April 2nd, 2012
Even with a sinus infection causing her to nearly hack up a lung (the perils of flying back and forth for months are plenty), Wild Flag’s Rebecca Cole spent some time talking about the new tour from the comforts of her parents’ couch while waiting for a warm bowl of soup. After completing a world tour that included stops in Europe and Australia, the ladies are coming back through the States for some (already SOLD OUT) shows that promise new tracks and a new-found energy.
Between coughs and laughs, Cole answered questions about the new tour, new music, and their status as women that rock in an incredibly hard and messy way. If you’re coming to see them at the Trocadero on Tuesday, make sure to make your way to the front of the crowd, especially if you’ve seen them before – Rebecca wants to say hello.
When do you start the new leg of the tour?
We start on Friday in New Haven. I’m really stoked actually; its gonna be a lot of fun. I’ve been home for a couple weeks now so I’m really looking forward to going back out.
What’s gonna be different about this go-round?
Well, there are a few things different from the fall tour, because that was just us starting the touring for the album. And now that we have a lot more shows under our belts, I think the energy is a little bit different. We’re working on some new cover songs. And between being out there and coming back, we’ve actually written 4 songs that aren’t on the record, and we’ve been playing those songs out a lot, pushing them in and out of the set so we figure those songs out live.
What direction are these new songs taking? There was a strong post-punk influence on the debut. It feels so strange to call it a debut, though, because you all have been playing for so long.
[Laughs] The new songs are… you know I have to say that they all sound kind of different. They don’t really follow one particular style. There’s one that’s sort of a slower one than any of our other songs, which is kind of new. There’s one that’s kind of poppy and has more of a breakdown kind of feeling to it. But they’re all a little bit different. I don’t think there’s a clear direction yet for the new batch of songs. They all have their own personality.
Were you guys writing heavily while on tour?
Yeah, and we were working them out during sound checks and stuff.
How does that work? Touring is so demanding on the mind and the body. What’s the environment like when you are trying to create on the road?
Touring is really demanding in a lot of ways, but it’s also really inspiring. And in some ways when you’re out playing every night, it’s exciting, it’s fun to play, and it sparks this creative process from that. And so in the day time, when we’re at the club doing a sound check, it’s a good time to work out parts.
Collaboration seems integral to the way you all work and create, especially in the way that you all came together in the first place.
I think it’s key. Live music takes performers, but it also takes listeners. It’s a collaboration in the room. Everybody is in there at that moment and it’s something that can be very powerful and life-changing. Maybe not every night or every show, but for me it kind of is. As a performer, I feel like every show has the potential to change my life or change the world. It feels very important to me. But as a listener, too, I get that sense when I go to shows. I want to be transported into some other place, I wanna have something intangible that I can’t put into words; I wanna have that intangible feeling. I think it’s great when people interact in that way with us.
A friend of mine saw you guys last fall when you were in DC. She saw a mom there with her two young daughters, and she was so taken aback, in a positive way, with seeing these young women seeing another group of women rock out on stage. You’ve become feminist rock figures in a modern context.
I don’t think we formed this band with that intention at all. It says something about the state of rock music even now in 2012, that a group of four women on stage, just trying to really go for it, and getting sweaty, and pushing each other, and really exploring all of these boundaries, that that would be something novel. It blows my mind. But it is. You don’t see a lot of bands with all women. I still see us written about as an all-woman band, but you never read about the all-boy band nearly as much; it’s not much of a talking point.
We’re not making overt music about [being women]. The statement more is that you can just do it. And I think that’s the coolest part of it, where we’re coming from. If some young girls are standing there watching us rock out, the idea is that you can do this without any qualification. You don’t have to do it coming from a feminist perspective or anything, you can just do this. -Darren White
Wild Flag will be at the Trocadero tomorrow night with the support of Hospitality and Blood Feathers. Doors at 8pm, show starts at 9pm, all ages, $18 in advance, $20 at the door. 1003 Arch Street, Philadelphia; thetroc.com.