Wildling is an indie rock band based in Los Angeles, CA. Their self-titled debut EP was released December 4, 2015.

We Woke Up In a Barn

Originally posted by Digital Tour Bus on November 5, 2015.

The morning of the first show of the tour, we woke up in a barn. Arriving in the darkness of pre-dawn on Thursday, October 18th, we rose to find ourselves immersed in a wilderness of color. Our friends at Zeno Mountain Farm put us up. We pulled a bag of our Wildling Coffee out of the trailer, whipped up a fresh pot and took in the forests and mountains with our hosts.

Our first show was at The Higher Ground in Burlington. Loading into the venue, we were reunited with Justin. Justin missed the epic three-and-a-half day drive from LA to Vermont because he was practicing and traveling with Young the Giant (he’s filling in for them on their first three shows of the tour). We’re all super proud of Justin picking up all of Payam’s bass parts and owning them onstage.

As it was the first show of the tour, we were curious how people would react to us. We’ve been working nonstop writing music, honing our sound, crafting our set, practicing, practicing, and practicing for the last year. Now, we were ready to lay everything out on the stage.

So that’s what we did. The response was incredible. We sold way more EPs than we anticipated. People caught along to our songs and started singing along. Hands were in the air, people were swaying, dancing, jumping. People really lost it when we gave Bernie Sanders our endorsement. After the show, an engaged couple asked us if they could use our song “Miracle Miles” for their wedding.

Burlington set the precedent for the tour, and from there the response from the crowds has only grown as we’ve eased into playing these big rooms and really honed our chops.

The next night was Portland, ME. We went straight to Tandem Coffee roasters when we reached town for an afternoon pick-me-up, then loaded into the State Theatre downtown. We played our hearts out, and the crowd responded in kind. We found ourselves signing fans’ shoes, phones, and hands (in addition to tickets, EPs and shirts). All this from people who had never heard of us before that night. We were stoked. We scored some late night Thai and passed out at a budget motel.

We were up early on Saturday and beat it to The Wellmont in Montclair, NJ. Another sold out show, another blast of a performance! Our bestie’s Yoshi (videographer), Gio (manager) and Meara (photographer/graphic designer/tour mom/merch sales) joined us.

So as we drove east into the rising skyline of Manhattan, we found our numbers doubled, from four to eight bodies in the van. It was a truly magical ride, riding off the high of our show, of being reunited, and of it being Justin’s first time in New York City.

It took us about an hour to find somewhere safe we could park the van and trailer in Brooklyn. We had one failed attempt, which involve backing out of a one-way incline ramp near Bedford Ave. and holding up traffic for 10 minutes.

The next day we all explored the city. Andrew and Meara found Halloween costumes for the band, Ryan showed his little brother Justin around New York for the first time, Erik caught up with old friends, and Casey got surprised by his girlfriend, Ally, who flew in from LA. That night, we all went out for drinks with the Young the Giant guys.

On Monday, we played out own little show at Arlene’s Grocery. It was a small room, and we packed it out. It was a really special show—our first in New York.

Years ago, Ryan told his little brother, Justin, that the first time he saw New York, it would be because music brought him there. The story came true.

It seems that our dreams are coming true. We’ve come a long way in one year. We’re seeing the world, giving our all on stage, meeting new people, winning hearts. Tour’s been a blast. If we can keep this momentum up, the sky’s the limit. What more could we ask for?

W I L D L I N G © 2015-2016