Work-life balance is a daily struggle for the majority of people. When it’s time to “punch out” I don’t want to bring any baggage home with me. It is time to enjoy relationships that you have in your personal life and turn off the work brain. Lara Hilgeman (guitar, vox), Lupe Flores (drums, vox), Jordan Gomes (bass, vox) don’t feel the same. These co-workers enjoy each other so much they decided to make a band together. That band is Seattle’s own Wild Powwers.
Change is a consistent theme with Wild Powwers. The band was born back in 2014 and they released their second full length in the beginning of March. The new album, Hugs And Kisses And Other Things was a change in the sense that it is not a concept album like their debut Doris Rising.
They also changed their band name. Change can create chaos but Wild Powwers’ friendship and level of enjoyment they have with this project provide a real sense of stability. I had a chance to ask the band about their evolution as a band and what we could expect from them in the future.
Also, David Lynch if you are reading this, please contact Wild Powwers to score your next film. Thanks.
We got the bad shit out of the way the first day. We got pulled over for speeding, smashed our passenger side mirror, and blew an amp. Now it’s day 3 and so far so good!
You will be on the road for quite some time and going all the way across the country. Is this the largest tour you have done to date?
Yes, yes it is.
The Seattle/Pacific Northwest rock scene is a tightknit group. So many killer bands making great music right now. That being said, there are a lot of bands out there that play similar types of music. The noise rock. The poppy punk. The brutal doom. You guys seem to run in all of those circles but definitely stand out in terms of a unique sound. How do you feel about the music scene at home?
First of all, thank you.
We agree, there are a lot of amazing bands in the Pacific Northwest, and yes, they often do fall into those genres. We’re happy to stand out. We’re weirdos. Sometimes, kids might think it’s cool to stick within a certain category – maybe it’s comfy there for them, but that feels stifling to us.
It also seems that many Northwest bands are pretty content staying in the Northwest. We need adventure….soooo…yah tour is pretty chill.
Do you have any local bands that are personal favorites we should be keeping an eye out for?
Helms Alee, Maszer, Pleasures, Wimps, we’re sure we’re forgetting a bunch of folks (sorry).
You burst onto the scene with your first album Doris Rising back in 2014. It is a concept album of sorts and I am curious if Doris is a real person? Did one of you three get ditched or ditch someone at prom? What is the background with this story?
Doris embodies all of the bitter experiences we had in high school. Lara didn’t get asked to prom. Lupe got pity asked by a friend the day before, and Jojo dropped out before prom happened. Doris moves on quickly from that bullshit, however, and she comes into her own. She realizes other people’s stupid shit isn’t hers, and she becomes pretty freaking powerful. Also, yah, we made her up.
When I listen to your music I often think of David Lynch. Some serious Twin Peaks vibes (especially with “Prom Song”). Are you guys David Lynch fans? Do you have a favorite David Lynch project?
That’s awesome. We love Blue Velvet and Wild At Heart. If you know the guy, pass along our music, maybe we could write a score for his next shebang.
Back when Doris Rising was released you went by Powwers. Since then you have changed the name of your band to Wild Powwers. What was the reason for the change?
We were almost sued. A lot. By a huge record label. And we’re broke….sooo…we really had no other choice.
With your third album will there be further evolution of the band name?
No, we’re sticking with WILD POWWERS. If we get any more cease and desists, we’re changing our name to “Cease And Desist” (patent pending).
Your newest album Hugs and Kisses and Other Things was released on 3/1/2016. It appears to be less of a singular story this time around. Just dope jam after dope jam. Did you have a theme in mind while making this record?
Sex and Death. That’s the theme for every record.
Whenever I see pictures you post on social media it looks like you are really enjoying each other’s company. Positivity seems to ooze out of Hugs and Kisses and Other Things. It is a relief with all of the scary shit that seems to be happening in the world today. And one of the things that makes me incredibly happy is your album art. Who are your cover models and who deserves the credit for those gems?
Doris on Doris Rising is DJ, the super sweet door guy at Hattie’s Hat – the bar we all work at in Seattle.
Hugs And Kisses And Other Things is a photo of our dear friend, Ron, when he was 7. We like to call him Rawwwrrnnnn, like there’s a tiny monster in his name. He really looked like that. He’s also the one who coined “hugs and kisses and other things” one drunken night after several rounds of kings at Lupe’s birthday.
With the vinyl market being tough for smaller labels these days it seems that a lot of bands are electing to stick to the digital format. I am a vinyl freak so I was curious about your thoughts on vinyl and if you plan on releasing either or both of your records in that format?
We would LOVE to have our shit on vinyl, and yes, that is in the works. It’s just hella expensive and the wait is insane. It wouldn’t be ready in time for this tour, so we only have CD’s and cassettes. But hopefully by next tour we’ll have Hugs And Kisses And Other Things on vinyl for you dudes.
I had a chance to ask Lupe’s other band Tacos! some questions about their favorite places to eat and more on my old site. Food and drinks are still near and dear to my heart so I need to ask…where would you guys take your closest friend or family members that come and visit you in Seattle. The must eat and must drink.
Hattie’s Hat. Not just because we work there, but because it is the greatest place on earth. It’s home. For everyone who’s not a total douchebag – Jojo will cook you some grub, and Lara and Lupe will make you some fun shots. Then we can all hug it out.
Thank you so much Wild Powwers! I appreciate you guys taking the time to do this while you were busy on tour.
Go listen to both of Wild Powwers’ albums ASAP. They are both full of kick ass psychedelic rock goodness.
Fan of beer, dogs, vinyl, travel, shows, and eats.
Brew for @fognog (Foggy Noggin Brewing).
For the most part I only write about albums that I have personally purchased. I believe these albums are created by bands that deserve your support and money. If one person that didn’t know about one of these albums enjoys it and in turn supports that band…it is all worth it. There are links to purchase the music in posts, but I also urge you to go support your local record stores if possible!