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Interview: Wilson


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Normally, I’d begin this article with an introductory paragraph.

A short passage that briefly explains to any unfamiliar readers who Wilson are, what kind of music they make and why you should go and listen to it.

But luckily, the band’s vocalist, Chad Nicefield, decided to save me a job: “Hi unfamiliar readers! What’s the deal, huh? Why don’t you know about us?!

"We are a rock n’ roll band: a fierce monstrosity of a rock n’ roll band. We exist to make you sweat, make you bleed, fuck you up and then having you yelling ‘Sir, may I have another, sir!'

"If you’re into living life, loud and spontaneously, and you like your rock n’ roll energised and in your face, then you need to come see us!”

And you’ll get the chance in February and March. The fierce monstrosity that is Wilson is about to invade British shores on their first headlining tour of the UK.

They’ve officially become a band with an international following.

“It’s probably one of the most surreal feelings ever,” Chad says of Wilson’s ever-growing recognition.

“Even before this band started six years ago, all of us spent time on the grind in other groups, dreaming that one day we would be able to play in places like the United Kingdom. So many of our favourites hail from your neck of the world.

“We started this band to get free beer at house parties while some of us were attending college, so going from playing on the shit-stained carpets of living rooms on campus to stages across the world is fucking bananas!

“This time we are bringing it back to basics. Small rooms with the heat cranked up.  The beer spilling from our mouths into yours. No barricades. No production. Just rock n’ roll and the guttural emotions it digs up!”

And naturally, the Detroit five-piece won’t be raising hell alone: they’ll have some help from supporting band Reigning Days.

“We dig the band! We made a pact, if given the opportunity to headline, we will choose our support based upon the sound of the bands looking to open for us. Not based upon industry bullshit.

“[Ex-Metallica bassist] Jason Newsted taught us that early on! When we supported [his solo band in 2013], he was very clear with us that he chose us because he liked us and that’s it.”

Social media has been a quintessential promotional tool for the band’s upcoming tour. Wilson have released many a video and vignette on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter urging you to come along and party hard!

We think it’s important to connect with your peers, because we are all fans of the music. Being able to call a fan a true friend after some time is rad, and social media is great for that! Especially when we can’t just show up to your local pub and share a pint together. All we got is that World Wide Web, man!

“The identity of your band is so important. It’s more than just music, especially with rock and metal. It’s community.

And while social networks may be invaluable, Wilson outright refuse to simply be an “internet band”.

“I think it’s very sad that people nowadays will choose to stay at home and piddle around on the internet on a weekend instead of go out and enjoy all your senses with your neighbourhoods […] It sickens me sometimes that there can be artists that skip past the grind simply because they are pretty in a YouTube video.”

The upcoming tour is in support of the band’s second album, 2015’s Right to Rise. Chad calls the album “an ode to home: Detroit. Not the city, but the people."

“Our story is unique, because of our people and their struggles, sure. But that struggle doesn’t just exist within our coordinates on the map of the world. That struggle is everywhere. We believe there is a bit of Detroit in everyone. So essentially, the record was written for those people: as an anthem to overcome and provide energy to roll your sleeves up and do your life the best you can!

“We wrote [previous album Full Blast Fuckery] as mainly just Jason [Spencer, guitarist] and myself with [Matt] Puhy on drums. This record is a collaborative effort from the band in its entirety.

“Some of [Right to Rise] was written in a cabin in northern Michigan. Some in our practice space. Some in the house we rented while in Atlanta recording the album. We just kept opening more doors, figuratively, and stepping on through without fear of what we were going to let in from the other side.”

Right to Rise continues Wilson’s ideology of rebellion and uprising, but the band is probably just as famous for its anarchic sense of humour.

“When you work hard you party hard. We excel at living life with zero fucks given. That carries from our personal lives into our music.

“I think at first we might be a little bit hard to swallow in our peer group, but once you understand we aren’t just out here fucking around, we are very serious about our music – we just don’t take ourselves that seriously – then that weird barrier is lifted and we are instantly embraced! It’s rad when it happens!"

In the heavy music subculture, which can take itself very seriously, Wilson’s unique brand of self-described “fuckery” is a very refreshing thing.

“‘Fuckery’ is the term we have given to describe living life full blast. Not ignoring the overwhelming feeling you have to do something. We just love the idea of something feeling too good to ignore. It’s like the best Friday night on planet earth.

“The rock world can have a banana up its butthole sometimes. Get someone to peel that fucker and take a bite!”

Couldn’t have put it better myself.

Not only do Wilson have a monstrous tour ahead of them, but it looks like the band has already started thinking about album number three, and are currently knee-deep in songwriting.

We always write. We are a workhorse: right now I am writing lyrics to a new song we plan on demoing while out here on this tour. We’ve probably written ten songs already. Some are demoed fully, some are not. We love to write.”

Could 2016 be the year for new Wilson music?

My fingers and toes are crossed, but between now and then we have a countrywide tour to look forward to.

Wilson is guaranteed to show all of the UK the true spirit of rock n’ roll and, more importantly, a good dose of some fuckery. If these five rockers can’t lure you away from your laptop, you might need to re-evaluate your priorities.

Any closing words?

“If you do anything right in your life this month make it catching a rock show. Even if it’s not Wilson. Just get out there and sweat to the riff. However, if it is a Wilson show you choose to sweat to, bring extra undies ‘cause it’s about to get tasty nasty.”

Wilson are touring the UK in February and March with support from Reigning Days.

Wilson's latest album, Right to Rise, is available physically and digitally via Razor & Tie Records.

Read more about Wilson in our "Most underrated rock bands" article.

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