Mustard had the pleasure of speaking with Wilting. Together we discussed their formation, unionization and worker solidarity, their self-titled EP, their latest single “COWBOY”, and so much more!
1. Mustard is grateful to have Wilting join them at Music Shelf. How is everyone doing?
Everyone is well, thanks for asking and thank you for the interview.
2. You found each other through Facebook and Craigslist posts. Was the same ad posted on both platforms? Can you recall your initial meet up?
Yeah from what I remember it was basically the same. The funny thing about that is that we met during the height of the pandemic so you couldn’t just go out and meet people at shows. It never really occurred to me that people actually use craigslist to meet musicians but it seemed like the best idea at the time. Our initial few meetups/practices were at the top floor of an auto shop that had been converted to a band practice space. Our drummer had the practice spot, funnily enough after posting the ads I had quite a few drummers message me but Ben was the only one with a practice spot so that’s what sold me on him lol.
3. Together you spent the first few months focused on writing. Has your creative process changed since your formation?
I would say the creative process is still largely the same. One obvious difference between now and the first few months is that we tend to play a lot of shows so we don’t typically have as much time to write as we would like but if we ever get a lag between shows we try to work on new stuff.
Overall, the creative process is not a static or fixed entity, but rather something that evolves and adapts over time based on a variety of factors. Over time, we have become more willing to take risks and experiment with new ideas or techniques. This is leading us to more innovative and boundary-pushing work. Collaborating with others has been an effective way for us to generate new ideas and approaches. As we build relationships and connections within our industry and community, we have found more opportunities to collaborate and incorporate other perspectives into our creative process.
As we grow and change as individuals, our priorities and values have also shifted. This influences the types of projects that we choose to pursue, as well as the creative process we use to achieve the goals. For example, we are very interested in environmental activism so we choose to incorporate eco-friendly practices into our recording process or prioritize writing songs with a message about sustainability.
4. There is a non-hierarchical structure within Wilting. When it comes to sharing ideas, how do you organize them and decide what gets used?
– Usually somebody will come up with a riff or chord progression on their own and bring it to practice and we will just jam on it for a while until we work out a structure, sometimes songs get reworked and structures get changed. The entire process for “finishing” a song is usually about a week or so. There have been a few songs that came just out of jamming together and were finished in a single day. Emergency is one that comes to mind that was written that way.
5. What is something within the human world that can be found wilting? How do you revive it? How did you come up with your band name?
Unionization and worker solidarity. In many countries, anti-union laws and policies have made it more difficult for workers to join and form unions. For example, in the United States, so-called “right-to-work” laws make it illegal for unions to require workers to pay union dues as a condition of employment. This weakens unions by reducing their financial resources and bargaining power. As companies have become more globalized, they have moved production to countries with lower labor costs and weaker labor protections. This has made it more difficult for unions to negotiate with employers and protect the rights of workers. Many employers are opposed to unions and will actively resist attempts to organize their workers. This can include threats, intimidation, and retaliation against workers who support unions.
Reviving unions requires a multifaceted approach that addresses the various factors that have contributed to their decline. Here are some strategies that could help:
Organize workers in new industries: As the economy shifts, unions need to adapt by organizing workers in new industries, such as service and tech industries, where workers may be in non-traditional roles. Unions can also organize workers in the gig economy, where workers are often classified as independent contractors and don’t have traditional employee protections.
Advocate for pro-labor policies: Unions can work to promote policies that support workers, such as raising the minimum wage, expanding access to healthcare, and strengthening labor protections. This can help to create a more favorable environment for unions to organize and negotiate with employers.
Build alliances with community groups: Unions can build alliances with community groups that share their values and goals, such as organizations that fight for racial justice, environmental protection, and workers’ rights. This can help to build broader support for unions and create a more powerful social movement.
Use technology to organize and mobilize: Unions can leverage technology to organize and mobilize workers, such as using social media and digital tools to connect with workers and build support for their campaigns. This can help to reach workers who are difficult to organize in traditional ways.
Engage in strategic bargaining: Unions can engage in strategic bargaining with employers, using tactics such as strikes, boycotts, and collective actions to put pressure on employers to negotiate and reach a fair agreement.
Overall, reviving unions will require a sustained effort to organize workers, advocate for pro-labor policies, build alliances, leverage technology, and engage in strategic bargaining. By working together, unions and their allies can build a stronger labor movement that can improve the lives of workers and create a more equitable society.
Our band name was chosen from a hat, no cool story there unfortunately.
6. You put together your first self-titled EP together in a day. Could you share more about what that day looked like?
-Recording an entire album in a single day was a very challenging and intense experience for everyone involved. It required a lot of preparation and planning in advance, as there is little room for error or experimentation during the actual recording process.
The day itself was very long and tiring, as we had to be in peak performance mode for hours on end. There was little time for breaks or rest, as every moment was precious in order to capture all the necessary tracks and performances.
The recording process itself was very focused and efficient, as we needed to be well-rehearsed and ready to perform each song in just a few takes. This can create a sense of urgency and pressure, as mistakes or technical issues could potentially derail the entire project.
Despite the challenges, there was also a sense of excitement and adrenaline that comes with recording an album in a single day. It can be a unique and memorable experience, and the sense of accomplishment that comes with successfully completing such a project can be incredibly rewarding.
7. Does Wilting believe that humans are in the end times? What can humans do to have a better chance of survival?
That is kind of a tough question. Climate change is the defining crisis of our time. It is human-caused and the primary culprit is industrial capitalism and its addiction to fossil fuels. Capitalism cannot solve the climate crises since capitalism is the principal cause of it. One hundred of the world’s largest corporations are responsible for nearly 2/3rds of global industrial greenhouse gases. Zero emissions is a must if we don’t want to see human civilization crumble within a few decades from now.
8. What are some of Wilting’s favorite conspiracies? How does Wilting feel about some portions of society believing conspiracies over facts and science?
This song is mostly poking fun of conspiracy theories more than anything I think. Conspiracy theories often arise when people feel that there are gaps in official explanations for events or circumstances. They may believe that the information they are being given is incomplete, misleading, or intentionally obfuscated, leading them to question the official narrative and look for alternative explanations.
However, it is important to approach conspiracy theories with a healthy dose of skepticism and critical thinking. Many conspiracy theories lack credible evidence and rely on speculation, innuendo, and confirmation bias. They can also be harmful and contribute to the spread of misinformation and distrust of legitimate sources of information.
It is always important to fact-check and verify sources of information before believing or sharing them. It is also important to seek out multiple sources of information and to be open to changing one’s beliefs in light of new evidence. Critical thinking and skepticism are important tools for navigating the complex landscape of information that we encounter in our daily lives.
9. Earlier this month Wilting released “COWBOY.” What was the inspiration behind this single?
Ultimately, the way the song can be interpreted will depend on the individual listener and their own unique experiences and creative vision.
– Nostalgia: The cowboy archetype is often associated with a simpler, more rugged way of life.
Storytelling: The song uses cowboys as a character in a larger story, whether it’s a tale of adventure, romance, or tragedy.
Metaphor: The cowboy can also be used as a metaphor for various concepts, such as freedom, independence, or rebellion.
10. Mustard has seen cowboys in movies and television. Do cowboys exist outside of the entertainment industry?
While the concept of cowboys may be most commonly associated with the entertainment industry, particularly in the United States, there are still individuals who work as cowboys in various parts of the world. In the traditional sense, a cowboy is a skilled worker who is responsible for tending to and herding cattle on a ranch or farm.
In many parts of the world, particularly in rural areas, there are still individuals who work as cowboys, although they may be referred to by different names in different regions. For example, in Australia, cowboys are often referred to as “stockmen” or “jackaroos,” while in Argentina, they are known as “gauchos.”
So while the image of the cowboy may be more prevalent in popular culture, there are still real-life cowboys out there who work hard to tend to livestock and keep ranches running.
11. A human gets the chance to see Wilting perform live. How would you describe your live performance?
Our live performances are an exciting and immersive experience that engages all of your senses. You can feel the energy of the crowd and the performers around you. The interaction between us and the audience is also a key part of a live performance.
12. What is next for Wilting?
We really want to release a full length album at some point within the next year, we have been writing some new stuff
13. Where can readers listen to your music?
Spotify, Bandcamp, Apple Music, Etc.