Wilderado agreed to answer a few questions for The Friday Thirteen.
1. First off, who are you and what genre of music do you make?
I’m Max with the band Wilderado. We are an alternative band.
2. If you had to describe your music with a color, what would it be?
We’re driving south on highway 75 right now and there are dark, green pine trees that seem to be following us. I like to think our music is the same color. Good question.
3. What’s the biggest struggle you have when it comes to creating?
My biggest struggle with creativity is being diligent about making time for it. There is a great book by Steven Pressfield called, The War of Art. He talks about how the success of a creative is sitting down to create. There is too much pressure to create well, and at the end of the day it takes away from the process and the outcome to approach it that way. The goal should be to make the time to create. Whatever happens in that moment is what it is.
4. If you could play any show in the world, what would it be?
We had the opportunity to open a run of shows for Ryan Bingham and our booking agent came to the last show of the tour in New York. We were walking up this rickety staircase after our set and he was standing at the top and laughing down at us. He said, “The day we play Maddison Square Garden I’m going to look back on watching y’all climb these tiny stairs.” He’s always been such an encouraging person and has believed in us from the day we met, so I’ve made it a goal of mine to actually play Madison Square Garden. It may be far-fetched, but I think that’s fine.
5. What do you consider your biggest musical success?
About a year and a half ago we got to play a private showcase for Rick Rubin at Shangri La. We were all so blown away just being there. He was only with us for 2 about 2 minutes before we played and maybe that long afterward. He laid in his control room and watched us through the glass laying on his stomach, elbows in the cushion of some bench and chin/beard in his hands. We played our songs so fast and shitty, but he listened to everyone bobbing his head and swaying his legs. He came in once we were done and asked us how we wrote our songs and listened as though nothing else was on his mind or would be. I remember thinking that must be how he gets such magic out of so many people. But, like I said, it was 2/3 minutes of undivided attention and then he disappeared to go do God knows what. I don’t know if that’s our “biggest musical success”, but I remember thinking if this music takes us nowhere else we will still have done this!
6. What inspired you to start making music?
We all grew up in musical families or around great music. I started playing more and more when I went to college. I liked it more than most things and that’s kind of it.
7. If you could hear any person living or dead sing to you, who would it be?
8. Who, aside from any band or musician, is your biggest influence?
I feel like the rest of the guys might give me shit for this, but I’d have to say my biggest inspiration is my wife. There are obviously emotions I feel towards her that inspire thoughts and motive and direction, but mostly she is the one that broke off a shallow mold I had of what is beautiful in and about art. When we first met she was always listening to these bands and songwriters that I thought sounded like ass, but it’s because I was actually the one being an ass and not listening to what they were saying. She has such a keen ability to recognize honesty and the things in life that are truly lovely, and it made me really want to figure out how to write like that and stop writing to be polished or “impressive”.
9. What’s your favorite book?
At the moment, my favorite book is H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald
10. What do you like to do other than music?
I have an 11 month-old girl named Emilia, taking care of her is most of what I do.
11. Who is your favorite musical artist?
Man, I don’t know. I’ve been listening to The Bends by Radiohead a lot recently.
12. What’s one piece of advice you have for young musicians?
Don’t be entitled.
13. Lastly, what’s your lucky number?
You can follow Wilderado on Instagram at @wilderado_, and be sure to check them out on Spotify and iTunes. Remember to follow The Friday Thirteen on instagram at @thefridaythirteen!