Interview: Wild Adriatic to Unleash ‘Feel’ Album Release Party at Putnam Den

Grounded with combined elements of soft grooves, grit, guitar heavy tunes, seventies rock and Motown soul, Wild Adriatic will bring a stacked show to Putnam Den on Saturday, Feb. 4, just one day after their latest album, Feel, drops. Having only released 3 EPs prior, the power trio consisting of Travis Gray, Rich Derbyshire and Mateo Vosganian will celebrate their fresh release for a Saratoga Springs home crowd, the very place in which the group first convened.

Wild Adriatic have already notched three EPs and one live album — leaving 2017’s Feel highly anticipated by fans and band members alike. During the growth process of Feel, the trio decided to focus on their raw, live performance as opposed to the craftiness that can be conjured up in the studio through samples, digital instruments and the like. This time around, the goal was to emphasize organic talents in Gray’s powerful, soul-grabbing vocals and lead guitar riffs, Derbyshire’s bass slaps and Vosganian’s heavy-hitting drums, bringing their natural creativity and emotions to the forefront of the music.

Promotion of the sophomore full-length release has not seen a lull. The group has shown triumphant efforts to push the album recorded in Austin, Texas with Grammy-nominated producer Frenchie Smith. Fans have been delighted with various album teasers, acoustic video sessions and snippets of mock reality show footage featuring members of the band in Ghost Hunters, Dancing with the Stars and Naked and Afraid. Sure, playing the bass in a band is rewarding but check out Rich as he takes on new moves for Dancing with the Stars. You can also check out Mateo’s fearless ghost hunting video and Travis’ video on Facebook, where he took on a different area of exploration–he is most certainly naked, but is he afraid? 

2017’s Feel reaches new depths with 11 tracks of emotion, dipping into realms of politics, modern relationships, friendships and soul crushing break ups, adding nods to new genres into their personal melting pot of sound.

Don’t miss a wild album release party at Putnam Den on Feb. 4 with openers Let’s Be Leonard and Bathrobe Robots–available to those 18+, with a surcharge of $5 for those under 21. Tickets cost $10 in advance or $15 the day of the show but WA fans can also get their hands on a few combo deals, like an advance ticket and CD for $20, advance ticket and tee shirt for $25 and all three in a bundle for $35! Doors open at 8 with the show to follow at 9.

Q&A with Mateo Vosganian of Wild Adriatic:

Alyssa Ladzinski:  It’s obvious that the message of Feel is to be in touch with your emotions. Can you elaborate on the occurrences that made each one of you come to terms with accepting your own feelings and using them as inspiration for your second full length release?

Mateo Vosganian: This record was written and recorded during a pretty tumultuous few years in our personal lives. A lot of the songs are about a specific old relationship of Travis’ that was the source of a lot of stress and craziness in his life. Writing more specifically and personally to our lives seemed to be a natural progression for us with this record. We go into each new recording process with hopes to open some more doors and explore our abilities a bit. I turned 30 in 2016 and we’ve all grown up together a lot in the last five years we’ve been doing this band. Personally, I feel like a big part of growing up is getting in touch with your feelings and who you are as a person. Finding what makes us tick and being honest about it. This record is another step down that path.

AL: Favorite track off of the new album and why?

MV: I think my favorite track is “Chasing A Ghost.” It’s the song that took on the most influence from our surroundings and producer down in Austin and we were sort of able to get in touch with our more cosmic & space-y yet still soulful sides.

AL: I know you guys wanted to focus on your raw talents other than the effects that can be placed on music in the studio. Are there any new avenues you explored on this album in lieu of recording studio magic and finishing touches?

MV: We recorded the basic tracks for the album live in a room together and I think that really added more of our vibe to the recording than we’ve been able to capture in the past. We’ve self-produced all of our old records and this time we worked with a very talented and inspiring dude named Chris “Frenchie” Smith down in Austin. He helped us tap into some very expressive areas in our playing and inspired searches for new sounds and lots of risk taking in the studio.

AL: You and Travis were once involved in a pop punk group called Horse in A Box. Can you recall some of your favorite memories playing in this band and how it lead you to where you are today?

MV: Travis and I have been making records and playing shows together since we were teenagers. My favorite memories of that band came from absolutely ridiculous road trips in my mothers mini van to go play shows all over NY state. We were 4 of the weirdest, dumbest kids you could find and it was an absolute blast. We took it pretty seriously even as kids so we were on the road most weekends. I think that led to interesting school lives where we weren’t really around a lot on the weekends and the band was our family. We learned a lot about performing live, recording and the business side of making music at a young age. That has helped so much now, along with a hell of a lot of growing up.

AL: What are your favorite current pop punk acts– favorite while you were in Horse in A Box?

MV: Honestly I haven’t been paying too much attention to pop punk these days but the one record I heard last year that i really loved was State Champs’ album. They’re a band from Albany who has slowly but surely been taking over the world and it’s been a delight to see and hear.

AL: You guys originated in Saratoga Springs and attended school extremely close to the area in Queensbury. What are some of your favorite Saratoga Springs businesses/restaurants?

MV: My absolute favorite restaurant in Saratoga is the Park Side Eatery on Phila St. It’s got a super diverse and delicious menu, wonderful staff and just an overall great vibe similar to places we’ve run into on the road. Oh and the baked goods. OH the baked goods. Homemade donuts, cinnamon buns, the works. It’s ridiculous. And we have to mention Esperanto because doughboys are a way of life when we play in town.

AL:How does it feel to have an album release show in a place you can refer to as home?

MV: Well the tour starts on 2/1 in Virginia so it’s kinda nice to play a few shows (in VA, NYC and Pennsylvania) before we come home and celebrate with our amazing home area. It’s about to be a big year on the road and we’re grateful to be able to do a show at home before taking off for a few months!

AL: Does this pose extreme levels of comfort and/or pressure to do something huge?

MV: At this point we feel very comfortable in our lives as working musicians and these kinds of shows and tours end up being so rewarding if we can stay present and keep a good mindset. It helps to remember how little control we have over anything but ourselves and just go out there and be with the audience.

AL: So on FaceBook, it says you enjoy voodoo. Are you putting hexes on those who don’t feel your music?

MV: I’m amazed you read that. Sometimes, me from three years ago writes shit on Facebook that even I don’t understand anymore.

AL: You’re playing this show with fellow Saratogians Let’s Be Leonard– what do you want fans who’ve never listened to them to know?

MV: They’re one of our favorite bands; they write great songs and perform them with tons of heart and open minds live. No two shows are the same from Leonard and that’s one of my favorite parts about seeing them. Also, they have a new record coming out this year at some point!

AL:Your TV parody commercials were brilliant. Where did you get the idea to place yourselves in the midst of reality TV in order to promote your latest album? Are you actually hardcore fans of each show you “participated” in?

MV: Honestly, Travis was telling us about some really super ridiculous episode of Naked and Afraid that he had seen where the guy wouldn’t stop talking about how a Sasquatch laid on him one time. No joke, this happened on TV. We thought it was so funny and I had been toying around with ideas for ways to help promote that weren’t your traditional live videos and studio videos and such. It just sort of happened that we needed three solid concepts and we knew to start with Naked and Afraid. Rich is actually a great dancer so we knew that would be fun too. It all worked out really well and, with our ideas, that’s not always the case haha. We really love comedy, love being ridiculous and have some extremely talented friends in Jamie, Nick and Zach at Chromoscope Pictures. They spent a whole day running around with us to shoot those 3 commercials and then edited them beautifully. We’re psyched people think they’re as fun as we do!

AL:You start touring Feel in the beginning of February. Any locations or venues on the bill that you’re looking forward to hitting the most? Why?

MV: Oh man, pretty much all of the venues are favorites we’ve hit before. We’re doing some new spots in the southeast with our good friends Welshly Arms before we join up with the Rock Boat down in Tampa, FL. That’s going to be an absolutely insane week at sea, we’ll be sailing with around 30 bands and 2200 music fans, and we’ve got a late night 70s themed set prepared that has been SO much fun to work on. The Rock Boat is definitely one of the most exciting things in our lives and we love being a part of that family.

AL: After spending massive amounts of time on the road and gearing up to do it again, have you come into any “road habits,” games or activities to help pass long hours on monotonous drives?

MV: We listen to a ton of new music and lots of podcasts. We love good comedy podcasts like You Made It Weird and The Boogie Monster. My Dad has a pretty vast knowledge of music and is always showing me new bands to dig into, so that’s been fun to just have so much time to listen to entire records and really get into bands.

AL: Which groups are you hoping to hear more from in 2017?

MV: Always White Denim. Northern Faces. Welshly Arms. Marcus King Band. Eric Krasno Band. West End Blend. Swear and Shake.