Chicago band Wild Belle’s soulful island sound and their hypnotizing vocals are addictive. The brother-sister band’s debut album, Isles, was well received and the duo drew crowds at this year’s South By Southwest. This week, Wild Belle is back in town for the Austin City Limits Music Festival.
The Daily Texan talked to guitarist, pianist, saxophonist and general instrumentalist Elliot Bergman about what it is like working with a sibling, the best part about Austin and the sheer beauty that is a good saxophone.
The Daily Texan: You and your sister have been working together for a few years now. What would you say is the secret to working with your sibling?
Elliot Bergman: You know we have sort of a shared history and vocabulary, you know, that comes from growing up in a house filled with art, so we see eye to eye on things. We inspire each other and are creative with each other.
DT: Do any dynamics show up from your childhood when you are performing or collaborating?
EB: Well you know, I am eight years older than she is, so we grew up not separately from each other, but I went off to college when she was 10-years old. You know we started to collaborate when we were adults, but we still have brother-sister moments when we are on tour. But mostly, it’s pretty professional.
DT: You’ve been in Austin a lot lately. What would you say is your favorite part about the city?
EB: Food. You know we love Mexican food and tacos. We end up eating a lot while we are there.
DT: You play a lot of instruments. What is your favorite to play?
EB: I kind of, you know, mess around on a lot of things but my favorite thing to play is the saxophone. I play mostly tenor saxophone, but with Wild Belle it’s mostly baritone saxophone for everything on the record. There [is] lots of baritone saxophone, it has such a rich, deep sound. It’s fun to play every day.
DT: You’ve been touring pretty much all spring and summer, what is your favorite place to go?
EB: We got to go to Brazil this year for the first time, which was amazing. We got play in Sao Paolo and Rio — we had such an amazing time. The people there were so generous and open and welcoming and the music that we heard was so amazing. We went on a five-day shopping spree, buying everything we could get our hands on. We came back with a giant suitcase full of stuff. But that trip really shaped my sound this year because I bought a bunch of Brazilian records and I have been listening to them a lot.