Q&A with James Lascu of Wilson

You haven’t seen a great live show until you’ve witnessed Wilson‘s energetic live performance. The Detroit rockers who admittedly put their blood, sweat and tears into their performances are set to release their sophomore album Right To Rise on June 29th, and this release promises to be bigger and better than ever. Inspired by their hardworking hometown of Detroit, Right To Rise is full of passion and promise, making the band’s sophomore release a must-listen.

Wilson recently released “All My Friends” from the upcoming album, which can be streamed below. Be sure to check them out on tour now with Nothing More and Red Sun Rising!

Interview by Dom Vigil

How do you feel that Right To Rise differs from Full Blast Fuckery? In what ways has Wilson grown with this release?

FBF was essentially a collection of songs which Jason wrote over the years since Wilson’s inception.  When I joined the band about 3 years ago now, FBF was already, for the most part in the final stages of recording.   With R2R, we had a clear vision of what we wanted the record to be about and a solid lineup where each individual member had something to bring to the table creatively.  We jammed out most of these songs in our practice space back home between tours, while also coming up with riffs and ideas on the road.  There’s a lot more thought and passion put into R2R.  We really wanted to tell a story not only with Chad’s lyrics, but with the music itself.  I think you can hear and feel what every song is about with out necessarily having the lyrics there to guide you.   Simply put, this album is the baby of all 5 members as opposed to just one.

Can you give us a little background for Right To Rise? What does this album mean to you guys?

R2R is about struggling to succeed, failing, picking yourself back up and standing against the current over and over again.  It’s about embracing the bad things and learning how to coexist with them to reach a positive existence.  We didn’t have to look far for inspiration.  Our home town really played a huge roll in this album.  Because our home town plays the biggest roll in all of our lives.  I personally was born and raised in the metro Detroit area.  My family had huge ties to the city itself.  I practically grew up in the city.  The city taught me how to play my instrument.  It taught me to love and appreciate art.  It taught me how to see the beauty hidden in ugliness.  For me personally, this album gives me a chance to shine a positive light on a city that gets such a bad reputation worldwide…. How could a place I have so many cherished memories in be so demonized? Ultimately it’s about showing the world what us and all our friends have known all along.

Now, I know you guys went about writing Right To Rise a little differently than your past music, so can you tell us a little bit about the writing process with this one?

We took a more traditional approach.  All of us individually would come up with riff ideas, or chorus ideas at home or on tour.  We’d bring those ideas to the sweaty jam space and hash out riffs and counter ideas.  Or we’d decide something would suck and make it better.  We’d build and build on a simple idea together until we felt we could stand on it confidently.  Jason is so good at arranging complete songs.  I would always feel confident coming into the jam space with him, Chad, Puhy and Kyle, that we’d walk out with some cool shit.  Having that kind of trust and confidence in band mates is hard to find in my experience.  Coming up with ideas at home, I wouldn’t stress about arrangement cause I knew my band mates could help me out with that together.

What did you hope to accomplish by doing things in a different way?

We wanted to make the record our 14 year old selves would’ve fallen in love with at first listen.  We wanted to make something that felt badass, dangerous and alluring all at once.

You said that your hometown of Detroit was a big influence on this album. How do you feel that being from Detroit has shaped you as people and musicians?  

As people, I think being from Michigan in general has made us appreciate the simple things in life.  Our families, friends, beautiful summers, and sense of community.  There’s been so many economic hard times that everyone has faced in the past 15 years alone, that you can’t help but wake up so many days and say to yourself, “At least I still have my loved ones and dog.”  As musicians, I think detroit has shaped us to think outside of genres.  To love music for the escape it offers us.  Even though long winters suck.  They sure do give you an excuse to practice your instrument…A LOT.

I feel like someone hasn’t really experienced Wilson until they’ve seen you guys live. (I for one was amazed by your energy on stage when I saw you for the first time, at least.) Why is a good live performance important to you guys?

We always try and tap into the intensity of every song when we play live. We want people to feel what we’re feeling.  In order to do that you have to manifest your insides on the outside.  When it comes to a live performance people hear just as much with their eyes as they do with their ears… Does that make sense? We want people to know that we respect them.  We’re gonna show that respect by sweating our fucking asses off.  We want you to feel good about the hard earned money you spent to see us play.  We want you to feel no regret for leaving your comfy couch and Netflix at home to come watch some dudes play rock and roll music.  We want to make you feel positive and give you the strength to say, “Fuck it, I don’t care, I’m gonna bang my fuckin’ head TOO.”

What do you want people to walk away from one of your shows thinking or feeling?

If someone walks away with a smile on their face and a sweaty brow then we did our job.  We want people to feel confident in their everything when they walk away from our show.

If you could change or improve anything about the music scene with Right To Rise, or just your music in general, what would it be and why?

I’ve always been one to think that everything has its time and place. Everything is as it should be.  We don’t want to change or “improve” anything.  We just want to be a part of people’s lives and culture and fucking rock as hard as we can doing it.

You guys are currently out on the road with Nothing More – how have those dates been so far?

The shows have been incredible.  We are really close with the NoMo dudes. We consider all 4 of them personal friends of ours.  We are so proud of what they’ve accomplished up until this point. It’s so cool to see how much they’ve become a part of people’s lives all across the country.  It’s an honor to be on tour with them and share the stage every night.  We are eternally grateful for the opportunity they’ve given us to play our music in front of new people.  To have the support and “OK” from a band like Nothing More is priceless.

After Right To Rise drops, what is the rest of 2015 looking like? More touring? Maybe some headlining dates?

There’s a lot of things we’re working on right now.  Mostly it involves a shit ton of touring.  Keep a look out for a new video in the near future as well!

Thanks for taking the time to chat with us! Is there anything else you’d like to add?


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PREORDER RIGHT TO RISE HERE: http://wilsonpartyanimals.com/

Wilson Tour with Nothing More and Red Sun Rising

June 17 – Laredo, TX – Average Joe’s

June 18 – Dallas, TX – Club Dada(Wilson date)

June 19 – San Antonio, TX – The Aztec Theater

June 21 – Albuquerque, NM – Launchpad

June 22 – Colorado Springs, CO – The Black Sheep

June 23- Denver, CO- Bluebird Theater (Wilson date)

June 24- Kansas City, MO- The Rior Room (with Sebastian Bach)

June 27 – Pontiac- MI – The Crofoot Ballroom (Wilson date-album release party show)

August 7 – Montreal, Canada – Heavy Montreal 2015 (with Slipknot)