New Zealand-born multi-instrumentalist and vocalist/songwriter Alexander Wildwood, grew up on a yacht, sailing around the world with his family, to a soundtrack by Neil Young and The Beach Boys. Now Alexander is ready to share his new tunes ‘Summer Skin’ and ‘Bad Blood’, two fresh indie/pop anthems lifted from his forthcoming debut EP, scheduled for release this October.
‘Summer Skin’, was mixed by Nic Manders and mastered by Andy Vandette (David Bowie, Metric), and its the first single off his debut EP, releasing Fall 2014.
First up, can you tell us 5 things we should know about you?
My name is Alexander Wildwood
I grew up sailing around the world with my family
The first CD I bought was Weezer’s ‘Blue’ album
I write & record everything in my home studio by the sea
I have a 1972 blue Kombi van which I get around in
Can you talk about your single ‘Summer Skin’?
Summer Skin was a really fun song to write, I didn’t think about it that much. I just let my instincts guide me & lead me in the right direction. The idea behind the song is kinda summed up in the first line ‘you’re hard to keep but harder to let go’ where in relationships sometimes you feel distant from the other person but you’re so invested there’s no way you’d want to give it up. I really wanted to channel some Brian Wilson vibes to keep the music upbeat to juxtapose the subject matter so the layers of vocals & harmonies were key & really fun to arrange!
How do you sell…to someone unfamiliar with your music?
Well, I think the songs are all really strong. I’m proud of them so I really just let them speak for themselves. “I was born upon the rolling ride // The water’s warm & the seas are high…”
Who are your musical and non-musical influences?
I love authors like Bukowski & Hemingway. Salinger’s short stories are really great as well. Modern writers like Jonathan Safran Foer & David Mitchell are also amazing. When I read those kind of writers it really makes me want to express & articulate an emotion or feeling with the same standard they have, that’s inspiring to me. Musically, I grew up on the Beach Boys, Dylan & Young so those artists shaped the way I saw music, I guess, but bands like The National, Delta Spirit & The Dirty Projectors are big for me as well.
What are your fondest musical memories in your house in New Zealand
Maybe the day I had my piano tuned. I was given our family piano which was my grandmothers, then my mothers & now mine. It’s travelled across three continents & now lives in my house. Having it tuned & then sitting down at it to write knowing the history behind it was a really beautiful moment.
What was the last gig you played, what did you think of it?
Playing live is always really exciting because you’re out of an environment like the studio where you can undo things. There’s an element of uncertainty around it which brings such a unique energy & transforms the songs from the way they are recorded into something new & special. I really love that about the live show.
If you could collaborate with anyone, who would it be?
Does he have to be alive? If not, probably John Lennon. He’s really an incredible songwriter & a true artist. I’d settle for Jay-Z or Kayne West though.
If you weren’t a musician, what would you be and why?
I’d be a pro surfer. Traveling the world hanging out & spending time in the ocean sounds pretty ideal to me. Plus it would always be summer! How rad would that be!
What do you have planned next?
Playing live, a lot! I really can’t wait to get out & see these songs connect with people live more & more. I’ve got the tour support for the Boy & Bear New Zealand shows which is super exciting. The EP will be out in late October so I’ll just be focusing on getting that out there at this stage but I’m always writing so there will definitely be something else on the horizon for sure!
By Fabrizio Belluschi ©FAMEMAGAZINE.co.uk
Photo by Kimberley Elizabeth