If you’ve been following our blog for the past few months, you’re already familiar with Wildlife Control. The Brooklyn based indie pop act comprised of brothers Neil and Sumul Shah has been tearing across the blogosphere with tracks from their EP like “Analog or Digital” and “People Change.” Their sound is a compilation of numerous influences varying from classic rock to modern indietronica.
We had a chance to review their new self-titled album, and immediately responded to them with a request to premiere one of their tracks. We also had the opportunity to ask them a few quick questions, so you can get to know the band a bit better before you check out this premiere of “Brookyln.”
Their album drops tomorrow, and is a 10 track gem worth picking up. We’ve been jamming it in our car all week, and are sure you will too. Make sure to head out and snag a copy, and support this fantastic indie-pop brotherhood.
TMN:First of all, thank you so much for taking the time to answer a few questions. As you know, we’re huge fans of your work and are excited for the opportunity to get to know you a little more.
N: Likewise! Music Ninja is… well, you’re ninjas. Enough said.
S: Yeah, thanks for having us!
TMN:You two grew up making music together as brothers. Were you classically trained, or was it something you just pursued in your spare time on your own?
N: As kids often do, we used to make as much noise as possible as frequently as we could. We both took piano lessons and played the trumpet in the school band. Eventually I started playing in rock bands and getting into jazz, and Sumul got heavier into classical piano.
S: When I was a kid taking piano lessons, I really looked up to Neil and tried to learn all the songs his garage bands would play on the piano. I remember playing “When I Come Around” for some friends in elementary school and feeling like a badass. I definitely didn’t show my teacher that.
TMN: At what point did you decide to leave rural Pennsylvania for New York to pursue your music career?
N: After high school I moved to Philadelphia for music conservatory. It felt like a strange decision at the time, since while I knew I was forging a music career, I hated school and classrooms. It was a compromise, but one that I’m glad I made. There’s something deeply satisfying about having unlimited chops and understanding when and where to throw down some super locrian. I briefly moved to NYC after that, then down to Texas for a couple years, and then back to NYC where I’ve been for about 10 years.
S: I left Pennsylvania when I was 16 to go to college in Massachusetts. I’ve bounced around since then pursuing a variety of things (often simultaneously). Eventually I found a sense of belonging in the San Francisco area for some reason, so I’ve been sticking around there. I started playing the drums a few years ago. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, and it very quickly started feeling like the thing to pursue.
TMN: Was it hard to leave behind your life to pursue music, or did it feel completely natural?
S: Music has always been a big part of my life. It’s just bigger now.
TMN: Your music seems to draw on a lot of different influences, from Billy Joel to Postal Service. Who would you say are your biggest musical idols, and how do you incorporate elements of their music into yours?
N: We listen to a lot of music, and don’t consciously incorporate elements from other artist into what we’re doing. With pretty much everything we do, from recording, to live shows, to videos– we like making things that are unique and new, but build upon the centuries of art that’s come before us. We’re happy to leave the comparisons to you!
TMN: So when you play your live shows, it’s just the two of you, correct? Is that how you plan to leave it, or will you ever bring in additional musicians, or will this stay a two-piece?
S: We usually play as a three-piece actually. When we’re on the east coast, our good friend Moppa plays bass. We’ve known him since we were all kids. He plays bass on the album too. When we’re on the west coast, Kevin, another good friend we go way back with, plays bass. They’re both insanely cool dudes who like being behind the scenes.
TMN: Speaking of live shows, what’s one show that would be a dream come true? Whether it be playing with another band, or playing at a particular festival.
S: I would love to play a summer night at the Greek Theatre in Berkeley, California. I saw so many of my favorite shows there. You can really lose yourself in the music and the atmosphere. It’s pretty magical to see the fog rolling in during the encore. As if on cue.
N: For me it would be MSG. Having seen U2, Radiohead, Coldplay there… the sound is great and it just feels like a massive New York City party in there. We would party hard.
TMN: Ok, here’s a random question for you. If your music were an animal, what would it be?
S: Dragon. Or Wolf… I’ve been watching Game of Thrones.
TMN: Alright, tell our readers what they can expect from Wildlife Control in the upcoming months.
N: We’ve spent the past year getting ready to release this album, so we’re really looking forward to getting it out to everyone. We’d like to see what the response is and take things one step at a time after that. We’re always writing and you can count on more music, but for right now our hearts are in the new album.