Artist Interview: 1-on-1 with The Will Woodrow Project

Artist Interview: 1-on-1 with The Will Woodrow ProjectI am a big fan of live music. I enjoy the whole atmosphere of going out, paying a cover to get in, picking your seat, ordering drinks; you name it. And there are so many great live music venues here in the Circle City that it is hard to pick where to go on any given night. But regardless of which venue I find myself in on any given night, I can almost bet this band has played there. These guys tour all over the Indianapolis area and are playing somewhere almost every weekend. And when I found that they were actually not planning on playing much this summer, I was excited to invite them to join the bill for presents six bands for six bucks. After sharing a few emails, they have joined the lineup! But before then I wanted to sit with them and get to know who they were on the inside. To learn more about a band is crucial seeing them perform live and hearing their songs. It is my pleasure to introduce you to The Will Woodrow Project.

Let me guess. Your name is Will Woodrow?

Actually Will Woodrow Nelson, but Willy Nelson was already taken.

How long have you been performing?

I started my solo project in 2005. It’s gone through several line-up changes. Liz has been with me for a year and a half . My guitarist is filling in until we find a solid permanent. I’ve been performing for a lot longer though. I guess you could say my music career started when I first picked up a bass. I’ve played in bands as early as 2,000, but used to hip-hop prior to that. I put down the keyboard after I picked up the bass.

I see you are playing a six string bass there. Why a six string?

I love to experiment. The six string opens up a whole new world of possibilities. I like to work out arrangements that seem impossible to juggle both singing and playing. I like to push myself creatively. I like to hold a groove on 1 hand, and solo with the other.

Do you write all of your own lyrics?


Where do you get inspiration for a new track?

I generally take from true stories and situations in my life. I write about myself, family members, friends, girlfriends, etc…

Do you have a job outside of music?

I’ve made a living playing music for the last few years, but not music alone. Selling merchandise, booking, and recording bands, pressing shirts, and hustling in different ways to stay afloat. Working regular jobs to get by during tough times. I’m actually working on a project to open a retail location that will be an all-in-one shop for bands.

Are you nice to Liz?

(Laughs) Unless I want to sleep in the doghouse. We’ve been a couple for over a year now.

Where did you guys meet?

She owns Lizards (a bar and music venue) on the south side of Indianapolis. We we’re playing there and it was our drummers last show. I mentioned it on stage and she spoke up. The rest is history.

Who are some of your biggest influences?

On the bass I would say Victor Wooton, Claypool, Jaco Pastorius, and Jean Baudin. If I was talking bands it would be 90’s grunge, the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Primus, 2pac, Beastie boys, and anything rebellious with a groove.

What is the best concert you have ever been to?

One of the most memorable for me was Les Claypool. He’s weird. Different. Says funny things. I like that.

What are you drinking on stage?

Probably Crown Royal or Captain Morgan. Water sometimes.

How did you react to the passing of the King of Pop?

It was unexpected. I was surprised. My daughter is a fan. She went as MJ for Halloween last year. I’m not really that into pop culture. Can’t tell you the last time I listened to the radio.

Is that an actual tattoo that is pictured on your MySpace page?

Yes. I have several. That one takes up my entire right side. It hurt so bad!

Speaking of MySpace, what are your thoughts on the service?

I feel like it’s still a good place to find bands, network with musicians, but in general I think it’s lost its luster for the fans and regular non-music folk. It’s still a great tool for musician’s though.

Are you on Twitter?

Yeah, I don’t tweet regularly though. I’m pretty sure my Facebook updates are linked to it.

Describe your genre in one word.

Koolaid. (Lots of colors and flavors.)

Where are you originally from?

I’m from Indianapolis. I’ve lived in other cities, but my daughter is here.

If you could live anywhere else in the world, where would you go?

I would like to visit many other countries, but I think I would probably still live somewhere in America. Possibly Hawaii.

You have your cell phone number listed on your MySpace page. Are you not worried about people calling you at all hours of the night?

No. I get calls at all hours of the night anyway. I actually had some really random drunk girl call me at 3:00 AM this morning. No idea who she was, but said they we’re fans. Felt good. I knew the number though; it was another band in Chicago. Guess they let their friends listen to the music. Also, I leave it on there so I can take advantage of opportunities when they arise. I want it to spread as much as possible.

Does anyone ever call you just to talk?

Yes. However, with all the bands I book, I’m pretty talked out at the end of the day. Club owners, promoters, band members, friends…It gets hectic at times.

Tell me a little bit more about that Jell-O wrestling.

It was a great birthday party. Packed house, and everyone had an absolute blast. Who doesn’t want to see pretty girls Jell-O wrestle in bikini’s? Also four awesome bands. Just a promotional Idea to get people out. It worked. Going to do it again in July.

Tell me a little bit more about First Amendment Records.

With the way the scene is currently, labels are less needed by independent artists. Since we’re mostly do-it-yourselfers, I’m working on non-exclusive deals for services these bands aren’t able to, or wanting to do themselves. I would like to do a few old school contracts with bands that just knock my sox off, but for now I’m planning to open a retail shop where bands can record, get they’re cd’s duplicated, take advantage of printing, t-shirts, gear, rehearsal space, lessons, web, and graphic design, booking, touring, etc…

I see you have played some shows here in Indianapolis. Is that the Patio I see? Or the Rouge? Perhaps it was Spin Nightclub?

The marquee you see in the photo would have been at Spin Nightclub. We’ve played almost all the live music venues in the city. Especially the ones that house original music.

You have some pretty sweet concert posters. Who designs all of those?

Thank you. I make them all. I enjoy art, and graphic design as well.

I am really digging your voice man. You ever get sore up there screaming your lungs out every night?

Only when I smoke too many cigarettes. It doesn’t get sore, but I lose power a lot sooner. I actually quit, and started again after three years like an idiot. Drinking and smoking like a rock star, doesn’t make you sound like one. Other than that, the pipes stay pretty stretched out from singing regularly. I can walk away hoarse, but wake up like new again.

So based on your MySpace pictures, you are willing to autograph just about anything huh?

(Laughs) I remember one night when there was a line of girls on stage for Liz to sign their boobs. For some reason girls like to whip them out at our shows. Just so happens, there was a night when a few wanted they’re asses signed.

You must really like Jell-O.

The Jell-o wrestling/rock and roll show draws a crowd. I think it makes a good atmosphere for a fun party. It’s something different no one else has done, and I’m all about trying fresh concepts for putting on awesome shows. I’ve only done it once so far.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Making a living doing what I love. I’ll probably play music until I die, or at least always have my hands somewhere in the business of music. Like I said, I want to get this shop opened up, and watch it grow.

What do you want to be remembered for when this is all said and done?

A good father, A good son, a good brother, a good friend, A good man, and a sick bassist, with some damn good substance in my lyrics. I’m a realist. I don’t expect to make a revolutionary impact, but I would like to make a dent.

I always let the artist get the last word. Go.

Thank you for the interview. Hope to see some new faces at a show to discover what we’re all about. Love making new friends. If you read this interview, please tell me you did so. I’ll email you a new track from our latest album we’re working on to say thanks. You can also message me on Facebook or MySpace. Peace!