Cole: Hard-working Wyld Stallyns get to the point

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Wyld Stallyns

  • With: Daniel Pujol and 3 Man Band
  • When: 10 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 23
  • Where: Pilot Light
  • Admission: $5
  • Also: Wyld Stllyns will play at Barley's Taproom at 10 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 26

After a meager three months as a band, Wyld Stallyns has built unprecedented momentum in becoming a top Knoxville act. Building a name may have been expedited in selecting an already well-known moniker, but the buzz the band has so quickly established is all self-made. Composed of Brandon Biondo (of Twinkiebots, Royal Bangs and others), Brad Fowler (The Nimoids, Chore Boys, etc.) and Michael Ellison (Chore Boys, The Buddy System, etc.), the trio has its hands in a number of projects, but Wyld Stallyns is far more than a mere side project to each of its dedicated members.

Using any search engine on the Net, you can find a number of acts laying claim to the Wyld Stallyns moniker, but few are as deserving as Biondo and Ellison. This pair once attended Southern Califronia's famed San Dimas High School, alma mater of Bill S. Preston Esq. and Ted Theodore Logan in the now classic Bill and Ted movies from which Wyld Stallyns draw their name. Though much of the band's material is satirical or even silly in nature, frivolity holds no place in the band's productive rehearsals and songwriting sessions.

"Let's be honest, if you're five years within our age group, you mention Wyld Stallyns, and everybody knows what you're talking about," says Fowler. "Maybe we think we're more awesome than we actually are like the real Wyld Stallyns, and maybe that adds to it. I've yet to mention Wyld Stallyns to anyone who was in the dark about where it came from. If you're going to do a reference, you may as well do one everyone knows."

With the Wyld Stallyns' roster dividing attention through affiliation with a handful of other local acts, it is hard to believe they have found the time for two shows a week in recent months on top of regular practices and developing a full crop of songs. However, the band's efforts are furthered by Biondo, who "champions" Stallyns promotion with street cred earned through his stints in notable bands, including his current membership in the Royal Bangs.

"It's funny how things turned out, because Wyld Stallyns is probably the most productive band I've ever been in," Ellison says. "It's a spoof name, but we're a hard-working band. Every time we get together we're either writing a new song, working on a recording or getting down a set list. It's constant work, but it's fun work."

"Brandon is really championing the band," adds Fowler. "He's really working hard to book as many shows as possible no matter where they are and getting the word out and bugging people. It's gotten results. We've been playing for three months and have about 20 shows under our belt. For the past two months we've been playing pretty much two shows a week. We haven't worked on the old songs a lot. Every time we get together we expect to come up with one, if not two, new songs."

Hesitantly describing themselves as punk-rooted, Wyld Stallyns backs up the claim to present a full sound with only three instruments. Reflecting the band's efficient songwriting approach, the songs are direct and free of excess frills. With rotating instrument duties, the Stallyns' catalog varies from track to track, but each sub-3 minute opus packs a memorable punch, free of self-indulgent solos. Simply stated, Wyld Stallyns provide a straightforward and fun indie rock experience worthy of taking on the road.

"Power trios are definitely back in," says Fowler. "Done right, it's not hard to get a full sound with three people. I think it's punchier and tighter."

Sunday night Wyld Stallyns play their first of two shows this week, joining Daniel Pujol and 3 Man Band at Pilot Light. This show is slated to kick off at 10 p.m. and costs $5. The Stallyns will return to The Old City on Wednesday night to perform at Barley's Taproom. This show, too, begins at 10 p.m.

n SCHOOLHOUSE ROCK: Dirty Guv'nahs perform at The Square Room tonight to commemorate the start of a new school year. Doors open at 8 p.m., and admission is $10.

n BUY AMERICAN: Americana act American Aquarium takes the stage at Barley's Tuesday night for a 10pm show.

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