Wilson the Rocker
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Wilson the Rocker

Band Alternative Rock


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"The Return Of Wilson The Rocker"

In 2003, a novelty demo called Brief Songs for Important Occasions was released by an artist billing himself as Wilson the Rocker. Brief Songs wasn't a musical masterpiece, but it was quite clever, compiling five well-crafted ditties into a span of five minutes. The songs were catchy—like commercial jingles, hard not to like. A number of people, myself included, were hoping that Wilson would soon release a full-length of the same quality. Now, four years on, that long-awaited album may be on the verge of release. Wilson the Rocker recently announced the upcoming debut of Teenage Messiah, available in April. A few tracks have been posted on his MySpace page, and a casual listen reveals that he hasn't forgotten how to craft a memorable pop tune. Expect live performances by Wilson and his band to begin in March. For more information, visit myspace.com/wilsontherocker.
- Asheville Mountain Xpress

"Wilson the Rocker plans 5 local shows"

It's hard not to get caught up in the poppy rock sound of Wilson the Rocker's new album, "Teenage Messiah."

After a four-year hiatus, the band is jumping back into the Asheville music scene with five consecutive shows and a searchlight to announce their arrival.

"The searchlight symbolizes our debut in Asheville," says Evan Hill, lead singer and songwriter. "Or it can be taken as we're egomaniacs and want as much attention as possible."

Hill spoke about his pop rock music.

Question: You released your first demo, "Brief Songs for Important Occasions," back in 2003 and then went off the radar for a few years. What brought you back?
Answer: The hiatus was brought on because of my lack of a drive toward doing my own stuff, like getting out there and playing shows. I felt like I really needed to press myself to put out an album. The time was finally right, and I saved my money and just did it. I felt like this album had to be made for my own sake.

Q: Your clever pop sound is reminiscent of Ben Folds Five. What other musicians have influenced your sound?

A: Ben Folds was the first songwriter I ever admired, and if I had never heard him, then I probably wouldn't have gotten into songwriting. I love singer-songwriters. I came out of a folk background from my parents. I like Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell. I like people who craft really good lyrics that hold more weight than music, which isn't always true with most musicians. I love the pop cord changes and dramatic pop aspect of Burt Bacharach's music.

Q: Your music has a clever dark pop sensibility to it. How did you achieve that kind of sound?

A: There are definitely dark songs on the album. I've always liked the contrast of poppy melodies and not-so-sunny lyrics. My lyrics are a little darker because I always find myself writing more seriously then I like, and sunny pop songs with happy lyrics doesn't usually sound good. I just like the drama and contrast of a well-crafted pop song

Q: What do you think makes a good pop song?

A: Several melodies that will stick in your head. Rhythm is superimportant, a catchy rhythm is a big part of pop music. It needs to be danceable and people need to feel it. They also need to have some sort of logic behind them. There have been so many pop songs with really stupid lyrics that totally work. It's just about making the lyrics fit with the melody.

Q: What's behind the song "Teenage Messiah"?

A: It started out with just the first line, "My father was the first hippie in a small city where I spent my whole life," which is true. The song is really about me kind of mythologizing my own high school experience. At the same time, it's a song about being a teenager and how teenagers are so dramatic, and you want to be a martyr, but you don't know what you want to be a martyr for and about the way friends come and go.

Q: So the album signifies a journey from being a teenager to an adult?

A: Yes, there are a lot of songs on this album about growing up. The album starts with teenage-minded songs to slow and more adult songs. It's an album about growing up and coming to grips about adulthood and leaving behind the teenage messiah years.

Q: How has going from a single artist to performing with a band added to your music?

A: Addison Brown, also a member of Nights Bright Colors, plays the drums and I've been thankful to have him with me because he's been nothing but supportive. Shayne Heather, also a member of Klarcnova, is just a great and solid bass player. He is the rhythmic center of the band; we would fall apart without him. John Paul Hess, also a member of Nevada and The Green Fields, plays the keyboards and synthesizer parts of the album. He's got a lot of tenacity. They are all just amazing musicians.

- Asheville Citizen-Times


Brief Songs For Important Occasions, self-released, 2004.
Teenage Messiah, self-released, 2007.



Well, you probably already know that Wilson the Rocker play the kind of music that just begs for you to sing along. The kind to which you find yourself making dramatic Rock ‘n’ Roll hand gestures at the stop light, shouting along with the chorus. You know, pop music as it was meant to be: catchy, fun, and meaningful. Ah, but do know the story of how these four gentlemen came together to perform these rocking pop songs? Hmm, I thought not. Here friend, sit down, let me tell you their quasi-mysterious and mildly magical tale:

Wilson the Rocker began with the bedroom recordings of Evan Hill. They weren't much, just some exercises in various pop stylings: folk songs, synthpop, lullabies, songs about Sears, Roebuck & Company sung by a men's chorus. You know, that kind of thing. It was all well and good, but Evan wasn't fully satisfied with his artistic endeavors. In short, he wanted to rock!

"You know," Evan mused to himself one day as he sat comfortably on his front porch, unaware anyone was listening to him, "I should record an album. It should be called Teenage Messiah and thematically focused on the transition from teenager to adult. Yes, a coming-of-age album of sorts. And it should have catchy, rocking pop songs with lots of synthesizers! And drama. Yes, definitely a sense of drama should be instilled within the songs!" Then Evan began muttering to himself indistinguishably, thrumming his fingertips together and delving deeper into thought. He was quite a sight.

Six months later, Evan had his album, but alas, no way of fully realizing the music in a live setting. As Evan thought to himself (for he had been advised that speaking aloud to oneself in a public setting is not always prudent), "I need a band!" who should come sauntering up but one Addison Brown. "I can play drums!" Addison proclaimed proudly, "And I can get you a band." Indeed he could, on both accounts. For it was not long before bassist Shayne Heather joined the fold, lending his rock-solid timing and RnB influence to the music. Shayne was soon followed by keyboard playing JonPaul Hess, who came with a mysterious glint in his eyes, which to someone trained to recognize such things could only be the glint of a man who enjoys creating complex MIDI routing schemes and assembling keytars with duct tape in the wee hours of the morning. Yes, indeed, he was the right man for the job.

The four men who came make up Wilson the Rocker soon locked themselves in a basement (quite by accident, actually) and began feverishly refining their performances of the songs from Teenage Messiah for maximum impact (or what they referred to as, “Raditidude”). It was not long until they managed to find a way out of the basement (with the help of a trusty pickax) and into the music venues of Asheville and the Southeast (without the help of the pickax, thank goodness). Somewhere along the way Evan learned how to hop on one leg while playing guitar, JonPaul learned how to make his torso disappear, the band learned some new songs, and audiences learned to expect an outlandish, energetic, and heartfelt live show from Wilson the Rocker.

There, friend. Now you know the story of how Wilson the Rocker came to be. I can see how very delighted you are. Oh, how even more delighted you’ll be once you see them for yourself!