Indie band shines a ‘light’ on its past and future

By Danielle Capalbo, News staff

Indie kids Wild Light have the New Hampshire school system to thank. Their first record rolled out last month ‘- a pristine exercise in up-tempo indie rock called Adult Nights ‘- but their collective musical lineage stretches back to the fourth grade, when singer and multi-instrumentalist Tim Kyle met guitarist Jordan Alexander.
Like most little kids, they nurtured early dreams of rock ‘n’ roll music, and high school settled it.
Alexander and Kyle folded singer Seth Pitman and drummer Seth Kasper into the mix, hatching a musical kinship they would tap into on and off for years, finally reuniting for good in their 20s, after graduating from college, to form Wild Light.
Now, the band is on the brink of full-fledged indie explosion, thriving on a loud buzz that started to generate about two years ago and a summer-ready debut album that pulls from all the best parts of bittersweet indie pop bands past, plus a healthy dose of bright-eyed harmonies.

Huntington News:’ On April 17, you’re kicking off a tour with The Killers. Are you thrilled?
Seth Pitman:’ It’s pretty crazy. We’re not really excited to drive out to Las Vegas, but it should be huge. It’s a great opportunity, and we recognize that.

HN:’ How did that pan out for you guys?
SP:’ Our manager [Mark Kates] got us the gig. He actually has some friends who travel with The Killers, so we submitted for it. I don’t know the story exactly ‘- [the submission] didn’t go through at first, but it helped that their team knew our team. We subbed for it just like any other band, though. They wouldn’t have chosen us if they didn’t like it.

HN:’ What’s the backstory on Wild Light?
SP:’ The story really started about 16 years ago. Tim and Jordan met in grade school and started playing music really young, and then I met them a little bit later on. In high school the four of us had a band together, then we went our separate ways in college.
When 2005 rolled around, I was graduating and Tim was graduating; we all started talking again and decided to play music together. We hadn’t really found anybody else we connected with the way the four of us did. So we moved into a really shitty house in Quincy and lived there for two years ‘- well, three of us lived there, and Kasper lived in the city. We were a typical band:’ playing crappy shows, working crappy jobs, living a crappy life for about two years. Then we opened up for Arcade Fire at the Orpheum on their Neon Bible Tour in 2007. That show kind of started it all.

HN:’ How did you get together with Arcade Fire? That connection stretches back, right?
SP:’ Jordan roomed with [lead singer] Win [Butler] at Phillips Exeter and they played music and were friends. After our band in high school kind of broke up, Tim moved up to Montreal ‘- he met Win through Jordan … and they started Arcade Fire. He actually played guitar on their first EP, but he had already left the band by then.

HN:’ Tell me about the process behind making your debut record, Adult Nights. If you had to slap on a disclaimer, what would it say?
SP:’ It’s hard to say. First of all, some of the material on Adult Nights stretches back all the way to 2005. The way we work is, Tim and Jordan and I are always writing. And at the time, we were always around each other, living and writing together. So we just amassed this huge chunk of material, then sifted through it later with Kasper and [our producer] Rob Schnapf to whittle it down to about 12 songs that we thought formed a coherent album.
I would say, if there’s a manifesto, simply:’ If you’re not really the kind of person who wants to have their life changed by music, this album isn’t really for you, because you’re not going to be open. Music is really important to us ‘- it kind of gave us strength and confidence, and it’s something to be excited about and to care about. We don’t really do it in terms of dance records or background music. Which isn’t to say we’ll accomplish that; we don’t have huge heads. But that’s what we’re going after.

HN:’ People have compared your sound to early Death Cab for Cutie, or U2, if U2 was fronted by Conor Oberst. How does that align with your actual influences?
SP:’ It’s just great when anybody compares us to any bands that are already good, at all. But those particular bands haven’t been huge for us.

HN:’ What have been your music influences?
SP:’ We love The Clash, we love The Beatles. Bob Dylan, Neil Young, ’50s rock ‘n’ roll, Motown. We love ’80s stuff … like New Order. Whatever the best stuff is, we like basically.

HN: Even though you’re a young band, you’ve garnered a lot of buzz. What are your hopes for the future?
SP:’ Making a little bit of money would be great. That’s right now my main priority:’ to get to the point where I can afford to live. My dream is to just be able to do music and not have to worry about anything else. Wake up in the morning, be able to write a song and have that be my day’s work.

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