I STARTED HITCHHIKING WHEN I WAS 18, THATS WHEN I LEFT THE MIDWEST,
says The Wild Wild aka Benjamin Dunn in describing the early beginnings of his story. Its a scenario thats been played out many times as sensitive, creative types shake off the confines of a traditional upbringing and head out to more stimulating environs. For The Wild Wild that meant California, I made my way west ended up in Venice beach, for a year and a half or so I just slept on beaches.
His wandering spirit has obviously informed a large part of his career to date. LA held his attention for a while, he started playing out wherever he could land a gig, eventually sharing stages with the likes of Bear Hands and Fitz and the Tantrums. New Orleans was home for a bit, he studied theology, played in churches, was a self-described Californian street kid in Santa Cruz. His latest move has been to the even more isolated, rural, forest of Pennsylvania, with the idea that it will further hone his artistic expression.
Its then a bit of a dichotomy that The Wild Wilds music projects such an air of innocence and celebration. That a young man who has seen so much of the country, including, presumably, many of its darker aspects, has held on to his sense of wonder to such a degree is in itself a wonder.
Dropping the needle on any part of The Wild Wilds debut EP Kids is to be immersed in retro sonics reminiscent of 80s synth based greats Phil Collins, Peter Gabriel, Springsteen and U2. In fact, Dunn is quick to reference the classic U2 track from 1984s Bad with its wide awake, Im not sleeping refrain, when describing his artistic philosophy. To be awake, eyes wide open to beauty and magic, thats my life philosophy, it makes you fearless knowing that the universe is ever conspiring for your happiness and something magical is about to happen right now. I don't want to sleep through it.
Indeed, for The Wild Wild, with a new relationship with Descendant Records and new music about to be released, magic is definitely in the air.
The Wild Wild