Will and the People – Interview
I caught up with Will (lead vocals/guitar) and Charlie (drums) from Will and The People before their sound-check at Green Door Store to talk crazy tours, crazy videos and crazy people!
T: I’ve heard that Will and the People is a very family based band. Does that make it easier to work together?
W: Yeah it’s cool to have the family on board. My dad and girlfriend are involved with managing the label; Jamie (bass) and I are brothers, Jim’s (keys) brothers work on tour management and graphic design for us and Charlie’s brother sells the merchandise and gets the crowd revved up at gigs. Obviously we have some minor disagreements as all good families do, but there’s a great sense of brotherly love in the group.
T: Your music videos and live performances are so charged with energy. Do you wake up at 7am and jump out of bed eager to start the day?
W: The only way we’re up at 7am is if we’re still up from the night before. We’re nocturnal really so it’s hard to work out a sleeping pattern. We need to work on getting up in the mornings really.
C: I’ve been waking up in the mornings and emailing promoters and radio stations and stuff.
W: Yeah he does the most work on promoting us and he’s the drummer!
T: Do you prefer the city or the countryside?
W: We’re chameleons. We adapt to wherever we are. Our house/studio is in the country but we’re looking to move to the city soon. If you’re anywhere too long you start to stagnate, so we like to explore new places and meet new people.
T: The ‘Lion in the Morning Sun’ video. What’s the story behind that?
W: Well we were on a somewhat shambolic tour in Rome when we met this guy who really wanted to make a music video for us, for only €1500. We didn’t have the money so we busked hard for 3 days and managed to raise it and then shot it there in Rome. It was great and so spontaneous. I busted my foot whilst making it. The video was really popular in Holland. It appealed to younger children because of the light-hearted nature. I reckon at least half the YouTube hits are from them.
T: And the video for ‘Yellow’? That’s a strange one!
C: We filmed that with the same director in Rome again, in an old prison. Lion in the Morning Sun was all shot outdoors so this one we went in the other direction and shot it all inside this old building.
W: We wanted a dark and twisted video for a happy song. We love working with the same people over time and nurturing relationships and friendships. There’s a good sense of kinship that develops.
T: Is your house like a messy flea market of musical instruments?
W: Haha. Yeah it is pretty much how you would expect. I’m the odd one out at the moment because I live in London with my girlfriend whilst the rest of the band all live together in a house in the country just outside London. There is a lot of stuff there though. One day I was watching that TV programme Hoarders and I panicked and thought “That’s us!”
T: Why the gig in Brighton out of the blue?
W: Brighton has been a home to each of us at some point over in our youth and it’s always nice to return here. There’s always a need for a gig fix so it’s good to get out there and play some new material.
C: It feels like home when we come back.
T: What music did your parents play and how did this influence your musical tastes now?
C: Our parents listened to people like Cat Stevens, Dire Straits. Bob Marley was always playing through the house too. When I was younger I used to like S Club 7 and Nirvana. My parents couldn’t quite get their heads around that!
T: Other than music, what do you guys like to get up to in your spare time?
C: Skateboarding. Surfing. We were in Australia last Christmas so we spent every day on the beach. We just love being outside. But music is our main thing though!
T: Finally, have you ever received any strange gifts from any strange fans?
W: One 60-year-old lady gave me 25 individually wrapped presents for my 25th birthday. I’m not saying any more than that!