London’s own Wild Daughter made up of Stuart Mckenzie, James Jeanette and Jacob Shaw; embodies the soul of London’s leather bars. We caught up for a distant chat following their latest single video release “Crashing Down” possessing an infectious dance vibe set captured by the creative genius behind The Opioid Crisis Lookbook Dustin Cauchi. Accompanying the video is a series of 3 T-shirts from upcycled t-shirts with hand-printed graphics in collaboration with fashion activist and upcycling artist Dr. Noki. There is something organic and authentic in everything that Wild Daughter produces. In such a manufactured era in time, collectives like Wild Daughter are a precious gem of a voice. 

First of all, I don’t know the story of how you three met. I read that you are self-taught. Tell us the origins of Wild Daughter and what’s behind the name?

Like Planets orbiting a Universe, me & Stuart would cross paths on dance floors throughout the years… A portal opened over a shared love of music… the name dropped from the sky and landed on a page…

Jacob joined later through a friend he was at art school with and having been the poster boy for another friend’s photography exhibition. We see Wild Daughter as a collective through our collaborations & co-conspirators. It’s an open door if it fits!

Do you see your music in context to your London homebase?

It’s informed partly by it but it isn’t defined by it. The band’s influences are broad and far-reaching which is what gives us this spirit to create a challenging live performance.

Do you have any performance rituals?

Ideally, a two-hour-long bath to conjure the beast! A handheld circle and serenity prayer often with the odd Sig’il thrown in here & there depending on the venue and finally lubing up, suiting & booting.

In your video for “Crashing Again”, I immediately thought about the fires in California, but it also resonates in Australia and the Amazon. I was thinking if there was an environmental reference as it’s on everyone’s conscious and then I thought about my home state and we have a history of fires started in meth labs. Of course, they burn like crazy because of droughts. Is that something you discussed with Dustin Cauchi of The Opioid Crisis Lookbook when he made the video? 

Dustin Cauchi is a genius, Zeitgeist is a word, Weltgeist is another I’d use to describe his practice through the gaze of addiction… 

How did you get Dustin on board for the video?

We’d been chatting for some time, he asked me to take photos of myself for a  fake perfume ad: Opium!

The imagery from the backseat of the car is very American to me. Here in Paris, we have been fighting a crack epidemic for a couple of years now. Is addiction something we need to honest about?

It’s important for the addict to be honest if they are ready. You can really see the truth about a society in how it deals with its most vulnerable. Addicts are suffering, they are self-medicating. We love addicts and street people, be kind to them.

I’ve read that Jeanette has struggled with addiction. How did you overcome it? And with mass lockdowns, do you think the governments have paid attention to those who could relapse or be vulnerable to startup?

I was a junkie, then an angel called Vanessa took me to a place called Thamkrabok. That was a beginning.

Another man wasted young, on your knees… find your truth’.

There is a whole ‘fellowship’ out there who have been through it, you just gotta ask…Here’s a thought,  if mass lockdown is great at controlling people, then perhaps might mass addiction (drug, alcohol, screen, etc)  mental health issues, medications, unemployment, hopelessness, disenfranchisement be too …here’s a quote from the great William S. Burroughs “You see, control can never be a means to any practical end…It can never be a means to anything but more control…like junk..”

In Portugal, I’ve seen medics at music festivals instead of the police. Do you think decriminalization is the way forward?

Yes, treatment instead of arrest…

Festivals seem like an alternative timeline. Do you miss playing live? Is it important to engage with an audience? 

Playing live is important to us. Engagement with an audience is paramount in whatever capacity.

Looking back at live gigs, you played at the Backstreet, London’s oldest gay leather bar. Sometimes I wonder if there will be a big generational gap, of those of us who grew up with no notion of social distancing, going to clubs, sharing lipsticks and drinks. Do you think underground has moved online? How did it feel to play Backstreet? Would you say it’s been your favorite gig to date?

I think there is gonna be a mentality gap humans will always want to connect, get hot and sweaty, and express themselves in a physical way. We are interested in finding new ways to use online away from the three main companies that are controlling it. 

Ever get the feeling your working for the man and not being paid?!

The Backstreet was a beautiful dream.

You have a very lo-fi sound and have worked with John Gosling of Psychic TV. How was the recording process with John?

You tend not to put these labels on what you do from within the music as your crafting. It’s often a surprise how people define it…John is truly a blessing to work with. It was a beautiful moment when we got the first mix back from him and it was exactly as we wanted it to sound… the song structure was still there but he’d lifted it to another dimension!

We have a 5 track EP called Red Truck coming out end of February 2021, all tracks have been produced by John, Bed Bugs, and Crashing again are the first releases from this. We have also recorded an album this year with John which will be out hopefully in summer 2021. John has cemented the sound of WD, he is our comrade and we are grateful.

I read that you are fans of Tom of Finland and the iconic Vivienne Westwood is a fan of yours! Is style something that is important to you as a band?


Style – ‘a distinctive appearance, typically determined by the principles according to which something is designed.’ 

You have also funded your music through selling screen-printed Wild Daughter T-shirts. Is it more reliable to you than touring or signing with a major label?

We have 100% creative freedom with what we do and please ourselves by remaining independent. The T-shirts started as a ‘Cottage industry’ and have fed our operations since.

We love touring, had a great time with Primal Scream last year, and look forward to more when and how it manifests. 

You have also just teamed up with the legendary Dr. Noki, London’s original ‘upcycling/ rebranding clothing collage artist/fashion activist who started in the mid-90s, to create rare Rock Art fashion collectibles. Tell us about the collab and story behind the design.

We started looking at ways to continue the T-shirt story in a more conscious way. First, we done our secondhand football shirts then Stuart had worked on the design Of the Backstreet/Tom of Finland logo with our Star Girl breaking through. The text is from a Chinese novel – Flowers in the Mirror written by Li Ruzchen in 1827, which is seen as an early contribution to the idea of feminism. I’d been speaking to Noki and he said he could help source ‘rag’ – second-hand t-shirts which he customized and then we printed our design with Cure Toujours screen printing.  

So far in your career, is there something you are very proud of?

That we have kept the operation going thus far… 

You sing to “get up” in Crashing Again. What are you positive about at this moment?

It’s a great time to be an artist. 

A last message before we disconnect?

Don’t let the Bastards get you down.

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