June 26, 2014 at 1:00 am

Wilson solidifies its place among metal heavy hitters

Wilson is releasing a limited edition vinyl version of its debut album. (Joe Gall)

Hard rocking Detroit party animals Wilson are holding an album release bash this weekend, and with it comes a sense of deja vu.

The group released its album with an unprintable three-word title (the first two words are “Full Blast,” the third is a variation of “fudgery”) last July, celebrating with a record release party at the Crofoot in Pontiac.

This Saturday, the group hits the Magic Stick in Detroit, again toasting “Full Blast (fudgery),” this time for its release on limited edition vinyl. The set comes with new artwork and is pressed on neon yellow vinyl that looks like radioactive snot, “definitely the least popular color in (the record plant’s) color wheel,” says Wilson lead singer Chad Nicefield with a tinge of pride.

But the Wilson that takes the stage this Saturday is a stronger, more accomplished unit than it was one year ago. The group has spent the year building its profile, landing slots on this year’s ShipRocked cruise (with Five Finger Death Punch, Papa Roach and more) and last month’s Rock on the Range festival (alongside Guns N’ Roses, Kid Rock, Slayer and more). The group will spend the summer on the road on a coast-to-coast tour, and in September it sets sail on its biggest booking to date, as part of Motorhead’s MotorBoat cruise, next to heavy hitters Megadeth, Anthrax, headliners Motorhead and more.

“My dream is on that boat,” says Nicefield, Wilson’s heavily bearded front man, over a plate of tacos last week at Imperial Bar in Ferndale. “I’m really excited. I’m also super nervous. You’re dealing with (former Pantera lead singer) Phil Anselmo, and (Black Label Society guitarist) Zakk Wylde. These are dudes who have been playing and shaping the face of music and metal in general for years and years. And not only are we the peon on the bill, that they probably don’t even know exist in general, but on top of that there is a potential they are going to hate you, and that would just suck so bad.”

He needn’t worry. Wilson’s following has grown over the last several years as the group — which Nicefield describes as “an aggressively pissed-off fun rock and roll band” that counts Thin Lizzy, AC/DC and Black Sabbath among its heroes — has made waves with its pulverizing live show. Now that the industry is beginning to take notice — the group is also billed on October’s Louder than Life festival in Louisville, Ky., with Judas Priest, Mastodon and more — the guys are solidifying their place in the hard rock community.

Wilson’s next album, which is already written and will be recorded in the fall and winter, will, Nicefield hopes, put them on the next plateau. For now, the band members are happy living out their hard rock dreams.

“It feels like things are coming together, and that’s cool to see,” Nicefield says. “With Wilson, it’s always been light-your-shorts-on-fire and go-go-go-go-go. When you’re the size that we are right now, you’ve got to be ready to be ready to catch fire and go-go-go when it’s time to go. We know that when the opportunity comes, we’re going to be the band to take that opportunity and put everything else on hold.”


with Against the Grain, ANA and Red Stone Souls

7:30 p.m. Saturday

Magic Stick, 4140 Woodward, Detroit

Tickets $10/$20 includes vinyl copy of new album

(313) 833-9700



Wilson's vinyl album cover (Artwork by Aaron Kraepel)