MissTaintedLove back with another artist interview. Today, I will be interviewing Beau James Wigington. Beau is a Delta Blues artist hailing from North Carolina, currently in California.
"Beau Wigington is a musician that is not afraid of showing emotion. His deep lyrics are backed my addictive melodies. In his music you will see the art of simply telling a story, conveying an emotion, finding a new fancy, or even speaking your mind."
-From the artist's Youtube page
Hope you enjoy the interview, and check out the artist!
You can find his music here.
What do you feel sets you apart from the crowd?My Beard. Just kidding, I think that there are many different things, my sense of humor, my lack of music theory knowledge and my love of having fun. If there were one thing that sets me apart from other musicians out there, it would have to be my lyrics. I like to tell stories and I feel like in today’s day of music the story can easily get lost in a beat or a sweet track. I try to write good hooks to catch listeners’ ears and never let them go, but above that I try to tell a good story.
How were you first introduced to music in your life?
Some people are born to sing and some people have mothers who buy a video set called “Born To Sing”. I remember always seeing these videos on the shelf and being obsessed with the mouth that was on the box. I think it was a subluminal message that stuck with me just seeing those videos year after year. I never watched the videos but I will always remember them as being the thing that made me want to sing. My parents let me take guitar lessons when I was young knowing I would quit, but I came back to it later. Also I think that road trips ingrained me with southern roots, listening to “Call Me The Breeze” on trips from Colorado to Mississippi as a kid.
At what point in your life was the defining moment that made you realize what you wanted to do, as a musician?
I started writing songs when I was younger but they were mostly about girls that I thought were cute and girls that broke my heart, but when I got into college I started writing songs about things that I was having problems with in my life and when I would play them for people they would relate to it. If there were one moment that made me realize I wanted to make music, it would have to be playing in a coffee shop with my band in high school and seeing people sing along and smile when a song would start. Just knowing that someone could relate to what I was saying enough to sing along got me hooked.
If you could describe you and your music in five words, what would they be?
Jack Daniels Sour Mash Whiskey. I love whiskey, and I feel like my music could be described as a glass of Jack on ice, it is strong at first but the more you listen the easier it goes down. I also write about whiskey all the time. My mom always tells me that I write about it too much, but she wants me to write a song called “Whiskey is My Warmup”. The back story of this is that she was at a show of mine a few years back and asked me if I was going to warmup before I went on stage, and I drank the rest of my glass and said “Whiskey is my warmup” and went on.
How do you describe the style/genre of your own music?
I am a huge fan of the Delta blues, but my music is more blues/rock with a hint of country. My love of writing folk stories seeps into my songs as well. I have been told it is like The Black Keys eating gumbo.
How long have you been making music now?
I have been playing since 3rd grade but I would have to say I haven’t really been making music people might like that long. I think that when I hit high school is when I started really making stuff people could get into. So I guess around 10 years now give or take a few.
What was your first project? How have you grown since then?
Well, my first project I was ever in was a band that was named Broken Hollywood and we played our first show in my parents attic. Since then I have worked hard to develop my voice and playing guitar. I have spent many years learning from other musicians and also music industry people as well. I think that starting to work on the business side of the industry has given me the most insight on what it takes to start making it your life.
What other artists, musicians, and producers have you worked with?
I work with an artists called Austitron, aka Austin James Williams a lot right now doing some co-writing and hopefully will continue to for many years to come. I was in a band with Aslan Freeman and Chris Carr who are now in the band Future Ghosts, rocking it out on the east coast. For this EP I have been working with Matt Trivigno from Killingsworth Recording Company. He has been producing the EP and Tomas Costanza has popped in the room here and there as well and laying down organ parts for the EP. I worked with many great musicians in the studio, Clark Singleton (Bass), Jackson Hunt (Keys), Chris Carr (Banjo), Loren McNames (Slide Guitar), Anthony Mancini (Lead Guitar) and Ralph Alexander (Drums). I seriously couldn’t have done it with out everyone that came in. I am hoping to start working with more artists out here and possibly get into the songwriting game as well.
What type of music/artists have influenced you and your music?
I love the story of Robert Johnson, selling his soul at the crossroads to be the best blues player out there. His music has been a pretty big influence on me, it is very matter of fact and I try to write like that. Jack White is probably one of the biggest influences in my music life. I love the passion that he has for music and the way that he writes just makes me wish I was half the musician he is. One of my favorite songs, and a big reason what I want to play the type of music I do, is a song Top Yourself. I heard that song when I was in a really bad relationship and the lyrics, “It takes sleeping with a snake like you to rip apart my soul” changed my life. I never had the guts to write something like that but ever since I heard that I have tried to be very truthful in my lyrics, and not hold anything back.
What is the inspiration for your music?
Music is what keeps me going day to day because it is my escape. What happens in my life that I don’t know how to deal with, and the people that pop in and out of my life have a huge impact on what I write. I write music because if I didn’t write music, I would probably be locked up somewhere. Listeners inspire me a lot because I just want to write music that people will really enjoy.
What can you tell us about your current album?
How does it differ from any of your previous projects? Well it is a 6 Song EP that is a taster for the new direction that I have been going in. Before I was pretty acoustic driven, but this is full band! I really just embraced my love for the blues and just wanted to make some awesome songs that people could dance to and just really rock out!
What type of mindset do you get into before you enter the studio to record? Do you do anything special to prepare yourself?
It depends on what the song is about. One of the songs on this EP I had a conversation with a girl that put me through a lot of pain, hung up the phone and jumped in the vocal booth. Another song I made sure that I had someone to flirt with in the studio when I laid down vocals. I try to get to the same place that the song was written in. Pre-Studio I try to just not think about going in, because recording is very hard for me, because I really love feeding on the energy of an audience. When I am recording I try to imagine that I have to really empress the microphone, a dumb little thing but it helps.
What do you feel is the best piece of music you've created? Why do you choose this one?
I think that it might not be the best song I have ever written, but it means the most to me. I wrote a song called “Lookout” a few years back about a sailing trip that my father and I went on. We were going to sail from Ocracoke Island to Cape Lookout out in the outer banks of North Carolina. It was supposed to be a 40 mile trip but as we got to the light house at Lookout the wind started to pick up and the sun was going down, and it was right about this time that we noticed that we had to go another 20 miles because of all of the shipwrecks around the cape. The wind was whipping at our face, the boat was diving under each wave soaking us both and we had to motor the whole way in. It took forever and we each thought that we were going to die but didn’t want to say it. We some how managed to make it into the cape with out getting thrown off the boat or losing our last fin on the prop. I wrote the song Lookout after that trip and every time I sing it, I am back on the boat that fateful night. I just love it.
What plans do you have in the near future for music release/recording? What sets this upcoming project apart from your previous ones?
I am trying to put out my first fully produced EP this year called Dirty Lies, but we are currently in the fundraising stage. Insert plug here, please check out our indiegogo page at www.indiegogo.com/dirtyliesep2012 . I have been working on really honing in on my sound that I want to make, and I feel like this is the right direction. I have always loved the blues and southern rock so I spent a long time making these songs the best that I could. I also wanted to put out a fully produced product as well because I have never done it before and wanted to give people the chance to hear what I hear in my head.
Any upcoming tour plans?
The plan for now is to just build a following out here and then hit the road hopefully early next year. For now I plan on touring the city of Los Angeles playing at as many new places as I can because I love meeting new people.
Where do you see yourself as an artist five years from now?
If everything works out I will be on the road full time, and hopefully booking festivals. Over the next years I really want to focus on finding new ways to put a spin on the blues, and working with great writers and musicians. I five years the greatest thing that could happen in my mind is playing a show to a room full of people singing along.
What are your thoughts of the current state of the music industry? How do you feel you fit into it?
I think that we are going to see a huge shift over the next few years. I think that it is sad that artists are not making any money from the music they make. The internet has made the music industry an amazing thing for fans, with all the access to music, but for the artists you are one in a billion and you never know where your music is. I hope to be a road warrior, just bringing the spirit of southern rock to different places. I also am going to be trying to get some placements this next year with the EP which I feel is a huge way for people to get music into new ears.
Any words of advice for young/aspiring musicians?
Play what you love to play. I have found that the more I love to play the songs that I write, the more people love to hear them. Also be nice, a bad attitude will not get you anywhere. Making music can be very hard on you but you don’t have to let that make you into a mean or egotistical person. People who like you will like your music much more if they like you as a person. You never know who that person you blow off at your show is.
Music today is a very hard game and the people who have the power to keep new music alive are the listener. I know that there are a lot of people out there that say “Support local music”, and they are the people that are keeping the music industry alive. Everyone is on facebook, twitter and all the social networks and these are the places that you as a listener can make or break a career. So the next time someone sends you something, instead of skipping over it to play Farmville, why don’t you just let it play in the background while you grow your farm empire. Who knows you might like what you hear.
Thanks again very much to Beau James Wigington for the interview!
Check out his music - now!
You can find him at the links below.