Edge, Music, Q & A + Profiles

Indie-pop band Wild Mocassins talks recording, touring, guilty pleasures

Hailing from Houston, Texas, the indie-pop band Wild Moccasins consists of Cody Swann and Zahira Gutierrez on guitar and vocals, respectively, along with guitarist Andrew Lee, bassist Nicholas Cody and drummer John Baldwin. The band, which released its first album “Skin Collisions Past” in 2011, is currently working on its sophomore album.

Wild Moccasins kicks off its three-week tour with Of Montreal on Friday at Grand Central. After playing numerous shows together, Of Montreal hand-picked Wild Moccasins to tour with them.

The Miami Hurricane got the chance to talk to Gutierrez about touring, music tastes and what they plan to do next.

The Miami Hurricane: How did you guys meet and how did the band form?

Zahira Gutierrez: It started off with Cody and me who started the band. We’ve been dating for awhile. Cody was writing songs on acoustic guitar and I’d help him out and sing. We met the rest of the band at shows and parties and we all had kind of the same idea. The band has been together for about five or six years now.

TMH: What’s it like working with someone you’re in a relationship with? Is it any different?

ZG: We try keep being a couple and being in a band a separate thing.

TMH: I know you guys were hand-picked by Of Montreal to tour with them in May. How did you guys meet Of Montreal?

ZG: Over the past couple of years we started playing with other members of Of Montreal since they are members of other bands [like James Husband]. We played with them and we became closer and closer. In the past year, we started playing more shows with Of Montreal and we got along really well. The last show we were like, “We should play more shows together.” We have a really good time playing shows together.

TMH: Has Of Montreal been a big influence for your music?

ZG: They are so influential I think in general. I’ve been a fan of them for a really really long time and all of us have been to a handful of Of Montreal shows since we were in high school.

TMH: Do you all have a guilty pleasure in regards to the music you’re listening to?

ZG: I can’t speak for anyone else but I think guilty pleasures are a weird thing for me because if you really like it you shouldn’t feel bad about it, but the Justin Timberlake album I really like it. It’s really good.

TMH: How long have you been in the studio recording your new album? Do you think you’ll be recording while on tour?

ZG: We’ve been recording for two months. We go three to four days every week trying to get it done. It’s taking quite some time. We usually record at the studio called Sugar Hill in Houston where our producer is.

TMH: Do you have a title for your album yet? When do you think it will be released?

ZG: We’ve kind of avoided that conversation, but by the end of the tour we’ll have some lyrics and song titles. Last record, since Cody [Swann] wrote all the lyrics it was easy … Now, I’ve written half of the new record and it’s a little harder to come up with what is the title of the album or feeling because we all are going through different things at different times so we are thinking of something neutral. The new album should be coming out late August or early September.

TMH: What can your fans expect from this album that makes it different than your last album?

ZG: I think it’s going to be a variation of different sounding stuff. We are creating more stuff dance funk disco kick, more dancier. Other songs are also going to be a lot longer and more experimental sounding at some point.

TMH: I also saw on your Instagram (@wildmocassins) that you guys just shot your first music video.

ZG: We did the music video really quickly in like two days and it was something we had been thinking about a long time. The tour inspired us to create something new.

TMH: It looks like you guys used a lot of red for the video. What’s that about?

ZG: Visuals are just as important as writing good songs and performing well. I think with this video I wanted colors to be a big part of it. It’s supposed to be one room where everything is red and then another room where everything is blue. We went out to thrift stores and bought furniture and painted them. We also dressed in all red for the music video too. Right now I’m into monochromatic stuff. If I’m wearing one thing blue, then everything else has to be blue.

TMH: I also saw you’re making your own costumes for the show. Where do you get inspiration for that?

ZG: I’ve been making a lot of them myself or collaborating with local designers in Houston. I get weird fabrics from thrift stores and see what I can do with them to fit what I like. Christian Joy, who is Karen Oh’s costume designer, I get a lot of inspiration from her. I also look at a lot of videos of ABBA and love what they used to wear. Bjork is a big inspiration too since it’s just kind of crazy and out there.

For more info on Wild Moccasins, visit their website at wildmoccasins.net or follow them on Twitter at @wildmoccasins.

May 2, 2013

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Megan McCrink


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