by Nilabjo Banerjee

wildlife

When certain words of our current diction get overused, such as EPIC, the impact of the word is undermined as a result. Give Born to Ruin by Wildlife a listen, and you will realize the ‘larger than life’ meaning of the word, when I say, the song is EPIC! The lead single from the sophomore release …On The Heart, by Toronto’s beloved quintet, is a sample of how they do things. The grandiose scale of the tunes translates as well live with high energy performances featuring all members attired in black with matching teal armband on their left hands. Cool eh?

After an eventful 2013 full of tours and swimming with turtles in Hawaii (what?!), I caught up with the usually sweaty and hotly bearded frontman Dean Povinsky after a full band acoustic pop-up set at Of a Kind.

That was a tight set man. I remember first time seeing you guys opening for Young The Giant back in 2011, and you had a cast on your leg. I thought, how is he gonna pull that off?

I was just high … on painkillers! I think (somehow) we made that show work. At that point, I hoped this is as bad as it ever gets. Don’t get me wrong, it was a really good show! Mod Club was SOLD OUT and it was a really good opportunity for us. I was like half-sitting on a stool and tried hopping around. That was actually very stupid. It was only 2 days after it (tearing an ACL) had happened, so a lot more serious than a broken leg. I didn’t walk for like 8 or 10 months. Other guys really picked up the slack that night.

You have had a very eventful 2013 so far. Want to give us a gist of that?

Yeah! We put out a new album. We did bunch of festivals in the summer. Then, we did this Hawaii thing in September which just lead into the tour that we are on right now.

This Hawaii thing that you speak of..mind elaborating on that? Saw the Instagram photos, and seemed like you were having fun!

It’s a hard place NOT to have fun. Totally beautiful pretty much everywhere you go. We played on top of a volcano, about 11,000 ft, called Haleakalā. It’s insanely picturesque and very cold up there actually. It is funny because the very next day, US government shut down all the national parks in the entire country. We wouldn’t have been able to do it had it been a day later.

Is that where you got to swim with turtles?

Yeah, we got to do that! We shot a video over 3 days of our travels in Maui. Derek and I saw a bunch of turtles on the beach, where they were just hanging out. We went snorkelling once, and we saw a massive big ol’ daddy turtle. We filmed it and everything!

That is wild. On this tour, you got to Canada and US dates and is comin to an end tonight. Plans for the future?

Just a little break for now. We are sort of at the part where I have been writing some songs on my own. Everyone in the band is sort of itching to get to that part of it. We will probably tour again in the spring with this album and go to places that we didn’t get go yet. We are planning to get to Europe next year.

Any places specifically in Europe you wanna play?

I always like to do stranger things. Wherever there is an opportunity to do something offbeat, I am game! So, I would like to play in Eastern Europe and sort of see what happens! I am totally game to go anywhere. Got some friends that have been going to that part of Europe and they have good things to say.

Speaking of different, fact or fiction: you guys got started with a missed connection on Craigslist.

That is not a myth. Graham and I have known each other since we were teenagers. Dwayne fits in the picture shortly after that through some acquaintances. For Derek, when we decide to do this Wildlife thing, we put an ad for a Bass Player on Craigslist, and we found him! That was like 7 years ago! We are more than acquaintances at this point.

You have a song called Don’t Fear. What are you afraid of?

Going insane is something that I am afraid of! When I think about something that is really disturbing like the idea of having Alzheimer’s or something, that worries me. That song is about just letting go and not be afraid.

You do such high energy shows on tour. How do you keep things sane on tour?

I am not sure that we do. We drink! That solves everything right? The longer that you are touring, the better you put yourself in a position perhaps to make healthier choices. If you are doing it for a week or two, it is allowed to be too much of a party. But, if you are on the road for 2 months or so, then you gotta do things like get some sleep or order a plate of broccoli from time to time, or try to hit the gym if you are staying in a hotel.

Christmas is still far away, what is the worst Christmas gift you have ever gotten?

Clothes! When I was a kid, I have been told that I would grab any present and be like ‘ew clothes’! Probably a sweater or something! And next year, your mom makes you wear it again because the person that gave it to you is gonna see it. Abject slavery!