DEBUT SINGLE OUT JUNE 3
EP COMING JULY 15
Shadow The Wild was born on a movie set. Lead singer Ari Welkom was playing the part of a vampire killer. Guitar player Fabien Hameline was the assistant director. Between takes, they struck up a conversation about music, which developed into some jam sessions that spawned a decision to start a band when the film wrapped.
“The first time we played together, it was magic,” San Francisco born Welkom says. “Fabien’s twin brother, Sebastien, was a classical guitarist. He switched to bass. [Drummer] Adam (Timmerman) was the second guy we auditioned. After one song, we knew he was the one.” The new band started writing songs, polishing them with numerous gigs on LA’s active club scene, touring regionally, playing SXSW, etc.
But there was still a sound they were collectively chasing. They knew they’d know it when they found it, so they stopped performing for a year to hone in on their song writing.
When the band met longtime LA producer Greg Morgenstein, they knew they’d found a kindred spirit. “Greg’s attention to detail is immaculate,” Welkom says. “He guided us through the recording process helping us polish the hooks, the grooves, the tempos and the dynamics. He made sure we were playing the songs as tightly as possible before recording them. He encouraged us to come up with all sorts of cool parts, then showed us how to incorporate them into the songs.”
The first result is “Twin Flame,” the band’s debut single and the lead track from their eponymous EP, set for release on June 3 via the band’s label, My Inner Animal. It opens with the spacy, swirling sounds of a Wurlitzer electric piano and the heartbeat of Timmerman’s kick drum. Washes of color from a processed electric guitar solo, played backwards, seep into the track, a nod to the sounds of ‘60s psychedelia. Dub-like keyboard effects and the band’s swooning choral harmonies set the stage for Welkom’s vocal, a perfect blend of passion and apprehension. He captures the feeling you get when you’re aching for love, while doubting it will ever arrive. “The song explores the dilemma of being in a superficial culture, disconnected from our fellow humans, yet longing for connection.” Welkom says. “It’s that old - I can’t live with you, but I can’t live without you – conundrum, but the guy in our song says he’d rather burn with her, than drown without her.” Midway through the track, Fabien Hameline takes an eerie psychedelic guitar break that intensifies the feelings of hunger and longing. It’s a fitting harbinger for the impressive EP the band has waiting on deck.
While the four musicians in Shadow the Wild have been playing for most of their lives, this is the first time any of them have been in an ongoing band.
Twin brothers Fabien and Sebastien Hameline grew up in France, but American rock inspired their move to LA. “‘Rock’ is an English word,” Sebastien says. “It’s odd to hear rock music sung in any language other than English. We both started on piano at seven, then moved on to cello and classical guitar. When Fabien started playing with Ari, I switched to bass.” Sebastien’s bass lines have the flavor of lead guitar, adding a unique texture to the band’s rhythms.
When he was a child, Timmerman was already making percussive sounds with his mouth and teeth. In 4th grade he started drum lessons and in high school picked up piano, guitar and bass. He later graduated from the prestigious Berklee College of music before leaving for LA. “Somebody asked me if I wanted to try out for a band and I’ve been playing with the guys since that first audition, growing closer, as friends and musicians, every day.”
“Our ultimate goal is to write songs that will outlive the band,” Sebastien says, “and play them on the biggest stages of the world.”