Laura Wilde was right at home, rocking, writing and playing in the instruments on her debut album in her native Australia, and she loves the welcome mat rolled out in touring the United States.
The 22-year-old from Melbourne opens Saturday for Ted Nugent at House of Blues in North Myrtle Beach, promoting her “Sold My Soul” CD released by Vice Grip Media. The title track “gets the toes tapping – that’s the name of the game,” she said in a phone interview last Saturday before starting a monthlong tour in New Jersey.
“Let the games begin,” she said on that first full day of Summer Olympiad competition.
Wilde took an autobiographical and observational approach for the 11 songs on her album. “Love Buyer,” “For You” and “Irate,” she said, “were sort of social commentary that I’ve witnessed all too many times” and she likes expressing the emotion with her V-shaped guitar in hand.
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“They’re songs that sort of reach in and touch your heart, as well,” Wilde said, understanding if fans relate to their sentiment.
Brandishing her brand of rock ‘n’ roll, Wilde hopes everyone listening might feel – or wish they feel – a little younger.
“It’s about getting everyone involved and making everyone feel good and connected,” she said.
‘Scratch tracks’ first
Recording as a one-woman band, Wilde said the order of figuring each instrumental part differs per song, but that a routine emerges.
“It’s pretty much putting down scratch tracks until you get one pretty good take,” she said. “You put down a scratch drum track to get the energy going.”
Wilde outlined plans to return to the studio to begin work on her sophomore CD, probably for release in the second half of 2013.
She finds giving the guitars and drums their due first works best before the vocals and that “playing all the instruments is all very scientific, underneath the creativity.”
Introduced to music by artists such as Suzi Quatro “by my mom when I was growing up,” Wilde said listening to Shirley Manson from Garbage and other such performers helped cement her influences, which also include Lita Ford and Joan Jett.
“They’re pretty much the female rockers that rocked my little world when I was growing up,” Wilde said.
Learning how Quatro, a bassist, also played other instruments, inspired Wilde to dream, “How does she do that?”
With the opening gig this summer for The Nuge – with whom she’s engaged in his hunting hobby “by shooting a few times” – Wilde said entertaining his audiences adds synergies in exposing her materials to new masses.
“They’re an audience that really appreciates the instrumentalists,” she said. “They can see through who’s just not singing or playing guitar with their heart.”
Asked if she thinks Nugent will ever garner more credit for avoiding alcohol and drugs entirely, Wilde said his dedication “really speaks for his intelligence,” and that his performances on stage remain “flawless and energetic.”
“I’ve seen it about 10 times now,” she said, “and every time, he gives me goose bumps. … He walks on stage like he’s 18 again and rocks for two hours.”
Coming from a continent that reared such rock stars as AC/DC, INXS and Midnight Oil – as well as array of other acts including Air Supply, the Bee Gees, Little River Band, Men At Work, Olivia Newton John and Keith Urban – Wilde loves the culture that Australia has made its own.
“It brings along a certain element of camaraderie among the Australian people which is very conducive to writing rock music,” she said.
The former musician and presenter on “Australia’s Got Talent” said the acts and judges mark the only differences from NBC’s “America’s Got Talent.” She said enjoys such shows and remembered how far one woman went playing the spoons in her native land’s series.
A runner who tries to hit the pavement daily, Wilde said she loved yoga “when I had the time to get to the classes.”
Stage fright hasn’t shaken Wilde, who said she found at age 15 or 16 “it was very easy to get over that and channel those nerves into energy,” comparing each show to sprinter or hurdler in a “marathon for half-an-hour.”