Laura Wilde has no fear! The Melbourne, Australia, born guitarist/vocalist is currently on her second summer tour, supporting rock icon, Ted Nugent. The 23-year-old rocker is slaying the usually intimidating Nugent crowd with her spectacular six-string skills, her hot rock star looks and no-frills kickass tunes. Wilde does this all with a big smile on her face, accepting the challenge that no female rocker has ever successfully attempted before.
What follows is an exclusive Rock Music Star interview with one of most talented new stars in music today - Laura Wilde. During this interview, we discussed her current tour with Ted Nugent, her musical influences and much more. Here's what Laura had to say.
RMS: Hello Laura, thank you for chatting with us here at RockMusicStar.com. You are currently on tour with Ted Nugent for the second summer in a row. How did you originally get this gig? Also, how surprised and happy were you that it was offered to you again this summer?
Laura Wilde: Thank you! Laura Kaufman, who took care of the press for the release of my debut album, 'Sold My Soul', was coincidentally Ted Nugent's first publicist. As she got to know the music and how we performed live, she thought that we would be a great match to go on tour together. I was so excited to be offered the gig for a second time! We learnt so much last year, and we're very lucky to be able to continue our rock 'n' roll education with Ted.
RMS: I recently saw you open for Ted Nugent in Arkon, NY, and I saw you perform last summer as well. I thought your performance was outstanding. But, Ted has an older, very loyal, and dedicated following. How challenging is it for you to play in front of his audience? Do you feel that it’s in your best interest career-wise, as a newer artist, to play in front of an older audience?
LW: Underneath everything, we all share a common, crazy love and obsession for rock 'n' roll. Whether someone is eight or eighty, we are all united by the music, and seeing that night after night is truly inspiring and makes writing songs and performing live worthwhile. Being able to connect with the people on a personal level after the show is an added bonus.
RMS: I also noticed that your stage attire has changed slightly from last year, as you looked more like a metal artist last year. Did you actually make a conscience effort to look more like a rocker as opposite to a metal head, or am I reading too much into this?
LW: I'll be honest; it was too bloody hot for all that leather! After having done one tour, I thought that my Aussie beach-style attire would be more suitable for the summertime.
RMS: Recently, there were some very uptight anti-Nugent protesters causing trouble before one of your gigs. What were your thoughts about this, and were you ever concerned about your own safety in playing that show?
LW: The area was very heavily policed, so that somewhat eased the tension. I must say, the energy in that room after we had all fought so hard to be in there was insane. What a powerful vibe!
RMS: How do you feel about Ted Nugent as a guitarist, and has he given you any career advice? Also, is there anything about him, that you can reveal, which most of us would not be aware of?
LW: Ted Nugent is a phenomenal guitarist and live performer in general. I have learnt so much from being on the road with him. His mantra of being proactive and respectful is definitely something to live by.
Ted likes to eat homemade chicken soup with his band after their show to keep everyone healthy for the grueling tour schedule.
RMS: Since you are from Melbourne, Australia, what was the biggest culture shock to you in coming over to tour in North America?
LW: I never realized how much Australians abbreviate their words. I've had to stop, since having to over-explain the meaning and reason behind the abbreviation takes up more time than just saying the full word. For example, 'afternoon' becomes 'arvo', 'lipstick' becomes 'lippy', 'laptop' becomes 'lappy', and so on.
RMS: How popular are you in Australia? What size venues do you play over there?
LW: Word is that we need to go down there for a tour soon. We headlined a Sunset Strip House of Blues-sized venue right before heading over to the USA, which was a riot!
RMS: What is the music scene like in Australia?
LW: It's all about indie pop/rock and dance music. There are a lot of great live music venues where I'm from in Melbourne. I definitely recommend a cheeky visit!
RMS: Who were your music idols growing up? And, how big of an influence was AC/DC?
LW: The bands that influenced me the most in my early teens were The Vines, Jet, The Killers, Green Day, Silverchair, The Foo Fighters and Nirvana. As I got older I started to dig deeper and listen to the bands who influenced them. Everything from Iggy Pop, to Elvis and Robert Johnson. My three guitar heroes are Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page and Slash.
We cover ACDC's 'Jailbreak' in the live set, always the best way to bring the thunder from down under!
RMS: Would you ever consider moving to America to further your career?
LW: I have been living in Los Angeles for the past three years and am very thankful for the opportunities that I have had so far from relocating to the USA.
RMS: Did you feel any bit of career reassurance when the female fronted band, Halestorm, won the Grammy for best hard rock release this year? Would you like to tour with them?
LW: Seeing new, fresh acts make major breakthroughs in the music industry and be rewarded and recognized for their hard work is always very inspiring and reassuring for the rest of us. I would love to tour with Halestorm! They seriously know how to rock.
RMS: Gloria Butler, Geezer Butler’s wife, currently manages you. How did she discover you?
LW: It was one of those 'friend of a friend of a friend' things where I just happened to be in the right place at the right time. It has been so much fun working with her.
RMS: Rumor has it that Geezer may perform on your new release. Is this true, and if so, are you in what way will he be participating? Also, any other special guests scheduled to participate?
LW: There have been discussions about us collaborating on a song, and he may even produce a track or two. I have been a huge fan of Black Sabbath for a long time, so it is such a huge honor that Geezer Butler would consider working with me.
RMS: Final question, what are your plans after the Nugent tour? Would you consider touring with Nugent again, next summer?
LW: It’s always an honor to tour with Ted Nugent, but we've just announced a UK tour in October. It will be my first time playing shows over that way, so we are all very excited!
As soon as we finish up on that tour, I will be heading into the studio to get cracking on the next record.
For more on Laura Wilde, please visit www.laurawilde.com
Special thanks to Chip Ruggieri and Dana Kaiser.