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New album, new label put Detroit rockers Wilson in a brighter spotlight
Signing with a bigger record company inspired Wilson to set some higher standards for its sophomore album.
"This being our first release on a large label, we felt that if we want to take this thing to the next level we should be a little more calculated in our moves," frontman Chad Nicefield says by phone about "Right To Rise," which comes out Tuesday, June 30, on Razor & Tie Records. "I feel like, without being super-lame or cliched, this is a natural progression for us as dudes in a band. We came from this area of playing small bars every weekend in Michigan filled with crazy, bearded dudes chugging beer and then went on the road and learned a lot.
"The last record (2013's "Full Blast F***ery") was kind of like a kick in the groin to the listener. This record definitely has that same sort of mentality, but we took it a tad more...I hate to use the word seriously, but seriously, like, 'Let's do this. Let's put everything on red and let it ride.'"
Wilson -- whose five members hail from throughout the metro area, including Royal Oak and Ferndale -- recorded "Right to Rise with producer Johnny Andrews (Halestorm, All That Remains, Three Days Grace) outside Atlanta. The group recorded 17 tracks mostly "in one fell swoop," according to Nicefield, eventually winnowing it down to a dozen for the final album.
The group has already released "Hang With the Devil" as a first single, and it recently shot a music video for the track "Crave."
"With this record I think we knew exactly what we wanted to do," says Nicefield, 32. "It was the first time we wrote as a band, so everybody in the band was also putting in their two cents. We had finally found a lineup that was a) able to do that and b) we all trust each other's vision and what we were looking to get out of it.
"Naturally we fought a little bit, like any band would to have their ideas heard. But we realized that happy medium in every single situation and became a closer band because of it."
That's good because Wilson is preparing for some "intense" touring to promote "Right To Rise." It hits the road in July for a trek with Crobot and Mothership and also has a slot on the Heavy Mtl festival in August, and Nicefield says if the group has its way it won't be seeing home very often during the foreseeable future.
"It's definitely uncharted territory we're headed into, but we're not afraid of anything," he says. "I think that's a testament to where we're from; we just know you have to do it, you have to go out and do the job and finish the job and that's all there is to it. There's just a different mindset we're gonna have to have and we're gonna have to think about things a little more and be a little more deliberate in what we do.
"But, y'know, as dudes we've grown up over the last few years. Before we didn't think about the past or the future; we were just thinking about the now. But with 'Right To Rise' we're thinking about the future and what we want to do. We're ready for it, man."
Wilson, Citizen Zero, Red Stone Souls and Wolfshark
Saturday, June 27. Doors open at 7:30 p.m.
The Crofoot Ballroom, 1 S. Saginaw St., Pontiac.
Tickets are $5-$37.
Call 248-858-9333 or visit www.thecrofoot.com.
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