With the festival season well and truly underway in the northern hemisphere, we sent our New York based (Australian bred) reporter Emma Meres to Chicago to the Pitchfork Music Festival. In the process she caught up with Wild Nothing to talk about Bloomin’ Onions and the band’s rise to fame over the past year.
Portable: So when are you touring to Australia?
Jack: We’re trying to get there this year actually. We’ve been touring a lot in the US and Europe this past year but we’re hoping to go over for the summer season in Australia. It’s definitely a priority for us, as we haven’t been yet and we all really want to.
Portable: Well you definitely have a massive following there. We discovered you guys last summer and when we listen to Gemini (2010) now, it definitely has that summery, nostalgic element to it. Tell us a bit about what influences your song writing?
Jack: I started writing the songs that ended up on the album [Gemini] almost about two years ago now. I was writing it all myself, so it was kind of like a personal hobby, a pet project. I had all these ideas and I’d played in a couple of bands before and I’d been writing music since I was younger, so I just started this project and called it Wild Nothing. I started writing classic indie-pop songs and going back to these bands that I love, like The Smiths and The Cure and a lot of shoe gaze stuff as well. So it was a very personal project that became a public thing afterwards.
Portable: And so you [Jack] grew up in Virginia, where are you all based now?
Jack: We’re kinda all over now, Mike and I live in Savannah, but our guitarist lives in Athens, Georgia and our bassist lives in Virginia. So yeah, we’re kinda one of those rare bands that are split up and come together to tour.
Portable: And do you follow any Australian bands?
Mike: When I was younger, I used to really love The Living End.
Portable: They must have played at every Australian festival I went to in my teens.
Jack: Not so much current bands for me, but The Go-Betweens are one of my favourite bands of all-time. Also The Church, they’re from Australia right (Google search to validate) — yes.
Portable: And do you have any stereotypical slang you’d like to amuse our Aussie readers with?
Mike: Do you know about Outback Steakhouse?
Portable: No. What is that?
Mike: It’s an American chain. You have Bloomin’ Onions, which are fried onions and Shrimp on the Barbie. They play Waltzing Matilda and have boomerangs and Alligators everywhere — you really need to look at this.
Portable: I’ll look into it. So, what’s next on the radar for you guys?
Jack: We’re going back to Europe in late August and September and then we’re taking a bit of hiatus in terms of playing live and trying to get more music out there.
Portable: And who’s producing your new stuff?
Jack: I’ve been doing a lot of it on my own again, but I’ll work with someone in a studio this time round because we’ve got more room to work with in terms of what we can do. But nothing is really planned yet, we’re still talking to a lot of people about trying to figure out what the best fit’s going to be.
Portable: And do you do many remixes of other artist’s work — by the way, I was disappointed you guys didn’t do your Kate Bush, ‘Cloudbusting’ cover.
Jack: Sorry. I made that by myself, a really long time ago. People from time to time ask me that and I’m like, man, I made that four years ago. It’s definitely a good song though. Other than that, we did a cover of The Wake, I did a Morning Benders remix not too long ago. But we don’t do a lot of that stuff.
Portable: Well thank you for taking the time to chat with us. Our Australian fans will look forward to seeing you guys soon hopefully.
Jack: Thank you.