Monday, September 28, 2009

Because It's Fun

Most of our blogs are related to touring. We started playing music at a very early age and everyone told us you have to tour tour tour. Everyone told us we should quit school and tour so we did. We toured before we even had a record out. We toured for the sake of touring. We played music for the sake of playing music. We didn’t understand the concept of playing music for money or for playing music because we had a commercial release. We didn’t care for any of those record industry rules. We just wanted to play our music for people and the only real goal we had along the way was to beat the Ramones touring record of 2000 shows - and you know we beat that record along time ago! Our first tour was in our Jetta all the way around America. These were good times. These were times before Myspace hits and Facebook announcements and tweets on Twitter. We just simply booked a tour on the telephone , sent out posters, got in the car and drove. We would show up at every venue in every town hoping it was really a venue. Sometimes when you book tours gorilla style the shows don’t really exist. The venue might not even exist. We were pretty lucky on this first tour. They all existed with the exception of our very last show we had booked in El Paso Texas. Our second to last show was in Denver Colorado so we had to drive 11 hours to get to El Paso to play a junk yard that didn’t exist. We drove all the way to El Paso to the junk yard and there was no show. That was shitty because we were very tired, we had been on the road for near 3 months. That whole tour was great. We ended up securing Jason from Denver as our booking agent. Jason worked at the venue that we played in Denver. Jason loved us and really saw the potential in us. He fell in love with us from our picture on our tour posters. The tour sort of sucked because we were all only teenagers so we couldn’t go inside any of the clubs until it was time to hit the stage. We would do crazy things on our days off like call up indie record stores and ask if we could play their store. They would say , “sure come on down” !. Of course they would never have mic stands so we would use a broom and tape a mic to the handle and tape the broom handle to a chair and that would suffice. I remember one record store in Myrtle Beach South Carolina let us set up our gear and broom stick and play right in front of their record store. It was awesome!. The coolest guy ran that record store. His name was Michael from a band called Something About Vampires and Sluts. They are a great band . I remember for our winter and spring tours we would use Richie’s grant money to support the tours. We would always sell tons of merch on these tours because everyone wanted to buy our homemade cd and if they didn’t want our homemade cd we would force them to buy one anyway. This was before downloading so we were still able to make a pretty good living on the road. We would spend all our money we made from selling our cd’s and go to every record store in every city in America buying as much vinyl as possible. That is when our record collections grew to astronomical proportions. I must say the only person that we have seen that can beat our collection is Pelle Almquist from the Hives. This has become our new goal, since beating the Ramones touring record we now would like to own as many records as Pelle has in his library.

Oh and please if you are anywhere near Louisianna, Texas, or Oklahoma check the Toadies tour schedule and get to their shows.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Life Is Good

We tour and we tour for long periods of time. We toured for 6 years without even having a booking agent. We actually had a really cool booking agent in the early years. His name was Jason Cotter and he worked for Toast. Things went south when we took him on for a spring tour as our tour manager. That was a really bad move because no matter what we always end up destroying our tour managers. By the time we finish with our tour managers they are just shells of their former selves. Jason didn't book us for much longer after that tour. Anyway we are getting off track here. We tour for long periods of time and this photo of Will represents our last day of one of our very long tours. Our tour manager had finally had enough of us and the last day of tour he tried to take out our guitar player with another stop at Arby's. Will became incredibly sick and was vomiting all night. This was a drag because it was our last night of tour and Will was excited to go to the strippers club in Atlanta. Will was sick but he wasn't about to miss the Clerment lounge with the 72 year old strippers. That night got a little rough. Our tour manager tried to take out our drummer and manager by dropping them off at a crack hotel connected to the strip club. Anyway that is for a different blog. This blog is to focus on what is going on in this photo. Will has recovered from this tour and this trip to Arby’s. He has even been on one more tour since this tour without even one trip to Arby’s. Will is back in school and studying French at a very nice school in New York City. Will lives in Brooklyn and rides his skateboard up and down the streets of Williamsburg frequently running into Jessica hipstering around town. Will eats organic food when he gets the chance. Life is good.

Monday, September 21, 2009


We are thinking about playing CMJ since we will be in New York City.
We prefer to usually sit this one out. SXSW is always fun to play but for some reason CMJ always feels so clinical. CMJ just doesn't work, it lacks the vibe of SXSW. SXSW is Disneyland for the music industry and for the bands. CMJ is too spread out to really be fun. We had one good showcase which was pretty fun when we played with Mooney Suzuki at Rebel. That was a good showcase. The other years they stuck us out at South Paw to fend for ourselves. We are putting together our own festival over Thanksgiving weekend in New York called The Hex Fest. Actually Richie is putting together the festival. It is an ambitious task he has taken on but we think it is going to be really cool. The festival will involve 3 clubs on the lower and lots of nice people we have met over the years in the music industry. Festivals should be festive. Some of the best shows ever have been put on over Thanksgiving weekend such as The Last Waltz. We are going to think of the Hex Fest as the First Waltz.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Thinking outloud

We started The Willowz in 2002 or something like that maybe 2003- who remembers because when you spend your whole life touring one day goes into the next and one month goes into the next and the years start rolling into one long year. Even though we are still technically kids we are not really. Because rock n roll years measure differently then normal peoples years. So we are actually older than the other people our age. We are actually older than the rock n rollers that are our age. We were on the cusp of when playing music was still playing music to play music and when playing music became something different. When we first started playing music everyone told us to drop out of school and tour. We dropped out of college to play music and tour. We didn't realize that the whole music industry was going to shut down. We didn't realize that all the magazines would fold. The new rockers of today that are our age stayed in school got their degrees and are now playing music. We skipped college dropped out of school and toured relentlessly for 5 years. Are we any better for it? No! Now to play music you have to have a college education preferably an ivy league education. We grew up in music families. Being from a music family is like belonging to the circus. You travel from town to town and everyone in your family is a freak. Don't get us wrong we are happy to have had the backgrounds we have and we love to play music. We are song people and that's what we do.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Oct 6 Oct 22 Nov10 Nov17

What do these dates all have in common? Each of these dates have been our official release date. We the Willowz do firmly believe that our record is actually coming out on November 17th. Our record company has had to move our release date several times for several various reasons beyond their control. We were told along time ago about a syndrome called "Indie Hell". We were warned about this "Indie Hell" before we ever put out our first record. We experienced this syndrome a little bit on our first record back in 2004 but this is different. Our first record on Dionysus took an extra year to come out but that was really our choice. We couldn't make up our mind as to sign with a big label or keep the publishing and go with the small label. We kept our publishing and went with the small label which was a good choice. We believe that we could be in "indie hell". Sometimes you just get lost in the black hole. If you have never felt what this feels like you can imagine it if you close your eyes and imagine the tornado scene from the Wizard Of Oz. We are going with the flow and just assuming this is part of the whole record industry falling apartthat we keep reading about in the papers. It is actually kind of fun. We love Steve Aoki, Dim Mak Records and everyone that is working so hard for our record and to keep this industry alive.
Anyway we believe our record will be in the stores November 17th.You can download our single at RCRD LBL Also please look for our track on the new Tony Hawk Rides. This video game will have a motion sensing skateboard.