Getting Into The Digital Wild
Discovering the Digital Wild is a dive into a blend of multiple worlds, genres, and styles. These talented Austin locals are rising fast in the music capital of the world, bringing a conscious awareness with their unique sound fused together with memorable vocals and harmonies. Bad Girl Confidence editor, Tope Eletu-Odibo, sat with The Digital Wild to find out what makes them tick...
Hi Everyone, Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to me. I love your sound and I see you guys are propelling forward in your careers as musicians! That is amazing! How long have you all known each other and how did you meet?
Seth: Chantell and I met about five and half years ago. I was playing at her college and I was in a different band. We became close and long distant friends. She moved here (Austin, TX), a couple of years later. Together we met the guys in a band called the Beta Player at the Beauty Ballroom, opening about two years ago. Their band was starting to go their own way, from there we got the idea to start a band. Chantelle had this idea of starting a band for a while. From there, we hooked up with Pax, who is our MC and then Michael Wisdom who at the time was the drummer for Beta Player. So we all started up. Eddie who isn’t here right now, him and I were previously in that band that Chantell had watched.
We met Kara through Pax. She just joined a couple of months ago. We didn’t think about it too much, it just fit. She was taking pictures for us and being supportive. We just woke up one day and she was in the band.
That's great! So how did the name "Digital Wild" come about?
Chantell: We all did. Everybody had a list of names.
Seth: I had the wilderness and the wild in my head; you know like word play. Chantell was bouncing ideas with me too. Then Pax was like “how about not ‘The Wild’ but ‘The Digital Wild’?” We were like “That’s fucking cool!”
Wisdom: And it fits because a lot of music we make has that digital aspect to it mixed with live instrument. It supports the way we sound.
Speaking of sound, how would you describe your sound? The sound of the Digital Wild.
Chantell: We came up with Afro-delic-trip-rock. It’s a blend of genres. I was sitting at Juice Land, trying to think of what our sound was. I was thinking of hip hop, electronic, indie-rock and so on. You can’t say that for too long, so we decided to come up with something that was ours. Trip-rock is awesome and I wondered how we can make this our own. Afro-delic came to mind and I didn’t know what it was but I looked it up.
Wisdom: It means urban decay or something.
Chantell: hahah yeah… I was just sitting there and the word just came into my head. We just put it all together — Afrodelic…trip-rock.
Seth: One thing about the name, it kinda paints a picture of a different world. It lays a platform for different thinking and different visuals. It almost has a child-like story to it. That could be anything, whatever it means to you. The vast expanse of your mind, or spiritual.
Chantell: like technology and the natural world just running into each other.
Wisdom: Izaak Moody, Chantell’s brother came up with the logo. His art is so amazing! He is translating the imagery that we want for the band perfectly! I couldn’t ask for anything better, honestly.
Chantell: I described the name and everything. I told him it was something organic meeting with like animalistic and he did it really awesome! I knew from the beginning that any band artwork would have to be done by my brother because he is a badass!
What are the main themes addressed in your songs
Chantelle: Moving forward from a past you are not (maybe) proud of, deciding to be a better person and to be happy
Seth: Chantelle, Pax, and I write our own lyrics but the cool thing is we have writing circles where we are open to each other’s opinion on stuff. There never seems to be any type of knots in that whole line of communication. If I write something that they both strongly love, they will be asking me for every little detail about it so they can fulfill that story with their part of it. The same vice versa. Some of the songs are more collaged. They follow an umbrella theme. It is almost like a film where you have different people with different stories. We write about different things all the time
Chantelle: Yeah…we write about love, self empowerment...
Seth: politics…with politics we keep it pretty ambiguous when we do it. It’s about self worth and what your worth is in society. We keep it to a point where we say “you might want to question what’s going on…”
Wisdom: question authority
Chantelle: question us! Question. Question.
Seth: Some of the songs talk about strength and about asserting yourself. The opposite, kind like humility and what that’s brings for you in the long run.
Chantelle: There is an awakening among a mass of people right now and our album definitely speaks to that.
So how do you envision that evolving, those themes? Do you see them changing over time into something different or do you see yourself sticking with these themes and exploring them even more?
Seth: I think that we as a band have common opinions on things but I think everyone will sing and write true to themselves. Of course we all evolve over time and our opinions get honed and changed but there is always going to be the same vibe.
Chantelle: It depends on the season and what’s going on.
Seth: Yeah a lot happens in our personal lives. We won’t go into detail about what’s behind those lyrics because it is for people to attach to and put their name into it if they want to. What is really cool too is Pax, Chantell and I is that we are so close but we are completely separately people. We come from different backgrounds, races, religious backgrounds or lack thereof. It is fun in the story telling that we are all on the same theme. A bigger audience gets to hear different sides of the story and how the same event might affect different people in different ways.
What elements of yourselves do each of you bring to the table to make this The Digital Wild?
Chantell: I would definitely say, I bring the afro! I bring the hair!! hahha. As far as a visual performance, I love to dance. Sometimes I will have dancers and sometimes I dress up creatively. I definitely love that aspect of thinking how can we make this show visually exciting for people. So we are not just standing there. We get crazy! Let’s get into people’s faces! I bring a feminine softness with a strong edgy amongst the masculine vocals.
Seth: Chantelle is wise beyond her years for sure. It is really cool that we are not just from different background but also age groups too. It shows not a naivety but a wide eye wonder about the world. There is a freshness to it. Pax on the other hand has been here much longer, there is still wonder in it, but there is a different vibe.
Kara: I feel so different because I am new to the band. I started out as a fan. When I saw them for the first time playing and I remember saying “ah, they need a keyboard player!” And it’s just crazy that I am now the keyboard player! I love the band and if I was not it in, I would be a fan. I would be coming to the shows and taking pictures, doing blog posts, and photo shoots! I feel honored. It’s kind of a dream come true for me to be asked to be in an awesome band. I bring the keyboard to the band!
Wisdom: I bring the rhythm because I am the drummer. I make a lot of the beats. On top of that since I work on the composition and I add a lot of the background instrument. I add the vibe! I love to incorporate ethnic sounds and ethnic rhythms into it. It meets the overall feel of the band.
Seth: I’m the self-fulfilled prophecy hahah. I am the guy who couldn’t sing for shit and kept working on it. I like to wail! I like to get loud and emotional! I love this band! I love that I can focus on myself and be proud of my position in it. And if everyone does that, which they have been doing, I don’t need shine the whole time. Every body shines. That’s a great feeling to go on stage and look around to see that everyone is so proud of the band and of what they are doing! That’s a good feeling! I am also kind of mum!
Eddie is an extremely skilled bass player
Wisdom: And an extremely skilled sound engineer! Which is so nice to have when it comes to every aspect of the band. Having someone that has a history in mixing and setting up shows.
Pax: I rap. I bring the hip hop aspect into the Digital Wild, into the digitally acclaimed society that we live in. That’s all I do!
Seth: Pax is the seasoning salt! He is the one not afraid to keep us on our toes and question things. He keeps the blood churning and provocative. He keeps us questioning ourselves. He is a phenomenal poet! I would want him to speak for himself but knowing him as a friend and what he has come out of in life, there is such as self taught sense of wisdom about him. It’s really cool!
Wisdom: We had a meeting yesterday with someone who may be managing us and he put it a really good way: “Pax is edgy.” And for us to even out things, it makes us stay edgy as well. We have to keep up with him to a certain extent.
Where has been your favorite place to perform?
Wisdom:The sound system at EMOs is untouchable! That was our first show.
Seth: Mohawk outside. I felt like it was our breakthrough show!!
Chantell: Our release party. That was inside of Mohawk and that was awesome! It was sold out! This was about a month ago! January 17th!
Pax: My favorite place to perform has been the Parish. I like the sound of the Parish.
Where would you most love to perform?
Wisdom: Saturday Night Live!
Chantell: I second that!
Wisdom: Pretty ambitious I know but you need to start somewhere. There is so many great places in Austin to perform. I think we’ve played most of the great places in Austin. When we play these places we say how honored we are to play with such great artists. I can only asked to be invited back which we have so far.
Pax: Here in Austin, I would like to do Mohawk outside. Anywhere…I don’t know. I was talking to the dude from Dead Prez, he was talking about Africa and performing in Africa. He said how he was there and how they embraced them. I liked the way he explained it and I said…I wanna go there! Somewhere in Africa.
Wisdom: I would also like to play Red Rocks because it is the natural acoustics. Some of the best acoustics out there. I have only been to one show there but it was amazing! The sound was so good!
Pax: I want to do Soul Train. hahha. I want to go back in time!
Who is your favorite artist to perform with? or open for?
Wisdom: Our friends in Blxpltn. They are a lot of fun and really talented! It is very different but it’s a good pairing.
Chantell: Big Freedia was fun to perform with too!
Who would you most like to open for?
Wisdom: There is a lot of great hip hop acts still going around that I would love to perform for like Talib Kweli. I would feel so honored to do that!
Pax: If I was on stage with Prince, I may just faint! What was that band with Jay Electronica…The Bullits! I would play with them.
Seth: Blackstar is what you are trying to say! On the hip hop side, Rage Against the Machine, Wu Tang, and just some classic ones. In terms of just like, if you could tour with anybody, that’s really hard!
Wisdom: I really wish Papier Mache was still touring.
Seth: Radiohead. Deftones. Smashing Pumpkins.
Chantell: I want to open for Coco Rosie! or Dessa.
Seth: I want to open for Bjork!
Wisdom: Now the dilemma is, does Bjork open for Deftone or vice versa?!!
Seth: We are trying to stay humble and we walk on so many eggshells trying to cross genres. I feel like we are doing it. I think it is a good feeling to be able to play with so many different genres. When you are younger you do one genre at a time but once you get older you love everything.
Chantell: Yeah, it all melts away. Labels are limiting!
Seth: The great thing about our name is that it embraces extremes. We utilize that. There are some pretty extreme sounds.
Your sartorial style seems uniform. Did it happen organically?
All: Yup! It was pretty organic.
Chantell: I also know what I like.
Wisdom: She organizes to a certain extent.
Chantell: I like this think about how they make me feel. This color makes me feel calm. This color makes me on edge a little bit. This photo seems dreamy.
What are you guys at now and where are you moving to?
Chantell: We are starting to work on songs for the new album, which we are really excited about.
Wisdom: I’d say we are almost five songs into the new album. We are well on our way to a second album already. Even though we just came out with the first.
Seth: This band is about equality amongst the band. It is a pure democracy. As our lives are changing, we are going to attack each day with the solution that is best for each of us. To come up with too much direction business-wise and where it is going to go would be hasty. Musically, I just don’t want to guess. I love how it keeps growing into whatever it grows into. We are being very present.
Chantell: And we have a tour in May that we are putting together. It’s 18 days.