THE WILD! – Wild At Heart Track By Track Breakdown With Dylan Villain, Producer Mike Fraser

March 6, 2017, 22 days ago

Aaron Small

feature hard rock the wild!

THE WILD! – Wild At Heart Track By Track Breakdown With Dylan Villain, Producer Mike Fraser

And in this corner, hailing from Kelowna, British Columbia, signed to eOne Music, purveyors of ass-kicking, soon to be award winning rock ‘n roll are The Wild! Vocalist Dylan Villain, along with producer Mike Fraser (AC/DC, Aerosmith, Airbourne, Metallica) provide BraveWords with an exclusive track by track analysis of the brand new album, Wild At Heart. 

“Ready To Roll”
 
Dylan: “That one has always been a call to arms to everybody involved, be it the fans, the band, any bands that are on the road with us. It’s my way of encompassing everybody altogether. You work that 9 to 5 everyday, or you’re in a band making countless sacrifices just to keep it going; you’ve always got to be down to do whatever it takes.”
 
Mike: “Dylan and I did the GxDxWxB EP together and had such a good time doing that. When we started gathering songs for the Wild At Heart album, one of the catch phrases that came out of it was, we’re almost ready to roll.”
 
“Livin’ Free”          
 
Dylan: “This song is one of my favourite songs lyrically that I’ve written. You get to this point in your late 20s or early 30s where your priorities and lifestyle start changing. At some point you’re looking at it thinking, I had a heyday. But you reach that moment many times again, where you feel youthful and carefree. When I was writing the lyrics, I was thinking about when I was in my teens and I didn’t give a shit about anything. A small town in the middle of nowhere – all we used to do was go in the bush and get fucked up or go fishing. We didn’t care about school, jobs, or money. It was an absolute feeling of personal freedom. I remember looking back at that and thinking, that was an amazing time to be alive. When I wrote the chorus, I knew immediately that (bassist) Boozus was going to sing that one, and he absolutely knocked it out of the park on that track.”
 
“White Devil”
 
Dylan: “Whether it’s cocaine, heroin, meth or anything like that… those drugs have a habit of taking your soul away. I’ve seen that firsthand in people very close to me. By no means is it an anti-drug song in any way, shape or form. It’s a tale of experience and a look into things a lot of people have went through. Without question, that’s my favourite song on the record. I’m so pleased with the way it turned out.”
 
Mike: “I really liked the fact that it could mean a lot of different things. You put it out to your audience and they may relate to it in a different way. I love songs like that because the fans can make it their own.”
 
“Another Bottle”
 
Dylan: “I don’t know how many times we’ve been out with Buckcherry… we’ve toured with them a lot and we’re quite close with those guys. Keith (Nelson, guitarist) and I were hanging out one day, he’s got this great ’57 Junior (Les Paul) that’s one of his signature guitars. I asked him what tuning it was in? He said, ‘Open G’. We’re both huge Stones fans so we started talking about Keith Richards, and I was playing Keith Nelson’s guitar. When we got home from that tour, I tuned a couple of my guitars to Open G, started messing around, and that was one of the first riffs I wrote. I recorded it on my phone and sent it to Mike.”
 
Mike: “Yeah, I remember at the end of the EP telling Dylan to fuck around with different tunings and explaining to him how (Led Zeppelin guitarist) Jimmy Page fucks around with them and tries a lot of things. That riff is awesome!”
 
“Best In The West”
 
Dylan: “That was a cool one. I had that song written for quite a long time; way before The Wild! was even a band. It was so refreshing to take an old song I’d lived with for so long and really breathe some new life into it. That’s where Mike’s expertise really shined. I didn’t even really know what to do with it, but we played it and Mike wanted to work on it. So we dove into it and it became what it is today. Since we released it as a grat track for fans, I’ve fallen in love with it all over again. It’s so indicative of the band.”
 
Mike: “It’s really a team effort, we bounce things back and forth all the time; we make it happen together.”
 

 
“Six Hundred Sixty Six”
 
Dylan: “I was so stoked on that song. I sent Mike the riff, but you’ve got to imagine the main riff of the song on an acoustic guitar with no drums, no vocals. He replies, ‘I don’t know dude?’ Really there’s nothing to it; it’s two chords. When we got that song down in pre-production, it was an immediate yes from everybody across the board. I remember Mike saying, ‘That’s a fucking Wild! song.’ It’s got that thing we do – a lot of punk, rockabilly, sort of a western shuffle.”
 
Mike: “I love the rockabilly thing too. (Drummer) Reese Lightning made this song happen, just the groove he got going.”
 
“Rattlesnake Shake”
 
Dylan: “It’s a burner. Before I even sang it, we all knew it had this real Motörhead thing happening. Lemmy had already passed at that time, so that was a big thing in the studio, with all of us being such Motörhead fans and Mike knowing Lemmy. We had to do it justice! And last minute, even outside of pre-production, we changed up the bass lines for it. That song is a fucking ripper!”
 
Mike: “This was a real tough drumming song too. It’s so full on! It sounds simple, but you sit down and try to play it, it’s a real mind fuck. I wouldn’t say it was a struggle, but this one we had to work hard to get it right.”
 
“Run Home”
 
Dylan: “‘Run Home’ was a really hard song to write, and track as well. I was going through some things in my personal life with a previous relationship that I needed to get out of me. The only way to do it was that way. I wrote it, I wrote it again, and I wrote it again, finally got it to where it was. To sing it was a fucking battle. I had to get the voice right, the delivery right, there were a lot of different takes with different approaches to it. I remember when we got it, I had to really lay back and not push at all; just let my voice come out of me. I let all the emotion I was feeling do what it was doing to me, and there’s a few moments in the song where you can really hear that. It’s a simple song – there’s a lot happening but there’s also not a lot happening. Because of that, when you have those moments that rely on dynamic and velocity, you’ve got to get it. You can’t punch it, you can’t fake it, you can’t fix it, you just have to do it.”
 
Mike: “There’s no big guitar wall hiding things. Because it was so emotional for Dylan lyrically, I had to be more of his support and say, ‘Ok dude, whatever’s in your head, let’s get it out and get it right.’ I couldn’t help him along in too many areas because it was so emotional and deep to him.”
 
“Down At The Bottom”
 
Dylan: “It’s got a punk ethic, but definitely not a punk sound; it’s slow and groovy. ‘Deuces’ from the first EP is kind of on the same vibe. It’s got a real Zeppelin thing in the main riff, and the lyrics go back to a very, very small town I grew up in. What I was trying to capture with that… growing up, I always felt very trapped. There was so much going on in my head and in my heart, but not a lot happening in my surroundings. I was hit with a lot of hard times, it felt very much like the gutter. With all those bad times, there was also some amazing times in that small, little town. The relationships and the memories… I found myself after changing so much in life – where I lived, not as a person – becoming a musician, getting to live my dream touring with some of my idols, making records. I have a lot of the things I wanted, but I was missing some of the things from that small town.”
 
“Kansas City Shuffle”
 
Dylan: “That was a fun one! That’s very much a Wild! song. It’s got the rockabilly moments; it’s got the punk rock moments; it’s got the rock ‘n roll thing as a whole. I love the shuffle double-kick that Reese did on it; that really put it over the top for me. And we made the bass match that. I don’t want to throw comparisons around, but it’s got this Alex Van Halen thing going on. To me, it was obvious that one was going to end the record because it has that big stadium style ending.”
 
Mike: “This whole record, after doing the EP, Dylan and I planned… the record had to be the EP on steroids. It’s still got to be The Wild! We can explore other things, but there’s got to be a key thread in here. We managed to do what we set out to do, and fans are going to love it!”

 
Visit thewildrocknroll.com for further details.
 

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