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The Young Wild- @ El Rey Theatre | 4/30/16 | Interview Photo By-Derrick-K-Lee

Opening for Atlas Genius and Skylar Grey and  at the El Rey Theatre on April 30, 2016 was the San Diego based band The Young Wild. The core of the band are singer/guitarist Bryan Williams, bassist Gareth Moore and drummer Brandon Zedaker, and their paths crossed as students  at Point Loma Nazarene University in 2015. After release the infectious track “Not A One”, they were courted by Fairfax Recordings, signed a record deal, and released their 4 song EP “All The Luck” in last month.

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Their EP shows tons of promise. Though it is only four songs, the band demonstrates indie/alt rock chops with sharp pop instincts. Their electronic synth sonics are wrapped in the raspy, soulful vocals of Williams and each song seems to crescendo to a grand chorus. The subtler nuances, like Zedaker’s clever drumming in “Ain’t Got Nothing On Me”, particularly impressed me. Really impressive stuff.

About 30 minutes after performing a highly energetic and particularly sharp set,  we were ushered into their green room to conduct a brief interview.

BC: What are some of your musical influences?

The Beatles were a huge influence. My mom especially really loved The Beatles and I remember on Saturday mornings she would just kinda start playing music, and there was always Rubber Soul, The White Album, Revolver … something like that. – Bryan Williams

I think the one that sticks out the most is Michael Jackson’s compilation of music videos … I think it was called Moonwalk. He strung together several music videos from different albums, and they were all kind of threaded together. Some of the imagery was way beyond me when I was sixteen years old, but it all stuck with me, and it was all so musical and inspirational and fun. – Brandon Zedaker

I listened to entirely too much Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd growing up. –  Gareth Moore

BC: Being a relatively “new” band, it’s impressive that you were able to score a deal pretty quickly. How’d that come about?

We got really lucky with our record deal. It feels like, in some ways, that it’s been a really slow building process to the point where we were able to partner with Fairfax Recordings because we had all been in and out of a lot of other bands, and had a lot of musical experiences whether touring or recording or writing; bands starting or bands breaking up […] All of these things, the accumulation of all of these things, makes the whole experience … your life, really. – Bryan Williams

I think we’ve been at it for a really long time, but when we finally tried to use the accumulation of all of these experiences together … to make something that was authentic , and a little more polished and … I don’t know … profound? It was The Young Wild. – Gareth Moore

BC: You guys are young. Are you Wild?

Do you see this hair? Look at this hair [pointing to Gareth]. There is nothing more wild than this hair. [Laughter] Are we wild? I don’t know. You’d have to hang out with us later to see if we’re actually wild. You might be so bored. [Laughter] – Bryan Willams

BC: How’d you score the opening slot for Atlas Genius and Skylar Grey?

It all happened through networks. Our manager is friends with Atlas Genius’ management. It’s been a real fun relationship to foster, and grow. I mean, we’ve only been on the road with them for about two weeks now. We started the tour in Boston, so the three of us drove from southern California to Boston over a couple of days … which was rough … and then when we got into that first venue, we were welcomed in with open arms. -Brandon Zedaker

It’s been fun just hanging out with the guys after shows and get into the nitty-gritty of what it’s like to be on the road, especially with a band that’s been doing it for so long, and for so well. -Gareth Moore

We could hear that Skylar Grey had just finished her set, and we were told that we had to leave since the band and Slylar were sharing a green room for this gig. Our interview was cut a little short, but before leaving the room, Gareth shook my hand with a firm grip and instructed me to have drink with him. How could I refuse?

A bit later, I found Gareth upstairs in the VIP section sitting with some friends watching Atlas Genius perform. We bumped fists like old friends, then walked to the bar to grab a shot. I offered to pay, but he insisted. We downed our whiskey and rejoined our familiars.

I could see it in his eyes. The adrenaline of performing a solid set to a sold out crowd at a historic Los Angeles venue was surely pulsing through his veins. His band had gained news fans that night, and it’s only a matter of when, not whether, they’ll start really picking up steam to vacuum up fans that happen to be within an earshot of them. If their EP foreshadows the music to come, there’s no doubt in my mind that this band has the goods to deliver a particularly impressive debut album, and perform that album to fans with a live-show that will not disappoint.

After Atlas Genius had finished their performance, I went over to the merchandise table to say goodbye to The Young Wild before departing. By the look of the line of fans waiting to meet them, they clearly had done their job for the evening. I tell them that I hope to catch them back in LA real soon, and they assure me that they will be.

I point to Gareth and remind him that I owed him a drink. He smiles and nods his head, but before he could say anything a new fan reached out to shake his hand. I’m not one to stand between fans and their favorite artists. I’ll catch them the next time they are in town.

Follow The Young Wild on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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