Interview: Wild Belle

wild belle / natalie & elliott / (c) wild belle

Having developed a very uncharacteristic but all the more intense love for Chicago’s brother-sister duo Wild Belle, I had to sit down with Natalie and Elliot when they were in town for INTRODUCING to chat about music to have sex to and having your own record label.

PDC: You said there was always music in your house when you grew up. Were your parents musicians?

Wild Belle: Yeah – there was always music happening around the house. Our mom played the piano and the guitar. Lots of jazz standards on the piano and Joni Mitchell type stuff on the guitar. Our dad also played and had a great record collection.

PDC: Having siblings, I know it can be a hate-love kinda thing. Do you feel being related and in a band makes it harder – do you sometimes feel like killing each other?

Wild Belle: Most of the time it’s just a positive thing. We have a very similar musical vocabulary and are able to to get past most of the strife and stress that goes along with being in a band together.

PDC: Listening to Isles makes me feel like a holiday, despite the snow. Where did you get that tropical sound?

Wild Belle: We draw inspiration from all sorts of music, and lots of it happens to be in a warmer climate. We love rocksteady and reggae, but also afrobeat and tropicalia. All of that filters in to what we do in Wild Belle in some way or another.

PDC: Natalie, you said in a previous Interview that you draw inspiration from older stuff, whereas Elliot, you said you’re also listening to a lot of new music to get new ideas. Do you have a certain process of bringing the inspiration you got together to make it into something of your own?

Wild Belle: We always go through a process in the studio of deconstructing and reconstructing a song. It sometimes has to go through a few incarnations before it comes out sounding like it exists in our world. We’re always looking for the “magic button.”

PDC: You’ve gotten the remix treatment from some of our favorite remixers like Snakehips. If you had the choice – who would you like to remix your music?

Wild Belle: We’d love to do something with Diplo and the Major Lazer crew. They have an amazing way of dealing with island sounds. We’ve also been talking to Matthew Dear about doing something. Maybe Dev Hynes too…


PDC: You guys started your own record label Sandhill Sound about a year ago. Do you feel like you want to help new acts get established or how come you started the label?

Wild Belle: We just wanted to have a way to get some of our own music out in to the world. I think that we will do some more 12″ releases at some point in the future. Maybe release some of our friends’ bands or some Wild Belle side projects.

PDC: If you could take a year off and do whatever – what would it be? Travelling the world, staying home reading tons of books ?

Wild Belle: That sounds like a pretty good combination actually. Maybe we would split the time between home and away. That’s sort of what it’s like right now. Mostly away these days!

PDC: We have a weekly mixtape section on the blog and are planning a sexmusic edition. Tell me the sexiest tune that you can think of – as in really really hot without necessarily being filthy.

Wild Belle: Anything from D’Angelo’s Voodoo record! One Mo’ Gin is a jam!

Be part of ze holiday & watch their performance at INTRODUCING right here – and right now, since it’ll only be online for four weeks BOO-HOO. You can also find the German version of our interview over at ARTE Live Web.

Fanni liebt das Internet, ihren Kiez in Neukölln, Schaukelstühle, italienisches Essen und Musik, die sie auf dem Sofa hüpfen lässt. Sie kann schneller Bier trinken als alle anderen, verträgt aber außer Mexikaner keine Kurzen.

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