Based out of Detroit, Michigan, Wilson is a five-piece rock band comprised of Chad Nicefield, Jason Spencer, Kyle Landry, Matt Puhy and James Lascu. After self-releasing their debut album back in 2013, the band has since signed with Razor & Tie Records, dropping their second album “Right to Rise” under the label this past June.
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Chris Remmers: Describe your hometown a little bit. Where did you grew up?
Chad Nicefield: I was born in Port Huron, Michigan about 45-minutes north of Detroit proper. I lived there singing in and out of local bands since I was 15, until I was 22. Then, at 22, I moved to Texas, where I spent just under two years living and playing music out there. Right before I turned 24 I moved back to the city, and I’ve been in Detroit proper for almost nine years now. The band started actually while Jason, our guitar player, was going to college in East Hampton at Michigan State University. When I came upon their band, he was actually the only original member and I came in eventually after.
I’d heard them play at a local show. I saw them and I was like, “Oh wow!” I didn’t talk to them, it was kind of gray, and their lead singer didn’t happen to want to stick with it. So, I came in shortly thereafter and convinced Jason to move from East Hampton to Detroit. We replaced all the other members with members from the Metro-Detroit area, lastly being our bassist James, who I’ve played music with in other musical endeavors. We’ve been the five-piece that we are now for about six years and we’ve been touring for just under four years.
Photo courtesy | Bryan Debus
CR: Was getting into the music industry and doing what you’re doing now something you always wanted to do or did you have an epiphany one day?
CN: I got into a car accident when I was way young, about 14 years old. It was a really bad car accident and I almost lost my life. At the time I was playing sports, but also playing music. I was in a hospital for 15 months, then home for almost a year in and out of being bedridden and recovering. The only thing I really missed at that period of time was being able to jam, play music, play shows with my friends and go to the local halls — we used to play in all the local halls. That’s how I made all my friends and early connections. It became very apparently clear to me that that’s what I wanted to do with my life. It was the one thing I ever thought about and it’s the only thing I ever thought about since. That dream has always been there.
CR: It’s always so nice to know what you want to do in life. Some people struggle their whole life and don’t know where they belong. You guys are now in the middle of touring. Does traveling provide any inspiration for lyrics and what you’re going to play, or does it come from elsewhere?
CN: We’re the type of people who are consistently working. So, everything that we do on the road is basically geared toward that next step in music. The work never ends. We’re constantly searching for new ideas, new ways to express those ideas.
CR: Of course. Now stemming away from the touring aspects, would you say that when you do vacation, that it gives you time to clear your head in order to come up with some new ideas?
CN: I wish that I had vacations, but I don’t know when was the last time I actually had any sort of moments to myself. It’s been quite some time, but I mean I think that’s just the kind of person that I am. At the end of the day, even when I reach that time when I can potentially shut off, I never do. I’m just one of those [people] that can’t stop working.
Photo courtesy | Jim D.
CR: When do eventually go on vacation, even if it’s just a long weekend to briefly turn it off, would you say you’re more of a beach goer or a city kind of a guy?
CN: I would say more of the up north type of guy. I have to describe Michigan’s up north. It’s very serene, full of greenery, just trees, nature and wildlife — natural things like that. I’m the type of dude who likes to pop his shirt off and do anything. I want to be in those positions with not a lot of people, maybe a few choice people that I really care about. That’s rather than being surrounded by something that makes me sticky and uncomfortable, because I hate the heat.
CR: I feel you there. I’d move to Alaska if I could.
CN: I’d be in a cabin in the middle of the woods.
CR: Cabin in the woods? That’s probably the way I’d do it too.
CN: I’d bring five of my closest friends.
Photo courtesy | Tom Hall
CR: That’s awesome. Would you say you have a bucket list of any sort of places that you haven’t played yet that you want to?
CN: Yeah, certainly in Europe, we’ve just been to Europe and we saw places that a middle-class sort of dude growing up would never imagine being able afford or being able to go, different places like that. One place I definitely want to play is Australia and New Zealand.
CR: I got to tell you out of all the interviews I’ve done 50% to 70% of people say Australia is one of their number one destination. It really make me want to go.
CN: I just want to pet a Kuala.
Photo courtesy | Simon Yeo
CR: Maybe see a kangaroo too. When you guys are arriving at your destinations, what would you say is the first thing you guys like to do when you get to a new place?
CN: Do some sort of activity because we’ve been cooped up in a small container with six other people for the last six hours. So getting out and getting my mind clear with some sort of activity is the first thing on my list.
CR: Lastly, when you guys are done with this current tour, what’s your next big trip going to be for?
CN: We’ll be back on the road before the end of the year. We aren’t home for a very long periods of time.
CR: Yeah, you gotta love what you do.
CN: I love meeting new people, experiencing their stories and hearing about their lives. It’s sobering.
CR: That’s part of what drives us to do what we do. I can’t tell you how much I love talking to people and finding out how similar everybody is and at the end of the day, this actor, this musician, we’re all people at the end of the day.
CN: Yeah, we’re only a small part of the variety of people out there. I grew up working with my father. You know, you spend your entire life working in a shop or whatever it is. When you talk to new people they all have interesting stories, some full of sadness, some full of happiness and then some that are just particularly special.
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For more on Wilson and their new album visit their website: