Talking to Wildlife

This week I got to do something fun, I spoke with Dean Povinsky. You’re jealous, I know and I can’t blame you. Dean is the lead singer and guitarist of Wildlife accompanied by bandmates Derek Bosomworth (bass), Dwayne Christie (drums) and Graham Plant (guitar) and together they are making a lot of buzz.

Wildlife are one of the best up and coming bands Canada currently has to offer. Their stadium sound is matched by their energetic stage performance. Reminiscent of Arcade Fire and Wolf Parade, whether your listening to their last studio album, On the Heart released in March of 2013, at home or watching them live in concert, you can’t help but want to close your eyes, dance with your hands in the air and sing along at the top of your lungs. Which, I quite often do. I’ve seen them live several times at some great venues around the city, The Horseshoe Tavern, The Great Hall and Lee’s Palace to name a few and their live show is consistently epic. I’ve heard them be described as the ‘sweatiest live show you can see.’ Which is a title they should wear proudly.

Wildlife is currently embarking on a North American tour with Australian Rockers Boy & Bear. I caught a few moments with Dean on the phone before he hit the stage in Montreal to ask him about the band and their journey together thus far.

Me: How is Montreal?
Dean: Cold.

Me: It’s a bad winter. Drink some whiskey, it’ll warm you up.
Dean: What’s whiskey?

Me: It’s a substance that keeps you warm. I’ve heard good things.
Dean: And that’s all? Good to know.

Me: What was your inspiration behind your album On the Heart?
Dean: You know, like, life. No, a lot of it was definitely experiences that came after our previous record, influenced it as a time period. It’s reflective of how our sound progressed. It featured a lot of heart imagery so we used that as the theme and pretended it was an essay.

Me: You have a show tonight in Montreal?
Dean: We do.

Me: Does Wildlife have a pre-show ritual?
Dean: Yes, Whiskey.

Me: Just whiskey?
Dean: Yes, we do a band high five and just yell ‘Whiskey!’. Actually, we have a drink, hang out and stretch. And we wear kind of militaristic uniforms on stage, so that’s kind of our ritual. Get ready, put on our uniforms and stretch.

Me: What do your uniforms represent?
Dean: You mean, besides uniformity, itself? I think just that. And that were were sick of wearing plaid.

Me: Does that mean your anti-hipster?
Dean: Not at all! We’re not anti-anything. Except maybe fruit. But, don’t ask me about that.

Me: Who are your key influences?
Dean: Same as everyone else. Who does everyone else like? Elvis. Not for Dwayne, though, because he thinks he stole rock and roll.[Laughs] 
A big influence is actually Bruce Springsteen. The passion, the feeling. Punk rock music, gospel. The Beatles. Everyone else likes The Beatles. Oh, and KWAN with a backwards K.

Me: If you could collaborate with anyone, who would it be?
Dean: John Lennon.

Me: Good Answer
Dean: Or Dwayne Christie because he is sitting really close to me.

Me: Well you go on stage soon so you’ll be able to do that. Anyone living?
Dean: Stevie Wonder. Or Stevie Nicks.

Me: Are you excited about touring with Boy & Bear?
Dean: Yes, it will be nice getting to play in front of new crowds. The crowds will be mixed with people there to see them, and to see us.

Me: What cities are you most excited to visit on your upcoming tour?
Dean: San Francisco should be cool. And in L.A. we are going to be playing at The Troubadour which we’re really looking forward to.

Me: What is it like being in a band with your friends?
Dean: It’s the best. If we’re ever doing something not fun, you’re still with your friends so they make it better. Also, you can tell each other to ‘fuck right off’ and still stay friends which is pretty great

Me: What is the first tour you went on?
Dean: We used to do long weekends going down to the states and stuff. I think the first one we did a road trip and started in Kentucky. It was hot out.

Me: Was it much different from now?
Dean: Shockingly No. Expect that we don’t have to borrow our parents cars and we sleep in hotel rooms rather than on peoples floors. Oh and we have a tour manager, Karen, who is pretty awesome.

Me: Just one last question, what was the most embarrassing band you liked from your childhood?
Dean: Garth Brooks. My parents were really into country. My dad got my mom a full sized version from a record store and hid it in the basement. It scared my mom.
However, I do maintain that he is a fantastic singer and performer.

Wildlife are currently on heading off on a North American tour. They will be releasing a new single off of their album in the next couple of months and are going to start preliminary recording their next album this summer. You can keep up with Dean and the rest of the band via their website:

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