WILD ONES is calling from somewhere in the middle of the desert. They're touring for the first time ever under the Wild Ones moniker, playing a bunch of house shows. "We kind of jumped into larger venues straight off the bat with our new project because of our old band," explains keyboardist Thomas Himes. "It feels good to play house shows again, to figure out how to make each night sound good."
That old band was Eskimo and Sons, which dissolved in 2008 after that band's songwriter, Dhani Rosa, decided to wrap the project up. The band, which also included vocalist Danielle Sullivan and guitarist Clayton Knapp, reformed briefly as Congratulations, but it didn't stick, and soon Himes, Sullivan, and Knapp found themselves marooned without a band. So they decided to start a new one.
They had everything they needed, musically: They enlisted friends Nick Vicario and Andy Parker to play bass and drums, respectively, and Sullivan's clarion vocals remained an excellent vehicle for any band, both intoxicatingly sweet and sharply defined. Himes had always written music separately, but Wild Ones' debut EP, You're a Winner, contains Sullivan's first efforts at co-songwriting. During the days of Eskimo and Sons, Sullivan admits that songwriting "was something that was my very largest fear. I didn't even feel like it was a possibility. I didn't have the confidence back then."
"I think everyone in the band just does what they do best," says Himes. "Before we were pushing to do things that we might not have necessarily been good at, but now we're just doing what comes naturally." The attention they've received so far locally—this is a band that played their first show in February—is startling, but exciting. A full-length is in the works for spring, and they already have a new single available for download. "Need It All" shows a new direction for Wild Ones, and it was recorded very much as a group, rather than a bedroom project—pointing the way for the upcoming album.
"Instead of being passed back and forth, now it feels more fluid, where we're all in a room together," says Sullivan. "The EP was this sparkling pop dance record, at least at times, and now it's a little more moody and a little less sunshiny."