Wilson is out supporting their album, Full Blown Fuckery. The band recently opened up for Rob Zombie in Grayslake, Illinois. On Stage Review contributor, Janelle Rominski, got a chance to sit down with Jason Spencer (guitarist) and Puhy (drummer) of Wilson in one of the most epic interviews ever. Beware of swear words.
ON STAGE REVIEW: Thank you for taking the time to interview with On Stage Review. So, tell me who the fuck is Wilson?
PUHY: (laughs) Well, a bunch of dudes from Detroit, fucking lucky enough to do what we’re doing and to be in a position like this, even now. Every day I feel lucky and I feel everybody else feels the same way. We all have kind of had those little dreams when we grew up wanting to play, blah blah blah, never thought it would actually happen now and it is. Now that it is, it’s unbelievable.
ON STAGE REVIEW: Absolutely! How the fuck did you come up with the name Wilson?
PUHY: Well, fucking, I think fucking, I think Jason would be really fucking good with this one.
JASON: This is a classic question.
ON STAGE REVIEW: I thought I’d let the band explain, not Google.
JASON: I wish the story was like amazing, but it is what it is. And maybe that’s the best part about it. I was at college at MSU and was in at party in an apartment and a buddy of mine knew we were writing some songs and making some tunes on the side and he asked, “hey, you guys have a band, right?” I was like, “I guess”, he said, “how about you play a show?” We were like well, “can we do this with tree songs? Fuck it! Let’s do it with three songs.” So sure enough we committed to the show with three songs and then he said we need a name of your band, “what’s your band name?” And “Wilson was the first thing that came to my head.” Bam!
ON STAGE REVIEW: Wow! Fantastic. Do you know people by the name of Wilson?
PUHY: Well, now we do.
ON STAGE REVIEW: It’s funny, the last name of my assistant is Wilson, so I wish she could have been here.
PUHY: It’s an extremely accessible name beyond the volleyball.
ON STAGE REVIEW: I was wondering if the volleyball had anything to do with this.
PUHY: Well, the funny thing is we tried to come up with some really interesting stories which would have been a fun story for a band and then it went into a dark place really quickly. We just came up with way too many obscure things and maybe we should probably just tell the real story.
ON STAGE REVIEW: Awesome, now how was your recording process? Did you get serious? Or has it all been fun, fabulous time?
JASON: Well, the recording process was definitely us. We had a progress board and it’s somewhere in California, we don’t know where exactly it’s at – but every time we completed a song or part it was — half the pictures were penises.
ON STAGE REVIEW:Speaking of that, I love how your bio states that you have big dicks – who was ballsy enough to put that in there?
PUHY: The guy who wrote that bio is actually our buddy Freddy and so he’s friends with everybody and knows us, we asked him to write our bio and he obviously did a smashing job.
JASON: He’s going for the obvious.
PUHY: I didn’t even know he was doing it until we got the bio, and then it was all the “not an internet fucking band and whatever…”
ON STAGE REVIEW: Your bio also mentions your beards. I am such a fan of your facial hair/long hair, are you going to keep on growing it out?
JASON: We have a hashtag right now called #teamlonghair.
ON STAGE REVIEW: Oh my gosh, that’s great.
PUHY: Funny story, when I first joined the band, I was the only one with long hair because I’m beard deficient. I can’t grow anything. Nothing comes in here (points to face). I just have this creepy, patchy situation here. So I have this head beard going on and everyone else had short hair and beards and whatever, and said “You play in a fucking rock and roll band, and there’s only one person with long hair, so slowly but surely…
JASON: I had long hair but I cut it, but the thing is, it grows and it grows back.
ON STAGE REVIEW: Now with your album, and all of your song titles, which are brilliant – are there any songs that you wish you could have done over, or are you pretty happy with them all?
PUHY: This is probably on a person to person thing, but pretty much with any song you’ve ever done, you listen to it over and over and over again and at least for me, I’m always thinking of something else that could have been done, a different combination of anything, so I mean, that’s just you have to find the warm center of wanting to continually evolve what you’re doing and just saying shut the fuck up and let it be. So there are certain parts of those songs that –
JASON: I think that’s the beautiful part about it, when you think about a song and “Stairway To Heaven”, they could have probably added a few more things if they wanted to, but why bother? You know? At some point it’s like OK – let’s just call it a day.
PUHY: Let it be what it is.
ON STAGE REVIEW: I love your term “warm center”, I’m going to have to use that more often.
PUHY: I used “warm center?”
ON STAGE REVIEW: Yes, you did, like a hot apple pie.
PUHY: Well, (makes some faces)
ON STAGE REVIEW: I’m such a music nerd, I wrote papers in college about inspiring bands that have changed my life. Have there been any bands that have totally fucking been fantastic for you guys?
PUHY: I’m also a big musical nerd, so it’s everything from classical compositions, to friends that have recorded something in their garage with one mic. When you hear something that has passion behind it, or whatever the fuck you want to call it, it doesn’t matter where it’s coming from and it also doesn’t matter what kind of music it is. Unless, of course, it’s alternative country or polka (laughs), but you can always find something that is really amazing.
ON STAGE REVIEW: Do you think you’ll experiment with something outside of your current genre?
JASON: I always say when we practice, when everyone wants to jam for a while, we’ll stop jamming and say “what the fuck are we doing?” And it happens all the time. You know the band Russian Circles? We have that vibe, then slowly it turns into punk/ska right now.
PUHY: We’ll do some country shit or this and that – but it goes all over the place which is awesome because I’ve gotta be honest, whenever, unless you’re a band where you can get away with doing every type of music – then you need to have that outlet – you have to be able to be able to take that musical shit to make things interesting and/or to bring in different influences into what we’re doing. So it’s fun whenever we sit down and jam, it’s like more often than not, it sounds nothing like what we do, but we’ll do it and then sometimes we’ll actually turn into a song idea and before you know it, we’re sitting down doing this grungy little fucking stoner jam and turns out to be this really fucking hard hitting bridge and you know, that’s just it.
ON STAGE REVIEW: So you’re still touring and you’ve got the bus or the van?
JASON: Ford 15-passenger van, 2011 E-350 XL.
PUHY: 16 miles to the gallon.
ON STAGE REVIEW: And what do you guys do to pass the time between cities?
PUHY: We actually have these recordings we do, voice recordings, I don’t know what the name of the app is, but you can go in and fuck with the voices, so when any of us are driving, or either of us are driving, we end up spending a good two to four hours just literally shouting into this fucking phone. Coming up with stuff and it’s so much more entertaining than listening to music or sitting back and thinking about things (makes a funny face and some funny noises). Do that for five hours and we’re to the next spot.
ON STAGE REVIEW: With your writing process, do you all write together?
JASON: It’s been revolving.
ON STAGE REVIEW: Do you ever encounter writers’ block or all you all pretty fucking good with your creative juices?
JASON: I would say as of now it’s pretty fluid. In terms of writing, it just comes out. I think it has a lot to do with our jams and not thinking too much about what we’re doing and just kind of going off on a different path and come back with so many ideas.
ON STAGE REVIEW: You toured with Newsted, how the hell was that?
PUHY: A lot cooler than we thought it was going to be. We didn’t know what to expect with a person like that and what he’s done. So we were kind of assuming that maybe we’ll see him at one point or another. He ended up being totally great. He and his crew handed down life lessons to us and we were like, “wow”, “fuck.”
JASON: I always plug this into interviews, but, Wookie.
ON STAGE REVIEW: Wookie?
JASON: Wookie was the dude, if there was a dude who was a pruner, like a guy who really put us – kicked our ass – it’s Wookie.
ON STAGE REVIEW: Onto a different path, long drives between cities – like or dislike?
JASON: I like them, some of the other dudes complain about that stuff, but I think it’s the whole thing with us, we can record things.
PUHY: I also enjoy the midnight graveyard shift, when the sun’s coming up and in the van we took out the back two rows and built a little bed situation, so we have a top bed, but then there’s what I like to call, the nether region, which as a very awkward cushion cot right there and nobody can see in or out. Lord knows what goes on.
ON STAGE REVIEW: Debauchery?
ON STAGE REVIEW: Like or dislike, American Idol, The Voice, or TV shows like that?
JASON: I mean, wasn’t Howard Stern on one of those?
ON STAGE REVIEW: Yes. America’s Got Talent.
JASON: I guess I caught a glimpse of one of those shows because of Howard Stern, but other than that, I couldn’t give a fuck. I think he’s fucking hilarious. He opens up his mouth. He’s the highlight of the fucking show. Howard Stern has got the talent.
PUHY: I always enjoy this is a guilty pleasure of mine, but I do the keyword of “audition blows audience” and it’s these really obscure looking people and everybody else doesn’t fucking think anything and they open their fucking mouth and what coming out – it’s amazing. For all the bullshit that those shows have – those little moments there are pretty fucking cool. Otherwise, I’d never watch the shows, but that’s pretty fucking cool.
JASON: That’s the same thing as going down to a coffee shop and listening to a dude read an epic poem story or a dude who is going to sing in front of you guys, but I don’t need to be in front of America – that’s my thing with that.
ON STAGE REVIEW: Like or dislike: people taking photos or videos throughout the whole duration of your show.
PUHY: Throughout the whole duration? Unless they’re paid to be there, I feel like they should probably sit back and experience it a little bit. My rule of thumb is most of the stuff is most of the stuff I should be taking photos or video of, I don’t because I’m too busy enjoying it. But some people like to do that.
ON STAGE REVIEW: For your headbanging, are there ever days like, “oh fuck, I just can’t do this?”
JASON: Like right now? Yes! We haven’t played a show since our vinyl release which was a good few weeks ago, so today, I was just like halfway through and am like “fuck.”
ON STAGE REVIEW: Just to conclude this, I have a favorites section. What’s your favorite band?
JASON: That is really hard. Let’s think about the playlist yesterday. We drove from Detroit to here last night, 7 hour drive, we put on Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata.”
PUHY: One of my favorite songs.
JASON: It turns out I mentioned Russian Circles earlier, I have a high respect for those dudes.
ON STAGE REVIEW: Favorite all time song?
PUHY: “Georgia On My Mind”, by Ray Charles.
JASON: “Beating Around The Bush” by AC/DC.
ON STAGE REVIEW: Your favorite drinks while hanging?
PUHY: Usually a Fresca.
JASON:I don’t know if you’ve ever tried it – but the original Monster with Jameson.
PUHY: Michigan specials, Canadian Mist.
JASON: Canadian Mist. Pickle backs.
PUHY: Pickle backs, whiskey and pickle backs.
ON STAGE REVIEW: To wrap this up, what do you like to do besides music?
PUHY: Work, music. We go to band practice, then the gym afterwards, other than that – it’s music.
JASON: I’ll definitely say, Netflix. Watching Netflix with my sweet sweet lady. We just finished “Bates Motel” last night.
ON STAGE REVIEW: Thank you for your time, you guys were fucking amazing!