It was a simple twist of fate that brought Rabbit Wilde together, but somehow it always seemed meant to be.
Lead vocalist Miranda Zickler had been living in Brooklyn for three years, chasing her dreams of Broadway stardom. On the day before she was scheduled to move back home, she happened on a couple of musical brothers in a diner in Union Square. It turns out, all three grew up in the small town of Mount Vernon, Wash.
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Back in the Pacific Northwest, Zickler and brothers Zach and Nathan Hamer began getting together at family reunions and backyard parties. Before long, the brothers moved home, too, and with the addition of Jillian Walker on cello, Rabbit Wilde was off and running.
Rabbit Wilde recorded its 2013 debut LP “The Wild North,” as well as the follow-up EP “Southern Winters” and their newest LP “The Heartland” at Bear Creek Studios in Woodinville, Wash. This celebrated space also produced breakthrough records by The Fleet Foxes and The Lumineers. Similarities in the bands’ indie-folk sound are readily apparent.
Get a sneak peak of Rabbit Wilde’s performance
“Growing up in the rural Northwest and living in the city is a decent metaphor for the music we play,” says Zickler. “We all play stringed instruments, but through the different genres we are interested in. It’s sort of a melting pot if you will. We’ve always made whatever music we felt like. Now we have a drum pad and we use a synth. It’s really fun to experiment with things like that. That’s where the city aspect comes in.”
“We are younger than most bands, but we still kind of have this power and wits within us. We are small, but cunning, and we are always going to figure it out. We also do a lot of jumping and eat a lot of vegetables.” – Miranda Zickler
Part of the reason Zickler never met the Hamer brothers growing up was because they were home-schooled. The brothers’ time together forged a psychic relationship that allows them to play off each other creatively.
“The boys were hugely prolific songwriters by the age of 20,” Zickler says. “Being home-schooled, that’s what they did: made music and films together. They had a lot of time to experiment with what they liked. They still live together and know how to give each other space. We are always learning to coexist with each other as much as we do without killing each other.”
With three albums under their fur coat and an increasingly prolific tour schedule, Zickler feels like Rabbit Wilde has recently reached another plateau.
“We’ve all been doing this for the first half of our 20s,” she says. “When we first started out we were always the youngest ones playing at the festivals and shows. But now we’re not babies anymore. We can sort of feel a shift, at least in ourselves.”
After releasing the “The Heartland” this spring, they’ve been focusing on their live performances that are upbeat and energetic.
“We are always throwing ourselves into our shows 100 percent,” she says. “We are jumping up and down and stomping our feet. We are really excited about what we are doing and we want to make sure that shows. We all love making music more than anything else.”
But for the fully-vegan Rabbit Wilde, playing music is about more than just making noise. It’s also a conscious lifestyle choice that allows them to bring their core beliefs into what they do.
“These days, it’s become cool for people to be apathetic about things,” says Zickler. “But we care about social causes, animal rights and human rights. It’s about living by your own moral principles. Maybe you feel a certain way, but you don’t act on it. It’s really important to examine your own ethics and be the change you want to see in the world.”
Through their music, Zickler hopes Rabbit Wilde is helping to create a space in which people can express themselves more freely.
“We try to provide license for people to enjoy themselves and take care of each other,” she says. “Sometimes it’s about embracing the uncomfortable, not feeling like we have to hide our emotions, so we are allowed to be vulnerable with other people. If we can do that, we’ve done our job.”
And as far as the name, Zickler sees Rabbit Wilde as a perfect fit.
“We are younger than most bands, but we still kind of have this power and wits within us,” she says. “We are small, but cunning, and we are always going to figure it out. We also do a lot of jumping and eat a lot of vegetables.”
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