These Hamilton indie-rockers bring the sunshine on their latest single.
Inspired by 90s surf rock and 80s lo-fi pop, Tripper and the Wild Things are a Hamilton alternative rock band consisting of Josh Keillor on guitar and vocals, Eric Tarquinio on bass, James Puntillo also on guitar, and Brian MacMahon on drums. Starting off the year with a brand new release, Tripper released "Picture of the Sun", an absolute summer staple to help warm up any indie-rock fan.
"We became Tripper and the Wild Things almost right from the get go," said Keillor. "Eric and I originally got together and decided we wanted to make music, and we wanted a name that fit and that stood out for the project. 'Tripper' comes from the character in the Bill Murray movie Meatballs and 'the Wild Things' is from the children's book Where the Wild Things Are. We were mutual fans of both- Bill Murray is king."
The boys wrote the summer inspired single while planning their upcoming EP.
"I think it was one of the last ones we wrote for it," said Keillor. "We had a bunch of songs that were not really on the slow side but more of a laid back feel, and we wanted to turn it up a bit and write something you could move around to. We starting writing some more punk based stuff, and it came out of that. As far as inspiration goes it was mainly just we wanted to write something that would be fun to play live and had energy."
The single describes a toxic relationship through a sunny lens.
"The lyrics are kind of a story in a sense, I guess," said Keillor. "About a guy trying to figure himself out, and at the same time he's in this relationship that's kind of a mess, but he can't or at least doesn't want to get out of it, even though it's toxic to everyone involved. The relationship isn't necessarily with another person, but could be that or substance abuse or anything of that nature."
Tripper and the Wild Things recorded the track at Dead Quarters Studios in Hamilton.
"We had the privilege of recording with Marco Bressette," said Puntillo. "He also helped produce the song and the Boomerang Kids EP. The mix and mastering was handled by Darren Magierowski at Jukasa Studios. Marco is a consummate professional, mostly because he made us really feel at home in the space. On top of that, he really took his time with us on this track and the whole band seemed to feed off of that same desire to execute something as good as we could. Again, the song vibes pretty fast. Blink and it’s done."
After playing the song live for over six months, the band visited the studio to start recording- and had a great time.
"All of it sort of comes to bear on this one moment when the red light flashes and you’re recording your parts, and it’s easy to feel the pressure," said Puntillo. "That’s when the quality in the recording and the production and the atmosphere matters most. When you strip it all down: you show up, record your parts, listen back, and move forward when everyone’s happy with it. Plus, all those micro-adjustments in the studio are sort of fun! Adapting to your own songs is a really neat experience. Something you only really get to do when your play live and record. There are some evidence of experimentation in the final version of the track that come out in the studio that we’re really pleased with."
After releasing "Picture of the Sun", the band received a boatload of positive feedback.
"The reaction has been incredible!" said Puntillo. "People really seem to be enjoying the track. Our previous single, "Juno", had a really different groove: a sort of fever-dream ballad with hazy guitars. "Picture of the Sun" is a more in your face, slap-you-around kind of song. We’ve been getting some nice love on social media from a lot of the bands we love playing with."
The bandmates hope their single puts listeners in a bright, sunshine-y mood.
"Picture is one of our more upbeat songs," said MacMahon. "We released it in the winter but it really is a summer jam. We hope the song gives our listeners that feeling of the first hot day in spring where it starts to feel like summer."
You can help support the band by following their socials, or buying their music at the Bandcamp link below.
"The pandemic has definitely put a strain on the arts," said Tarquinio. "You can support us by streaming our music on whatever platform you use, buying our music directly through Bandcamp, or simply following the band on social media. Most importantly, I urge you to support your local music venues in any way possible."
(Postponed due to COVID-19.)