Hot Gig Alert (6/15): Tulsa’s Wilderado make their return to Boston (Interview in Post!)

Facebook Twitter Google + Pinterest Linkedin Reddit
Hot Gig Alert (6/15): Tulsa’s Wilderado make their return to Boston (Interview in Post!)

(photo credit: Cassidy Mandel)

The summer’s heating up, the festivals, the big Fenway Park gigs, the intimate shows at your favorite local breweries, and so many fantastic gigs are on the horizon. But one you should definitely consider having on your roster is the return of Tulsa’s Wilderado to Boston this Saturday night at the much-celebrated Paradise Rock Club. The venerated venue will be the perfect setting for the longtime act to play the hits but also bring to life the handful of tracks released so far from their upcoming new LP “Talker”; dropping this fall (9/20). I recently sat down with frontman Max Rainer, where we covered everything from the creative process behind the aforementioned next album from the band, their preparations for this next slew of touring, and a few fellow Oklahomans to check out!

Doors open at 7:00 p.m., and the opening band, Flyte, kicks off the show at 8 p.m. Limited tickets are still available here; don’t miss out on this one!

Colleen Johnson: To kick it off, the album comes out in September, and the tour is kicking off for you in just a few weeks.  Maybe just a soft one to start, preparations you’ve been making to be back on the road, considering how extensive the tour is? 

Max Rainer: You know, it’s funny, a couple of weeks ago I had to start telling myself that it’s happening. It’s always so wild because we like being at home. We’ve got a lot going on at home, so it kind of starts there. A daily reminder: hey, two weeks from today, you’re going to be gone. So I think that, really the goal is to just kind of start practicing and just appreciating where you are. That’s kind of key, I’ve found when you’re gone. You just have to find ways to be grateful for where you are. But you can’t just learn how to do that out of nowhere. So we’re starting to get into that process, and then obviously, just playing. We’ve been rehearsing and just finishing the record. Hopefully, we’ll approve the masters today or tomorrow. Big step. 

CJ: Big step. 

MR: Yeah, it’s fun, though, right? You just allow yourself to be kind, I guess, about how you feel. 

CJ: Then maybe speaking to that, I know when “Talker” comes out, it will be around the three-year mark of the last album. When did you really start working on the songs for “Talker.” When did they start coming together for you as a band? 

MR: Well, we’ve kind of worked on them off and on all along. I think we got serious about it like a year ago. So, probably about eighteen months ago, we were working on it. I think it came together about six months ago, and then finished tracking it I think, in May/end of April. 

CJ: Then you’ve been slowly releasing the songs. I know there are at least three or four of them out there. With this record, you worked with people on this album that have worked with everyone from Gracie Abrams to The National and it seems everything in between. Being such different acts and such seasoned people, how do you think that shaped “Talker,” or having people working with you on this record who have worked with so many different artists? 

MR: It’s funny. We’ve worked with the same people from the very beginning. So I think they’ve had some successes since working with us. Mostly, it’s been fun to see and celebrate with them, but nothing really impacts what we do. Other than just what we want to do. Trying to capture what we’re hearing, and that sort of thing. 

CJ: It’s your show. 

MR: Yeah, I mean, it’s our music, so I think what they’re good at is helping to interpret that. And also they help set up parameters. Chad Copelin, who is our producer on this, we’re all just songwriter collaborators together. So, a lot of it is just getting back in the studio and making stuff. 

CJ: How has that been to kind of grow together? He’s been with you since the beginning. 

MR: It’s cool, I think it helps you kind of stay yourself. I think there are so many different ways to do it. And we’ve worked with him as a producer since before we made our “Wilderado” LP. We kind of did some bouncing around and trying out different stuff. And I think that’s always an option, but there’s something kind of sweet about the idea of being on this team. Making everything fit and forcing each other to change the sound together rather than just going somewhere else. To a different sound kind of vibe. The virtue of it being a different person. So it takes a lot more effort I’ll say that’s for sure. We trashed a bunch of songs, kind of in the vein of them sounding like the first record. There was a lot of that in the beginning, and then we came back to stuff once we figured out what it was that we were making. Adapting different tunes into the sound that we had refined. 

CJ: Then, like I said before, you’ve released several of the songs and with the album still several months out, I’m sure you want to keep a lot of it kind of sacred. And not share super, super much. But are there songs that you think are really going to resonate live in particular with fans of the band? How are you cultivating these setlists, considering you are doing this big tour before the album comes out? You’re doing that October tour after it comes out. Maybe songs you think are going to be big with your fans in the live setting.

MR: Yeah, there’s so many songs that people want to hear that we get requests for. I think for us, we stick to the philosophy of just playing what’s been released. To me, it feels a little unfair sometimes to the audience when they have to hear stuff they’ve never heard before. Instead of getting to hear something that they love. So we’ll play all four of the songs that are currently out and then an array of old stuff. 

CJ: Perfect, then I wanted to ask. I know you’re coming out of Tulsa. They are definitely a little bit different, but Hanson obviously came out of Tulsa, too. A lot of bands coming out of Oklahoma. Maybe as a two-parter kind of, what do you think makes the Oklahoma music scene special, and artists that you think people should maybe listen to, that you’ve personally enjoyed or maybe friends of yours? 

MR: You mentioned Hanson? 

CJ: Yeah, that’s what I said first off. 

MR: No, that’s funny, I mean, we’re all kind of unashamedly fans of their music. In terms of, they’re just such good players. I mean, if you ever actually get the chance to see Hanson, it’s really incredible. We grew up with those guys, too. I think the Oklahoma scene, in general, is just really good. I’m not sure what Oklahoma has to do with it other than it must have something to do with it because everyone lives here. But outside those guys, I’d say my favorite Oklahoma bands are Broncho, John Moreland, Kenny Pomroy, and Sports, just kind of off the top of my head. 

CJ: Then, to kind of end it off here, this is to preview the Boston show (June 15th at Paradise Rock Club). We kind of know what’s going on for you these next months, at least touring-wise, balancing family life at home, too. Maybe hopes or goals for these next months for the band as the album comes out and these shows happen? 

MR: I think for the band, we just hope to continue to grow. I hope we get new ears coming in. I think what’s fun is that I truly believe that people who are fans of Wilderado are just fans of the way that we make music. I don’t have any fear of letting anybody down with what we play. But I think really what we’re hoping to do is just by virtue of putting more music out, we’re hoping to reach larger audiences. More audiences and have people be into this idea of another act making music that they love. And that comes from the heart, and it’s nothing but vulnerable, that sort of thing. I just want to stay alive, keep the band growing, and hopefully continue to do bigger and better things.

About Author


Colleen has been writing about music since 2009. Interviewing bands since the glory days of Warped and has continued to do so for now over fourteen years. As well as doing freelance for other publications, the love for everything rock continues today.