Eating an elephant is a time-consuming process.
But even pachyderm eaters might wilt at the prospect of whittling down more than 500 voice notes into four songs.
That is exactly the task JJ Wilde faced in creating her debut EP, “Wilde Eyes, Steady Hands”.
“Some (of the notes) was just a melody,” says Wilde. “Some of it was lyrics, some of it was lyrics and melodies. Some of it was guitar. It was all these different pieces of a song. In there, there were also complete songs. The songs we haven’t used yet, it’s not like I’m throwing them in the trash.
“It was a very organic process of not necessarily choosing the best song, just whichever one flows,” she adds, noting her collaboration with producer Frederik Thaae.

ED Magazine spoke with Wilde about working with Thaae, her live performances, and her previous vocations.

ED: Recording your EP was the first time you were “hands on with writing instrumentation,” so how was that learning process? How much did you lean on Frederik Thaae?
WILDE: That was interesting. I’ve always written my music on guitar, so it wasn’t a crazy learning curve, it was just more of the sense that as a collaborative effort, we worked through it. I would give him something to start with or he would give me something to start with. I’d almost sing the notes to be like ‘What if it sounded like this?’ and then he’d play it. We worked together in that sense. It was a really cool process. I’ve never written drums, but it’s fun. You just tap out something and then he would plug it in. It was very collaborative. We both used each other’s skills in different ways.

ED: For those who have never seen JJ Wilde live, what can attendees expect at one of your shows?
WILDE: They can expect lots of energy, very sweaty. I try not to take it too seriously.

Stripjoints vol72 animated
DJ booth

ED: Is there a noticeable difference between Canadian and American crowds for your shows?
WILDE: Actually, with this new project I haven’t played Canada much. Although, I’ve been doing music in different ways — I was in a folk band believe it or not — I don’t see much of a difference. I see people who love music. I think it more depends on the style of music versus where you’re playing it. A more gentle style of music is going to have a more gentle crowd.

I always thought if I didn’t do music, I would be a mechanic fixing up old cars or woodworking. But to be honest, I don’t want to do anything else. — JJ Wilde

ED: You’ve spent a good chunk of the year touring, what’s been your most favorite venue so far and why? Has there been an artist you’ve toured with that has really taught you the ropes (of touring, music biz in general, etc.)?
WILDE: I try to take something from everybody that I tour with, especially as the opener, I think it’d be silly to think I know better. I usually like to watch from side stage and observe and find something in every performance that you can learn from.
Nashville is always so much fun to play, and Detroit. Those two are my favorite places. The Fillmore in Detroit, that old theater, was probably my favorite spot from the last tour. The architecture — everything about that venue was so beautiful. It has this whole energy about it.

ED: Sometimes with emerging artists, the narrative gets told before they have a chance to tell it so what’s something you want fans to know about you they can’t find online?
WILDE: People don’t know much about me and I kind of like that. I have a strange addiction to tattoos.

Stripjoints vol72 animated
DJ booth

ED: There was a point not too long ago where it seemed like none of this would happen — do you think if your star turn had not happened when it did, you’d be working three jobs now? What were the three jobs?
WILDE: At the time I was playing gigs two, three times a week. I was also a bartender, a server and a receptionist at a spa. I loved bartending and serving. I always thought if I didn’t do music, I would be a mechanic fixing up old cars or woodworking. But to be honest, I don’t want to do anything else.

ED: StripJoints services DJs at gentlemen’s clubs nationwide, so why would “The Rush” be a good choice to play at a gentlemen’s club?
WILDE: It’s sexy.

EXPO deal 1