By Nicholas Jason Lopez
Throughout 2020, Jon Wilder experienced unemployment, family struggles, dogs in surgery and a move to Portland, Ore. where police sirens over protestors’ yells became an all-too-familiar sound.
He was inspired to musically commemorate the overall year of uncertainty, expressed in his own special way. Under the moniker of Boom Years, Wilder will drop a cosmic-folk-styled EP ‘Beaming’ in March 2021.
Before the EP’s release, he’ll unveil the synth-oriented single “Babe Of Babylon” in January 2021, centered on the feeling of being “stuck in the same age” while peers move on to buy houses and have children.
The Music Bugle had the opportunity to talk with Wilder about ‘Beaming’ and more.
Music Bugle – How did you decide the name “Boom Years”?
Boom Years – I realized a few years ago while trying to write songs for the first time, that I was in a better position in my life than I’d ever been. I was happier, more stable, in a great relationship and it seemed like each year, I was growing more and more comfortable with who I am. I liked the idea of a name that grew as well, suggesting the feeling of being positive place as time moves forward.
Music Bugle – What excites you the most about your style of music?
Boom Years – When I first started working on music outside of a band atmosphere, I was jumping around genres and unsure of the direction I wanted to go in. My first EP was more on the power pop, full-band side, but I came to the conclusion that the style of this current EP, stripped-down, folk-leaning, is what comes naturally, so it’s exciting to embrace something new and going beyond its limitations.
Music Bugle – What was it like putting together your ‘Beaming’ EP?
Boom Years – Well, I’ll say it’s fortunate to live in a time when recording anywhere is a possibility. Being able to set up in a tiny attic room and record an EP in seven months is amazing, especially when you’re confined to your house like we’ve all been.
Music Bugle – What inspired you to write “Babe Of Babylon”?
Boom Years – I’m currently at an age where I feel the pressures of “adulthood.” We’re raised to believe that a career, having kids, owning property and financial stability are benchmarks of success and rather than focus on what makes us happy, we focus on what we feel is appropriate by society’s standards. I was seeing my social media feeds fill up with pictures of new babies and houses, was getting the “When are you having one?” questions and just felt like this pariah to my community. Unbeknownst to me, half of my friends were also feeling like they weren’t doing enough in their own lives.
Music Bugle – How have you been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic?
Boom Years – I started this year in Orange County, California and ended it in Portland, Oregon, which I’m extremely happy about. Both my wife and I lost our jobs this year and felt it was the right time to start somewhere new and Portland had been on our minds for a couple years. There’s been a lot of family strife this year, nightly protests in the city, wildfires up and down the coast, so we’re just thankful we’re here, safe and in good health.
Music Bugle – How would you define the year 2020?
Boom Years – A whirlwind, but progress is on the horizon and change is being made.
Music Bugle – Who are you listening to right now, music-wise?
Boom Years – Wild Pink’s ‘Yolk In The Fur’ and Shame’s ‘Songs Of Praise’ are both really great. Also, Australia keeps pumping out amazing songwriters that I can’t seem to get enough of – Carla Geneve, Maddy Jane, Ruby Fields and Alex Lahey, to name a few.
Music Bugle – Where do you go when you feel the need to escape?
Boom Years – Public outings aren’t a huge possibility right now, so fortunately, the Pacific Northwest has a ton of beautiful nature spots to enjoy. Mt. Tabor, Cannon Beach and Astoria have been great day trips for when the cabin fever reaches its breaking point.
Music Bugle – What’s a quote that motivates you to keep doing what you do?
Boom Years – Enid Dame has a great poem called “Riding The D Train,” where she’s talking about the different people she’s watching on the train and what she thinks the inner workings of their lives are. There’s a quote from it, “Anything you don’t see will come back to haunt you” that I’ve had in my mind for while when I’m wanting to remember specific details of daily life.
Music Bugle – What’s something you wish happened more in today’s music industry?
Boom Years – Today’s music industry is a huge question mark to me, to be honest. Live shows aren’t possible right now, which equates to a huge chunk of a musician’s salary. Streams, merchandise, royalties, etc., are a portion, but when the platforms that your music is available on gives you pennies to the dollar, you’re basically stuck. It’s funny how mega artists that have money can allow their music not to be available on streaming services, but DIY musicians that are working day jobs to pay the bills have to put everything out for free just to be heard.