The front man of the band Wilson, Chad Nicefield, gets in touch with his spiritual side with their new record Tasty, Nasty.
Wilson is a band that has never been shy to show that they like to party and have a good time, but they also deal with things. However, they always find a way to prevail. Front man Chad sits down with Loud Hailer to discuss the complete origins of their new album, Tasty Nasty, in this awesome interview.
LH: How excited for you guys to get this amazing record out here?
Chad: Yeah, we’ve been scratching at the bone to get this out there to people. We couldn’t be happier with the album. The vibe in our camp is more on the ecstatic side for sure.
LH: This album rings old Wilson for sure, but it has all sorts of different vibes, and you guys seem a lot more comfortable with yourselves. When you guys sat down to record this record, what was the thought process going in?
Chad: A lot of the things you said there hit the nail on the head. We weren’t probably going to be a band if we didn’t do the record like we wanted to be honest. We felt like we were a square that got cut into a circle. It cut off all the hard edges of us. We went through a dark period. It took a huge toll on all of us. This record wouldn’t have come to fruition if we wouldn’t have went through that and it wouldn’t have come to fruition if we didn’t sit down and do it the way we wanted to do it as a band. The record that you’re listening to is our DNA. Like you said, we aren’t afraid of the f***ery. However that comes across, we are all fun-loving guys and we have many other influences other than just rock or heavy metal or something like that. We grew up as ’90s kids who were born in the ’80s and finding our own way in the ’90s and learning how to play our instruments at like 14. That’s how old most of us were when we decided to pick up a guitar. We were influenced by people like Nirvana and then came things like Wu-Tang Clan, Cake, and all the other things that we found to be our home. We went outside our parent’s influences. you know, like “rock and roll, that’s cool!” We would say “this is OUR rock n roll dad, f**k you,” and we reverted back to that time period in our lives that made us want to do this forever.
We just injected this record full of that spirit and that feeling of having fun, experimenting just like we did when we were those young kids. More importantly, at this time in our lives no one could tell us what to do and we wanted to branch out. It’s more relevant in the music industry today than ever before with things like SoundCloud, Spotify, and things that just allow you to venture out and absorb. We didn’t want to be confined by a f***ing idea that we had to go a certain way or some bulls**t idea like that. And to be honest with you, I think that’s what’s wrong with the music industry, in my opinion. People want to talk about rock n’ roll coming back and the resurgence of it. I’m like “mother f***er, you see a little kid in this room? You see a 16 year old in this room? Do you remember when you had to sneak out of your house to go see shows? Do you see any of those kids in this room?” No. And if you don’t have youth connected to it, then it’s going die just like everything else dies out. We need to put some fresh takes and different looks into it if the genre in general wants to see a brighter day. There are 35-45 year old people still holding the torch after our fathers and grandfathers have passed away.
So, when we went to make the record, our process was exactly that no one is going to tell me what to do. This is what I’m going to do and if you don’t like it, you can go f**k yourself and turns out that some people liked it so no one had to go f**k themselves. It was a great process for us to just go back to that place of the 13 year old kids we were. We were having fun with it, we weren’t sad, we were just like “we are going to do rock n’ roll fun”. We are going to make people giggle or make people share it with their friends over some drinks. We are going to make people think about what could be different in their lives instead of what’s wrong.
LH: The one thing that I loved about the record is the nostalgia. You put references in there that I as a kid could understand. Even from the music standpoint, you take all these classic sounds and nostalgia and combine it into a great album. Was that going to be part of this record coming into it, or did that just come into fruition when you guys sat down and starting writing the album?
Chad: I’d be lying to you if I said we just sat down and were like “let’s play some tunes dude”. We did play some tunes, we played a lot of them. Man, I don’t even know maybe like 45 songs in general. We were going through a dark period while we were demoing these songs, and that started the direction of where the album was going to go. I went to Asia and I did about two months of just going around to places like the Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, and all these spots scaring the shit out of myself, doing things in a foreign country that I would normally say to myself “absolutely f***ing not” and when I came home I was still chasing that dragon. When I came home I wanted that excitement and I wanted that perspective and I wanted to see my world and the people involved in my world and how I could think about them differently. I did about 9 months away. I started microdosing, I was doing LSD, I encourage you to check out microdosing before you start thinking that this dude does acid for 9 months.
During the process of coming back, I had already been on this kick of listening to all this music that I was falling in love with. It was so much different than rock and metal music. I’m also a hip hop dude. I love alternative pop music, or things that remind me of the ’90s that like throws you back there. I don’t want to hear the same f**king thing or the same guitar tones or things like that. The idea of it all is pretty sh**ty. The idea of the modern rock star is like “look at me, everybody in the stands, look at me” and that wasn’t what I wanted to be a part of. I didn’t want to be like “look at me”, I wanted to be like “look at us”, and not just the 5 of us on stage, look at everybody here and everything that is going on. We’ve all been brought together by something silly, maybe it’s a catalyst of a band, but we aren’t better than anybody. Coming back from that trip and the psychological trip, and the songs that we sat down to write, we wanted to make sure that it was prevalent and evident in those tunes. How we got here was not populated by those ideas.
LH: Now, since this is your 3rd LP, as a band were you more comfortable when recording this record, or was there a little bit of anxiety because of all the elements and ideas that you wanted to put in the album?
Chad: No, I don’t want to lie to you and be like “yeah, we were pissed off about all that s**t”. We weren’t, we had moved on and graciously accepted what the universe has delivered to us and we are excited to be given the chance to give something back to the universe again. There was no anger; it was more like “we gotta follow this”. Once you create a song and create a vibe, you know 9 months later, when you have to really record those songs, we had to make sure that we were in that same mind set. Things like “Two Girls One Cup” and the ridiculousness of it at the time, we all held onto. Our spirits were silly and we were having a good time. We weren’t angry at all. We were in sunny California and we took time to breathe the air. The last record we didn’t. We were stuck in a house in Atlanta, Georgia over a mountain far away from anything. We were there for like 4 months. So, this time we had to see things, talk to people, and enjoy walks, runs on the basis where we were at and our environment. We put that into the record.
LH: What would be the one message that you would want people to get out of the new record? What is something that you would want everyone to come together on?
Chad: Don’t be so serious. There are times and place in our lives for all of those feelings, for the hurt, for the pain, for the loneliness that make us human beings. That is what makes us special. There needs to be a place inside you, me, or anybody else to enjoy the life we have been given and we can see the light at the end of the pain. Wilson is that. Tasty Nasty, this record is that. It’s the sweet and the sour. It’s the idea that they complement each other. Without one, the other does not exist.
LH: So, it’s like a ying yang kind of thing?
Chad: Yes! Exactly. What you’re listening to and what we hope you are getting from it, is that you can see these things, and all the microdosing that I did and how that correlates to the record, but it doesn’t. It’s just about tuning out all the bulls**t for 40 minutes or come see us for an hour. It’s a home with people that are looking to have a good time here. You can go be sad somewhere and all those natural emotions that we feel as human beings somewhere. I hope you have a support system somewhere and s**t, if you have an issue you can come to me and I’ll find a reason for you to not have an issue, but here is supposed to be a sacred place for you to see a face and to be a silly motherf**ker and to laugh again, to smile.
LH: One of the stand-out tracks and my personal favorite was “Act My Age”. I feel like that summarizes the whole record. How much fun was it recording that song in particular and also what is your personal favorite from the record?
Chad: The funny thing is, we were outside and we were stuck on this f**king song and I knew what we wanted to write about and I knew what we were going for. We just didn’t know how we were going to do it. How were we going to tell that story, you know like with what “Act My Age” was about without being specific. I remember being outside in the studio in LA. We were just kind of working through some demos and I was sitting out there playing the acoustic guitar and I said “I f**cking got it!” I played a chord progression with that melody and those lyrics. It’s one of those things where everybody in the room said “Cool, okay lets record it and demo it and do a rough track of this just so we have it and we will see what else comes from it.” We kept going and going the whole day. When we woke up the next morning we didn’t really know. We went home that night and went to sleep, woke up, and went back to the studio and we open our demos and there is that track again. We were like “Dude, that’s f**cking it, lets not make it complicated”. That’s how it came to be. We had a chorus and from there I just talked about the idea where I came from, the things that we grew up on, and the things we didn’t want to leave behind because there isn’t a reason to do so.
My favorite song on the record, there’s a couple different ones. I think “Money” is my favorite song for the sheer fact, I probably would say that was that one song that we wrote in a jam space as a band. These records don’t get written that same way similar to Metallica style or that sort of thing, rocking out, and wasting studio time. So, that song was the one that made the cut where we were all there almost from its inception. I had the chorus, Kyle having a verse riff, and then me making a melody riff for the chorus, it just went from there with James slapping the bass, and our drummers killing it. It felt like we were kids again. We also got to use all these cool little toys. I think my second favorite…the one that I play the most is “F**ck up My High”, that’s the one that I find playing the most. If I go back and check out some stuff from the record it would be that one. It’s about an ex-girlfriend obviously, and there might be something there with that. I think it’s just the inspiration that is happening in the song.
LH: What went behind you guys choosing “Like A Baller” as the lead single for the record?
Chad: I think it just does a good job of combining what’s all in the record. There’s a lot of genre-mashing happening. The chorus to me couldn’t be any more fitting for the attitude of the record in general. It’s just felt like “let’s lead with this foot”. Some people hear it and are like “what the f**k?!” and I think it just shows a lot of the hilarity that is in the record, and exposing all of it with a sonic, groovy mid tempo that allows you to be excited. We planned all this. We are not just settling down cause we are done. We are still all about it, and we want to expose our work the way that we want it to be shown. It’s like wrapping a gift. It’s like put a small box inside of a bigger box inside of a bigger box, with a big f**king bow on top. That’s how we wanted to present the record. We started with “Like a Baller” because of that.
You can buy Tasty Nasty here.