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Wild Rivers chat with us before their show at The Evening Muse on July 17th



What got you started in music?

Khal: I started taking piano lessons when I was 4, which sparked my love for music at an early age. At age 10, I was given my first guitar from a family friend and haven’t been able to put it down since then. 

Andrew: I saw my friend Brady rocking out on guitar in grade 7 and thought “I have to do that”

Ben: In elementary school, picked up my uncles guitar and decided I needed to learn how to play… so I signed up for drum lessons. 

Devan: I took a variety of music lessons at a young age, but singing was always my true love. I sang in church and school choirs growing up, and always knew I had to be a singer when I was older.


What are some of your favorite venues to perform at? Larger scale vs intimate setting?
Some of our favourite shows have been house concerts – specifically Sofar sounds shows. The intimate setting works really well with our softer catalogue, and it’s great to be able to connect so closely with our audience and hang out with them after. With that being said, some of our favourite shows have also been our big sold out hometown shows! It’s definitely a different vibe with a large rowdy crowd but there are exciting aspects about both. 


How do you feel you’ve grown and gotten better since your first show?
Since we’ve been operating independently of a label, we’ve all learned a lot of valuable life skills and lessons related to the music industry, and running a business in general. We’re very DIY and hard-working, so it’s rewarding to be able to attribute our successes directly to the work we’ve put in. 

When we played our first show, we were really still getting to know each other. We’ve toured lots since we started out, and the time spent together has brought us all much closer, which I think is reflected in our live performance. We are a more cohesive unit than our first show. 

Who were some of your influences and who do you currently listen to?

The four of us have a wide range of influences across genres, which is great because each member brings forth a different sonic taste. We definitely overlap on many artists, though. The classics – Fleetwood Mac, James Taylor, Neil Young. 

Currently in the tour van, we’re listening to: Whitney, Leif Vollebekk, Andy Shauf, Fleetwood Mac, Haim.

Early influences: 

Khal: The Beatles

Andrew: R Kelly 

Ben: Neil Young

Devan: Christina Aguilera 

How did you meet the rest of the folks who play with you? 

Devan and Khalid met at university and started playing together in 2012. Ben and Khalid also met at university and took Biology together. Ben and Andrew were friends from back home (Oakville, ON) and had played in bands together, so Ben introduced Andrew to Khalid and Devan. The rest is history.

What are some of your favorite venues to perform at? Larger scale vs intimate setting?

Both for different reasons! We’ve had a couple of tiny acoustic shows that have been incredibly memorable. It’s cool when it becomes like a conversation between the audience and us, and that can only really happen with the right vibe and room. 

How do you feel you’ve grown and gotten better since your first show?

We’re still such a young band that we feel that we’re always getting better… even compared to a few months ago. Especially when we’re on tour, playing night after night gets you into a place that you just can’t get any other way.

What is it like knowing your hard work/dedication is paying off?

It’s the best. Sometimes you get caught up in the hard work and noise and you forget to look around and appreciate progress. But then there are some moments where you look around and can’t believe where you are. SXSW was definitely one of those times. It’s indescribable. 

Have any good tour stories?

The first night of SXSW, we were pretty enamoured by everything going on, and excited to have a night out on the town. After exploring Austin, we found our way into a VIP party that we had no business getting into. Feeling like ballers at the open bar, we overindulged in premium tequila and make your own burritos. As the night got late, we burnt out and decided to head home. When we got there we realized it was only 9pm. The concierge felt bad for us and let us into the pool, where we had a humble game of Marco Polo. We were in bed by 10:00

What’s next for the back half of 2017?

After this US tour, we’re getting back into the studio. We have started recording songs for our next release, and are going to keep rolling with writing and recording new music. The plan is to release it some time in the fall, so stay tuned…!

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