True music fans know the greatest joy in life is discovering a new band that touches and moves you as much as all your classic rock favorites. You need to find new acts and artists especially since Tom Petty, The Allman Brothers and The Eagles (RIP Glenn Frey) aren’t going to be around for ever.
That is what is so exciting about The Wild Feathers, a Nashville-based four-piece band with a fresh sound and style. Their debut CD garnered rave reviews and earned invites from both Bob Dylan and Willie Nelson for the band to tour as their opening acts.
This year The Wild Feathers released their stellar sophomore CD, “Lonely Is a Lifetime,” and are about to embark on a headlining tour that will see them play U Music Hall in the District Sunday. Taylor Burns, one of the band’s three lead singers, discussed the pressures of being “the next great band,” touring with Mr. Dylan and Mr. Nelson and the magic of Nashville.
Question: How did the band come together?
Answer: We all kind of met through mutual friends and happenstance. We just started kind of talking about maybe starting a band with multiple singers. We all had a similar interest in music and a vision for what we wanted to hear, and it just kind of happened naturally after that. The songs came fairly quickly. It was kind of a fluke thing almost.
Q: What is it about Nashville that breeds talent?
A: Man, I don’t know. There sure is a lot of it there. I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that it is very easy to tour out of Nashville. You can hit so many places in a short time. And it’s affordable to live compared to New York or L.A. It’s a lot more affordable for artists to live.
Q: With three singers, how do you decide who is going to sing what?
A: Most of the time it’s, “If you write it, you sing it.” But that’s not always the case. It kind of depends on each song. We try to be democratic about it and let everyone get their vocals in.
Q: Do you ever worry about three cases of “lead singer syndrome”?
A: Nah, we’ve dodged it up to this point. And I think if it were gonna happen, it would have happened already.
At first it was the hardest because we were all coming off being lead singers and fronting our own bands. But now we love it. It’s good, especially with touring. I don’t know if I could sing all these songs myself. My voice would be shot. It’s nice to share the load. Some nights if my voice is hurting, we can say, “OK, we’ll just do a few more of Ricky [Young]’s songs tonight and you can hang back.”
Q: I’ve heard you guys called a modern-day version of The Eagles. Do you think that moniker fits?
A: I don’t know. I think we’re just ourselves. People always want to compare you to stuff so they can relate to it. I guess we are like The Eagles in the fact that we have multiple lead singers and harmonies. But I think The Eagles are way better at harmonies than we are. [laughs]
Q: You’ve also been called the next great American rock ‘n’ roll band. Does that put pressure on you?
A: No pressure. And I’ll take that. I think rock ‘n’ roll is in kind of a bad place right now. There aren’t a lot of rock ‘n’ roll bands out there. I love indie rock, but it doesn’t have a lot of balls sometimes.
Sometimes I wanna turn my amp up and rip somebody’s head off. I don’t care about the pressure. We can only control what we can control and go from there.
Q: When you toured opening for Bob Dylan, was there a chance to interact with him?
A: God, I wish there was, but there wasn’t. We didn’t even smell him. He had a closed sound check. His whole room backstage was closed off. It was a bummer — him being such an idol of ours. Such a legend. We were hoping to get to meet him, but it didn’t happen.
Q: But it was the opposite with Willie Nelson when you opened for him?
A: Willie was great. He was supersweet. He talked to us on one of the first nights of the tour for a long while. He called us up onstage pretty much every night during his medley of old gospel tunes. It was a surreal thing to be up there on stage singing harmonies with Willie and his band.
Q: Did you ever get to smoke with him?
A: We didn’t. But his crew gave us literally a hefty trash bag-size bag full of weed. We were like, “Holy s***!” It was like four pounds of weed or something. We smoked a lot on that tour.
Q: How has the band grown between your debut album and “Lonely Is a Lifetime”?
A: I think it’s a natural evolution. We have obviously gotten tighter as a band. We played 400 to 500 shows between the first record and “Lonely Is a Lifetime.” The musicianship is better and our songwriting has evolved. We are more ambitious on this record as far as what we wanted to do production-wise — a clearer vision on this record than we did on the first.
Q: When you are touring, what is the one thing you need with you on the road?
A: I don’t need much, I guess. It’s kind of a lame answer, but all I really need is my guitar. I gotta have that. I wanna say something cool. But I gotta say my guitar.
The Wild Feathers play U Street Music Hall Sunday. Tickets are available at Ticketfly.com.