Interviewed By: David Stringer and Ashleigh Lancaster

We caught up with Wylie and talked about Lake Wylie, the word wylie and their desire to take over the South Carolina music scene by kicking Sequoyah Prep School and All Get Out off the “island.”

Wylie’s song “Revival” will be featured on the upcoming Scene SC sampler.  Come and get your copy March 11th at New Brookland Tavern.

Describe your music for those who aren’t familiar.

We like to think our music is fun, witty, and bombastic.  Hopefully there is a little something for everybody in our songs.

Who would you name as your biggest musical influences?

Well it’s different for all of us, Keon was always very interested in singer/song writer folkish type of stuff, where as Ryan grew up watching Michael Jackson Live in Bucharest while playing in Black Gospel band, and Christian grew up playing all sorts of instruments in church while admiring the great guitar players of the past.

What is the story behind Wylie? How did you start and what is the origin of the name?

It all started in October of 2005 when young 15 year old Keon Masters was chasing the heart of an older, more sophisticated woman and suddenly an obstacle, we’ll label as Ryan Patrick Zimmerman, temporarily changed the plans.   The two duked it out and needless to say Masters won her heart. However, it started an inseparable relationship between Masters and Zimmerman.   A year later or so Zimmerman tried out for a band known as Heartwood, which is how he came to meet a certain Christian Chidester.  Chidester was a 19 year old guitar player from the west side of Charlotte, who grew up playing music every Sunday at his grandfathers church.  After his acceptance into the group, the two young men discovered that they steamed from the same gene pool, they were in fact second cousins.  This started a “best” friendship and the two became roommates sharing a basement in an attempt to further harness their skills as musicians together.   Heartwood soon dissolved and turned into a project known as Jetadore in 2008.  Jetadore was offered a tour slot with Sequoyah Prep School for the summer of 2008, but the group was in dire straits for a bass player.  So Zimmerman dug deep into his musical past and recalled that Masters was capable of fulfilling the empty position. It was that summer when Masters, Zimmerman, and Chidester created a special bond between the three of them, and knew that something good must develop out of their friendship.  When Masters left Jetadore to pursue a college education at the College of Charleston the band made a run for a few more months before disbanding.   During the spring of 2009 a lot of talking was taking place between the three young gentlemen about forming a new band, however they were seeking a singer to turn their ideas into actuality.   Masters eventually expressed his desire to front the band if his two companions would allow it.  So at the start of the 2009 summer the three started to jam with Zimmerman playing drums, Chidester playing lead guitar, and Masters playing rhythm and singing.  To much of their dismay, the combination worked quite well and the three have been writing, recording, and playing shows ever since.

We all grew up around Charlotte, NC or Fort Mill, SC and Lake Wylie is just south of those towns and was often a daytime destination during our summers.   When we first started playing together Ryan’s mom was actually living in the town of Lake Wylie so we had been spending a lot of time there, and when we were trying to come up with a name we were having the most difficult time.  When one of us suggested Wylie the rest of us were a bit skeptical, but once we discovered that wylie, by definition, means clever and crafty we thought it would suit us well.  We take pride in our wit and thoughtfulness, so why not have a name that expresses it as well as our origins.

What is in Wylie’s future? An EP? Maybe a bass player?

The future is always unseen, but we do have plans to release a record along playing shows and hitting the road hard in the coming months of 2010.  As a group we’re still young, having not even reached a year mark yet, but we’ve got big hearts and big ambition, hopefully with those we’ll make something of ourselves.  A bass player would also be a very fine addition to the troupe, but band mates cannot just be found, we have to find the right guy (or girl).  Being in a band is kind of like being in a marriage, you have to be able to live and work together without wanting to kill one another.  So basically, we’re waiting for love.

At Scene SC we tend to focus on the Columbia music scene, what do you think are the best and worst parts about the Charleston music scene?

There is nothing really bad about the Charleston music scene and the fact that there is a college near by with tons of kids makes it a great place for a young band like ourselves to start.

If you could tour with any band who would it be? And where would you go?

It’s funny you asked that, because anyone who knows us is aware that we may or may not have a huge band crush on The Killers.  So when asked if we could tour with any band, we would be lying if we said anyone but them.  However, we also think Manchester Orchestra has got it going on and would love to hit the road them if we had the chance.  Also, we want to get a close up of that glorious beard Andy Hull possesses.

If the South Carolina music scene was like “Survivor,” who would you vote off the island?

We love the guys, cause they’ve helped us out so much since our start, but we’ve got to give the boot to Sequoyah. And All Get Out.  And Through Porchlight.  Sorry fellas but for us to succeed we would need you dads gone.


“The Riders” from Wylie The Band on Vimeo.

One comment

  1. Absolutely love this interview! Wylie is such a talented and fresh group of guys with big hearts for music. Not going to lie, one of my favorite parts of the day is dancing around the room to Vidalia with my son in my arms and by the smile on his face I’m guessing its his as well. Love it ;]

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