more as time goes on!

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