Wild Adriatic (also known as WA) is an American rock band formed in Saratoga Springs, NY in 2011. They released their self-titled debut EP in 2011, followed closely behind by two more EPs. Their first full-length album, Big Suspicious was released in January 2014. In May 2015, they released their latest EP Never Enough, which features a cover of Ain't No Sunshine by Bill Withers and their first single Strange Persuasions.
Early Years (to 2011)
The genesis of Wild Adriatic came about in several parts. Initially, singer and guitarist Travis Gray and drummer Mateo Vosganian were both members of a high school age pop-punk group called Horse In A Box. After the band members graduated Queensbury High School in 2004, the members parted ways in 2005 and went on to form other projects. Gray would continue to tour locally with another pop-rock act and Vosganian moved to Los Angeles to continue working with college friends. The two ended up back in the same town of Saratoga Springs, NY shortly after Gray's band (then called Travis Gray & The Frontiers) decided to shake up their image, change the name, and adopt a more rock & roll sound, eventually becoming the band that would be Wild Adriatic.
At the time that Gray decided to push towards a more rock and roll, band-based format, the band consisted of Gray on lead vocals and guitar, guitarist Shane Gilman, bassist Matthew Dobbs, and drummer Scott Francisco. After a trip to Italy, Gray ended up with his feet in the Adriatic Sea and that stuck with him when he returned to the US, deciding the band would be renamed Wild Adriatic.
The band quickly recorded their debut EP (The Lion released February 5, 2011), and then drummer Scott Francisco left the group. Vosganian was called in and after one rehearsal the band moved forward, playing numerous shows throughout the Albany, Saratoga, and Glens Falls regions. As writing sessions began to ramp up for what would be the band's second EP, bassist Dobbs ended up leaving the group in July 2011. After auditioning 10+ different area bassists, Vosganian found himself on a long drive with current bassist Rich Derbyshire lamenting the difficulties the band was having finding a bass player. Looking for a more serious band to work with, Derbyshire offered to learn the songs on bass and come audition the following week having never played the instrument before.
Lock & Key and Big Suspicious (2012-2014)
With Derbyshire on bass and a solid touring line-up, Wild Adriatic self released the Lock & Key EP on April 27, 2012. A busy 2012 and 2013 of touring throughout the Northeastern United States earned the band accolades from Relix Magazine and they were voted "Best Rock Band" by the Capital Region weekly newspaper Metroland.
During very early writing sessions for the band's debut album Big Suspicious, consistent writing conflicts between Gilman and the rest of the group eventually ushered in a split in June 2013. Initially, the three remaining members Gray, Vosganian, and Derbyshire looked for a replacement but ended up deciding to continue forth as a power trio, with Gray picking up all of the guitar duties. After relieving Gilman of his duties, the band was left with just 4 days of rehearsal before their first tour as a trio.
After expanding their touring reach to the Eastern half of the United States, supporting bands like Black Taxi, Blues Traveler, and Deer Tick, the band was invited to open the main stage at 2013's Gathering of the Vibes festival. In September 2013, the band entered Edie Road Studios in Argyle, NY to record their debut full length.
A self-produced effort helmed by vocalist/guitarist Travis Gray, Big Suspicious was recorded and mixed in 3 weeks, assisted by longtime high school friend Jacob Lavin. This album saw a more focused publicity push, landing premieres with Rolling Stone, USA Today, Huffington Post, and beyond. The album officially saw its release on January 21, 2014 and debuted at #66 on the CMJ Top 200 radio chart, the highest charting self-released album on the charts at that time.
Touring in support of the album, the band managed to play 176 shows in 2014, including slots at moe.down 2014 and 6 unofficial shows at SXSW. The groups very first European tour took place over 5 weeks in November and December 2014, landing the band rave reviews all over Spain, Germany, Belgium, and beyond.
Never Enough (2015)
Early 2015 saw the band consistently on the road across the US, ending their winter with a 6 week residency in Austin, TX leading up to SXSW, in addition to being featured in a theatrical commercial for Dolby Laboratories. All ramping up to the release of "Never Enough," Wild Adriatic's third EP/CD release, on March 17, 2015. The 5 song disc features the new single "Strange Persuasions" and saw its release on March 17, 2015 at the SXSW Festival. From there the band picked back up on with their hard-touring schedule, making stops at Bonnaroo, Summer Camp, and beyond. The band returned to writing sessions in Fall 2015, renting houses and studio space in Wilmington, VT and Argyle NY, with focus on releasing a sophomore full-length album in Summer 2016.
The future (2016 and Beyond)
January 2016 will see the release of the bands first full-length live album, to be recorded over a two night stand in Albany, NY on October 30 & 31, 2015 as well as the band's first voyage on The Rock Boat, a yearly rock and roll cruise sailing out of Miami. The group also announced their return to Europe for a 4 week headlining tour in April & May 2016.
The band often references classic artists like Led Zeppelin, Queen, Bill Withers, Mountain, Foreigner, early Rush, Free, and the Beatles as influences. More contemporary influences like the Black Keys, Mutemath, My Morning Jacket, Keane, Wolfmother, and Alabama Shakes have also been referenced. In recent years, the band has made a noted push towards developing the soul elements of their sound, citing artists such as Otis Redding, Bill Withers, and Marvin Gaye as large influences.