Standard Sounds

All Wild, All The Time

This Wednesday, Nashville-based quintet Wild Cub is gearing up to play a free performance on The Rooftop of The Standard, Downtown LA. We spoke with the band's songwriter/vocalist/guitarist, Keegan DeWitt, about life in the musical fast lane.

STANDARD CULTURE: Who’s given you your biggest break so far?
Keegan DeWitt: We've had a lot of incredibly supportive people help along the way. One very big one was Jeff Regan at Alt Nation (Sirius XM). He really was one of the first people to dig around and find our music. He added us into heavy rotation on his station and that help an immeasurable amount. Suddenly, we were able to reach so many people.

You guys had a great 2013, and this year looks to be even better. How has the ride been so far, and we’re not talking about your band’s new van!
The coolest part is to have ticked so many things off the list in terms of what we've always dreamt to do musically. Whether that is Fallon, sold out shows in the UK, hearing yourself on the radio in far away towns, etc. That is probably the most exciting thing... what comes next is pretty unknown. Something we couldn't really have imagined.

You recently played on the Jimmy Fallon Show earlier this year. How do you deal with the nerves of playing to millions of people?
It's not easy! The biggest thing is just simplifying your brain for a second, really focusing on doing that single song the best you know how... really trying to just connect with someone really far out there in the distance. Overall, it's such an amazing experience... you can try and talk yourself down, but when you hear Jimmy start to announce you, there is nothing you can do to hide those nerves.

We hear you guys are pretty good at Ping Pong, and even beat some of our pros at SPiN Standard the last time you visited. Who’s the best, who’s the worst, and when do you find the time to practice?
I'll go ahead and take the title for worst, although I like to think of it as though I'm just training the other guys for greatness haha. Jeremy is DEFINITELY the best. He has a dead seriousness that he taps into as soon as he gets a paddle into his hands, it's daunting.

What is your favorite song to play live?
I'd have to choose "Summer Fires / Hidden Spells." It's a super cathartic track live, lots of drumming, I get to be free of the guitar for a second. It's the most immediate I get in terms of communicating with the room.

You’ve been opening for some pretty great acts like The 1975, American Authors, and Vampire Weekend. What is your dream band to tour with right now?
It's tough to top Vampire Weekend. They had such an incredible record this year. At this point, it becomes about playing incredible cities, incredible rooms. A sold out Brixton Academy in London was pretty tough to top...

What’s your favorite part about staying at The Standard, Downtown LA?
The pool, the rooftop cocktails, the beautiful scenery.
Wild Cub will be doing a free show this Wednesday night on The Rooftop at The Standard, Downtown LA. RSVP to Their latest album, Youth, is available for download on iTunes by clicking here.

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