Jeriann Tripodi, Staff
Header Image: wonderlandmagazine.com
Wild Rivers is an indie folk band that originated in Ontario, Canada. Its three members are Khalid Yassein (vocals, guitar, keys), Andrew Oliver (lead guitar, synths), and Devan Glover (vocals). In 2016, Wild Rivers self-released their self-titled debut album. Some fan-favorite tracks off this album are “Heart Attack,” “Wandering Child” and “Speak Too Soon.” In February 2022, Wild Rivers released their second studio album, “Sidelines,” under Nettwerk Records. This album debuted in the top ten on Spotify’s Debut Album Chart in the USA. These tracks, which incorporate sounds of folk, alternative, indie, rock and pop, focus on the relatable issues those in their early to mid-twenties face as they try to navigate adulthood and search for a sense of identity, all while reminiscing on younger days. A fan-favorite track off “Sidelines” is “Amsterdam.” Wild Rivers has recently finished their European leg of their “Sidelines” world tour, which was a success with sold-out shows. They are currently touring North America.
Wild Rivers took the time off from their busy tour schedule to answer a few questions. Let’s get to know the band a little better. I hope you enjoy our Q&A session.
Q (JERIANN): Which song off “Sidelines” holds the most personal meaning for each of you?
A (ANDREW): Writing “More or Less” was a very special and memorable moment. We had rented a house in Echo Park together. It was late at night and we were hanging in the living room where we’d set up all our instruments. We had this simple vibey synth note looping, and Khal started playing some piano chords over it. It was an instantly moody and great vibe. We stayed up late into the night and figured out the rest. It felt very inspiring and was one of the more effortless moments in the creation of the album.
A (KHALID): “Bedrock” is a song about a period of time when I struggled with depression. It’s the first time I’ve spoken about it, and it was an important step for me to move forward and get some complicated feelings off of my chest. I think it’s an important conversation in general, as everyone has mental health. Musicians in general with a demanding lifestyle and unstable living situations are susceptible to mental health issues so I’m glad that this has been a bigger conversation over the last few years.
A (DEVAN): I specifically remember the process of making “More or Less.” We were all sitting in our living room in Echo Park, tired from a day of attempting to write a song but not really getting anywhere. Khal started playing these chords on a Wurlitzer and we just started talking about the existential crisis we were all having. We managed to turn that conversation into this song, and it really revealed a lot of the subconscious themes of the album. Writing this one felt very raw and real.
Q (JERIANN): What can the audience expect when they come to see you live in concert?
A (WILD RIVERS): A little bit of everything. We try to keep our show as light and fun as possible. Although our music can be a little sombre, we as people love to laugh and goof around so there’s a fair bit of silliness and dumb bits at our shows. We want people to laugh, dance, cry, meet new friends and hug their old ones. The vibe of the show this past tour has been really really awesome, and we’re feeling all of those emotions even more than before.
Q (JERIANN): Growing up, which artists did you listen to that inspired you musically?
A (WILD RIVERS): We all converge on the classic songwriters. Paul Simon, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Fleetwood Mac, The Beatles and Elton John. Then today we have influences across the map, indie, hip hop, R&B, and pop. But even in those genres, most of those artists are referencing another era of music, which we think is really cool. We try to pull a bit from everything.
Q (JERIANN): What advice would you give to aspiring young musicians?
A (WILD RIVERS): Make music that inspires you, more than anyone else. It’s the only compass you can follow. If you think something is cool, it is. Today’s industry is exhausting, where artists are vying for a few seconds of attention. While that can be tiresome, it also means that young artists have more reach than ever before. And at the end of the day, you have to love the music. It’s easy to forget why you do something but for your own happiness, it’s important to remind yourself of that. And a true fan will love a song you make way more than a TikTok.
You can see Wild Rivers live in concert in Philadelphia on Oct. 5 at Union Transfer. The band will also be appearing at other US venues up until Oct. 9. Below is the schedule of Wild Rivers tour dates:
Check out the official Wild Rivers website for updates and more music information.