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Photos by Anna Selle

“On a scale of one to fancy, how fancy is Bun Mee Phan?” A simple, innocent text I get from Rachel Mallin about an hour before we’re set to meet at – you guessed it – Bun Mee Phan, a small Vietnamese eatery tucked away in the Kansas City suburbs.

Rachel Mallin and her band, the Wild Type, have been staples in the Kansas City music community for a few years now. With a background in ambient, electro-indie solo work, Mallin recruited Austin “Ace” Edminson, Justin Walker, Jesse Bartmess, and Kevin Briody to fill out her sound – which has evolved through the years. Now incorporating a heavy dose of pop sensibilities, Mallin and gang are positioning themselves to take over radio waves and win the hearts of the masses.

And lucky for me, she likes Vietnamese fusion just as much as I do. We sat a small table crammed in the corner of the busy restaurant and while we waited on our food, we started off easy; with some “this or that” questions.

Rapid fire, first thing that comes to mind, you have to pick one. Ready?
Oh boy

Here we go:

How did you feel you did?
Good, I think

I’m glad you caught those Spongebob references I threw in there. Did you have a favorite episode?
Oh god…. Alright, I mean the chocolate episode is easily the one I quote the most if we’re thinking of it that way. But I think there was one where the pie was a bomb.

Oh yeah! The one that was like Mr. Krabs or Squidward’s last day on Earth?
Yeah, and then he was going to explode! So I think that, just the nature of that episode is actually hilarious.

I’ve got a few more: pick a superpower.
Oh any? Um, I would say…ah shit. Ok, you know, I would say that being able to read minds would be cool, but frankly flying is a lot cooler. I think flying would be my superpower. And a close second would be x-ray vision.

Nice! What would be your favorite thing to x-ray?
I would probably like to see laptops and computers and stuff, so I could find out what’s wrong with them. You know all the digital stuff so I could learn how to fix them. Or cars! I would use it for my benefit of learning how to fix things that are expensive to fix.

10 years ago, where did you think you would be now?
I dunno, 10 years ago I was 12. So I would say, at 12, I had like a mixed idea. I wanted to be a dolphin trainer at one point. Wouldn’t that be dope? Until SeaWorld ended up being the devil. I wanted to be a farmer at one point haha. But I did love playing music, I was in a band at 12 – it was my first band.

Oh, what was it called?
We played the talent show as The Shirtless Escapade.

Curate a music festival: who, where, etc…
Ok. I think the David Byrne and St. Vincent reunion would be a this festival. This is going to be a really expensive music festival… Arcade Fire because I haven’t seen them before. Hamilton Leithauser, Japanese Breakfast, obviously. Florence & the Machine, that’s always one that will be close to the heart. Kanye West, Anderson Paak, Kamasi Washington, Kendrick lamar, Chad VanGaalen, Ben Gibbard – solo obviously, and Jenny Lewis.

I’d put it on top of a mountain. I don’t like mountains as much as beaches but Hangout Fest has already been claimed. So it’s going to be on top of a mountain that’s taller than….Mulberry Mountain Festival, whatever mountain that’s on.

If you could collaborate with anybody, who would it be?
Dave Friedman AKA mastermind producer behind the MGMT and Tame Impala records. Blake Mills did the 2nd Alabama Shakes record, that would be cool.

Rachel Mallin & the Wild Type are currently writing songs that will kick you in the face (in a nice way) and leave you wanting more. Why not catch them at a show or two in anticipation for the group’s next release. If you’re in KC, come hang out at the RINO this Friday night!