Photo credit: Rowan Daly

Long Beach, California-based alt-rock duo This Wild Life is currently touring in support of their latest release, Low Tides, out last September via Epitaph Records. The tour will bring the pair to Nashville for a show at The High Watt on Sunday, July 23rd—and it’s safe to say that the band has some tricks up its collective sleeve.

“We come from a punk and hardcore background; the crowd gets involved in those kinds of shows in that culture, moshing, stage diving, giving the crowd the mic, and that’s obviously not applicable to This Wild Life shows because of the nature of the music we play,” explains vocalist Kevin Jordan. “We try to get people involved in more ways than just clapping along. On this tour, we’re bringing extra instruments for people to play—shakers, tambourines, anything like that. We’re going to bring people from the crowd up on stage with us to play with us during certain songs. We’ll have an extra microphone so the crowd can hear them too, for better or for worse,” he laughs. “We’ve wanted to do this for a while. We’ve never had anyone come up on stage and sing with us; we’re going to have a contest on Instagram where anyone can upload themselves singing a bridge from one of our songs, and we will invite the winner for that particular show to come for free and sing with us on that song”—and it’s sure to be a daunting task to choose a winner in a musical town like Nashville. “It’s going to be really fun,” he adds. “The more fun, the better.”

With Low Tides, This Wild Life changed up their creative process, resulting in a more lushly-layered, ambient sound. “We went into it more open-minded with arrangements and instrumentation than we did on our first record,” explains Jordan. “Our first was so acoustic-based because we were fearful of trying different sonic elements; on this album cycle, we’d listened to so much more music and toured so much that we felt comfortable diving into different atmospheres sonically. The result is an album that is still acoustic-based, but one that has a lot of darker elements to it.”

The band enlisted Aaron Marsh, also know as the frontman of veteran indie rock outfit Copeland, to produce the album. ‘He’s incredible. I grew up listening to Copeland, and he’s still one of my favorite songwriters today,” Jordan says. “I think what we utilized best from his skill set was his knowledge of keys, strings, and arrangements, and ways that he colors and textures songs. Anthony [Del Grosso] and I are both drummers that can play guitar, but we aren’t classically-trained players or composers by any means,” he says with a laugh. “He was like our third member that filled the gaps between our strengths and weaknesses.”

While their songs tend to gravitate lyrically toward darker subjects, Jordan says their goal is to bring a good time to each performance. “What I’ve found is that when a big group of people get together and are singing these sad songs, everyone enjoys themselves,” he explains. “It’s like some kind of release for me to write them in the first place, but in performing them, I get caught up in the vibe of the room and I have such a good time even though I’m singing sad songs. We’re going to focus on having a good time on this tour,” he declares. “If you perform a song a couple hundred times, it stings a little less each time. Some songs I wrote years ago even take on a new meaning later, or you re-approach a song and realize it really applies to a new situation. You can get caught up in the moment when you’re thinking about the lyrics, but I try to think about the performance itself and making sure the crowd is enjoying themselves. I’m not trying to cry onstage all the time,” he adds with a laugh. “I’d prefer to cry in the comfort of my car or my shower.”

[For show information click HERE.]

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7/23          Nashville, TN                     High Watt
7/25          Atlanta, GA                        Masquerade – Hell
7/27          Dallas, TX                          Club Dada
7/28          Tulsa, OK                          The Vanguard
7/29          Austin, TX                          Stubb’s Jr.
7/30          San Antonio, TX                Papertiger – Small Room
8/1            Phoenix, AZ                       The Rebel Lounge
8/2            Santa Ana, CA                  Constellation Room
8/3            San Diego, CA                  The Holding Company
8/5            Las Vegas, NV                  Red Rock Casino Resort – Rock Lounge

w/ Mayday Parade
10/12   Sydney, NSW             Enmore Theatre
10/13   Melbourne, VIC           170 Russell
10/14   Melbourne, VIC           Arrow On Swanston
10/15   Brisbane, QLD            Eatons Hill Hotel
10/17   Adelaide, SA               The Gov
10/18   Perth, WA                   Metro City

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