The Kaje talks Kendal Calling to Wild Beasts

Wild BeastsWith a jam packed touring schedule, Wild Beasts have recently been heard from Istanbul to Stockholm and will be heading for the USA in early August. However in the midst of this tour they shall be taking the time out to perform in their home town of Kendal in the Lake District to perform at Kendal Calling, and here at The Kaje we have been lucky enough to grab a quick chat with the band…

What was the very first gig you ever went to? Describe it.

I remember distinctly watching my Dad conduct a women’s choir in Norfolk, I think it was a mix of devotional songs (if Methodist songs are called that) and light musical songs and the like. I think I loved to see a song being pulled out of thin air like that.

What are you listening to at the moment?

This second, Atelecine, the synth/industrial band, featuring the porn actress Sasha Grey. That’s more out of curiosity though. More regularly, Oneohtrix Point Never, Swans “Soundtracks for the Blind”, Scarface, DJ Screw, Guy Clark, This Heat, some of our new song sketches.

Who inspires you?

I have some wonderful friends who I call on often. I’m a huge fan of Michael Gira, Joanna Newsom, Madlib and Kate Bush. I love Clarice Lispector, Helene Cixous and William Carlos Williams. I like Darren Waterstons paintings of landscapes that aren’t there. Andres Iniesta and Xavi Hernandez. I love Morton Feldman’s piano music and I LOVE the sound of a big, romantic synth pad.

Do you prefer being on the road on tour performing your songs or being in the studio writing and recording new tracks?

It’s difficult – I, like all of us, would wither and die unless we played our music in front of people regularly, but working in private is our lifeblood. I think playing music live gives us the energy and impetus we need to make new music appear.

What’s your favourite Wild Beasts song to play live and why?

I like playing “Hooting and Howling”, because I love to play the piano.

Do you ever play any covers?

No, but we might.

Do you have a ‘typical fan’? Do you notice a trend in types of people that come to see you live?

Honestly, no. I’ve tried to make sense of it and can’t. One of my favourite things about playing a show is that you’re really playing lots of individual shows, and that each person has their own relationship to you and their own reasons for being there. I hope it’s a good sign that I can’t pick a certain type.

What can you tell me about your instrument/s? Are you subject to brand loyalty or will you play with whatever’s available? What made you choose the instruments you have now?

It’s not really brand loyalty, more personal preference, and we share instruments a lot. I have a modified Fender tele thing, and a 50’s Hofner made of plywood. Benny is pretty much devoted to his pink Burns guitars, whereas Hayden likes his new Rickenbacker very much. We use a Fender Twin and a Roland Jazz Chorus because they’re very loud and very clean. For bass, nothing beats a Precision bass and a big Ampeg. Our “synth” cost £50, and Chris has just got a lovely Gretsch kit that he can batter. It’s been a long, aggregative process, and we’ve just had to overhaul everything. It really is a toss up between what we can afford, how we want to sound, and how much of a beating it can all take. I don’t know who professional-standard equipment is for, because musicians can’t afford it.

What’s been the most memorable experience or highlight as a band so far?

I have enjoyed reading the reception of our albums very much. I enjoyed my first visit to both SXSW and New York, playing in Kendal, a particular show at the Brudenell Social in Leeds, Primavera, and our 3 months in Malmo.

What are the Wild Beasts’ plans for the rest of 2010?

No rest for the wicked. Touring until mid-September, than into recording another album.

Any final words for your fans?

May all of your dreams come true.



  1. this post is very usefull thx!

    • glad you found useful. hope you have seen all our other Kendal Calling interviews 🙂

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