Formed in the California mountains, but originally hailing from Tulsa, OK, Wilderado have been steadily building a passionate fan base and defining who they are since 2015. When they first came together, Max Rainer (lead vocals, guitar), Tyler Wimpee (guitar, vocals), Colton Dearing (bass, vocals) and Justin Kila (drums) spent a summer in Latigo Canyon, a secluded part of Malibu, with longtime Sufjan Stevens collaborator James McAlister, immersing themselves in writing and recording. Those songs went on to form early EP releases with tastemaker indie labels IAMSOUND and National Anthem, which garnered 35 million streams, but more crucially provided the backbone to years of touring.
Following initial recording sessions at their one-time home and creative space named “The Misty Shrub” (the title of the first EP) in Latigo Canyon (the title of the second EP), the band returned Tulsa to base themselves from their hometown. Since then, they’ve crisscrossed the USA a half dozen times playing with artists as diverse as Lindsey Buckingham and Christine McVie, Mt. Joy, and Rainbow Kitten Surprise, and have performed on the main stage at such festivals as Bottlerock and Austin City Limits.
These experiences have given Max new confidence in his own writing, but while he is the main songwriter, Tyler, Colton, and Justin’s contributions to the music and signature sound cannot be downplayed. “If we’re going to continue the sacrifices of being on the road as a touring band, then the thoughts, and the songs and the melodies and the mood, have to be something that we can all get behind,” Max says. “I write a lot of the music but at the same time I’m with three other guys that put themselves into these songs, they are band songs.”
They’re currently taking a rare few months away from the road – with the exception of an upcoming weekend at Lollapalooza, where they’ll perform three shows in 24 hours, including a set on the mainstage. While off the road, Wilderado will be finishing up new songs in preparation for their first full-length album. After three EPs and a series of well-received singles, Wilderado want to step it up. Max explains, “Making new music is the most fun part of being in a band. It gives you a future, it gives you something to look forward to, it gives you something to work on, something that hasn’t already been decided. There’s always a sense of hopefulness in new music. Once you’ve finished something, then you’ve done your job which is to give the world something it didn’t have before. That’s a special feeling, something I’m really proud of.”
While still a young band, Wilderado are playing the long game. “We want to put out lots of different songs, to spread the spectrum of what our music sounds like, that’s going to give us longevity. We want a career based off of a catalog of great music. A career that we’ve developed through hard work.”
The new single, “Surefire,” is the first taste of what’s to come and is a perfect example of what Wilderado does best: the confluence of soaring melodies and lush three-part harmonies. The staple Wilderado sound. Something they have spent the past four years refining and perfecting.