Add Event My Events Log In

Upcoming Events


    Print this page

    If you have been reading for a while, you know that we are really into White Reaper, the newest Louisville band to get national attention with the band's style of power rock. They have received many accolades and good words about their debut album White Reaper Does It Again and it turns out they would love to have the follow up out very soon. We caught up with them after their set at Forecastle this year to tell us about dancing, Denis Leary, and turning 21. How does it feel to have the album out now? (White Reaper Does It Again was released on July 17)

    Tony Esposito: It’s kind of hard to believe. It doesn’t even feel like we have a record out because it’s been like two days.

    Nick Wilkerson: It was done in January.

    Tony: We’ve been here this whole time, not totally sober.

    Sam Wilkerson: Everything we do comes so naturally that stuff like this feel so insane to us.

    Tony: We’re used to oh a show and another show and another show and then the record comes out and it doesn’t really set in immediately but at least not for me.

    Nick: Since the record came out, it has been obvious that it came out because there’s more attention on the Internet, but we’re still trying to go on tour. We’re still trying to keep going. It’s not over. We have to keep trucking. White Reaper Does It Again is an old fashioned way to name your album.

    Sam: It’s also a goofy spoof because it’s our first album.

    Nick: It was a joke and the joke is that it’s our first record.

    Tony: We just wanted to name it White Reaper but they wouldn’t let us.

    Zach Hart (White Reaper’s manager) notes that the EP they released was called White Reaper.

    Nick: Yeah, it wouldn’t be a PR nightmare if we named out second release White Reaper. The idea was to release every album we ever make under the name White Reaper. Something else that harkens back to older music is the keys in your band. It sounds like something out of The Doors. (White Reaper keyboardist Ryan Hater was absent from the interview)

    Sam: I bought a VHS the other day. It’s called The Doors Live in Europe and Ray Manzarek (The Doors keyboardist) was able to play…Jim Morrison didn’t show up to show once and Ray Manzarek was able to play and sing the whole time which is crazy.

    Tony: I definitely like the sound of keys over it like that. It could be that we listened to The Doors and I thought it was cool. I listen to The Cars more The Doors. What do you think about Ryan’s dance moves?

    Nick: People have complimented him on it.

    Sam: People watch Ryan for most of the show because of how entertaining he is.

    Nick: He’s a great addition and ever since we got him, people have been complimenting us and saying usually there’s a lame keyboard player just standing there but he’s comes in when he needs to. Otherwise he’s having fun.

    Sam: If you area keyboard player and you are standing still for most of the set honestly you’re not in sync with everything else that’s going on.

    Nick: I just don’t thing every band needs keys throughout every song. I don’t think that’s a necessity personally. That’s me talking. He kind of doubles as a hype man.

    Tony: He’s got a lot of free time onstage.

    Nick: That might be an influence. We listen to a lot of rap radio.

    Sam: He does he job very well.

    Tony: I know he does not like to be called a hype man. But he does add some hype.

    Sam: He’s not a hype man. He’s a member. He nails down everything that’s given to him. Did you ever think that your first celebrity shout out would have been from Denis Leary? On the day White Reaper released their album Leary tweeted that his trucking song for the day was White Reaper's "Pills" with the hashtag #fanfuckingtastic. 

    Sam: I think that even happened the day the record came out. That’s one of the things I was saying. We got attention from Dennis Leary so I would already consider the record a success.

    Tony: He plays the father in The Sandlot so it’s a big deal.

    Nick: He does the voices on the Ford commercials but The Sandlot is like damn, we grew up watching that movie. We watched that movie a ton of times.

    Sam: We all grew up watching The Sandlot and you know, watching this guy…I never knew he would shout my band out. And he even mentioned “Pills” which isn’t a single.

    Nick: It was new song that just came out that day.

    Tony: That’s really cool. Denis Leary was chomping at the bit to get that album.

    Sam: It’s funny because a lot of the appeal comes from the old album and the appeal from Louisville comes from the old album and people are still slowly learning the songs but last night was really relieving that people knew the new songs

    Nick: Even people up front knew some of the new songs. It’s pretty crazy. Now that you are all 21, does it feel like a different band now?

    Nick: We can just do whatever we want.

    Tony: We haven’t on tour since we were all 21. It’s going to make things quite a bit easier.

    Nick: Yeah, we can be beer on our rider now and also we don’t have to escorted in and out of venues before we play and after

    Tony: Sometimes they don’t even let you in.

    Sam: It’s the worst feeling ever because you can’t hang out with your friends. Your best friends. Everybody here is my best friend and when you are not able to be around them for an amount of time, it sucks.

    Tony: It sucks because it splits us up. Somebody has to be inside to handle merch. But if they are not allowed then it just sucks.

    Nick: You guys have to handle everything inside while we are just dicking around outside.

    Tony: They have to just sit outside and twiddle their thumbs. It sounds like you guys have a quick album cycle like you are ready to go again. Do you write quickly as well?

    Nick: Oh yeah we are trying to go as soon as possible.

    Tony: Yeah we write quickly. We are definitely ready to work on some demos and I hope to be in the studio before the end of the year. But I don’t know what the touring schedule looks like. But I would like to put out a new record as soon as we can.

    Nick: By the end of the year hopefully. We are trying to go quick.

    Sam: Not that we think is anything is going to dry up. We just love doing it.

    Nick: We’re not worried. We just want to put out as much as possible so people are entertained. And plus we can play more material live. We only have two records out.

    Tony: We don’t really have that many songs right now. If we played every song we have, it would barely be an hour. A lot of time we will have times and we’ll be like well that’s not going to happen. It’s just fun to put out songs that way people can listen to them and start to learn them and it’s more fun when they know them at the shows.

    Sam: Putting anything out to the public is amazing.

    Nick: And we’ll be coming to a city near you. Ideally.

    Tony: Unless you live in China.

    Sam: Okay maybe five years for China.

    Photo courtesy of White Reaper's Facebook page. 

    Will Ford's picture

    About Will Ford

    Covering Louisville music like it's the 6 o' clock news. I've covered Forecastle, Louder Than Life, Moontower, Starry Nights, and Louisville music news for 3 years. Follow me @parasiticnoise

    More from author:    

    Share On: