Music | Interview | The Wailing Loons

By Kieran Webber

Hailing from Minnesota the Loons are a bluegrass/folk outfit that consists of, Dan Wilder on guitar and vocals, Emilie Hitch on vocals, Casey Pavek on banjo and vocals, Nick Neylon on upright bass, Erin Manlove on viola, and Matthew Marshall on drums.

Their music is the very sound you’d expect from middle America, its soulful blues grass that gets those hips swinging goes perfectly with a whiskey.

After hearing their single ‘Death Canoe’ we were enticed to speak to the band about their musical influences and the fact they played BONNAROO this year.

CLUNK: Thanks for taking your time to answer our questions it is greatly appreciated, how are you and what have you all been up to?

Emilie: We’re In a mini van named Charlotte , listening to Prince and driving from Minneapolis to Manchester Tennessee to play at Bonnaroo… So we’re on top of the damn world.

CLUNK: You are heading down to Tennessee to play Bonnaroo festival this year, explain to us what that feels like?

Emilie: It feels Surreal. Even though we did it last year. We feel truly lucky to be asked back. It feels really good to be supporting grassroots food and activism at the festival with Eat for Equity and OxFam America.

CLUNK: Are there any artists that you want to see whilst you are there?

Emilie: Fidlar. LCD Soundsystem. claypool Lennon Delirium. Sara Watkins. Lizzo. Pearl Jam and we are actually super excited to see all the secret shows that pop up in the campground. There are tons of small hardworking bands that come from all over the US.

CLUNK: Do you prefer playing festivals or playing venues?

Emilie: We like festivals because you get to hang out with everyone afterwards, there is a total sense of community and you get to meet people and talk with other musicians. And you usually don’t have to wake up for work the next day.

CLUNK: How did you guys all meet and at what point did you decide to make music?

Emilie: Dan and myself met first through a mutual friend, actually everyone in the band became a Loon through a friend connection or from a shared interest, we met Nick our bass player at a music festival that we help organize with Eat for Equity, we met Erin at a hootenanny. We’ve lost some members along the way but are super pumped about the group right now and feel really solid.

CLUNK: I am going to slip a political question in here as, I am sure you are aware the the whole world is watching America right now due to republican candidate Donald Trump, what is your opinion on his campaign and American politics in general?

Emilie: It’s disturbing and awakening the amount of support he has garnered, we think he is a dangerous man, a xenophobic, pathetic, egomaniac. The problem is that he’s opened up a dangerous door in America by giving a voice to all the closet racists and bigots. It used to be a joke and now it’s a nightmare. Also this election has demonstrated the weaknesses in the two-party system and the influence and power of the media and of corporations.

“We like festivals because you get to hang out with everyone afterwards, there is a total sense of community and you get to meet people and talk with other musicians”

CLUNK: Now to less serious matters, what people or artists have infuenced you all to start making music?

Emilie: We love talking about this because everyone in the band comes from very different musical backgrounds and histories and herstories. Matt’s background is more aggressive alternative stuff, and jazz. Erin has really technical classical training. Nick was originally inspired by School of Rock which introduced him to Iggy Pop and the Black Keys. Casey was influenced by Def Leppard, Joni Mitchell, Young MC and Flim and the BBs. Dan fell in love with wanting to make music at a young age listening to Pink Floyd and Dire Straits records. I grew up with camp songs and choirs, the Indigo Girls and Ani Di’Franco, but over the years we’ve all gravitated towards music with a political message or some kind of meaningful cultural or Social commentary.

CLUNK:  Lastly, What can we expect from you in the future?

Emilie: We just want to keep making music together. We’re going back Into the studio in October and are excited to see what emerges after a big summer of festivals.