1. How would you characterize your music?
W: Part electric – guitars, drums, noises, part folk – vocals, lyrics, melodies, part blues – the soul… And the rawness. If it were a person it’d be a boy somewhere in the woods singing out his soul to the trees, hoping someone somewhere is listening!
2: What is one early music experience that made a deep impression on you//made you rethink what music can sound like//has helped shape the music you make today?
W: Age three, rolling around on the floor with my brother, listening to “Foxey Lady” and pretending to be foxes. I remember thinking that the chords sounded amazing… And later realising those were blues chords that I loved so much.
3. What is usually your process when creating//writing a new song?
W: For a good song – start with a musical idea and then find/match some lyrics to it and work with it. Different kind of songs, I’ll write some lyrics then try to find a melody/chords for them. The best or truest kinds of songs come all at once in full, lyrics and music – I’ll play into a recorder the whole thing off the top of my head, then, having forgotten everything I just played, listen back to it and learn it. Sometimes I’ll not be able to work out one word or something because it’s mumbled and that will drive me off a cliff.
4. Where can we find your music//what have you done to make your music available?
W: I’m currently only on soundcloud.com/willadlard, but soon (so soon!) there’ll be an EP out on bandcamp for free/whatever you feel like paying so keep your eyes open!
5. What is a recent musician//band//music that you are excited about?
W: I discovered Nils Frahm yesterday and he’s just brilliant. Mainly piano, some synths and other keyboards in there too. But the whole album “Screws” is amazing, just piano songs. It reminds me of Grieg, whom I love.
6. How would you describe the music climate in your home when you were a child?
W: Abundant! My dad was always and is still a full on blues musician so I learned a lot from him. We were even in a band together! My mum also played guitar and sang growing up, so there was always music happening. I only got into singing and songwriting later though… Originally it was just music, all kinds. My favourite piece when I was really young was Beethoven’s romance no. 2 in F Major…
7. Is style//image important to you and if so what//who do you consider cool in music?
W: I think I’m old enough to realize now that that stuff just doesn’t matter… I’d make a distinction between what’s cool and what’s fashionable. Trends come and go… Like “normcore”. But what’s cool is doing what you do in an authentic way. I guess I used to think people who became famous young were cool. Now I think Son House is cool because he worked as a railroad porter for 16 years AFTER he made his early recordings… It’s like being humble, or not being above anything. Real people aren’t above anything!
8. What song do you want playing at your funeral?
W: I’d have “Steal Away”, the way Dorothy Maynor does it, sung by someone close to me. It would be tearsome… But that’s the way it is.
9. Why music and why do you make it?
W: Why anything? I do it because it’s the only thing I really want to do. I think about the guys who design mobile phones… I can’t even imagine how you would ever even BEGIN to build just one chip in a mobile phone. But to them it’s easy… Or, at least, they understand it. It’s the same with me and music… There are some things I find easy about music which other people don’t. I think it’s those things which mean I just get it, and I want to do it. It’s like Krishna’s telling Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita to fight because it is what he is designed to do, therefore it is his duty to do so. It’s the same with me and music!
10. If I should listen to one undiscovered musician//song today who//what should I check out?
W: Bozie Sturdivant’s recording of “Ain’t No Grave Can Hold My Body Down”. One of just a handful of recordings he made for Alan Lomax in the 40’s. Just amazing sound… And the backing singers – the “Silent Grove Baptist Church Congregation” sound like Bill Landford’s “shuffle of angel’s feet”.
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