Wails: Wintry, Wilcoesque, Worth Listening To
Each Wednesday, Rocks Off arbitrarily appoints one lucky local performer or group "Artist of the Week," bestowing upon them all the fame and grandeur such a lofty title implies. Know a band or artist that isn't awful? Email their particulars to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chances are you've never heard of local indie-rock newbies Wails. But chances are you've never heard of National Snack Food Month either; that doesn't make it any less awesome.
Wails is an occasionally mysterious and wintry (in a good way) trio, with the gumption of at least a four-piece and a surprising knack for neatly packing a stadium-ready sound into the core of each song. They are, without question, our favorite band this week. You can't listen to their EP and not think that they just might be headed in the right direction, even if you're not quite certain exactly which direction that is.
So we caught up with threesome and had them give some words to us in response to some words we gave to them. Hit the jump to read all about OK Computer, Giga Pets and whether or not the Houston rock scene is too saturated with talent these days.
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Rocks Off: The standard Artist of the Week opener: Tell everyone everything they'd ever need to know about the band in exactly six words.
Wails: A Houston band worth listening to.
RO: How many times did you all listen to OK Computer while making the EP?
W: 57 and a half times to be exact. [laughs]. We also listened to Wilco's Yankee Hotel Foxtrot more times that we are willing to admit, though in reality it's probably not that obvious when you listen to the EP, is it? Influences aside, we really work hard and continue to develop a sound of our own, hence the reason for releasing an EP first as opposed to a full-length.
RO: The other day we were cleaning out the junk closet at our house and found a Giga Pet. Remember those? God, people are dumb. Sometimes we hate life. We think that's why we enjoyed "Dead Metaphor" so much, even though it was for less obvious reasons than the life-death thing. Talk a bit about that song, will you? Also, you're welcome to talk about Giga Pets as well.
W: God, Giga Pets... those things truly were mind numbing, weren't they? Do they still make them or have they been replaced by an iPhone app? Anyway, glad you enjoyed "Dead Metaphor." The song is basically about wasting a lot of time on something that seemed meaningful at first but loses its value over time.
It could apply to many aspects of your life, but I guess explained in simple terms is kinda like watching Lost, reading Harry Potter or playing with Giga Pets.
RO: Relatively speaking, you guys are fairly new to the local music scene. Is that a particularly daunting thing on account of all of the talent that we currently showcase, or is it encouraging? Or is this question irrelevant because you think all of the other bands in Houston are shitty and you don't see what the big fuss is?
W: From what we've seen and heard, the local scene is definitely encouraging in terms of all the talent out there. We see this as an opportunity to stand out in a very demanding landscape.
The difficult part - and while this can be a challenge for any band in any city - is to get the ball rolling with shows on a regular basis and getting a lot of people interested in your music. But we certainly welcome the challenge and realistically, we are just getting started.
RO: We've probably listened to it about 15 times and can't seem to discern any purpose to "Chinese Puzzle" other than it is wicked effective in getting girls to make out with you if you tell them it reminds you of them. Can you explain what exactly that song is about? Thanks so much.
Wails, "Chinese Puzzle"
W: Did you really listen to it that many times? That's great, thanks. Overall, we make a conscious effort to write our material in way that songs can interpreted differently depending on the listener ( a "read between the lines" approach, so to speak). "Chinese Puzzle" is about putting your life together with the pieces you've collected along the journey... but hey, if somebody can use the song to get lucky with the ladies, we have no objections.
RO: When, where and for how much can people see you next?
W: We have a show coming up on December 2 at Rudyards with Stephen Rawlings and Stone Face. Tickets TBA. We are also in the process of booking more shows, so be sure to check out our site periodically for or more dates.
Visit Wails online at www.wailsband.com and listen to the EP. If you send them feedback, they will send you a free copy. Seriously. Also, December? For real, Houston? That's the soonest you could find them a show? Step it up.