They have very recently released their sophomore full length “Rosalita” or “Tales of Treachery & The Nefarious Deeds of The Scurrilous Resurrection Men” depending if you purchase the CD or the vinyl! If you are into Pretty Things, early Rolling Stones, The Sonics, delivered with loads of Stax soul in the voice, this is going to be right up your alley.
This blog had a very interesting chat with Jay Wylde:
1) Jay, you are no newcomer to the Rock’n’roll scene. Personally I first discovered you in 1992 with the release of one of the best records of the decade, The Hoods – Gangsters and Morticians. After that I kinda lost your track till you resurfaced in 2010 in Australia, fronting Thee Wylde Oscars. Can you tell the viewers of this blog your full story and in particular what happened for you between those 2 seminal bands?
I quit The Hoods in the mid-90’s after several singles, an LP, an EP and a tour, I felt we had gone as far as we could. They were great guys, but I wanted to do something new - something harder - a more MC5, Radio Birdman, mid-70’s punk vibe. I wasn’t bored with the 60’s sound, but I wanted to expand and broaden it.
What drives my love for the music of the 1950’s through 1970’s is the the punk attitude; it is the thread that binds all and is the common element. Truthfully I really don’t find all that much difference between Little Richard and the MC5. The instrumentation, yes, but the rebellion and the primitive drive is the same to me. It shows more interest in rocking the audience than in technically fuck-all brilliance. To me style trumps substance all the time. I’d much rather hear Johnny Thunders fuck up a lead than hear Joe Satriani play “dwiddle, dwiddle”. It’s great when you get a guy like Jimmy Page being able to do both.
Mike Stax and John Chilson from The Hoods joined me at a later point as soon as I found a couple of guitar players to form The Evil Eyes. It was everything I dug at the time and was a fine band. Hard wall-of-sound dual guitars, a mixture of 70’s Detroit rock and energy with a 60’s garage punk feel. The Evil Eyes released a single and toured, but the band was too unstable, breaking up after only a 1 year.
I found myself wanting to keep with the current sound I was in so I started Mach Five (which became Mach Five Overdrive). I got Xavier Anaya from the Hoods to join, as well as drummer Baba Chenelle (of the Zeros). The lasted about 5 years with a rotating group of drummers, guitarists and bass players (including Hector Penalosa of the Zeros and Dave James of the SuperBees at one time). We released 2 singles (once as Mach 5, and then as Mach 5 Overdrive).
After the band broke up, I felt I needed a lifestyle change and I moved to Melbourne, Australia with my wife in 2000. Melbourne has a thriving music scene, and I was keen to start fresh. I had been asked to start a group with some guys from Shutdown 66. That group was The Cheapshots (2000-2003). We played 60’s Garage and R'n'B, a lot like what I was doing with my first band, The Trebels (1981-1990). I also started a 1977 punk influenced band fronted by my wife, Mirella Doll, called The Devil Dolls, which became my main band. I didn’t want to be a frontman/singer for once and became a rhythm guitar player.
After a couple of records and the birth of a baby, The Devil Dolls called it quits. In 2009 I got the itch to start a band again and formed Thee Wylde Oscars. No real intention to start something, but found some guys who really wanted to play - and they dug the 60’s garage stuff - and we hit it off. I drew off of set-lists from previous bands and started to write in earnest. We released a couple of records and did a tour of Germany and Spain. In 2012, our bass player lost his Australian visa and had to move back to Japan and the guitarist moved back to Perth, Australia. I found some new guys to form the nucleus of the reformed group (with the addition of a piano/keyboardist and me as a lead guitarist) and decided to go back to where I started from as a base to build on; 50’s and 60’s R&B - which is where we are now...
2) One thing that got me puzzled : why are the CD versions and the vinyl versions of Thee Wylde Oscars releases so different? (Different sleeve, different tracklisting, different name of the release, different songs) Is this the band’s choice or the record company’s choice?
It was the choice of the Labels to do different versions on the first LP and CD. The labels wanted different songs from the ones we recorded. In the end, I liked doing it that way because we always had more songs than for one release, and I liked the way there used to be different versions of a band’s albums in different countries. We decided to do the same for these releases.
3) About the latest release, “Tales of Treachery & The Nefarious Deeds of The Scurrilous Resurrection Men” (vinyl) or “Rosalita” (CD), what can you tell about the recording process? Was this a live in the studio recording or a track by track recording with lots of overdubs?
We recorded the whole thing live, except for the vocals. What you hear is basically what came out as we recorded the thing - mistakes and all. I like to keep it fresh in the recording studio, with few takes - two at most, if possible. Too many takes and a band can sound stiff - you start playing it safe. It’s better without the safety net - and cheaper! I’m not too fussed with getting it perfect, just as long as you get the feel. The raw instrument tracks were done in about 8 hours and did the vocals later. I had only been playing lead guitar for about 6 months at that point and didn’t want to lose focus with having to sing and all.
4) To what kind of music did you listen to as a teenager and does it still influence your today work? What was your favorite band as a teenager? Name 3 bands that you consider still have a influence on your own work today.
When I was in my early teens I was into heavier bands like Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Blue Oyster Cult and 60’s bands like the Doors. Led Zeppelin led me to the Yardbirds, which led me to the Animals, which really opened up my world to other bands of that era and is the reason I learned to play a blues harp - and I was the odd kid at my school - the one that liked Manfred Mann more than Foreigner. Punk bands like The Ramones, The Jam and Devo was also a huge influence on me.
When I joined the Trebels (and became part of the San Diego Mod scene) I was introduced to an even more broad spectrum of music from the post-war blues to East LA Chicano rock to obscure British R&B. Bands like The Crawdaddys playing really cool stuff live - and good! It was a great time and it felt like we were a part of something bigger than ourselves. We were purposefully blocking out the commercial shit music that was coming out in the 80's. I will always consider Bo Diddley and Chuck Berry a constant influence. Same with the Animals, Larry Williams, Johnny Guitar Watson, Little Richard, Gene Vincent, Arthur Alexander, Elvis, Buck Owens, Johnny Cash...It’s hard to nail down because I dig a lot of stuff.
5) Are you the main composer in the band or is everybody involved in one way or another?
I write most of the material, mainly because I enjoy doing it. The other guys help with the arrangement at times, but it’s not their thing. If they (or I) got ideas it’s gotta go through the band grinder. We’ll usually play it, and if it sounds like something could come out of it we’ll push it further. Some stuff ends up being good, most doesn’t.
6) Do you have a video on youtube featuring a track from the latest release?
We are actually in the process of doing a video for “Rosalita” right now. It’s gonna be in the style of a silent movie, kinda like the style of Georges Méliès, if we can pull it off. We will probably shoot another at the same time, it's DIY filming at it's best.
7) What can concert goers expect at a Wylde Oscars gig? Are you playing any famous cover songs?
You can expect a lot of jumping around, pounding, screaming and sweating - and that’s the audience! We put alot into getting people dancing. We don’t do “the hits”, you know, the songs we’ve all heard a zillion times and I refuse to play "Johnny be Good". We try to do more obscure numbers. Often we do three 1-hour sets...which is a bit of material. More familiar stuff is: “I can Tell”, “Can’t Judge a Book”, “Hey Mama, Keep your big mouth Shut” by Bo Diddley; “Justine” and “Farmer John” by Don & Dewey, “Big Bad Wolf” and “Lookin’ Back” by Johnny Guitar Watson, “Talkin’ Bout You” and “Nadine” by Chuck Berry.
8) When you perform with Thee Wylde Oscars, does it happen that you play an impromptu version of a song from one of your previous bands?
Thee Wylde Oscars used to do “It’s Inside”, a Hoods song (but never recorded with them). But that’s about it. I’m not too nostalgic when it comes to my music. We’ve got plenty of stuff in our current catalogue to keep us busy, and I’m always in the process of writing new material.
9) What are the plans for 2017 as far as Thee Wylde Oscars are concerned? Are you guys coming to Europe soon?
We’d love to do another European tour! We’d be looking at 2018 or so, although playing the SXSW has been on my “must do” list. US doesn’t pay that well unfortunately, so it’s a toss up. Last time we played Europe we had a GREAT booking agency (Muttis), and we made out alright. They were so cool. Frankly, it really comes down to money, and whether we lose a little or lose a lot - and I’m quite cheap! Got any ideas ? We’re welcome to advice about where and when and who.
10) Anything you would like to say to the viewers of this blog?
Keep on a rockin’! AND Thanks Eric for your interest in the band. G’day Mate!
Purchase it here: https://theewyldeoscars.bandcamp.com/album/tales-of-treachery-the-nefarious-deeds-of-the-scurrilous-resurrection-men