"Ha ha ha! Is rock music still dangerous?” For just a second the phone line crackles with disapproval. “Oh, fuck, man. What a fucking awesome question.” It’s a question that Metal Hammer has just asked Wilson frontman Chad Nicefield and, once he gets over his original incredulity, it’s a subject that he’s happy to wax lyrical on.
“There’s so much shit out there and so many people biting their tongues. They’re worried about offending people or worried that people might not like what they’re doing. So they start to instil these elements of other things into rock’n’roll in the hope that it’ll sell more records. And that stuff’s going to die. It won’t last and people will get sick of it, and rock’n’roll will become dangerous again. At the moment, there’s a bunch of whack-offs walking around trying to mind their Ps and Qs for the sake of… who? For what? You aren’t going to be remembered for that!
You don’t remember the guy that came into the office on time every day with his shirt tucked in! You remember the guy who walked in still hungover, with cum on his pants, still dishevelled, with his breath smelling like he just ate a raw steak, drank whiskey and spent the night eating out some chick. That’s the guy you remember. You remember Sid Vicious.”
And, if you’re lucky enough to have come across them, you’ll definitely remember Wilson. How could this band of Detroit street hoods and their grade A, turbo-charged mixture of old-school Southern hard rock played through a filter of DC punk and hardcore not leave an indelible mark on your psyche? They seemed to just appear, fully formed, midway through last year, leaving industry insiders and underground aficionados telling anyone who would listen about debut album Full Blast Fuckery with mouths frothing in excitement and hype levels ramped up to 11. Wilson had become a heavy metal Breaking Bad: the most talked-about thing you’d never heard of. They even managed to sneak into Hammer’s top 50 albums of 2013 list, despite the record having yet to have been released in the UK at the time.
“I believe Metal Hammer saw us out in the States and started saying we were a band that you’ve gotta see live,” is how Chad remembers the start of the snowball effect. “So word started to spread over there, and I still think you guys have only got half the idea of what we are as a band. Because we are a live band, and we just set out to steamroll over everyone.”
And if you think that we were surprised with Wilson springing up from nowhere, then the feeling is mutual on their part. Make no mistake, they aren’t taking this for granted.
“Well, firstly, it’s always been a dream of ours to go to the UK and experience UK audiences. When I first picked up a guitar and began to write music, I always thought about how much I’d like to get over there, and that’s still a dream for us as a band because we still haven’t done that yet. We have so many friends that are in bands that are constantly telling us that we need to get out there because it’s nuts. But for us to do that was a pipe dream… or so we thought. We didn’t have the label or the PR or the people behind us that goes into breaking a band over there. So to have heard that there was anyone remotely aware of our music and what we were doing, let alone give a shit enough to spread the word to other people, is a huge deal for us and a massive blessing.”
We do tend to have pretty good taste in the main over here, you know. And for a bunch of Brits, stuck on our polite and rainy little island, is it any wonder that we’re so enamoured with a band who, to the outside eye, appear to be everything that anyone loves about American culture jostling for your undivided attention. Wilson look, sound and feel like Route 66, Black Flag, Easy Rider, The Stooges, The Hells Angels and James Dean all rolled into one. Although Chad, typically bullshit-free, is quick to play down the idea of Wilson as a bunch of real-life Sons Of Anarchy.
“That’s just who we are, you know,” Chad shrugs. “I’m not trying to come across as a guy from a biker gang. That’s just part of our lives. As I sit talking to you now there are motorbike parts all over my living room that I’ll be fixing up at some point, because that’s what I’m into.
We don’t try and look a certain way. This is real. We’re not adopting these lifestyles. There’s no stigma attached to what we’re doing. We wear the clothes we’ve been wearing all day onstage. As far as us being a gang of greasy biker dudes… I’m loath to say anything to confirm or deny that. We work really hard but we like to have a good time, too. It’s just, when we have a good time, we have a good time real hard. You know what I’m saying?”
Chad, by shrugging off the notion that he is cool, has just made himself even cooler. And Wilson are impossibly cool. This is something that can’t be taught by any music theorist on the planet. Phil Lynott was just cool. It’s a lineage that they carry on with ease. And a lineage that Chad feels honoured to be a part of.
“I wouldn’t say, ‘Oh, we’ll be that band for a new generation,’ because the closest thing to those bands now are still so far removed from that time. It was brand new, and I guess that is why people got excited about electronic dance music. Because it was a new thing and it was about experimentation. So I’m not sure matching bands like Soundgarden or Thin Lizzy is really on our radar. We would be happy to just be a brick…” He pauses for a second. “Actually no, not a brick. A boulder. A big fucking boulder in that wall of rock’n’roll history. I mean, if we could sit in that wall next to, or even just below, those sorts of bands, then I would have a rock-hard teenage boner for the rest of my days.”
You’ll have noticed by now that Chad has quite a way with words. They spill from him in machine-gun rhythms, each one more pointed and excitable than the last. And as a contributor to an album with a name like Full Blast Fuckery, you’d expect nothing less.
“We were recording the record and we were working on this riff one evening in our terrible hotel,” remembers Chad. “I said, ‘Oh, it sounds like full blast fuckery,’ and we all just kind of went, ‘I think we have the name of our album!’ It became the main riff for the song Viking Pussies Fuck Off, just this 45 second-long song.
“We’re not Anal Cunt or any of those bands, but it just felt right that we put it on the album. Yeah, we’re a rock’n’roll band… but we’re gonna put this short-ass banger on our record! And so when people ask, ‘What does full blast fuckery mean to you?’ I always go back to that story. It means doing something for no other reason than because it feels too good not to do it.”
And with that and a chuckle, Chad Nicefield is gone. But not before promising that he and Wilson will be over to the UK soon to say thanks for “giving one inch of a fuck” about his band. When he makes good on his promise, you’re advised to be there. You don’t want to miss out of some full blast fuckery in the flesh, do you? It looks like rock’n’roll is about to get dangerous again.
Full Blast Fuckery is out now via Harry Records
THE 10 COMMANDMENTS OF FUCKERY
Wilson bestow their 10 commandments in the art of fuckery to live your life by…
Thou shalt powder thine nuts.
Thou shalt grow facial hair, for only the weak bare face of shine.
Thou shalt only refer to thine brethren as ‘Harry’s or ‘John’s.
Thou shalt always cleanse thyself with a hot shower and a cold rinse.
Thou shalt label all nouns, adjectives and verbs as Gordy or variances of Gordy (gord, gords, gordies).
Thou shalt always party like it’s the last Friday on Earth.
Thou shalt honour thy dude and thy dudette as alike.
Thou shalt bask in the glory of thine bowel movements and glow in the aura of one’s throne.
Whenever thine will engage in fuckery, thou shalt ensure it is full blast.
Thou shalt not be a dick.