British rock band The Wild Things will be supporting KISS this summer for their UK and European dates, playing venues as large as Plymouth Stadium, Manchester Arena and the O2 Arena London.
The Wild Things is fronted by Sydney Rae White, who you may recognize from her starring role in the hit Netflix/BBC show Uncle’ The band have recently completed work on their second album, Afterglow, which was co-produced by none other than Pete Townshend himself. Townshend also features across several tracks as either a writer or performer.
They’ve sold out venues across the UK & the US, and have been featured across Rolling Stone, Consequence, Clash, Kerrang! and more. Their debut live show was at Madison Square Garden in New York, their latest album was produced by Pete Townshend and they have an amazing new single, Heavens Knows, out now, with Paradise coming on June 2nd.
We were lucky to be able to catch up with Sydney Rae White, singer with The Wild Things, in the run up to the dates with KISS. She tells us a little more about the band, influences, legends and what’s next.
First of all, could you tell us a little more about The Wild Things?
We’re a strange little family – husband and wife, brother and sister, and best friend. We’re an alt rock band here to make you feel a bit nostalgic and hopefully bring a lot of joy.
Your new single, Heaven Knows, is superb. Can you tell us more about that song?
It’s an homage to a lot of the different eras of rock music, also from a female perspective. We wanted to write a song that slaps you in the face and kind of makes you leaving wanting more. Plus it was an excuse to give me a megaphone on stage.
Who would you cite as particular influences on the band?
We all grew up listening to very different things – for me it was a lot of ‘emo’ bands like Fall Out Boy (but also bands like The Who on my dads juke box). Rob was very hip hop and metal focused, whereas Cam was all about The Beach Boys and Phil Spector. Pete our drummer was more of a classic rock guy. So I guess when you throw all of that into the pot we are what comes out haha.
You’ve had high praise from legends like Elton John, and you have worked closely with Pete Townshend. How does it feel to have praise from such quarters?
We’ll never get used to it; it’s incredibly humbling. But Townshend for example has been much more than just complimentary – he’s actively told us when we had a lot of work to do as songwriters. Guidance like that is so priceless, even if it doesn’t feel like it at the time because we’re stubborn. But honestly, we hope to continue to impress these literal legends of music.
What is it like working with Pete Townshend? He orchestrated the opening slot with The Who at Madison Square Garden; is that correct? How did your friendship with him come about?
It’s like a slightly terrifying masterclass in song-writing, instrumentation, producing AND stagecraft. It’s fascinating to watch him work with something you’ve created as a band. He’ll break songs down and rebuild them in a way that makes you go ‘damn, how didn’t I think of that? It’s so simple’. And yeah, he had full faith that we could support The Who off of our songs alone – he’d never seen us perform before Royal Albert Hall. So he took a gamble, I like to think it paid off haha. Our friendship goes back years ago when Rob and I met him on a touring production of Quadrophenia – we took his email address and basically bullied our way into his life. You don’t get anywhere if you’re not a bit cheeky.
You have supported The Who and Pearl Jam; as well as KISS. Now, you’re opening for KISS in the UK. How do you approach such a slot, when the bands have such ardent fanbases?
Playing live is ultimately the reason we do this. There’s no feeling like stepping out on stage. We do get technical – whilst we are most certainly in the ‘rock’ genre, we have some songs that are ‘lighter’ than others, so we’re able to pick and choose our sets to fit what we think each audience will resonate with dependant on the show. But our ultimate goal is to have fun among ourselves and hopefully make the audience feel like they’re part of our little family, even if they aren’t literally on stage with us. Knowing we have fans in incredible acts like KISS and The Who does help a little haha. We know we can put on a real good rock show.
Are there any particular venues around the world that you have particularly enjoyed playing for whatever reason?
I think MSG was my (Syds) personal biggest highlight, since that was our very first show in America and it was just like ‘what the heck are we doing here?’. But also Royal Albert Hall; aside from the history it has, it’s such a stunning venue – we couldn’t help but get emotional stepping onto that stage for the first time during soundcheck. It was also the first major show we had after COVID. It made all of the struggles of those last few years disappear.
With so many things ticked off the bucket list (I guess), what ambitions are there for The Wild Things in the future?
Oh lord… will you judge us for saying it’s to simply become the biggest band in the world? For real though, maybe the Hollywood Bowl. We didn’t get to that one last year. But yeah, generally world domination. And a lot of shows please.
Which bands are you currently listening to? Are there any particular bands that you would like to tour with?
I’m a bit everywhere at the moment – some Janelle Monáe, some Tears For Fears and Talking Heads, mixed with movie soundtracks. Rob’s really digging Billy Woods new album, and he’s been working out to The Last Action hero soundtrack. Pete’s digging London Elektricity, Cam’s all about The Cars, Beach Boys, Bleachers and Kacey Musgraves. In terms of acts we’d like to tour with… we all agree Foo Fighters would be a riot. But hey, if KISS decide this isn’t their last tour, we’d for sure be up for another round with them.
Our thanks go to Sydney for her time. We can’t wait to see The Wild Things with KISS. You also get a slice of Skindred on the tour (who were mega at Download Festival, along with KISS last year…read here). The tour dates are listed below and you can get tickets for the shows here.
June 3 – Argyle Stadium, Plymouth
June 5 – Birmingham Arena
June 6 – Newcastle Arena
July 5 – O2 Arena, London
July 7 – Manchester Arena
July 8 – OVO Hydro, Glasgow
Check out Heaven Knows below, and pre-save The Wild Things’ new single, Paradise, here.