ORANGE Asks: ACL Edition

Now in its 15th year, Austin City Limits Festival takes over Austin during the next two weekends, bringing big names like Kendrick Lamar and Radiohead in tow.

Story by Alejandro Diaz and Rachel Rascoe

ORANGE asked some of our favorite festival artists to reveal their deepest, most irreverent secrets. Catch them gracing Zilker Park with their tunes Sept. 30-Oct. 1 and Oct. 7-9.

 

Wild Child

Photo by Tamara Lichtenstein.

Photo by Tamara Lichtenstein.

Seven-piece act Wild Child takes the stage Sunday on the first weekend of the fest. The local folksy, indie band mixed things up on their most recent release “Bullets.” ORANGE polled vocalist and violinist Kelsey Wilson and keyboard and trumpet player Matthew Bradshaw about books and bacon pizza.

What was your favorite toy when you were little?

Wilson: Rocks and sticks. All the way.

Bradshaw: I was way into Legos as a kid. I had a Robin Hood Lego set, and I would make music videos for Robin and his merry men, pretending they were a fly break dance crew. I turned out normal.

What album can you not stop listening to right now?

Wilson: Rayland Baxter “Imaginary Man.”

Bradshaw: “Paradise” by The Wood Brothers is on heavy rotation. The harmonies, grooves and key changes on the song "Raindrop" are almost too much to take.

What color is your music?

Wilson: Coral.

Bradshaw: The color of the imaginary food the lost boys eat in the movie "Hook."

What food best describes your band?

Wilson: Gluten-free bacon pizza.

Bradshaw: We are a breakfast taco with a Sprite in a can. We give you what you need when you're really, really hungover.

What series/book have your read/seen multiple times?

Wilson: "Twin Peaks," "Harry Potter."

Bradshaw: Just finished "Stranger Things" for the second time. More more more!

Jai Malano

Photo by Kevin Brice Garner.

Photo by Kevin Brice Garner.

Vocalist Jai Malano brings classic rhythm & blues band style into the 21st century with her catchy, soulful songs. Malano and her band come to ACL on Sunday of the festival’s first weekend. Check out her powerhouse pipes on her most recent single, “Hearts Never Break Themselves.”

What’s your favorite city?

Malano: New Orleans and L.A.

What’s the last book you read?

Malano: “The Souls of Black Folk” by W.E. B. Du Bois.

What’s the best gift anyone has ever given you?

Malano: Tickets to see Beyonce in my favorite city [on the] Formation World Tour.

What is your collective spirit animal?

Malano: Black Panther.

What’s your most treasured article of clothing?

Malano: My Spanx’s.

The Gills

Photo by Jonny Kingsbury.

Photo by Jonny Kingsbury.

Nashville-based rockers The Gills are composed of Jesse Wheeler, brothers Matt and Andy Prince on drums and bass and keyboardist/guitarist Justin Locke. Don’t miss the group’s newest track, “Aria,” live on Saturday of ACL’s weekend one. Frontman Wheeler let us in on some of his most distinct memories.

What was your favorite song in middle school?

Wheeler: "Drive" by Incubus. Also anything off of "The Eminem Show."

When and where was your first kiss?

Wheeler: I was on the playground at school (kindergarten) and two girls, Jessica and Melissa, pinned me against a tree and frenched me good.

What color is your music?

Wheeler: I'd have to say it varies from shades of dark blue to bright red.

What food best describes your band?

Wheeler: We try to include a lot of flavors/textures/heat/sweetness/spice to our songs and performances. This leads me to only one dish that has a rich creamy broth. It's sweet, spicy, delicious and filling. Vietnamese pho noodle soup. I also literally eat it 4 or 5 times a week.

What’s your weirdest tour experience?

Wheeler: I drank too many beers too fast and peed my pants on the subway in New York. There was a guy sitting down in front of me staring at me while I proceeded to make a small pond at my feet. So, I stared him right back in the face as I proudly pissed my grown man pants.

Wild Belle

Photo by Neil Krug

Photo by Neil Krug

Chicago-bred brother and sister act Wild Belle take the stage Sunday of both ACL weekends. The duo’s music weaves blues and reggae influences into entrancing pop tunes on their most recent album “Dreamland.” Answers by songwriter and vocalist Natalie Bergman.

Where do you feel the safest?

Bergman: When I'm making art. When I'm in the studio. When I'm with my family.

What’s the best gift anyone has ever given you?

Bergman: My voice

What is your collective spirit animal?

Bergman: Hmm. What is a spirit animal! My spirit animal is probably Flea.. from Red Hot Chili Peppers.

What color is your music?

Bergman: Infrared

Welshly Arms

Photo by Peter Larson

Photo by Peter Larson

Vocalist Jon Bryant, guitarist Sam Getz, keyboard player Brett Lindeman, bassist Jimmy Weaver and drummer Mikey Gould make up bluesy rock act Welshly Arms. Their most recent single, “Bad Blood,” emphasizes their midwestern roots and varied influences. Catch them on Friday of ACL weekend one.

What’s the best gift anyone has ever given you?

Getz: My first electric guitar that my parents gave me for Christmas when I was 9. Up until then I was playing an old hand me down acoustic, but I couldn't get it to feedback.

What is your collective spirit animal?

Bryant: I'd say a gazelle for three reasons. 1. You don't know a lot about them. 2. They stick with their pack. 3. They're quick and will keep you guessing.

What’s your most treasured article of clothing?

Bryant: My leather Jacket. I keep picking up new patches wherever we go to stick on there, so it just keeps on gettin' better!

What’s your favorite city?

Getz: Cleveland, Ohio, where we met, played our first show together, record our albums,and all reside. There's tons of great food and rock ‘n’ roll, as well as the NBA champion Cavaliers!

What album can you not stop listening to right now?

Gould: One album I can't stop listening to at the moment is “Sunlit Youth” by Local Natives. I caught their set at SXSW in 2013 and became an instant fan of this band. This album is so rich with layers of harmonies from guitars to vocals. It's definitely got a lot more of a pop sensibility than their previous albums, which I think lends to their style well.