INTERVIEW: Bear Rinehart Discusses Wilder Woods' Debut Album and Future Plans
Bear Rinehart, the frontman for the Grammy-nominated, chart-topping band Needtobreathe has released his debut solo album under the name Wilder Woods today. The project, named after his two young sons - Wilder, age 3, and one-year-old Woods - is a mystifying concoction of classic soul, infectious R&B, and modern alt pop that pairs intimate, introspective lyricism with a self-assured swagger and sophistication. The debut album pairs spectacular vocals with introspective lyrics that explore patience, forgiveness and self-love for a hopeful, powerful release that the world really needs right now.
We recently caught up with Rinehart to chat about the new album and his plans for the rest of the summer. Read the full interview and listen to the album now below.
Can you tell us a little bit about Wilder Woods? What inspired you to start this new project?
Wilder Woods is the first solo project of my career. It’s an extension of what I love about music. I named it after my two young sons, Wilder who is 4 years old, and Woods who will be 2 in August.
Is there anything that you really wanted to create with this solo project that you haven’t had the chance to try or do with NEEDTOBREATHE?
I honestly think the solo stuff is much easier than working with the band. I’m the only one who has to be happy with Wilder Woods. The band is more of a democracy. I started most of this material by myself, but I had a ton of outside help finishing Wilder Woods. The band normally tries to keep most of that internal.
Do you feel that working on solo material can be a little more daunting or vulnerable than writing with a band? How do the two projects differ when you’re writing?
Yeah, I think the music is very different from what the band does, but it includes a lot more of my personal story as far as my family goes. That part has been one of the highlights for sure.
What was the most challenging or rewarding part of working on the album?
The most challenging part was leaving old habits behind. I knew I wanted this project to be a new sound, but defining that took a ton of time and introspection.
You’ve already released a few songs from the album, as well! Did you have any goals in mind when you first started working on “Supply & Demand” “Sure Ain’t” and “Someday Soon?”
Honestly, my goal was to finish the record. I kept telling myself I was playing with house money. I didn’t want it to feel like a means to an end.
What would you like for listeners to take away from these new songs?
They can take away anything they want to. I think there are equal parts dance and melancholy on this record, so there should be a little something for everyone.
With the album out now, you’re also gearing up to take Wilder Woods out on the road. What can fans expect from these upcoming shows? What are you most excited for on the upcoming run?
The band that we’ve put together for Wilder Woods is absolutely insane. I think the show will have a little bit of a party atmosphere. If everybody doesn’t leave a little sweaty, something went wrong.