Local pop trio The Young Wild has done this before. Bryan B. William, Gareth Moore, and Brandon Zedaker all played music prior to joining forces while they were at Point Loma Nazarene University together.
As The Young Wild, they’ve toured somewhat extensively - playing shows up and down the West Coast, and once even mounting a two-week trek that took them as far as Dallas.
But six weeks across North America opening for Los Angeles-based crooner ZZ Ward is something else entirely.
“It’s the most expansive touring we’ve ever done,” frontman William recently told DiscoverSD as the band drove from Chicago to St. Louis. “As soon as we hit Nashville, it’s all been new territory for us. Every city and every venue since has been a first. But all the experiences have been good. And we’re learning a lot as we go.”
You can say that again. William and his band mates smartly spent the month preceding the tour in the studio. Not only did they get the majority of the tracking done for their upcoming full-length debut, they also decided to use the opportunity to road test the new material.
“No one knows these songs,” William said. “So we really wanted to start fresh and break some of them in. Being able to play them every night, see reactions from the crowd, mess with placement, adjust certain sections and way of singing or playing, it all helps us to learn what’s resonating with people.”
Most of it will end up informing the final product when they do release their debut in 2016. Additionally, since so much of the album was completed pre-tour, the band took it with them and continues to work on it during downtime.
While all of their foresight and hard work will undoubtedly help The Young Wild in the long run, William admits it came with some trepidation as well.
“We were a little nervous going into this tour,” he said. “On the first night, eighty percent of what we played was the first time we had ever played it in front of any kind of an audience. And really, I was wondering if the things I wrote in my bedroom, or on a laptop, would translate. But it not only helps us cut our teeth as a band, we’re getting to try out all of this new material from the full-length. And it’s really forming how these songs will go together.”
The tour with ZZ Ward wraps up with a hometown show at House of Blues on Oct. 18. But there’ll be no rest for the wicked. Finishing the album, including the implementation of ideas gathered during their month-and-a-half away, will take top priority. Until then, the band is happy with their current challenge of on-the-job learning.
“It’s been like ‘Training Day’ out here,” William said. “And I mean from material to logistics, and all across the board. But it’s a great way to get informed about what you’re making. I don’t know if we’ll have this on the next go-around, so we’re definitely trying to take advantage of it now.”