Jenn Hutt: What was it like being a part of the music industry at 13 years old?
Will Thomas Reed: Ever since I can remember, I've been playing music. I started playing drums at the ripe age of 4 and guitar around 7 so when I started playing out at clubs and venues at the age of 13, I was more just excited about finally getting to play out for more people than just my buddies and family. To have an actual audience of people that had never heard me before and have the weight and pressure of performing, impressing and attempting to captivate an audience didn't really sink in until I was older. It was always just about having fun and making people bob their heads and move their feet. And I guess at the end of the day it still is for me.
JH: What is the driving force behind you wanting to play music?
WTR: I've always loved playing music. It’s just always made sense to me and felt effortless and where I needed to be. I’m not comfortable doing other things like I am with music.
JH: What was it like switching from Rock back to your Country roots?
WTR: The switch from Rock to Country was effortless. It was always there; it was just allowing it to be and not fighting the rock or the country from being on this record. You can hear all of my influences and genres I've always loved through my musical journey. Its Tom Petty and George Jones that are being channeled in the same song.
JH: I was told you have a lot of great stories, so can you tell me the story behind your first single song title?
WTR: So, the story behind "Home Is Where the Bar Is" is a fun one. Sure, it’s a play on the cute catchphrase "home is where the heart is" but I literally lived in the rafters of a bar for some time! I was in one of my longest "Starving Artist" phases, making little to no money and couldn't afford my rent. That’s when a dear friend of mine who also owned a bar that I played on the semi-regular, offered for me to live in the spot above the bar. It was an old historic 1800's building with these really tall ceilings with big wide rafters that allowed for me to slide a 4x8 piece of plywood over the rafters and then lay a mattress on top of that. I had a big 12-foot paint ladder that I had to crawl up every night to get to my bed and the way I paid rent was by playing a show or 2 a month at the bar! So, home was literally where the bar was.
JH: What is your favorite story to tell? Musically or otherwise?
WTR: One of my favorite stories from my past was when I was living in LA about 8 years ago, with Brian Craddock and the rest of the Daughtry guys. We were staying at the legendary Sunset Marquis and Brian and I was working on writing my next record and doing demos. In the evening hours, we'd slip down to the bar at the Marquis and mingle and make new friends when one night someone tapped me on my shoulder and introduced himself. Jerry Cantrell of Alice in Chains shook my hand and we began chatting. After 15 minutes or so of chatting he asked me if I'd like to hear the new record he was working on and we stepped out front to jump in his SUV and listened to Black Gives Way to Blue from front to back. One of my childhood musical heroes was telling me about every song on the record and I felt like I was hanging out with a high school buddy listening to our first cassette tape demo with all the excitement and just bliss of making music. It was truly an amazing moment that I will always cherish.
JH: What is your most favorite memory during your musical career to date?
WTR: Favorite musical is really tough because there have been so many special moments but if I'm picking one right now I'd say it was playing a sold-out show at the Paramount Theater in Charlottesville, VA. opening up for Daughtry. The entire set everyone was on their feet and screaming at the top of their lungs and that was really the first major show I played. You can't compare to that first time. The natural high that carries on with you for your career, knowing that feeling exists and making it happen every night you play. That’s the rich stuff.
JH: I know you mentioned listening to George Jones growing up, but what was the first song you learned to play guitar on?
WTR: So oddly enough, the first song I ever learned to play on the guitar was "Fly by Night" by Rush. I still love that record.
JH: Who is your biggest musical influence?
WTR: Tom Petty will always be my biggest influence. Full Moon Fever was the record that changed my life and sealed the deal for me and knowing that music was going to be predominant in my life.
JH: Do you get nervous before a performance?
WTR: I think having a few nerves is good before you play because it means you still care, but I am very comfortable on stage and love that connection with the audience. It’s the best part about playing music on any level.
JH: What advice would you give to someone just getting started in the music industry?
WTR: For those just getting started in the music industry, be honest with yourself and in your music. Don't do this for anyone or anything but yourself and your true love and passion for music. If you’re in it for the money, you’re in the wrong profession. Stay positive and always focus on that. Don't let the haters bring you down and don't ever get too big for your own britches. Remember where you started and always keep the dream alive.
Connect with Will Thomas Reed!
Official Website: https://www.willthomasreed.com
09 June 2018 Charlottesville, VA Album Release Show
19 June 2018 Nashville, TN TV Appearance “Today in Nashville”
06 July 2018 Myrtle Beach, SC Klocker’s Tavern