INTERVIEW: Nick and Sam Wilkerson from White Reaper talk about brotherly love, making music and hangin’ out with Alexandra Daddario!

Speaking from my own experience, being in a band with a sibling can sometimes be awesome, but other times way less awesome. The bond I built writing music and performing on stage with my brother was a unique connection that I’ve since never experienced with anyone else. With that sentiment in mind, I reached out to brothers Nick and Sam Wilkerson, drummer and bass player from rock and roll heavyweights White Reaper for an interview. It’s no secret that we at Never Nervous are big fans of these guys and the music they’ve been making over the last half decade. Their albums rip, they’re great live and it feels like they’re just getting started. Be sure to catch them perform at this year’s Forecastle in what will be their second appearance at Louisville’s biggest music festival. 

Read on as the three of us talk about brotherly love, making music, and more…

Never Nervous: How young were the two of you when you first started playing music? What was your first collaborative project?

Nick: I think we were both around 7 years old when we started. Our first collaborative project was probably our first band called The New Mexico.

Sam: Yea we just fucked around in the basement a lot with Tony and a friend named Adam Setters who is a guitar shredder

NN: The two of you make for quite the rhythm section. Is there a familial connection that makes you a better unit naturally, or does it come from years of practice?

Nick: I have never known anything else really. There is definitely a natural connection, but who knows, it could just be from playing together for a long time.

Sam: I like to think there’s a family part of it, i think really it just comes from us playing together for years

NN: Does your relationship as music-makers interfere with your brotherly love? I was in a band with my brother off and on for a decade, and at times we absolutely hated each other.

Nick: Sometimes its hard, but what are you gonna do? Sharing a room with someone your whole life is good training for tour.

Sam: We’ve never hated each other, I don’t think haha.

“We’ve never hated each other, I don’t think.”

NN: How has the song-writing process evolved over the years in White Reaper?

Nick: Tony writes a lot of the songs in general, but The World’s Best American Band was the first time we really collaborated on an album. So i guess we are all starting to mold it together more.

NN: Now that the latest White Reaper record has been out for a while, what’s the plan for the future? Is there another record on the way? More touring?

Nick: We have a lot of exciting stuff coming up.

NN: Are the two of you involved in any other musical endeavors other than White Reaper?

Nick: I teach drum lessons from time to time and also make electronic music that I keep to myself.

Sam: I’ve been writing and recording a lot of stuff that I think I’ll pitch to labels or put out on vinyl myself this year

NN: Over the last few years, you guys have spent a lot of time on the road. Care to share any weird, crazy tour stories?

Nick: There are some crazy ones that are best told in person. I guess the really crazy stuff to me is being a fan of music and having all of these opportunities to see bands I love and meet people I look up to.

“The really crazy stuff to me is being a fan of music and having all of these opportunities to see bands I love and meet people I look up to.”

Sam: We’ve been chased on a highway in Tacoma by a crazy strung out guy, that was pretty scary.

NN: In a game of one-on-one, who wins on the basketball court?

Nick: Neither of us really play sports, I have no idea. Probably Sam because he exercises more than I do.

NN: If the two of you were to take me out for a night on the town in Louisville, where would you take me, what would we eat, and how drunk would we get?

Nick: We would probably go to The Back Door at Mid City Mall. The amount of alcohol we drink is up to you because you’re buying!

Sam: I’d take you for a nice meal at Feast or Royals because i get a discount.

NN: Which is the better Gallagher brother, Noel or Liam? Or do they both suck?

Nick: They are both good. We played a couple festivals with Liam in 2017 and at Lollapalooza he just walked off stage after 4 or 5 songs. It is so cool to me how someone could be on the main stage at a giant festival and after a few songs just say fuck it. That really takes guts.

Sam: I like Liam because of his voice but the songs and lyrics come from Noel, hes really good at collecting ideas and writing songs.

NN: What was it like hanging out with Alexandra Daddario while making the video for “Judy French”? How’d that music video happen?

Nick: Our tour manager Sal Cassato is from Chicago and grew up with this guy Brandon Dermer who directs a bunch of music videos. Sal hooked us up with him, and after that it kind of just all came together. It was great hanging out with Alex. At first we were a little nervous, but the fact that she had to dress up as all of us kind of broke the ice. We played at the Troubador in LA that night and her and her dad came. Nice people.

“It was great hanging out with Alex (Daddario). At first we were a little nervous, but the fact that she had to dress up as all of us kind of broke the ice.”

Sam: it was great, she is super cool and so is her dad.

NN: Are there any current bands or artists in Louisville that have been really doing it for you lately?

Nick: I’ve just been playing a lot of video games.

Sam: If I name one I’ll feel like I should name em all, haha. So much good stuff happening in Louisville.

NN: Lastly, tell us about your favorite record from 2018. Where’d you buy it, and what’s so damned good about it?

Nick: My favorite record so far is the new MGMT record. I just like how they put out whatever they want.

Sam: Same, its amazing, the production is great and its just fun. Honestly its a hilarious record and I love that about it.