Wilson, Detroit Metal Band That Gave the World "College Gangbang," Hits Culture Room

Wilson plays the Culture Room on Wednesday, September 9.
Joe Gall

Chad Nicefield is not ashamed to admit that he got into the whole music thing for the free beer. But as the sound of his band, Wilson, matured, so did its goals. Its focus has widened, turned into something more than the members themselves. The group has taken on the role of repping and bolstering its hometown of Detroit, a city that's seen its fair share of turmoil over the past decade.

"We're not ashamed to say we're products of our environment," Nicefield says during a phone interview while on tour with his band, supporting its latest full-length, Right to Rise. "Given all the hardships our city and families have gone through, we wanted to honor the stories of Detroit. It's not just about the rubble."

The album's title is a line of empowerment, the band urging many, including those in Detroit, home of so many downtrodden Americans, to get up and fight back against what's crushed them. The music on the album's title track pushes forward, the guitar and bass like two hands on the back of a person without momentum. "Come on and raise your flag!" shouts Nicefield, imploring action.

The five-piece, though, certainly does know how to have a good time together too. Nicefield dubs its ethic "fuckery," meaning "the kind of attitude that says, 'I'm just gonna do it. I'm gonna make myself happy and do the things in life that allow me to enjoy the little bit of time I have here on Earth.'?"

That bold attitude comes through in Wilson's music, a brash style of heavy metal. Were he not in the band, Nicefield, whose day job is a talent buyer for a production company, says he'd be listening to it at "5 p.m. on my way home from work, 8 p.m. leaving my house Friday night to go to the bar, wherever I'm trying to blow off steam."

Wilson formed six years ago, and the current lineup has been playing nonstop for more than three years. Now, they're "smelling each other's farts in a van" and traveling the country on a tour that won't conclude until the end of 2015.

For Nicefield, who says he had a lot of anger as an "angsty" youth, music became important as a way of organizing the world and as a lens through which he could interpret his life toward positive means. His mother, he says, introduced him to bands like Aerosmith, Black Sabbath, and Thin Lizzy at an early age. And it was music that offered him a way to meet people, make friends, and focus his energy. Music, he says, offered a code to live by; its ethics — teamwork, creativity, exploration, and experimentation — were a guide for growing up.

"As I got older, I wanted to make my own music and understand why the people who I loved as a kid loved writing songs," he says. "Music allowed me to feel like I was a part of a community of people. You see people who have the same feelings as you do, and you connect with them. I don't know what I'd do without it."

Music is the means by which he and his band have grown up, and Nicefield hopes Wilson, a band that wears its "story on its sleeve," can be an example for people moving forward.

"Our city shaped us," he says. "We know how to work hard, overcome hardships. We're not weak people — you have the hard times, which lead to the good times."

Wilson, 7 p.m. (doors 6:30 p.m.) Wednesday, September 9, at Culture Room, 3045 N. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale. Tickets cost $23 plus fees. Call 954-564-1074, or visit cultureroom.net.

Use Current Location

Related Location

miles
Culture Room

3045 N. Federal Highway
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33306

954-564-1074

www.cultureroom.net


Sponsor Content

Newsletters

All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories
    Send:

Newsletters

All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >