Wild Adriatic: Groove, Grit, and Swagger!

Wild Adriatic

Wild Adriatic is a band rooted in the rowdy spirit of rock & roll. They have built an international audience on a combination of groove, grit, and guitar-heavy swagger. If a band doesn’t make you want to move, they aren’t doing something right, and Wild Adriatic makes you want to move! They have cleverly dubbed themselves as being “Rock and Soul” which most definitely describes their sound. They aren’t revivalists; they’re modern men, carrying the torch of melodic, riff-ready, high-energy rock into new territory.


Influences often cited are some pioneers of rock like Led Zeppelin, Queen, Bill Withers, Mountain, and Foreigner. Additionally, early Rush, Free, and the Beatles are some among the list. More contemporary influences like the Black Keys, Mutemath, My Morning Jacket, Keane, and Alabama Shakes have also been referenced. In recent years, however, the band has made a push towards developing the soul elements of their sound, citing artists such as Otis Redding, Bill Withers, and Marvin Gaye as major influences. It isn’t rock and roll if it doesn’t have soul is what I always say!

Forming the Band

The genesis of Wild Adriatic came about in several parts. Initially, singer and guitarist Travis Gray and drummer Mateo Vosganian were members of a high school pop-punk band called Horse In A Box. After graduating from High School in 2004, the members parted ways and went on to form other projects. Gray continued to tour locally with another pop-rock act and Vosganian moved to Los Angeles to continue working with college friends. As luck would have it, the two ended up back in the same town of Saratoga Springs, NY. They reunited shortly after Gray’s band; Travis Gray & The Frontiers decided to change the name and adopt a more rock & roll sound. This would eventually become Wild Adriatic!

But what about the gear of the band? Well Travis alternates between a Fender Eric Johnson Signature Strat, a ’62 Reissue Strat and a Gibson ES335 ’63 Reissue. Scott the keyboard player swears by the Nord Electro 5D, this thing is perfect for live shows and recording. Rich says he has been a Fender and Ampeg guy since he started playing bass and I mean come on, can you blame him. Name a more iconic duo… Ill wait. Well actually, he adds in Darkglass Electronics pedals so that makes for the best triumvirate. Last but not least, we have Mateo and he uses Pro-Mark sticks, and Evans drumheads.

Shaped by The Road

A sharp touring schedule keeps them busy for roughly 175 days a year. They have played all over creation, including two European tours, countless stateside runs, and appearances at festivals like Bonnaroo. You see, the thing about being an up and coming band is that the size of the venue can and does change on any given night. One night can be in someone’s living room and the next night is in a 25,000 seat amphitheater. Luckily, thanks to Bose, this is not an issue. They swear by the S1 Pro system, as it gives them the perfect live sound for venues large or small. Another set of tools in the Wild Adriatic toolbox are Telefunken Microphones. Thanks to their microphones and in ear systems, they now can record every live show and listen back with intricacies.

Wild Adriatic’s three members recorded their latest album, Feel in Austin, TX. The band’s goal with this album was to shine a light on their strength as a live act. This, of course, meant avoiding click tracks, digital instruments, sampled sounds, and any other tricks of the recording studio. After all, they are a live act playing shows, not a studio band. This is admirable in my opinion. If you have been to a concert, you know that live music has that energy and magic. The drums crashing, and the guitars shredding. Wild Adriatic wanted to capture that on their latest record.

They focused on the same core ingredients; Gray’s guitar playing and soulful sweep of a voice; Vosganian’s percussive stomp; Derbyshire’s in-the-pocket bass. It is these key ingredients that helped kickstart the band in 2011 when Wild Adriatic formed in Upstate New York.