Following a series of impressive UK performances, HITC contributor, Vincent Ralph, spoke to Australian rock sensation Laura Wilde.
Support acts are all-too-often unwanted precursors to the main event. But on rare occasions, they turn out to be something altogether different – a secret suddenly and bombastically revealed.
As I waited for the headliner to begin, a 23-year-old Australian with a beast of a guitar strolled nonchalantly to the microphone, and proceeded to deliver a show of such energy, musicality and confidence that I would have happily paid to see her and her alone.
Originally from Melbourne, Wilde began touring when she was just 18, and later moved to Los Angeles, where she released her debut album, Sold My Soul, in 2012.
Having been crowned Best New Female Artist at the Vegas Rocks! Music Awards, Wilde looks set for sustained success as she prepares to record her second album at the end of the year.
I caught up with her to discuss her past, her future and her aspirations for a career that is only just beginning.
Would you say you enjoy shattering the stereotypical opinion some fans will invariably have when you walk on stage? After all, within 30 seconds of your set I think it’s fair to say they know they are in for quite a show.
The band and I promise to give the live show everything we have, and knowing that the audience had a great time makes playing music worthwhile. It's so nice when people say that they really enjoyed the show after they were initially rolling their eyes.
What was it like being on tour with Reckless Love?
Touring with Reckless Love was such an amazing experience. They are all great players and put on one hell of a show. Being able to share the stage and warm up the crowd before them was a true honour and privilege.
When I spoke to you after the London gig you said you hoped to return to the UK soon. Will that be to headline your own show?
Whether it is in support of another act or headlining our own shows we definitely hope to make it across the pond again as soon as possible. On this last tour I fell in love with the UK and hope to be spending much more time over there.
You clearly have a great dynamic with your band. Can you tell us a little more about them?
Thank you! We have Chris Price on guitar, Jeff Subauste on bass and RJ Shankle on drums. I must say, they make the touring experience that much more fun. They all have great personalities and we get along so well which makes playing the shows a total blast.
At 18, you somehow managed to balance your university studies with a job, session work and a 22-date tour. What was your motivating factor to do so much so young?
At that stage, I was fresh out of high school and very eager to decide on which path I wanted to follow wholeheartedly. In juggling all of those things I had a much better idea of what I was most passionate about, and that was a career in music.
Can you tell me about your song-writing process? How does a Laura Wilde song evolve?
It pretty much varies from song to song, but I like to keep the process as organic as possible. I come up with a lot of guitar riffs from just messing around at home during practice, or some songs can evolve from a chord progression followed by a melody and lyrics. The best ones usually come into my head right before I fall asleep. I have to wake myself up and hum the idea into my phone before it's lost forever.
You are planning on recording your second album later this year; what can fans expect from the follow-up to Sold My Soul?
Anyone who attended one of the live shows had the chance to get a taste of some of the new material. On the next record we are hoping to capture the essence and energy of the live show element on the recordings and also infuse a twist from my Australian surf-rock roots.
And finally, what is your ultimate ambition in music? What needs to happen for you to say “My career was everything I could have ever dreamed of?”
I have felt a sense of euphoria after every single milestone we have achieved on this journey; the first song recorded, the first live show, the first album release, the first tour, the first international tour. I could only be so lucky to build on the progress we have made so far.
Having seen her perform one thing is abundantly clear: if Wilde does manage to capture the essence and energy of her live shows in her new album, the world of rock music will have found a new superstar.