Following a Belmont Q&A session with alumni band Wilder, the Vision sat down with the band to discuss their return to Nashville, and their supporting slot at the Ryman Auditorium Tuesday night.
“We’re playing our music at the Ryman which is insane,” said lead singer Charlie Greene. “But we’re opening, there’s still a long way to go.”
It was just last year when Wilder — consisting of Greene, lead guitarist Ben Booth, bassist Taylor Dubray and drummer Chase Wofford — won both Belmont’s Battle of the Bands and Rock Showcase 2016. Just months ago, the band performed at Belmont’s Best of the Best Showcase.
Now on the road with the Icelandic indie-rock band Kaleo, Wilder has hit its stride as a touring band.
In fact, even after traveling 7,000 miles together, the group has only grown closer.
“We all just love hanging out together,” said Dubray.
To kill time on the long car rides from city to city, the band enjoys discussing a range of topics. Among them, whether you should use a spoon or a fork to eat macaroni and cheese, which are better: boxers or briefs, and who the best late night talk show host is.
“There’s a lot of songwriting inspiration,” joked Greene. “Maybe you can expect a song called ‘Briefs.’”
But interesting topics of discussion aren’t the only thing to come from nearly a month of extensive touring.
“We are a way different band than we were a year ago,” said Wofford. “We’ve had a lot of people that are really good at what they do invest in us and put a lot of faith in us and challenge us to get better.”
“We weren’t a good band when we started,” said Booth.
“But we are still definitely growing too,” responded Greene.
Despite the experience gained on the road and impactful mentorship, the band never expected to get where they are now.
“We had goals set as a band and we’ve reached some of those goals, but we never thought we would be where we are so quickly,” said Greene.
The band credits much of their success to having the courage to pursue their passions and encourage other musicians to do the same.
“Work super hard, and don’t care about what anyone else is doing,” said Wofford.
“Put in more work than you think is necessary,” added Greene.
In November, Wilder will join Needtobreathe for the completion of its tour. The band also hopes to have a full album out sometime next year.
In the meantime, the band has their eyes set on a headlining appearance at the Ryman in the future.
“We will be headlining the Ryman one day,” said Dubray. “Mark my words.”
This article written by Caitlin Alexander.