Review Fix chats with Wildeor’s Megan Brickwood, percussionist Caleb Conner, and cellist Mark Bassett who discuss the band’s new single, “The Devil Makes Three,” as well as the band’s origins, goals and creative process.
The Los Angeles-based band, comprised of singer-songwriter Megan Brickwood, percussionist Caleb Conner, and cellist Mark Bassett, met each other four years after Brickwood made her way from Northern California to Los Angeles. They connected over their mutual inspirations, a mix of folk and rock influences with an infusion of Medieval storytelling. Much of their alternative folk sound has been crafted around Brickwood’s influences as a child in the Pacific Northwest, her connection to the ethereal landscape, and a desire to tell stories that showcase the emotional highs and lows of the human experience.
Review Fix: How did the band get together?
Megan Brickwood: We all moved to LA from different places to pursue music. I met Mark one day when I was sitting with a friend outside of the UCLA music building. He happened to walk by and knew the person I was sitting with and stopped to say hello. I mentioned that I was starting a band and he said, “Well if you ever need a cellist give me a call!” And that was that. After I started working with Mark and a couple of other musicians I decided I needed a percussionist. I’d played with a couple of people already and it didn’t quite click. So I sent an email to the UCLA music department, and Caleb was one of the people who responded. I met with him and it worked so well I decided I didn’t need to meet with anyone else. We all started playing together and we’ve been good friends and bandmates ever since.
Review Fix: How did you all get involved in music?
Megan: Like a lot of kids, my mom signed me up for piano lessons when I was 8. I started singing when I was 13. There was a madrigal renaissance choir at the local high school that I became obsessed with joining, so I studied classical singing. When I was in college, I stumbled into composing music and fell in love with it. So I changed course and started doing the singer-songwriter thing.
Mark: I started playing cello because my 4th grade music teacher said it was easy for her to teach. I thought that meant it was easy to learn.
Caleb: I first became involved in music when I joined band in middle school. I became more involved in music throughout those years and high school and decided to seriously pursue music in college.
Review Fix: What are your influences?
Megan: We all have a classical music background. As for the writing, it’s always hard for me to pinpoint influences. I’m sure there are some I’m not even aware of. But classical music is definitely one that influenced my writing and singing style. Northern California Wilderness and medieval literature influenced a lot of the themes and moods of the songs, lyrically and otherwise. Some great musical artists I’ve drawn inspiration from include Florence and the Machine, Joni Mitchell, Aimee Mann, and, from my early youth, Irish music like the Chieftans and Enya.
Review Fix: What makes “The Devil Makes Three” special?
Megan: It blends a lot of different styles and themes. It’s a little bit Irish, a little bit Americana with an old-west vibe, and a little bit rock, but it all comes together to create this really unique sound. It’s doing its own thing and celebrating that, which is also what the song is about and encourages the listener to do.
Review Fix: What makes folk music so timeless?
Megan: I think it is partly because folk music focuses on stories of the human experience, which is timeless and has certain commonalities irrespective of the time period or place.
Review Fix: This song takes me to so many places. At times it feels super “Games of Thrones.” At others, it’s an Irish drinking song. What is it to you guys? What does it represent?
Megan: That makes sense. There are a gravity and darkness in the song but also levity. It is a celebration of abandoning caution and going to the dark side. It is a story of adventure, and adventure always has an element of danger. So it creates this kind of moody, ominous feeling but also moves and encourages you to let go and have fun. Embrace the part of you that says you want to do something, even if it’s risky or you are afraid.
Review Fix: What makes your brand of music special?
Megan: It brings together an eclectic mix of musical influences centered around a strong emotional core. It has a bit of an old-world, epic feel but with a modern sensibility. It has the ability to transport the listener in his or her imagination but also connect with powerful emotions.
Review Fix: Why do you think people should enjoy it?
Megan: It tells stories that I hope people will be drawn into and enjoy, as well as feeling that it connects to a part of their lives and experiences. The melodies and rhythms are inventive and imaginative as well so I would hope that people enjoy that too.
Review Fix: How do you want your music to affect people?
Megan: I want it to move them in some way. I hope that it delights someone, that it surprises someone, that it helps someone know that she or he is not alone in feeling a certain way. I hope that people enjoy listening to it but I also want it to reach them on a deeper level.
Review Fix: What are your goals for 2018?
Megan: Recording an album and producing a music video.
Review Fix: What’s next?
Megan: We are in pre-production for our next single, and we would like to release that in the next six months, in advance of the album.