Kinsey Lee, Mackenzie Howe and Sharon Silva didn’t grow up together, aren’t related, and weren’t in bands together in college. They met through the local L.A. club scene that they all frequented as concertgoers and in 2009 started The Wild Reeds. The band’s early material had a folk slant with unmistakable 3-part harmonies while the more recent material, including 2019’s Cheers, has gravitated towards a dreamy pop-rock sound.
The Wild Reeds, rounded out by bassist Nick Phakpiseth and drummer Nick Jones, will play Skully’s on Sunday night with the equally as remarkable Valley Queen. Tickets are $15 in advance (available at Used Kids, Magnolia Thunderpussy or online), $20 day of show. Doors are at 5:30, show starts at 7.
Kinsey, Mack and Sharon took some time to answer questions we emailed them last week.
Is there a bar, restaurant, store, etc where everybody knows your name?
Mack – El Condor in Silverlake! We’ve got a bunch of friends who work there, and we’ve had some significant parties, DJ nights, and general weeknights there.
The “Lose My Mind” video features a compilation of home movie clips – really cool that you have those and incorporated into the video. What event(s) from your childhood were NOT videotaped that you wish had been so you could go back and revisit?
Kinsey – I don’t think we have my performance from my Christian school talent show where I danced by myself to Backstreet Boys’ “Get Down”. I was in second grade, wearing a backwards hat and orange overalls dancing innocently to a very sexual song on the stage of our church.
You stumble upon a magical time machine – do you set the dial to the ’60s, ’70s, ’80s or ’90s? And, once you’ve traveled back in time, how/where does The Wild Reeds fit into the music scene?
Mack – I think the 60’s would have embraced our acoustic tendencies, song writing, and harmonies. However, I often think we belong somewhat in the 90’s especially because we are 90’s kids. There was an awesome mix of grunge, folk, and pop going on and we identify with all of that. I personally love the 70’s for music as well, not sure how we would have fit in there, or the 80’s hah.
Sharon – 70’s so we could try and tour with Fleetwood Mac and have milder weed.
Blind and Brave was a bit folksier than The World We Built and Cheers. Did the sound naturally evolve or did you consciously say, “Okay, we’ve done that type of music, let’s flex a bit and try something different”?
Kinsey – It was natural. We started as a three piece folk harmony trio and as we expanded our musical abilities we wanted a bigger and heavier sound. We also have more fun with the music we are playing today, it’s not so…dainty.
In terms of touring, maybe I’m more aware of it now because of the internet, but there are so many non-traditional type venues where artists are performing both for exposure (like the Tiny Desk series) as well as for fans (Sofar Shows). Can you tell me about a specific non-traditional show you’ve played, maybe one that on paper seemed really unusual but wound up being memorable (either good or bad)?
Kinsey – We played an adult summer camp called Camp Grounded for a couple years. Everyone was super apprehensive about playing except me because, well, I had a prophetic dream about it that got us the gig. It was a 5 day digital detox that ended up changing a lot of our lives and helped us truly see and hear each other in a new way. The basic idea of the camp was a place amongst the redwoods void of technology, no mentions of the “W”(work), no drugs or alcohol, and no talk of age. It helped remove social hierarchy based on your job, age, or online presence and helped us “disconnect to reconnect.” I am forever grateful to music for bringing us there.
Closing out … each of you gets to pick a greatest hits CD by a band as your “touring music” that is played in the tour vehicle. What are each of your picks?
Mack – Does Ben Kweller have a greatest hits record ‘cause that would probably be mine. -Mack
Sharon – Boston!
Kinsey – Third Eye Blind’s debut record from 1997