James Wilson talks about Sons of Bill and “Lost Love and Indie Rockers”
Sons of Bill have just released Take a Shower, Call Your Mother, Your Life is in Shambles, their new three song EP and it is only available at shows on their current “Life in Shambles Tour”. I saw the band live at the Pour House on Saturday, I’ve listened to the EP and I’m pretty sure I’ve heard my favorite song of the year. James Wilson’s “Lost Love and Indie Rockers” skewers every town’s cliched local hipster and I almost wore out the repeat button on my truck’s CD player the first time I heard it. I’m betting most No Depression readers know at least one guy who says “he don’t like Country, but he likes Americana twang rock post punk atmospheric indie rock and roll.” The lyrics give you a taste but you really need to hear this song to do it justice. It’s featured on the No Depression player so drop down and give it a listen. I’m betting it will be one of your favorite songs too…..well, that is if James isn’t singing about you. The EP is only available at shows (a full list of tour dates follows the interview): “no iTunes, no Best Buy, you gotta come out to the dirty rock clubs and lay your greasy $5 bills on the merch table”.
One Town Away was one of my favorite discs of 2009 so I’ve been wondering what Sons of Bill were up to and James Wilson was kind enough to provide some answers, updates and insights in the following brief interview:
HB-James, could you talk a little bit about “Lost Love and Indie Rockers”?
I think most listeners will feel like they know that guy. I certainly did.
JW-It’s a song that I wrote after one night after a particularly bad
co-bill up in DC. It is a song we never really intended to put on an
album, but we played it a couple times live and has since become a
favorite deep cut among our die-hards. While it’s mostly just intended
to be a catchy little jab– I do think there are too many bands out
there working on their myspace pages and their perfectly disheveled
hair, and not enough out there who are hittin’ the pavement.
HB-I know Sons of Bill is a reference to your dad and you, Sam and Abe are
brothers. How did the Wilson brothers get together to start a band?
JW-It was really natural. We were all playing in different bands,
different styles of music, but it was natural for us to play the songs
we knew in common at homecomings, which was the old country, blues,
and bluegrass we learned growing up from our dad. Theres lots of
different stuff going into the Sons of Bill from the different
members, so who knows where it will go– but we’re just trying to be
an honest, hard-working, american rock and roll band.
HB-The EP is great but when can Sons of Bill fans expect the full length follow up to
“One Town Away”?
JW-We’re actually doing pre-production at our bass player’s farm as we
speak. We’re all really excited about the songs for the new record so
we’re really trying to take our time with this one, and try to make it
the best record we can.
HB-I thought of you as more of a country band but after seeing you live you
really rocked! Could you name a few of your country and rock influences.
JW-To be honest, we’re mostly influenced by country in the sense of
songwriting. We didn’t listen to alot of country records growing
up, they were all just songs my dad would sing. I later learned who
wrote them– Hank Williams, Merle Haggard, Mississippi John Hurt,
Blind Willie Johnson, Stanley Brothers etc–but our first records we
bought growing up were hard-rock and metal records. We try to really
mix it up and lay it all out there at our live show.
HB-What was the weirdest gig you’ve played?
JW-The whole thing is pretty surreal– so the weird stuff starts to seem normal. There was one where we played in front of the Japanese line dancing team, and they kept falling over during our punk stops. There was one where I had to run from a couple dudes chasing me around a double-wide bar in Louisiana. I don’t know. it all blurs together. What am I doing with my life?
HB-Thank James. I’m really looking forward to the new record!
May 6 – Atlanta, GA – Peachtree Tavern (with American Aquarium)
May 7 – Charleston, SC – The Windjammer (with American Aquarium)
May 8 – Charlotte, NC – The Evening Muse (with American Aquarium)
May 13 – Baltimore, MD – The 8×10 (with American Aquarium)
May 14 – New York, NY – Webster Hall (with American Aquarium)
May 15 – Falls Church, VA – The State Theatre (with American Aquarium)
May 19 – Birmingham, AL – Zydeco (with American Aquarium)
May 20 – Daphne, AL – Moe’s Original BBQ
May 22 – Grapevine, TX – Main Street Outdoor Adventure
May 27 – Richmond, VA – Carbon Leaf)
June 5 – Hunter, NY – Mountain Jam VI
June 9 – Austin, TX – Hill’s Cafe (with Reckless Kelly)
June 12 – New Braunfels, TX – For The Sake of the Song Festival / Whitewater Amphitheatre
July 17 – Somerset, KY – Master Musicians Festival