Just a week ago, I got the chance to see rock power trio Wild Ride in action, when they opened for Adler’s Appetite at Whisky A Go Go, and as I wrote at the time, that they looked like the incarnation of a new faith in rock ‘n’ roll. With frontman Marek Lisiak on guitar, Kerri Berry on drums and Diego Gonzales on bass, they played an alluring brand of hard-hitting rock ‘n’ roll with catchy melodies, muscular riffs, and wild guitar solos. They touched at the classics, without being a simple imitation of the ubiquitous blues-rock sound, and they performed an energetic set which ended by a cover of Motörhead’s ‘Ace of Spade’.
If the trio looks a bit exotic and very diverse, it is indeed because they are truly coming from different horizons: Marek, the co-creator of the band with Kerri Berry, was born in Poland, but grew up in Paris France and was part of the band Tipsy Wit, which signed with EMI, and opened for Iron Maiden in front of 40,000 people. Diego was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico but lived in Zaragoza, Spain and Adelaide, South Australia, while Kerri was born and raised in New Zealand around Maori culture, but she also lived in London for a few years. However, they all started singing and playing music when they were very young. Diego, who has been recording and playing in the LA music scene for years, has previously played bass and guitar for many bands including The Heavy Nannies, The Zack Tate Band, Planet of Pain, Zeus’ Hamm, and his own creation, Planet Seven Sins, while he is also a director and a photographer (@diegogonzalespictures).
As I wanted to know a bit more about the band, the three of them were nice enough to answer to a few questions.
Marek’s early inspirations were Kiss, ACDC, Iron Maiden, and later classic rock music and punk, but he has a very special spot for Jimi Hendrix, while Diego has always had a deep love for Heavy Metal, Hispanic rock, and Classic Rock with early inspirations going from Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix and Ozzy Osborne, thanks to his dad and uncle. These days his main inspirations are still Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, Elvis, The Ramones, Pantera, and Nirvana, and more precisely Black Sabbath’s Geezer Butler, Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters, whereas he also cites all types of funk music for the killer bass players (Rick James, Ohio Players, The Gap Band). Kerri was first exposed to reggae and listened to artists such as Bob Marley, Eddie Grant, UB40 (but also Prince) while her first live music scene experience was in London where she saw Diana Ross, Boy George, Eddie Grant, and Maxi Priest. She brings a lighter side to the music with inspirations ranging from Abba, The Beatles, Bob Marley, Blondie, The Ramones, Sex Pistols, The Clash, Rolling Stones, The Police, and reggae music in general. However, she admits liking Motörhead’s drummer Phil “Philthy Animal” Taylor.
Years ago, UFO made a big impression on Marek ‘because that was my first show, and I wanted to be like those guys on the stage’, while Diego was blown away by Slayer at the Long Beach Arena ‘without a doubt the most impressive display of performance, sound and visual I’ve ever seen. It was so loud you could physically feel the sound waves impacting your body’. Kerri remembers her first concert: ‘It’s hard to beat my first concert with Eddie Grant!’
As for today, they are still finding inspiration everywhere: Diego cites Roman Roman, a virtuoso guitar player from Ufa Russia, and Alex Cole whom he compares to a cross between Elvis, Chuck Berry, and Ted Nugent. Kerri, who admits having a thing for British stuff, nevertheless cites Richie Ramone, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real and of course Steve Adler (they had the chance to play shows with all of them) as inspirations.
The band releases music digitally, as they have their own record label as an indie artist, Wild Ride Records International, but they also sell physical CDs, released through CD Baby which puts the music on streaming platforms and diverse outlets. If Kerri finds it’s easier for indie artists to get their work out there, they are still attached to organic production, ‘I don’t like all the pop stuff that’s all digital. I like to hear the real drums and vocals’, says Kerri while Marek admits a love for vinyl: ‘I may possibly release some vinyl albums in the future’. Diego also expresses some nostalgia for physical possession, album artwork, and the anticipation of first listening. ‘There is a reason people still buy vinyl, CD’s, and now cassettes. Proud to say I am one of those people. Wild Ride always has physical CD’s for sale.’
As for collaborations, they are true dreamers, but we never know! Diego would love to do something with Tony Iommi from Black Sabbath, Kerri with The Rolling Stones or Foo Fighters, and Marek with Keith Richards or, and this is by far the most unexpected answer, Lady Gaga.
Wild Ride, which formed in 2010, has six albums out, their latest, ‘Wheels on Fire’ was just released last year, and they are currently working on their 7th album.
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