New Music Tuesday 13 - Wild Combination
Posted by Alex Bohea on November 26, 2013
A weekly feature here at The Great Divide Blog is our New Music Tuesday; introducing you to an artist or band you may not have heard of. We can’t guarantee that you won’t have heard of them, but if that’s the case, it might give you a little reminder to revisit them sometime soon.
I’ve always been a big believer in supporting your local music scenes. Granted, some bands are going to be awful, but that’s the case wherever you are. Some are diamonds in the rough, who, although they may not achieve what could be classed as a successful musical career, bring good music and happiness to the local area. From turning up to hardcore shows in the middle of the afternoon to see all the support bands to watching a guy play a guitar in a pub, your local music scene is something that can be precious. Where I live, Canvey Island (yes, I know you’ve never heard of it) has only had one or two successful bands in its time. One of those was Dr. Feelgood, so it’s never worth snubbing what’s round the corner.
Seeing as my hometown is so small, I class Essex as my local music scene and one of the bands that excite me every time I see them is Wild Combination from Chelmsford. Their combination of infectious, dreamy pop and undeniable passion for music makes them a band that you can’t help but be happy and dance to. Having released their ‘Pulses’ EP this year, which became featured on BBC 6 Music and in Q Magazine, the band is on the up and up. With a comparison building to M83, and very positive live reviews, you should keep your eyes open for the Chelmsford locals.
I caught up with Dan of Wild Combination to discuss their Art Vinyl nomination, the ‘Pulses’ EP and the local area, which you can check out below.
The Great Divide: Hi, can you introduce yourself and give us a little of the history of the band?
Dan: Hello, we are Wild Combination - a band from Essex. We have been together for around 2 years & are based at our studio in the Essex countryside. Christian & I have run our own singles label & club night for a few years but "Wild Combination" is the first time we have made music together.
TGD: The ‘Pulses’ EP came out this year to a pretty great reception. Were you pleased with the reaction?
Dan: We worked pretty solidly writing & demoing songs at our studio, narrowing the EP down from a selection of over 30 songs. In the end we picked the songs that were going down well at gigs & a few personal favourites. The EP was funded through pledge music, so hitting our target of presales felt like a big milestone for us as a band & allowed us to engage with our fans in a way you don't always get the chance to (recording sessions & private gigs at our studio). Getting airplay on BBC 6Music & XFM as well as a small feature in Q Magazine totally exceeded any expectations of what we could do with our first proper release.
TGD: You’ve been nominated for the Best Art Vinyl award for this year alongside bands like Washed Out, Yo La Tengo, Balance and Composure, and Queens of the Stone Age. Is it true that it was quite a surprise to be nominated? How did the artwork come about for the EP?
Dan: We were really surprised & so flattered to be nominated, looking through the list there are so many bands & artists that we listen to and respect that it was hard not to be. Louise who works for Art Vinyl spotted the EP in Rough Trade & put it forward to the panel who pick the nominees. All credit must go to our super talented friend & designer Poppy Rae Beckwith for creating the image & supporting us from the start, the original is a sculpture & it's really impressive when you see it close up!
TGD: After a big year for the band, what lies in the future?
Dan: We already have the next EP recorded so we will be putting the final touches to that before mixing & gearing up the live set for some shows in the new year. The sound is a little different but we think it's some of the best material we have done to date.
TGD: As mainstays of the local Essex scene, especially Chelmsford, what would you say are some of the positives with the local scene right now?
Dan: After months of no regular, original live music, two new venues have opened in Chelmsford. This is a massive positive, as without them the scene would have gradually died off. The best thing about the scene in Chelmsford is that it's really tight knit & it feels like a huge group of friends helping each other out.
TGD: What are you listening to lately and what should we be listening to?
Dan: Lately for me it's been Jon Hopkins, Chvrches, London Grammar & the After Dark 2 compilation so I can recommend them for sure. Two great albums from last year that I still find myself listening to a lot are Shrines by Purity Ring & Kill For Love by Chromatics so if you haven't already, give those a listen or anything from the Italians Do it Better label.
TGD: If you could book a gig for Wild Combination with three dream bands at a dream venue, who would you pick to play with and where?
Dan: Hmmmmm, that's a hard choice so I'm going to go with the first 3 that popped into my head. Depeche Mode, Steve Reich & Kraftwerk, the gig would be in Berlin at Berghain so we could all party until 12pm the next day or we lost our minds - whatever came first.
TGD: Any last words?
Dan: All I would say is, if you're making music or doing anything creative - do it because you love doing it & not because you expect something back from it & you can't got far wrong.