In Issue 21, we introduce the husband and wife musical duo, Wild Horses. Read below for an inside look into their journey to find each other and pursue music.
By: Jed and Ariana LaPlant
Jed: If you’re a LaPlant, you build things. Carpentry has always been in the roots. Why buy something new when you can make it better yourself? I was taught from a young age to build things that last rather than buy things that don’t. In the working class, sometimes you build things because you can’t afford to buy them. This is how my grandpa started building guitars years back. If you’re willing to work hard, there’s usually a way to do it yourself.
Ariana: Jed and I both come from broken homes, which taught us that you have to fight to build something good. The hurt and confusion growing up around divorce was definitely hard but turned out to be the fuel we needed to start writing music. We both began playing and writing as a way to cope with hardship, betrayal and loss; we realized music was the device that can allow something painful to become beautiful.
“Now the words of this song will soon come to an end like my life on this Earth far away I will send
He said to me: Son, someday you will see
And we’ll sing and we’ll dance for eternity”
Jed: Before he passed away, my dad told me that the night we packed up and moved into town was the night he’d gotten on his knees and prayed to win his family back; he then spent the next eight years chasing us. My dad proposed to my mom for the second time in the same spot he’d proposed 33 years earlier up on a cliff in Ely, MN. Years later, working only from an old photograph of them and the name of the lake, I found the same rock they had gotten engaged on and proposed to Ariana. I would have loved to see how he’d smile to know that, but he got cancer less than a year after he and my mom were remarried and died before Ariana and I started running together. He had gotten everything back that he worked so hard on rebuilding, and just like that, it was gone. I guess I learned the hard way it’s not up to us. It’s true they say you never know what you have until it’s gone. One thing I can say now is that I know what truly matters and what’s worth fighting for to keep.
Ariana: Jed and I decided we wanted to build something together that would last. We’ve seen in both of our lives that what we want doesn’t come easy, but we are willing to do what it takes to pursue it. Family, music and the open road — that’s the good life to us. Before we started chasing music, we were set up to buy the family home, but we decided the long hours, a big mortgage and being strapped to one place for the rest of our lives isn’t what we wanted just yet.
In December 2020 we decided to take a leap of faith. Jed had broken his back and was laid up for a few months. That sort of hold made us really think through what we wanted. We boarded a flight to Vegas, and bought an ’89 Chevy G-van with a high top, which we now call home. It felt like the start of something right driving that thing back through the desert and over the mountains back home.
“I went out just a broken man with a dream
Hope was waiting past the lines I’d drawn in my mind
They made me blind”
Jed: And so here we are now, living in a van and trying to figure it all out. All I know now is that this is what we’re supposed to be doing. Music brings all kinds of people into the same space for one reason. It’s just something that everyone can understand, whether you’re a gospel preacher or a burnout searching for salvation in the bottom of a glass. I feel like we have something to offer all those people. I’ve been a preacher of the gospel just as much as I’ve been out lost on some highway hoping the next mile will be my last. I’ve been in that same hole a lot of these people are in, and we get to say that maybe it doesn’t have to end there.
“The end of my song rang in silence
Yours was the one heard far away
In a barroom down at the city
We sang all our troubles far away”
Jed: I was at the regular Thursday stop when she walked in and started singing one night. At the old Vets club, which has since burnt down, we were a tired bunch singing mostly the same old songs. That’s what we’re still doing now, just a different room with some different faces but we’ve all sung that old song a time or two. We’re here to be with people in that.
“So wash away your sorrows and despair
And feel the wind blowing through your hair
’Cause I have gone many long miles
Just to see you now
Just to see you now”
Jed and Ariana: Our music is always autobiographical; we’ve lived enough life to tell the stories, the good, bad and ugly. Music has this redemptive quality to it, it’s pretty cool that we get to celebrate what can come out of these times spent in the gutter. Fighting for each other in our marriage allows us to love the people in the same way. That’s why we do what we do. We’re giving up a lot to follow the music, and giving it all we got. We’re running this one together no matter how long it is. We’re building something that will last. Here’s to the open road, the music that takes us there, and the people that keep us there.
See Jed and Ariana perform at their upcoming show, January 21st, 2022 at The Reif Center in Grand Rapids, Minnesota.
Read more of our stories in Issue 21 of Lake and Company.