Wild Beasts & The Conundrums of Life
Six years and counting, Wild Beasts have paved a smooth path in the indie rock charts and with “Present Tense” really hit the nail. With the hints of pop, unearthed lyrics and a whole lot of synths we were excited to hear what they had to offer in their first time down to The Bee, Publika.
You could hear the maturity growth in their music through the albums leading up to their latest “Present Tense”, and we got the opportunity to have a sit down with Chris Talbot and Tom Fleming to hear more about how they’ve grown since their early years.
With the new addition of synths and hints of pop – what prompted the change from the album ‘Smother’ to ‘Present Tense’?
Tom: I guess it’s simply curiosity, natural curiosity. We listen to other people make more sounds and think, we want to do that. We didn’t necessarily know how to do them at that point of time, so what you hear on the record is essentially learning how to use them. It’s by no means an expert record, but just exploring new sounds and methods of composing. I guess it was what we felt like we wanted to do.
Chris: Time as well. Because we realised it’s about time to do things. I wouldn’t say that it’s a monotonous cycle to release, tour, record. But we were in that doldrum. So we wanted a little break from that touring lifestyle. It was the first time we had money in the bank to sit down for a year and go on and do our own creative thing.
Tom: I mean, playing shows are wonderful but ultimately what lasts are the things you make.
When you guys started off you had a rough concept of what you guys wanted Wild Beasts to
Tom: I would say what we want to be has changed, we’ve learnt more and things have changed.
Chris: You don’t want to second-guess yourself, having a grand plan and then stick to it. That won’t be terribly exciting. It’s going down the path of the unknown.
Wanderlust is a lyrically strong song in the album, seemingly dissing those who sell out. Would you guys say its better to stay true rather than to “sell out”?
Tom: Maybe not right now but at the time, it was a bit more aggression that was deliberate, to be a bit more swaggerey. We’ve been away for a little while and online casino we wanted to make something to announce that we were back. But I think it still feels current and what we’re doing now, but we’re starting to grow a bit more distance in those songs and thinking maybe we can do something else now.
Wanderlust itself connotes a longing for travel. After having successful tours around Europe and America, now even in Asia do you still long to be back in Kendall writing music? How does the inspiration differ?
Tom: I like travelling and I’ve learnt a lot about the world by travelling places but it also makes you think of your home in a different way, it’s like when you’re young your home is the world. But now i realize what a small little island Britain is and what a small town. There’s a small island culture, you see yourself refracted through other people’s eyes but it teaches you stuff.
Chris: I have friends back home who never leave the town, and they would get to go on holiday once in awhile. But they won’t get to go to exciting new places like KL. This is not really a holiday destination people will come to around the drop of the hat. To travel around Europe is like how you would travel around Asia, but crossing those boundaries is very different and it makes you think about home a little bit more but it’s a privilege to do it because we know not everyone can do it.
Having a broad variation in music, organizing material for a show could be a headache and you guys have performed in numerous festivals be it big or small. How would it differ, preparing for these two contrasts of shows?
Tom: Our albums and the things we write about are quite varied so there’s something to bring people on a route through. You have to be aware when you play in a big show it’s a different. It has to keep people’s attention. Whereas in a room like this, you’ve already got it. You bring people on a bit more of a different ride. You make sort of tiny sounds and people hear it.
What would self mean to you?
Tom: It’s a mistake to think of yourself as an island, you need to think of yourself. Picture this: there’s this line leading you from the first amphibian that crawled up the land, the first fish that crawled out of sea. There’s a link, from you, to that. So to think about self as a one being is ridiculous. It’ll be missing the big picture, missing the woods for the trees.
Chris: I think it’s an age thing, if we look back before the release of our first record, when we were in our early 20’s we were probably really selfish. You only start to get a notion of other people, respecting them and what they should be. It only comes with the process of growing up.
(Photos : Adeline H)