LAURA WILDE INTERVIEW:
December 14, 2011
Laura Wilde is a 21 year old singer/guitarist hailing from Melbourne, Australia. With supermodel looks, Wilde recently relocated to the United States and landed right smack in the rock ‘n’ roll capitol of North America — Los Angeles, California. Laura’s influences vary from traditional hard rock, to punk and glam rock, and she has been compared to Suzie Quatro and Joan Jett — and truth be told, her music fits right in between that of the aforementioned.
Wilde recorded her debut record in Los Angeles in the summer of 2011 and she is on the verge of unleashing ‘Sold My Soul’ upon the world. The album is a fun, melodic, and rebellious rock ‘n’ roll effort that will take you away from all of your worries — if only for 30 minutes. Sleaze Roxx caught up with Laura for a short interview while she was doing press for the album. I hope you enjoy the interview as much as I enjoyed conducting it.
Sleaze Roxx: You’re originally from Melbourne, Australia and at this time you’re in L.A. How long have you been in the United States?
Laura Wilde: A little over a year — I think 13-14 months.
Sleaze Roxx: You play guitar and you’re a singer. Which did you pick up first?
Laura Wilde: I started playing guitar first — I started around the age of 12. I started Broadway singing when I was about 14 — don’t ask me how or why! (laughs) I started studying opera when I was 16 — I guess singing and playing guitar went hand in hand for me. I also know how to play bass, piano and drums.
Sleaze Roxx: I know you play guitar and sing on your album, but are you also playing some of the other instruments on the record? Lenny Kravitz does a lot of this on his albums.
Laura Wilde: Yeah I played all of the bass and I drummed on a few tracks as well. My experience playing in other bands in the past has brought various different influences into my style and it keeps it fresh and new. I try to learning something new from everybody.
Sleaze Roxx: On the teaser clip for the song “Sold My Soul” you’re playing a Gibson Flying V, is that your instrument of choice?
Laura Wilde: The Flying V is my weapon of choice. It’s funny you should mention Lenny Kravitz because I was watching his “Are You Gonna Go My Way” music video when I was three years old. I saw him playing that awesome Gibson Flying V in that cool outfit — it was all over from there. I actually have someone that made me my own custom W guitar it’s kind of like a Flying V, but it’s a W rather than a V. It’s very cool and it’s got vintage ’57 original pick-ups. It’s a wailer! (laughs)
Sleaze Roxx: ‘Sold My Soul’ showcases various different subgenres like hard rock, modern rock, punk and glam. Who are some of the artists that have influenced you and shaped you as a musician?
Laura Wilde: When I was growing up some of the bands that influenced me were bands like Green Day, The Foo Fighters and Nirvana. As I got older I started looking at who their influences were and I started listening to 60’s and 70’s rock ‘n’ roll. I also got into bands like The Clash, The Sex Pistols, and then I got into glam bands like Slade, T. Rex and Gary Glitter. I also love Led Zeppelin — Jimmy Page is one of my favorite guitarists. Along with Jimmy Page, Jimi Hendrix and Slash are my three main guitar influences.
Sleaze Roxx: What about vocalists?
Laura Wilde: I love Wendy James from Transvision Vamp and I also love Joan Jett, Suzie Quatro and Shirley Manson from Garbage.
Sleaze Roxx: It’s funny you should mention Joan Jett and Suzie Quatro because you’re ‘Sold My Soul’ album fits in with the music of The Runaways and also Suzie Quatro. I think you’ve heard that before, but how do you take that?
Laura Wilde: I take that as a huge compliment to be compared to those girls. I would never sneer at that comment! (laughs)
Sleaze Roxx: Obviously the girl guitar-driven rock is a given, but ‘Sold My Soul’ is also a fun melodic record.
Laura Wilde: I had a lot of fun making it and a lot of fun writing it. I’m glad that came through when you heard it.
Sleaze Roxx: Since relocating to Los Angeles you’ve been gigging in and around the L.A. area. What kind of feedback have you been getting from people that have seen the live show?
Laura Wilde: I’ve been through a few bands since getting here — it took a bit to find this band but I’m finally happy with everyone in the band. We gel on stage and we have great chemistry. It’s like finding three husbands! (laughs) People have pointed out that we work very well together as a band. We’ve been getting great feedback on the live show.
Sleaze Roxx: You performed at SXSW in March of this year. What was that experience like and how did you get booked for that event?
Laura Wilde: I’ll be honest with you, that was probably the most fun that I’ve ever had in my life at this point. Being in the presence of crazy, awesome musicians and industry people all in one city was fantastic. I got hooked up with SXSW by Danny B. Harvey who is the guitarist for Headcat. He’s a good friend of mine and he took us out and showed us around town. Danny gave us the authentic Austin (Texas) experience along with the SXSW craziness. Danny’s very nurturing to up and coming artists and has been very helpful.
Sleaze Roxx: ‘Sold My Soul’ was originally slated for release in the summer of 2011 but from what I’ve been hearing it’s been pushed back to early 2012. What happened?
Laura Wilde: Yeah, the band kept changing and things kept happening but now its set in stone that the album will be released on January 31, 2012. If it doesn’t come out then — heads will roll! (laughs) Fresh year… fresh start. We’ll also be doing a lot of shows around that time. I’m doing a guest spot at South Point (Hotel & Casino) in Vegas on New Year’s Eve — that should be fun.
Sleaze Roxx: How far back does the material that we’ll hear on ‘Sold My Soul’ go? Is it fairly recent?
Laura Wilde: The most recent song is “Sold My Soul”. We recorded that in July of this year (2011) and the song that is the oldest is “All Alone” which dates back to April of 2008 — that one has been hanging around for a while.
Sleaze Roxx: Out of all the songs that made the album which track came together the quickest?
Laura Wilde: I’d have to say that there were two — “Anything Goes” and “Sold My Soul”. “Sold My Soul” was recorded within a couple of hours.
Sleaze Roxx: What song took a while to flesh out and gave you fits?
Laura Wilde: I think the song that took the longest was “For You”. It was the first time that I had ever collaborated with someone. I was very unsure of the whole process and we kept missing each other. We finally found time to sit down and write the song together — that took a while. I really don’t think songs should take that long to write! (laughs) If it’s natural and flowing you’ll hear that in the song.