This week our band of the week are the aptly suited Will and The People who seemed to be the perfect choice for our week of splendid sun. With their energetic and utterly joyful songs you can’t help but feel that little bit happier and we defy anyone to listen to their songs without wanting to get up and bounce around!
Ellie Witt caught up with them to find out a bit more about the band and where all this gleeful spirit comes from…
You recently toured Asia, where was you favorite place?
That’s right, we just got back from Asia and Australia – favourites are always slightly awkward questions, mostly because it is so hard to put a finger on just one moment or place but as a band we felt Cambodia was pretty up there! It is truly a land of kings, anything is possible at any time of the day …. even all at once if you like! Possibly the only place where you can get a tattoo and get drunk at the same time – never in England!! We also had a once in a lifetime show at the Old Railway Station in Phnom Penh and the locals seemed to really dig our sound … so hard to tell though because they are constantly smiling anyhow!
Your music is full of energy and enthusiasm – is that down to the characters in the band?
I would say so …. Absolutely! Or at least it seems that this lineup can channel whatever this ‘thing’ that is ‘Will And The People’ …. when we are truly on form the music plays us – not the other way round. As a group we are a team of individuals, each with our own distinctly coloured personalities which seem to work together like a new shiny toaster. We stop each others wheels from falling off, musically AND personally.
When did you first start making music together?
We go back long times just jamming and going to each others shows when we used to each front separate bands, I guess you could say Will And The People was a coming-together for the greater good, you know. That point, however, was around Glastonbury 2010 I seem to recall … in a little Alice-In-Wonderland themed tent called ‘The Rabbit Hole’. We have lived in each others pockets since.
Your music seems to have a large variety of styles and influences, would you say there was one that was prominent?
Yes it does a little … in the band we all have a very diverse range of influences that are brought to the table. There is just so much to take from all the music that has been made it would be unfair to choose a certain style or artist, however, we all seem to have the bug for this thing we call, ‘HEAVY-CHILLED’, which is when a piece of music can be both of those things (cue movie trailer voice) AT THE SAME TIME …. you know, like you could fall asleep to it or turn it up super loud and have a proper dance.
Was there anything which you took on tour which you couldn’t have lived without?
Well our instruments for one, we could have tried I guess but … bless the Asians, in general their guitars are not like their temples and there doesn’t seem to be a hammond organ available anywhere from Bangkok to Brisbane. We travel light in general, just each other really … sounds corny but it is in actual fact purely practical … couldn’t make the music otherwise – even without instruments we have our voices and invariably a spoon or two.
You all live together….so who has the most annoying habit out of all of you?!
We get these questions all the time … what is so interesting about this eh?? Like brothers we sometimes get a little over excited usually at small things ever so often but … well … we are on a musical mission you see, much like a spiritual journey, for LIFE … being annoyed by habits can’t really come into that – by definition we have learned to love each other purely for our differences AND as I was saying earlier how they work their way into the music.
How do you approach songwriting, does one person always write the lyrics, or is it more of a collaborative process?
It chops and changes … Sometimes one of us will have a song or a skeleton of something, musical or lyrical, and this will be brought into the rest of the group who then collaborate to work out parts that feel comfortable to everyone. But, of late the whole band have been collaborating at every step of the song writing process – We had ‘heaps’ of recorded jam sessions when we were in Australia, we are looking to make a really rocky album there on our return we thinks, and listening back to those sessions has been really exciting – just vibing stuff from scratch and all. We are always looking to collaborate with other writers from all over the world though, more of you guys please!
While you were away what was the one thing that you all missed the most?
Easy … a good cup of English Loose Tea – ain’t nothing like it anywhere else in the world.
If you were on a desert island and you could only take 3 things – what would they be?
I’m assuming we’d all be together right?? Ok well here goes …
1) A Guitar – it’s a MUST, plus taking records and a record player would take up too many hypothetical wishes so at least that way you could just make it yourself
2) The Music Lesson by Victor Wooten – it’s a book but it is the ONLY book that we could all read 150 zillion times and never get bored, for all personal or musical woes – it’s like our Bible or i-Ching you could say …
3) A Foghorn – well …. you could always try and use it to save yourself right but failing that we figured it would just be really funny and comically unnecessary!