A few days ago I got to talking with Cody Vaillant, vocalist for Toronto rockers Wildheart. The band delivers a sweaty, riff-heavy sound that conjures thoughts of acts like Buckcherry and Red Hot Chili Peppers with classic rock sensibilities. They just announced an Eastern Canada tour, and I figured we should shoot Cody a few questions and get to know the five-piece (also featuring guitarists Lewis Mrotzek and Scotty B. Goode, bassist Renee Parr and drummer Mike Parr) better.
Unconsciously I guess we do tend to gravitate to that sonic spectrum. The majority of us are heavily influenced by early blues, 60’s and 70’s (some 80’s) era rock and that, without a doubt, gets in your bones and infects your very style with that soul and groove that those golden years are so well known for.
Consciously we are aware of this and we do not fight it…we all have more contemporary and current influences as well but they are less common pools we tend to draw from. Modern music is missing that human factor and has been for a few decades. Everything is too polished and perfect and we are the kind of artists that enjoy the quirks, inconsistencies, improvisation and imperfections that each magic musical moment can potentially bring. We embrace our roots.
Subconsciously I think we might just want to be a part of that musical heritage. The artists of the past are our mythology if you will. Just paying homage to our elders and trying to learn and grow into something new that they might still approve of.
All that being said i think we can hold our own along side “modern” sounding acts…whatever that really means.
Who are your favourite (modern) artists? Anyone in the Toronto scene you especially dig?
We are so proud of our fellow Canadian acts. Flash Lightnin’ are killers and have just come off a huge tour with ZZ Top. I think they have a record coming out like right now as we speak…umm…we are good pals with the boys in the Sheepdogs, Monster Truck is blowing up. So many good ol’ classic sounds from new fresh acts re-imagining and reinventing rock and roll. Oh! and we have to rant and rave about the wonderful Ladies Of The Canyon. Class act rockin’ gals. We are playing our Montreal date with them at Barfly on June 28th to kind of kick this tour off. So many more good bands coming out of TO and Canada…we just hope that some of them might be championed by the fans and industry enough to erase the stain of Nickelback from our country’s music profile haha.
You just had a less-than-cordial Twitter exchange with the blog Ontario Rock. What was behind that?
I honestly do not know what to tell you haha. I log on and I see this guy has posted a review or something about our EP Gypsy Soul. First thoughts are “cool thanks man” but then i click on it and see that not only does he hate our music but he felt the need to upload the tracks to a file sharing site and publish the link with the review. Now I am not going to sit here and give you the Napster/Metallica rant and how file sharing is killing music because it is not…record labels signing and pushing shit bands with a couple good songs is what has killed the industry….BUT who file sharing does hurt is the independent, young, fresh and fledgling band who play dark dank little bars every weekend struggling to sell physical copies and downloads to anyone who might have a spare five bucks and two f#%ks to give. We do not have label support or a legal team or managers and accountants…we have an online Bandcamp store front, 1000 CDs, a big white van, overdrawn bank accounts and maxed visa cards…when you download our music for free we can’t make more…and that hurts new artists more than a bad review ever could. So….I called him a dick..haha.
Your Gypsy Soul EP came out in January, and you made ten limited edition copies on cassette. With vinyl being all the rage again, what made you choose that throwback format?
It was an absolute afterthought for fun. A few friends made a joke about how I still listen to tapes at home so i thought it would be a good laugh…they sold out in like one night….people want more. Who knew? haha. We really want to do some vinyl soon too. Hint Hint.
What are the main short and long-term goals for Wildheart at this point?
Short term: Tour this EP, record the next one, tour it, record the next one, tour it, put out full length album on vinyl….tour it?
Long term: Quit our day jobs…get signed…or not…it really does not matter because we will just keep doing this until we can’t. The next goal is always just more, bigger, better and louder.
Eastern Canada tour dates:
June 28th: Montreal, QC – Barfly
July 1st: Peterborough, ON – The Spill
July 2nd: Quebec City, QC – L’Agitee
July 3rd: Halifax, NS – Michael’s Bar & Grill
July 4th: Hampton, NB – Shiretown Publicans
July 6th: Ottawa, ON – The Rainbow Bistro