Leaving the wild

Wildlife lead singer recalls his musical days at Queen's

Wildlife lead singer Dean Povinsky has moved on from his days of playing in grungy basements of the Queen’s Student Ghetto.

“The ceilings weren’t tall enough and there was half a flood in the corner,” Povinsky, BFA’05, said. “It was places where human beings weren’t supposed to be.” After graduating from Queen’s, Povinsky and friend Darryl Smith moved to Glasgow where they formed Wildlife with Scottish drummer Peter Kelly and fellow Canadian Billy Holmes.

The group eventually decided to leave Glasgow and return to the more passionate fans in Toronto in 2006.

“People are generally more enthusiastic about everything in Canada than in the U.K.,” he said. “The main difference for me was on a visceral level. [In Glasgow] it’s rainier and gets dark earlier and it can be sort of depressing.”

In 2006 Wildlife underwent a massive line-up change to include guitarist Graham Plant, drummer Dwayne Christie, bassist Derek Bosomworth and synthesizer Julia Mensink. In 2009 Tim Daugulis replaced Mensink who left the band because she and Povinsky had broken up.

“We were boyfriend and girlfriend,” Povinsky said, “There was a few reasons why she left, it wasn’t creative differences.

“It was less to do with the actual band.”

The Toronto-based group is playing a show at the Mansion at the end of April and Povinsky said they couldn’t be happier to be returning to Kingston after playing a show here last October.

“I always like going back to Kingston,” he said. “It’s basically my favourite city ever.

“I used to stay during the summer instead of going home to Oshawa; it was so nice in the summertime.”

Wildlife’s sound has been compared to breakout Canadian group Arcade Fire. Povinsky said he doesn’t mind the comparison at all.

“It was hard for me to understand but what I came to the conclusion of was our songs fill the same emotional space for people as Arcade Fire and Wolf Parade -- bands we’re huge fans of,” he said.

Povinsky added that the comparisons could be worse.

“If someone wants to call us a punkier Arcade Fire, by all means. It’s definitely a lot better than getting compared to Staind or Three Days Grace.”

Wildlife plays the Mansion tonight at 9 p.m.

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