Digging the metal mavens in Wicked is like witnessing third graders ravaging a candy store, but in this case these kids from Rochester are running the store. They call themselves Wicked.
They look like brothers—the Nelson Brothers perhaps. Their tight, white, leather appeal and heads full of platinum suicide is the first thing you see. The second thing that catches your eye—or ear—is the band’s attention to hard rock detail.
They’ve recently been self-sequestered in their home studio, taking advantage of the time that the pandemic so generously provided. They emerged with “The Last American Rock Band.”
Band members—Daniel Martin, bass, Chad Michael, lead vocals, Scotty B, lead guitar, and Gunner, drums—”all wanted it done how they did in the old days,” bassist Martin says. “Write together, no computer, no e-mailed tracks. Like a real band. A real band turned on by other real bands like AC/DC and Aerosmith, and all those ‘70s bands. David Bowie when he was doing his Ziggy Stardust thing.”
Adds Martin: “Hair metal like Motley Crue was a big thing, it’s great to see a big show like that or one like KISS. It’s always great to see a big show that really puts on the entertainment. As we grew as a band our love for hair metal grew, too.”
Sometimes Wicked’s fans were slow to the draw, confusing Wicked for merely a throwback. Some couldn’t get past the pageantry, or the spectacle. According to Martin, that was difficult for the band because fans hadn’t nailed down what they were going to do.
“But when we created Wicked we brought what they want to hear mixed with something that they know,” Martin says. “We’re simply blending some old with the new.”
The band writes for the song and the riff.
“The Last American Rock Band” is, oddly enough, Wicked’s first album. It drops March 11 everywhere. Album numero dos, “Living Like a Sunburn,” is already in the can with a promised due date in the summer. After that, the boys are gonna slide into The Studios at Linden Oaks to work on the yet unnamed third album of all new material.
“I think it’s important to have influence or you just wind up being a rehash,” Martin says.
They’ve all lived together for the past six years, and there are those little things that bring you down a bit like neighbors complaining about the noise.
“But we’re the luckiest band in the world,” Martin says. “We have the best neighbors.” And fans.
Wicked plays Friday, March 11, Photo City Music Hall, 8:30 doors.
Here’s a comprehensive list of live shows in and around Rochester: Get Your Gig On