The Wild Reeds at Outside Lands (Interview)

IMG_8889Indie rock folksters The Wild Reeds recently performed at Outside Lands.

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And photographer Matt Benton caught up with the band to shoot some pics and ask co-frontwoman Sharon Silva some questions.

As a band from California, what does performing at Outside Lands mean to you?

“It’s been a really cool opportunity to play and to see other friends play along side us –old and new– at the festival. We love playing in San Francisco in general so it was really neat to join in on a big time festival like Outside Lands. It is certainly an adventure. And the folks over at Camp Grounded made for a great time. We hope to join the ranks next year as well.”

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What do you always want your audience to take away from your set?

“Whenever we attend a live show, we want to feel the emotion coming off of the stage. When we play a show, we want to give the same feeling. We want the audience to feel the energy that we give off and to feed off of it. We love it when show-goers come up afterwards and tell us how much of an impression was left by our lyrics. It means a lot to know that people can relate to what we write. We hope that people can take away some inspiration in some form whether it be a nostalgic feeling of warmth or a hopeful feeling of connectedness and promotion of honesty. My favorite that I’ve been told is that they feel ‘home’ when they listen. That is too incredible and gives me chills.”

Why is three the magic number for harmonies?

“Three is a number of completion. And when it comes to harmonies it feels the fullest when it comes to our style of music. We all admit –including the Nicks– that it’s hard to imagine let alone sing along to a song without a harmony. Though it’s an odd number, it’s a wonderful balance, especially when we have one person on lead and the others adding the correct beauty and padding that is needed. For more information, I do strongly suggest watching the Schoolhouse Rock video –I definitely just watched it on YouTube and it’s still amazing.”

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Now that you’re officially a quintet, how has your sound evolved?

“Our songs have reached a higher potential now. And we can let ourselves get into the music a little more now that we have an additional backbone to the group with a rhythm section. We still enjoy performing as a three-piece and doing acoustic songs, but there are some newer and extremely emotional and anthem-like songs we’ve been starting to perform and it’s been really nice to make the sound louder and to cater to the dramatics of them. It’s always been about what’s true to the song and catering to its needs so it totally depends on the overall vibe. We’re able to reach into a wider variety of genres now, some more with a rock edge, while still maintaining our harmony-driven folk heart.”

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Where does the title of your latest album, Blind and Brave, come from?

“Our title track seemed to encompass the album being that the songs were commonly ‘coming of age’ stories and experiences. Our title track is about determination, encouragement, and knowledge. Though the word ‘blind’ has a weak connotation, in this case we use it as positive one. When you’re young you often have no idea what’s coming around the corner or where to go to find yourself in a new place, but that’s part of what’s beautiful is not knowing. You know?”

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How did you meet and recruit the album’s producer: Raymond Richards?

“We met him through a mutual friend who saw us perform at The Satellite in Silver Lake a few years ago. We had been looking for a producer and we hit it off with him. It was a great time making the record. It was like a memorable summer camp.”

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What can you tell us about your next release?

“We have a fair amount of new songs to choose from for this new release. It’s just a matter of organizing them now. We have recorded some tracks but we’re still very much in the beginning stages. We are hopeful to pick up the pace with recording but these things take time so we’re trying to be patient while sitting on this mound of new material. We’ve been able to perform many of our new songs in the past couple of tours so as we steadily release new material live we hope that the release will not be too far off. However, we do not have a release date yet or a title. I wouldn’t say that we necessarily have a ‘new’ sound, but we have definitely freed ourselves to tap into a few different genres. You’ll see!”

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