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Review + Q&A: The Wild Century- Organic (2022, Tonzonen Records)

Organic; natural sounding, of organic origin (organic food), good for you, and music containing an organ? The Wild Century definitely picked a good title to name their latest outing. Their lo-fi 60s garage extravaganza sounds natural and unrehearsed, energetic and lively, and it does have that characteristic organ sound we all know and love. Whether that is good for you depends on your taste, but if you have one you are probably already healthier than people without.

The songs on Organic all sound like they are babies born from jams. They are raw, unrehearsed, go with the flow rockers. Even the lyrics are flowing with the music, nothing made up or fancy, just the words that came up as the organ wailed and the drums pushed the band into motion. Being Dutch, references to Birth Of Joy and DeWolff are easily made, but The Wild Century throw in some Fatal Flowers and Claw Boys Claw 90s rock as well. I would be hard pressed to call this vintage rock either. Sure, these dudes and gal grew up on The Doors, Velvet Underground, and Jefferson Airplane, but Organic still sounds like a band very much jamming in the now, not reminiscing or falsely waxing nostalgic.

The end result is a contemporary band sounding very confident and comfortable in their skin. With Organic they show they know what they are doing. It is an album that flows naturally, has a delicious vintage organ sound, and is definitely good for your head…

I talked to bassplayer Joris Verbogt about their life during pandemic times, their musical background, and what is still in store for us. Here’s what he had to say;

How are you? How has the pandemic period been for The Wild Century?

Very good, thank you. The pandemic period was actually pretty good for The Wild Century creativity-wise. We recorded and released 2 albums, not bad I would say.

Can you introduce the band, and how did you meet?

The Wild Century consists of Stan (guitar and vocals), Gerton (guitar, sitar and vocals), Joris (bass), Butsenzeller (drums) and Paola (hammond). The band was founded around 2014 with the recording of Raga Blue. There has been some personnel change over the years, but in its current inception, we’ve been together since 2019. Nevertheless, some of us go back a long time and have been playing together in other bands for many decades. As a matter of fact, Stan and Joris created their first band 35 years ago!

What can you tell me about your musical backgrounds?

We’ve all been around as musicians for some time now, but we hail from different backgrounds in various blues, punk and indie bands. As for influences, definitely rooted in 50s blues and 60s psychedelic rock. Think Howlin’ Wolf, Junior Kimbrough, Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Cream, Jefferson Airplane, Doors, etc.

What does a regular day in your life look like?

Wake up. Have a coffee. Shower. Breakfast. Haha, seriously, most of us have a full daytime job next to the Wild Century, but this would not be bearable if we didn’t have our little circle of fine musicians to create something beautiful as often as we can.

What is the best thing about Organic?

That it captures the vibes in the recording studio so well. 

Where do you live and what is the environment like for musicians like you?

We live in the Breda/Antwerp area between Belgium and the Netherlands. There is still an active music scene on both sides of the border, but the last few years were pretty tough on most musicians. It seems to be picking up again in terms of live performances, but it’s a far cry from what it was a couple of years ago. 

Who are some contemporary musical heroes of yours?

There’s so many great musicians around the world, hard to just pick a few. Bands like Black Keys and Black Angels come to mind. Although we all tend to go for the oldies when it comes to listening. There’s so many reissues and releases from the vault nowadays.

Can you tell me about how you go about composing and recording songs?

Usually songs start out of a simple riff or hook with some phrases, which then get filled in as we rehearse. Sometimes it’s already a full song that gets deconstructed and covered in Wild Century sauce. The titles of the albums Raw and Organic already kind of give it away. We try to capture the vibes of the moment the best we can in the studio. What we play is what you hear. No crazy editing or post-production.

What are your immediate and long term future plans?

Conquer the world and bring down the system. Long term plans we don’t have, haha. But seriously, nothing specific actually, just have fun and make great music. On to the next Wild Century album!

What should the Weirdo Shrine reader do after reading this interview?

Give the Organic album a spin, turn up the volume, immerse yourself. Oh, and set the date: 24-2 in Antwerp, Djingel-Djangel is where we’ll meet!

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