Wilderado turns touring malaise into top-10 hit with “Head Right”

ABC/Randy Holmes

“Head Right” may become Wilderado‘s breakout single, but the origin of the song, in the words of frontman Max Rainer, is “unromantic.”

Speaking with ABC Audio, Rainer shares that the inspiration for “Head Right” came amid a long, pre-pandemic Wilderado touring cycle.

“We love playing rock ‘n’ roll and we love each other in the band,” Rainer says. “But touring is hard on all of us, ’cause we all have families.”

He adds, “Anyone that knows knows, it’s just not for the faint of heart.”

Rainer and Wilderado channeled that difficult experience into “Head Right,” as well as much of what would become the band’s new, self-titled album.

“The whole record ended up just being about me dealing with my own mental health, and my own … struggle through getting my act together and not being too worried all the time about useless things,” Rainer explains. “The song just kinda spit out everything as straightforward as it is in the tune.”

It’s that “straightforward” nature of “Head Right” that Rainer thinks helped propel the song to the top 10 on Billboard‘s Alternative Airplay chart, though he admits it was something he and his bandmates were initially wary about.

“I think we advanced a lot of our writing creatively in this record in general, and so putting a song on it that was just so archaic and bash-y was something we struggled with,” Rainer shares. “But it just ended up really being a part of the overall message [of the album].”

Of course, it certainly seems that including “Head Right” was the right decision.

“It was a humbling experience writing that song,” Rainer says. “It still is.”

Wilderado and “Head Right” are out now.

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