The Wistful Larks are an alternative rock band created in the basements of the Chicago suburbs. The band was crafted from the remnants of the punk rock band Americana, started by high school friends Cody Varga and Tony Aguilar and longtime friend Steve-o Gonzalez. After Steve-o’s departure from the band, The Wistful Larks relocated to Nashville and recruited Adam Wathen as their new drummer.
Chicago. Suburbs. Basements. The city is known for a distinctive style of the blues which, in turn, influenced the creation of rock and roll music. Which hometown blues artists have impacted the band’s style the most?
Chicago has had a huge impact on the inception of rock music. We definitely respect those pioneers of blues music. For us it’s always ingrained, but it’s more of an indirect influence. I think maybe the closest we get to that original scene would be The Doors, which although not from Chicago, really were inspired by Chicago blues artists.
What led you from the band Americana to form The Wistful Larks?
It was a number of things. We had a different lineup and our music was maturing. We had grown out of certain musical styles that were prevalent back in Chicago. For us it was a natural progression.
How did you choose the band’s name?
We were looking for something that stood out, but had that classic 60s band name feel. Aside from that for us it’s a balance of dark and light, dwelling feelings of nostalgia and a hope for love.
Finding your footing in the suburbs, where metal and electronic music ruled. Which counterculture bands, modern and vintage, have influenced your songwriting?
Each of us grew up with a broad spectrum of influence to our play styles. The band at its core however is influenced by some darker bands like The Animals and The Doors as well as some more recent bands like The Killers and Arctic Monkeys.
From the midwest to the west for a tour to support your first EP. Which west coast venues were your favorites to play?
We played some wild places and met some wild people. Our favorite was probably Big Bear, California. It was a beautiful place with a great stage and we made some meaningful friendships. The runners up would be Las Vegas, SXSW, and San Antonio. Not necessarily for the exceptional venues but the experiences themselves.
A year after releasing your Broke & Hearts album, the band relocated to Nashville. What drew the band to Music City?
At the time we were struggling to find permanent members for the band and the music scene itself was becoming non supportive. We had toured a handful of times to Nashville and really enjoyed the city. Between top tier studios, passionate musicians, and a supportive music scene, it seemed like a forward step for the band.
Heading to the Dark Horse Recording Studios in Franklin, Tennessee, to record “Among the Clouds”, “Death of the Hummingbird”, and “Love Me Now”. What changes, if any, did you make in the new recordings?
Those recordings are completely live and raw. We wanted to capture the band post move and the vibe you’d expect to hear from us live.
You said you wanted a link between the band and popular artists’ music. The new single off the upcoming EP is a cover of Post Malone’s “Allergic”. Can you describe the process in making the song your own?
It actually happened quite rapidly for this song. The track itself has almost this Beach Boys style to the vocals, at least to our ears, which made it easy to blend styles. We just gave it a bit more energy. We took it piece by piece one day at our rehearsal space.
For fans of The Arctic Monkeys and The Killers. Which songs of these bands are your favorites?
Oh, well that’s a really tough one. Each of us primarily digest music as full albums. We love the way an artist can put together a body of work and bring you on that journey, so it’s hard to pin down songs. Anything off of Hot Fuss probably. Fireside, I Wanna Be Yours maybe, also the concept for Tranquility Base is practically a masterpiece.
What can fans look forward to hearing on the upcoming EP?
I think they’ll really appreciate the atmosphere we’ve created from the tones of the instruments, dynamics between songs and transporting lyrics. The goal was to create a distinct vibe for our new music and hopefully take the listener somewhere for a little while.