Wondering Wilderling

Montreal-based band returns home to play show in Kingston

Wilderling used to call themselves Audio Park when they started playing together in high school.
Wilderling used to call themselves Audio Park when they started playing together in high school.
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The four guys of Wilderling all go to university in Montreal, but are originally from Kingston.
The four guys of Wilderling all go to university in Montreal, but are originally from Kingston.
Photo: 

It’s not everyday you come across an avid bathroom conversationalist.

Wilderling lead singer Micah Flavin said he still gets nervous before playing gigs. Lucky for him, the comforts of porcelain tiles are always ready and waiting during his gigs as part of his pre-show ritual.

“Most of my conversations happen in the Mansion bathroom,” he tells me.

It’s that quirky sense of humour that made the boys of Wilderling one of my favourite bands I’ve gotten to interview.

“I always go to the bathroom 14 times before a show so I’m really dehydrated when we play,” Flavin said.

And the curious antics don’t end there. When Wilderling takes the stage, they give their blood, sweat and tears to the audience — literally.

Bandmate Jesse Streight poked fun at his lead singer’s guitar playing preferences.

“It wouldn’t be rare for you to look at Micah’s guitar and find blood on it. He refuses to use a guitar pick, so he just plays with his fingers,” Streight said.

Self-deprecatingly, Flavin adds that’s the reason the band gives out goggles and latex gloves at their shows.

These four Kingston natives have played together since the ninth grade when they used to go by Audio Park. Seven years later, Flavin, Streight and their friends Ryan White and Derek Branscombe share an apartment in Montreal, where they all go to school.

“Some people come to me and ask if we get sick of each other and the answer is ‘not at all.’ It’s rewarding to play music with your best friends,” Flavin said.

The band said they enjoy living and working in Montreal, but haven’t been able to really break into the music scene there.

“We will crack the shell of Montreal’s proverbial egg. We’re building our hammer right now that will then crack the egg,” drummer Derek Branscombe said.

Wilderling describe their music as being “under the indie rock umbrella.”

“Our favourite song right now is brand new and I’m digging it,” bassist Ryan White said. “It doesn’t have a name yet, but I find that the newest songs we play are the best ones. In my mind, it means we’re always improving and developing our sound.” The boys are back in their hometown of Kingston to play a show over the Thanksgiving weekend.

“A lot of people harp on Kingston, they say they have to get out of town and now we’re in Montreal, it’s so good,” Flavin said. “But when we go back to Kingston, it tickles our hearts in a positive tickle.”

Consider me sold, Wilderling.

Wilderling plays the Mansion on Saturday at 7 p.m.

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