Described as an essay about all matters to do with the heart, Wildlife’s On the Heart is about more than love.
“It’s not just about being in love and being heartbroken, that’s definitely part of it, but it’s about everything related to the heart,” said lead singer and guitarist Dean Povinsky.
As they embark on a national tour, Povinsky said that he is looking forward to playing in some cities that they haven’t played in a while, and also returning to Vancouver for their fifth show in the city. For their first few dates in Ontario they shared the stage with Fast Romantics, and for their western dates they will be playing with Boy and Bear.
Povinksy says he misses his own bed the most when on the road, “and not sharing it with some dudes,” he adds, laughing.
Povinsky comes up with the lyrics and melodies for Wildlife’s songs first, then brings them to the rest of the band. It’s a collaborative process with everyone shaping each song together. For On the Heart the band worked with producers Peter Katis, Gus Van Go, and Werner F., and Povinsky said that the album developed organically and that it was a lot of fun to work with them.
“Peter put the unifying patina on the whole album, so it didn’t sound schizophrenic,” said Povinsky.
“You make an album and it’s bound to be a learning experience,” he continued. “There’s no way you can’t take something away.” He’s happy with the process and proud of the album: “It’s pretty reflective of what we were trying to do.”
The thing Povinksy misses most when on the road is his bed: “And not sharing it with some dudes.”
The theme of the record, said Povinsky, is reflected in “Don’t Fear” with its juxtaposition of happy and sad elements. “It encapsulates the record well,” said Povinsky, “sonically it’s a bit more melancholy and it’s instrumentally interesting — there’s a build up I like. Lyrically it reflects the tension we were trying to put in the songs.”
Another element of tension is in the idea of romanticizing something that might not be good for you and, on the other hand, being able to see the good in something negative.
While a concert may be a place of tension for some, Povinsky said, “We’re good at making people have fun in a live setting.” He likes to talk to the audience a lot and put them in a good mood. “I let them know we don’t think we’re better than them,” he said, “We’re honest and earnest about what we’re doing up there — they can relate to that.”
That being said, he doesn’t have anything specific prepared for each show. “I’m not a fan of delivering the same banter every night and having go-to jokes,” he said, explaining that the goal is just to make sure the audience has fun. “If I have to make fun of myself then so be it.”