A little bit of "growing up" between its two albums has changed The Wild's tact, according to frontman Witt Wisebram.
While the folk-punk quintet's debut, "Set Ourselves Free," struck a strident and overtly political tone, the new "Dreams Are Maps" leans more towards social consciousness, which Wisebram says is the result of being a little older and having a little more life experience -- including the death of longtime friend and frequent tour partner Anthony Poynter.
"When we first started out as a band, our ambition and our goals were obviously a little different," explains Wisebram, 29, who will marry bandmate Dianna Settles in October. "At first it was definitely all about making a political statement, but I think now, as we get older, the goal now is to be able to still make a statement and be creative and keep evolving as musicians but also figure out how to make it fit into the sort of normal growing up that we're doing and an understanding of what it is that we all kind of deal with in our lives.
"I think that the healthy, smart thing to do is kind of allow that evolution to happen as opposed to fighting it and trying to keep things the same way as when you started."
"Dreams Are Maps" was recorded in Florida with Against Me!'s Laura Jane Grace at the time she was going through a rather public gender change (from Thomas Gabel). Like the rest of the world, the members of The Wild were caught a bit off guard as the news leaked out, but Wisebram says it made the studio experience that much richer.
"When we heard about it and got a chance to talk to her about it, we actually became kind of excited to know we would all be together in this kind of state of flux, state of change, making something creative together," Wisebram recalls. "I think we were all there with a lot of energy and things we wanted to say and work out, and I think that you can hopefully hear that in the record.
"It was a really incredible experience."
The Front Bottoms, The Wild, Kevin Devine, Gates, City Lights and others perform at Fusion Shows 6th Birthday concert, Friday, Jan. 10, at the Crofoot, 1 S. Saginaw St., Pontiac. Doors open at 6 p.m. Tickets are $15 in advance, $17 day of show. Call (248) 858-9333 or visit www.thecrofoot.com.
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