Today, I’m with Jilly St John from Wyldling!
As Jilly herself explains:
WYLDLING comprises of former front lady of ‘Laney’ sponsored act and Red Bull Bedroom Jam 2010 finalists, ‘No Mean City’ and two of the former members of previously ‘Warner’ signed act ‘Kharma 45’. Jilly St John, vocals; Glenn Rosborough, guitar and Phil Curran, drums. Joining the dynamic trio is uber talent David Kirby on bass.
In terms of experience WYLDLING have it in spades, Jilly renowned for and having performed approximately 120 live shows in 11 months including ‘DOWNLOAD, ‘SONISPHERE’, and ‘T In The Park’, to name only a few, as well as securing a full sponsorship from LANEY, also having written and performed the title track for ‘Virgin’ signed act ‘THE JAPANESE POPSTARS’ debut album, ‘We Just Are’ featured on Pete Tong’s show; Glenn and Phil living two years on the road touring round the UK and Ireland in the back of a splitter van as Kharma45, playing almost every festival from ‘READING AND LEEDS’ to ‘T IN THE PARK’, ‘Rockness’ and ‘Hyde-Park Calling’ and supported such bands as ‘WE ARE SCIENTISTS’, ‘KASABIAN’, ‘Live’, ‘One Night Only’ and ‘Faithless’.
After the split of No Mean City, I knew I had to get back on the horse. Music seemed like a real career possibility after achieving so much previously with NMC. I spent a year looking for like-minded musicians with the drive and ambition to match my own. This turned out much harder than I’d anticipated. Eventually, I did manage to seduce the three likely lads into my vision and with explosive results! WYLDLING was born.
These four wyld things from Northern Ireland have a very good thing going, and for the inquiring minds, let’s get on with the Q&A!
Lady Obscure: You seem to be leading a very Rock and Roll life – so, what does your rock mean to you? Wyldling is rock because you are rock?
Jilly St John: When writing and developing the concept of Wyldling I didn’t necessarily think in terms of genre specifically, in fact we are still deciding what genre we are. So we like to keep it simple and go with electronic rock for now. My heart lies within rock music because I feel the energy and rawness of it conveys my personality perfectly. I get to be entirely me within rock music.
Lady: It shows! How did it evolve with Wyldling though? How did you guys come to the themes and sound you have now?
Jilly: Oooo, a very difficult question. How does anything evolve? Naturally without being noticed really. I think this very true of our sound. Personally I just knew I wanted it to be big in sound. Big riffs and big electronic style beats. Something that would potentially spark a bit of passion and life within the listener as well as ourselves. There’s very much a ‘vent’ theme I guess in our demos to date, particularly within the lyrical content. We’re generally very happy people in real life and I think it’s because we use our music to air frustration and issues. I know this is very true of me personally.
Lady: Oh, I can relate to that… So, are you happy with your record? Is it everything you expected or planned it to be or are there bits in there you wish you have done differently?
Jilly: I think we have very definitely given what we have out there as much as we can at this point in time. I mean, everything has been written, recorded, developed, produced, reworked, reworked again and mixed all at home by myself and Glenn. In terms of doing it ourselves it’s very much a learning curve for us, and we know it may not be of professional label standard just yet, but hopefully we’ve done it justice and the potential shows. I think in any line of art there’s always room for growth and improvement, in fact it is my belief that you never stop learning. We hope to continually improve indefinitely.
Lady: And your fans like it too!
Jilly: The reception we’ve received so far has been overwhelming to be honest. Most days I can’t even begin get my head around it all, the rest of the days I begin and struggle! We have been humbled by the whole thing. We do what we do because we love it, so to have others get behind us and so strongly too, it absolutely spurs us on to try and give back and justify the support we receive to those people who are behind us as a means of thanks. It really has been amazing and I pray everyday for it to continue.
Lady: Oh, I’m sure it will – especially if we get to see you guys live! When are you guys touring? Will there be international gigs/tours?
Jilly: Absolutely! This is one of the, if not the, best part of the whole set up. We all adore playing live. We love the rush of it all. We have played a few gigs recently and now we’re feeling comfortable on stage as a whole we plan to absolutely up the ante. In fact we’re working on arrangements for a number of gigs at the moment and are also in the process of getting a van in the hope of spreading our wings a lil further afield. so, watch our page!
Lady: …which is here! So, Jilly, what does the future hold for you?
Jilly: Who knows? I tend to take each day as it comes generally speaking. I am always striving for more in life, so who knows where that’ll lead us. Hopefully wherever I end up I’ll still be writing and performing but most importantly be happy. Wyldling will be around for some time though if I have anything to do with it. It’s all I’ve ever wanted really, so I’ll be doing it for as long as I physically can, till I’m 100 hahah!
Lady: So it is looking good?
Jilly: Well if the past 9 moths are anything to go by pretty rosy! We’re only getting busier and there is much more happening behind the scenes which I can’t talk about just yet, but if all goes to plan we’ll be very happy bunnies!
Lady: So what are these happy bunnies will be focussing on lyrics and concepts-wise?
Jilly: In terms of the music we don’t really set out to focus on anything in particular to begin with.
In terms of lyrics, they tend to be based on how I’m feeling. Sometimes a particular feeling or situation will inspire me to write immediately, other times I sit down to write and try to focus on what my mood is at that time. All the songs are about personal situations, struggles, thoughts. Some are simply for fun, to try and make people feel happy and positive too. It’s important to me that they’re personal to me, it means I can truly connect with what I’m performing which is so important, and it’s a great vent. It’s weird how you feel a song so much in the first few practices, and once you’ve sang it a few times it’s like you’ve dealt with it and it becomes something else. A great therapy session! haha
Lady: Well, you said ” one of the, if not the, best part of the whole set up” when we were talking about the live experience – but when we talk about it, you seem to enjoy your studio-therapy sessions as well! Which is it you love most? Playing live or being in the studio?
Jilly: Aw how could I choose! I love everything about what we do. Being in the studio is exciting because you don’t know if something is really going to work until you hear it objectively. I learn so much in the studio, I learn about my voice, I learn about my writing, I learn about arrangement and software and new sounds. The whole process is fantastic!
Equally as much I love the road, I love the intense family style set up that comes from spending every waking moment with your team, I love meeting new people, I ADORE being on stage! And the excitement of not knowing what to expect.
Lady: Who is writing the songs? The lyrics? Is it a joint effort or is there a definite set up?
Jilly: At present the main body of work is a joint effort between myself and Glenn. We discuss sounds we’re presently inspired by, Glenn will play around on guitar until he plays something that grabs myself or him. He lays down a basic structure, then I’ll write lyrics. Then we arrange together discussing what works best in terms of the lyrical content. From then on it’s listening, reworking, listening ,reworking and we’ll go through this process until we’re happy really. Phil and David both have very distinct sounds, when these are laid down it can also affect the sound of track, if something really stands out to us from them then we certainly try to make it a feature as opposed to an accompaniment. It’s amazing how a bass line or a drum beat can completely change the direction of a song. It’s all these things that make us sound the way we do.
Lady: Who do you love? Who are your inspirations when writing then?
Jilly: We draw inspiration from everywhere really. Never from one particular act though. Since writing as Wyldling I personally find myself listening to other music in layers (this is new to me), looking for a sound or affect or a line to inspire a track. We only need one of these, I really enjoy this method, everyones different but it works for me and keeps us from heading in the direction of any one act. I feel it’s a more free way of working? We get so many comparisons these days and all are extremely different from the next.
Lady: What’s more important for you in music? Doing it for yourself? Catering to the audiance?
Jilly: I think honesty and conviction are important within music, it’s important for me to be me when performing on stage and I can only be me if I believe what I’m performing, no matter what the subject or what it is. If people like that, that is just amazing and if catering to the audience means to continue and work by that rule by providing more of the same then I guess I cater too. I honestly don’t think about this kinda stuff when writing something, and I don’t think the boys do either. We just do what we do, and cross our fingers really. To me it’s most important that we are happy with we we’re putting out, that we can stand by it and say yea this is ours no matter what the opinion is on it.
Lady: Good call I say! So, what do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment? In your music career that is…
Jilly: Between the four of us, we have had a number of accomplishments that we’re extremely proud of and some we even wonder, did we really get to do that? Or did they really notice us? But I think our greatest accomplishment to date is probably being self sufficient together, it ain’t cheap being in a band these days and the more you can do yourself to get by the better. Personally I feel so lucky to have such a talented bunch guys to work with, especially Glenn. The guy is an actual wee genius when it comes to software and instruments. I couldn’t be happier to be honest, so yea that’s my greatest accomplishment, securing the lads. Heehee.
Lady: Cheers for these Jilly, very nice speaking to you!