Australian guitar sensation Laura Wilde first caught my attention over a year ago and we had a couple of tracks from the album “Sold My Soul” sent to the station. Since then she’s toured the USA with Ted Nugent and has recently been added to the Dean Guitars artists roster. And of course she is a bit of a favourite of the music magazines and was named in the "Top 25 Hottest Chicks in Hard Rock" by “Revolver Magazine”. Check out the videos of the tracks “Sold My Soul” and “For You” or of her guitar playing on YouTube. A young lady I reckon we’ll be hearing a lot more from!


NI ROCKS Laura, thanks for agreeing to answer a few questions for Rock Radio Northern Ireland. I’ve been playing the single “Sold My Soul” for quite a while now on my shows and following your career. I thought we’d start with a few background questions just to get everyone else up to speed! What age were you when you first took up the guitar and what attracted you to it?

LAURA –  My obsession with guitars began when I was just a baby.  Apparently my brother was given a push-button toy guitar for Christmas and as soon as I got my mitts on it, I never let it go.  That toy guitar was my teddy.  I was fixated on the real thing for my entire childhood but was only allowed to start playing at the age of twelve.  



NI ROCKS – Did you come from a musical family?

LAURA – Not at all.  My family is very academic.  Although, my great grandmother was a violin teacher and concert pianist.  We also share the same birthday!



NI ROCKS – Your first stage appearance was actually as a bass player, but the six string is obviously your instrument of choice. What age would you have been when you first went on stage with the guitar?

LAURA – I was nineteen when I did my first proper full-band live show.  After doing a few acoustic gigs I was so excited to plug in and go nuts!



NI ROCKS – I read somewhere that you’d worked in a guitar shop back home in Australia. How much of a help was that in the development of your guitar skills? And how much is music lessons as opposed to self taught?

LAURA – Working in the shop improved my knowledge of guitars extensively.  I had to know the products inside and out, from the different woods used to the types of machine heads.  It was such a blast working there and connecting with like-minded people.

With regards to being self taught, there are many advantages and disadvantages.  It's great for learning the styles that you really love at your own pace, however it's very easy to slip into playing ruts and not constantly stretch yourself.  In my opinion, the best possible way to develop guitar skills would be to have lessons for technique and theory knowledge.  Also, to learn as much as you can on your own and be creative to develop a unique playing style.


NI ROCKS – Who would you consider to be your main influences as a guitar player?

LAURA - I grew up loving the blues-based lead style.  Players like Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page, Slash, Stevie Ray Vaughn and Eric Clapton.  However, to shake things up I just took a guitar lesson from Michael Angelo Batio on metal shredding which gave my fingers a serious wake up call.



NI ROCKS – At age 19 you moved to Los Angeles to further your career. By that stage had you a management company and deals in place or was it very much a gamble that you hoped would pay off?

LAURA –  Before the big move I had spend three months in Los Angeles to meet with industry people and see if it was a good fit in general.  Having made many connections in that time and somewhat set everything up, it was a smooth transition over.  



NI ROCKS – Your first album “Sold My Soul” was released in 2012. Was it recorded in the USA and am I right in saying that you played all of the instruments yourself?

LAURA –  I played all of the guitars on the album and even managed to drum on a few tracks which was a great experience.  Most of the songs were recorded in Australia and a few were done in the USA.  


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NI ROCKS – You’re very much in the singer-songwriter category. Did you write all the tracks on “Sold My Soul”?  Is there what you could call a “standard” process for song writing or does each track develop in its own way?

LAURA – I collaborated with writers for some of the tracks but wrote most of them on my own.  I can't really say that I have a standard way of writing songs.  I prefer the process to be as organic as possible.  Sometimes I can come up with a guitar riff from just messing around or practicing, and then the melody and lyrics follow.  Other times a song can formulate in my head right as I'm falling asleep and I have to wake myself up and get it down before I forget it.



NI ROCKS – You supported Ted Nugent on tour right across the USA. How did you find that as an experience? Ted has a very committed fan base, but it would seem from the reviews that you did a good job winning them over.

LAURA – It was such an amazing experience.  Ted's live show is incredible, everything from his playing ability to production.  The crew certainly walloped us into shape and took the show to a new level.



NI ROCKS – What plans have you for the rest of 2013? Is there likely to be European tour dates at some point?

LAURA – We're planning to tour extensively and get the next record into shape.  I'm sure we'll be making our way across the pond before the year's end.


NI ROCKS – Are there firm plans in place for the follow up to “Sold My Soul”?

LAURA –  I'm currently in the process of writing the next record which is very exciting.  We have had a chance to play some of the new material at the last couple of shows.  I can't wait to get into the studio and start recording.


NI ROCKS – You were recently added to the Dean Guitars artist roster. You’d been using a Gibson Flying V for some time. Tell us a little about the set up you use.

LAURA –  I'm currently using a Dean ML through a Fuchs Mantis which is the perfect combo for a blazing lead tone and chunky, fat rhythms.  I try to keep pedals to a minimum because I'm cursed when it comes to guitar cables.  I just use boost and delay pedals for leads along with a tuner.

NI ROCKS – It comes as no surprise that you regularly feature highly in any of those lists of hottest female guitarists or singers! Do you ever worry that some people won’t see past the looks to recognise the musical talent? How much harder do you think it is for a female guitarist to get the same degree of acceptance as a male?

LAURA – I try not to fuss about it too much, but it is definitely much harder for a female to be recognized as a guitarist.  However, if you have really taken the time to practice the instrument, your hard work will shine through and you'll be able to earn respect as a serious player.  It doesn't matter what gender you are.


NI ROCKS – Which artist out there would you most like to collaborate on a project with?

LAURA – I would love to work with Dave Grohl.  He would be the perfect mentor.  In my opinion, I feel he is one of the most brilliant, well-rounded and inspiring musicians and I feel I could learn a lot from collaborating with an artist like him.


NI ROCKS – I always like to find out what music people are listening to. If I was to borrow your iPod and press “shuffle” what five artists might I find?

LAURA – I just clicked "shuffle" out of curiosity.  The verdict - Gene Pitney, Nine Inch Nails, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Steppenwolf and The Vines.


NI ROCKS – And when you’re on tour on your bus do you get a say on what gets played? And what is it?

LAURA –  Whoever is driving or sitting up front chooses.  It's such a great way to discover new music.  Last time we were on tour I was giving the boys an education in Aussie rock.  Specifically bands like Spiderbait, Kram, The Living End and Grinspoon.


NI ROCKS – Some firsts! First album you remember buying and first band you saw in concert?

LAURA -  I saved up for months when I was eight to buy The Offspring's record 'Americana'.  I listened to it non-stop until my parents confiscated it because of the profanities.

When I was fourteen I was lucky enough to see 28 Days, an Australian rock group, live at my uncle's pub.  Even though I was standing with my parents, I felt like such a rebel!


NI ROCKS – Laura, thanks again for taking some time to respond to my questions. Best of luck with everything. Hopefully we’ll see you over in the UK in the not to distant future.


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Last Updated (Monday, 03 September 2018 07:56)