Budding Aussie guitar hero Laura Wilde grew up a fan of guitarists from Lenny Kravitz to Jimmy Page, and fully acknowledges pioneering ladies of rock such as Lita Ford, who helped pave the way for coming generations of female rockers such as herself.
And yet, Wilde has never had trouble with taking an instrument and making it her own -- literally, and from an early age.
"Apparently when I was a baby, my mom got my brother a little push-button toy guitar. I somehow got hold of it and wouldn't give it up. It became like my teddy bear," Wilde told The Beat from her home in Los Angeles, just prior to departing for Boise to begin a summertime tour with the legendary Ted Nugent.
Wilde's guitar obsession began at a young age, too, after watching the video for Kravitz' Are You Gonna Go My Way, at which time she announced, "I want to do that."
Her "formal" training began a few years later, when she finally received her first real guitar at age 12. Her first teacher was a touring musician, so her lessons were few and far between.
"I spent most of my time listening to the radio and figuring out songs, so I guess I'm primarily self-taught."
At the age of 15, Wilde began vocal training, studying opera and Broadway-style voice for a few years. The training provided her with solid vocal fundamentals, she said, which she has been able to apply to rock singing.
Although... "Just because I know what not to do doesn't mean I don't do it," Wilde joked.
After a few years of touring her home nation and working in the house band on Australia's Got Talent, Wilde decided it was time to make the big move, heading to L.A. at the age of 19.
"I had been to America before, but this time I had a one-way ticket," she explained.
"Nothing can prepare you to leave your family and your friends. But professionally, (the move) made sense."
Last year, she released her debut album, Sold My Soul, and toured with Nugent. The Fuel tour and a second summer-go-round with "Terrible Ted" have delayed work on her second record, but in the meantime, she's enjoying being out on the road with her bandmates, who she described as "like brothers. And I'm the annoying little sister."
"And my guitarist, Chris Price, is from Columbus, so I've got some inside info. I'm looking forward to getting out there."