StealingLucky is a modern country and rock’n’roll storyteller known for songs based on human nature, drawing from true life experiences, and creating a mix of semi-serious and fun tunes. Having performed live in cover bands for 30 years, StealingLucky honed his craft and developed a unique style telling deeply relatable stories, touching on themes like love, loss, and the struggles of everyday life. Recently StealingLucky has taken his music to Spotify, making it accessible to a wider audience. Fans appreciate his music that is both entertaining and thought-provoking. With a growing fanbase and a strong commitment to his craft, StealingLucky is an artist to watch in the world of modern country music
Published on 04/19/2023
Today we are lucky, StealingLucky took a moment out of his busy schedule this month to chat with Colin and Anna from MX-Fusion:
(mXf//Colin) Okay, awesome. So yeah, my name is Colin, I’m founder of MX-Fusion. We’re small. We’re not, you know, not huge yet. We started with an app. And then we kind of got into indie musicians, and we’re trying to, you know, work with them and do cross promotions so that we can, I mean, we love you indie music. And then we also want to try to promote our app and do some other things in the future.
I looked online, I didn’t find a lot about you, I listened to some more of your music, you know, Spotify and whatnot. But I wasn’t able to find an Instagram or anything like that. And I was wondering if you wouldn’t mind just an intro, like, start to share a little bit about yourself. And then I’ll get into like, some more questions. And I’m curious about a lot of things.
(Will) Yeah, I do have an Instagram. I have a Twitter, I have an Instagram. I have a Facebook. There’s so many Dang, platforms any more that you you seem to have to be on? Yes. And yeah, in all honesty, sometimes, whenever. I have to do all of that stuff. And of course, I do work full time as well. So it can, it can get to be kind of overbear overwhelming sometimes.
(mXf//Colin) And how that is yes.
(Will) Yeah. Let me see here, though. But my Instagram is actually just stealing lucky underscore will underscore. Oops, hang on a second.
(mXf//Anna) Nope, stop.
(Will) Stop doing that. Is just stealing lucky underscore will underscore Barnes my name. Oh, nice. Okay. Yeah. So I didn’t like that, because I didn’t used to use the Instagram for much of anything. I just used it for kind of friends and pictures stuff. You know, I’m a big cat fan. I love cats.
(mXf//Colin) Oh, cool. Okay.
(Will) Like literally, my whole Instagram feed is all cats.
(mXf//Colin) Oh, that’s great. I think nothing is more popular on the internet than cat videos. Yeah,
(Will) I don’t think you can go wrong with cat videos. In fact, at sometimes I post little reels and stuff. And I think they get viewed more than my music does substantial.
(mXf//Colin) Awesome. And it looks like no, that’s great. It looks like Anna joined. So I’ll give her a minute to introduce herself. She’s one of our lead. You know, artists managers, as he does a lot of social media promotion. She focused a lot on Twitter. She was having internet problems earlier today. So let’s see if her connection is okay.
(mXf//Anna) Yes. I mean, pleasure to meet you. Hi, there. Hello. I was calling your Facebook. Today, I will try to find more info about you. I like your music very much. And I felt I thought something interesting on your Facebook, like, wanted to ask you actually a question about something that is also for me personally very important. I saw that your your song was blocked for hate speech? Actually, I agree with you.
(Will) Well, that was that’s kind of funny that they did that. And the they did it two ways. The first way they did it is on the Righteous County song that I released. I had the the first image is a guy sitting there with a cigarette in his mouth. And that’s the actual guy, that’s my friend and my guitar player who whose vocals are on that track. And so I wanted to I wanted to kind of commemorate him, you know, so I wanted to put a picture of him with that track. And then they let me they let me upload the picture. But then, when I tried to boost it for ads, you know, for advertisement, they wouldn’t let me boost it. And their reasoning was it promoted bad behavior or something it was the cigarette, oh, it promoted tobacco products or something. And, but I really love the picture because it’s if you knew Justin, you, you would get it fits him. I mean, that’s just that’s just how he looks, you know. And, but and then the next time that they did it, a friend of mine sent me a message and he says, You know what, and I believe it was the might have even been the harmonica player that I used on that track. But he sent me a message and said, You know what I tried to I wrote he was glad to be one of the white trash refugees or something. And he said they, they blocked it, they removed it for hate speech. And I said, Are you kidding? And he goes no. And so I thought I thought seemed a little absurd. I thought maybe it was just like a one off. You know, and because I don’t think I’ve ever been blocked for anything. I’m kind of just You know, it’s really more entertainment for me, it’s not some place I go to have problems, you know, but so I thought I’d give it a try and see what happens. And so I wrote it out. And because that’s the, that’s the opening line to that song is, you know, the white trash refugees. And sure enough, it blocked it a little bit later, it took a little bit of time, but then it, it squashed it right down. And I thought I thought that was kind of odd. And then I asked, I asked my friends try to write that and see if it if it’s actually blocking they did. And sure enough, it blocked it. And it’s kind of one of those funny things where they don’t even give you the, the opportunity to put it in context. They just kind of assign a blanket logic to it all. And then just shut it down, which I find absurd. I mean, every everything you see, or here’s got contacts, if you give it a chance, you know. I did, I did think that was a little bit odd. And they’ve never done that to anything else I’ve ever done on there. But for whatever reason, they decided to do it to that. So. So I made sure that whenever I uploaded the new image, it’s a screenshot of one of the screenshot of one of the still images from the actual video itself. And it’s just a cartoon drawn image, you know, or just a hand drawn, simple, simple image. And so I thought, well, I don’t think I can take that down. But, you know, they could prove me wrong. I don’t know.
(mXf//Colin) Yeah, let’s hope not. I mean, that’s pretty crazy. It’s weird what they pick up to, and then there’s other stuff that I think is a lot worse and gets out there. But I won’t go too down that rabbit hole.
(Will) Yeah, you know, the worst thing is, is that they won’t even let you plead your case. They just kind of assign this, you know, kind of arbitrary standard to everything. And, and there’s so much that can fall under that umbrella without context. And I guess they’re happy with it. I mean, it seems to work for him. But it does. does get kind of aggravating on this end of it, you know, for creators.
(mXf//Colin) Absolutely. Yes. Yeah.
(Will) But other than that, there shouldn’t be anything there that I don’t think there’s a single thing other than that one time on that on that track. Yeah. I mean, most of the most of the stuff i i put out there is literally all life experience stuff. You know, it’s it’s not taking shots at anybody. Usually, if I’m doing anything, it’s kind of self deprecating, you know, because I think you got to have a good sense of humor about yourself, and you got to be able to, you know, be able to laugh at yourself. And I’m pretty good at doing that. So
(mXf//Colin) I think it’s really relatable, though. Like, I like the song gorgeous. And I feel like there’s that kind of a theme in there. But it’s like, really, you know, it’s very natural. And I think a lot of people can relate to that kind of a story. You know, we all go through them.
(Will) That one, yeah, that one’s pretty fun. I tried to make that one as fun as possible. I seem to do, I seem to do like, one or two, you know, kind of semi serious songs, but then I gotta get my humor. And on the next two, we can help.
(mXf//Colin) No, Nice. That’s awesome. Like, when it because if I understand you do the songwriting yourself, right. Is that correct? Correct. Yeah. Awesome. And do you like do you start with an idea with with a poem? Or do you start with music like a like a riff, and then you fill it in with the lyrics?
(Will) Sometimes, sometimes both ways. I do tend to kind of be heavy on the lyrics. And though I’m more of kind of a storyteller, always kind of fancied myself kind of a rock’n’roll storyteller. Just because of the subject matter. Usually, it’s, it’s kind of out there a little bit for some people, but I do tend to start there and and if it turns into a track, it’s because I can’t get it out of my head. And it’s kind of a therapy for me. Yeah. Put it out there like that. And then once it’s out of my head, I’m on to the next one. So
(mXf//Colin) cool, cool. And the instruments do you do you play all the instruments yourself? Or you mentioned you had a guitar player?
(Will) No, I don’t there was a time when I would do a lot of that myself. But I got to a point where you know, I realized it’s the same guy doing all this and so I think that tends to come through and in the track when you listen to it. It’s only one interpretation basically. So I That’s my opinion, because obviously on the inside looking out, that’s how I think the outside looking in, sees it or hears it is the same way I do and and and some people are super, super good at doing that, where, you know, they could probably do a full LP and you would never know that, that it was just them. And kudos to them. I’m unfortunately not that guy. So I do rely on other people to come in, even if I’m writing the parts out, I’m relying on their interpretation of them. Just you know, everybody’s got a different feel, they kind of occupy a different, you know, rhythm space, even though it’s still on track, it’s still in line. It just, it just, you know, creates that different voice that I just can’t, you know, organically create myself, I have to have that input. I do work with a producer in Vancouver, or excuse me in Camus. I live in Portland, Oregon, but so he’s just across the river in Washington, Super Multi instrumentalist, talented guy, super, super talented guy. And I gotta give him a lot of credit, a lot of the times it’s just me and him in the studio, making those tracks gorgeous was 100%. Me and him. Nobody else. Yeah, nobody else in the room. But he’s way, way, way more instrumentally talented than I am definitely by far.
(mXf//Colin) And just so he was playing like the guitar and drums. Oh,
(Will) yeah. Yeah, yeah, I did. Yeah, he did the guitar and the drums on that I did the, the, I did all of those rhythm guitars that you hear in there. And of course, I do all the vocals on them. And the bass, I’m doing that one on that track, but he’s doing like the lead is him. The synthesizer the synth that you here in there as him, you know, super talented guy, I was a little disappointed in the when I finally when I did release that one, I had it mastered by a kind of a local legend here, who’s been mastering for I think decades, I think he, I think he did a lot of mastering back in the 80s and 90s for like Sony Records and stuff, but I hadn’t, I hadn’t do this one. And I was really excited to have it done by hand. But then when I, you know, I don’t know about you guys, but everybody’s listening on so many different devices. At this point that I don’t know, if you can actually, you know, Master, you know, like you used to, you know, we used to have a few main formats, you know, we had, obviously record, you know, vinyl, and then, you know, eight tracks and cassettes. And other than that, then the CD came along. But other than that, the radio station played everything else after that. So you really only had to master for, you know, these basic formats, whereas now, you know, I listened to the majority of stuff I listened to on my phone and on my car. So a lot of times when we’re doing mix downs and mastering, we’re bumping it over to one of our devices or several of our devices and listening to it out of those because we know, some, you know, vast majority of the of the people are going to hear it in that space. So
(mXf//Colin) yeah, that’s how I listen do you do you try to target a platform because I’ve seen like, Spotify sometimes get some criticism because their quality is supposedly not as good title has gotten some like, you know, popularity because they’re focused on quality, but they haven’t blown up as much as Spotify did.
(Will) So I know that you know, whenever I use, I use a couple of different distributors, I use CD Baby and distro kid. And, and both of those, you can add on, you know, a kind of normalization to the track. And I did that on another one that I released last year called make rain. I decided I would try that normalization to see if that would help. And then whenever the final product was fully uploaded on the platforms, I listened to it, I’m like, Oh, that’s terrible. You know, it took for some reason, whatever their you know, whatever their mastering application or program is it identified certain frequencies and just really pumped them up. So that they were really out of scale with the rest of the frequency. So like there’s a there’s a little spot in the bridge where all the sudden the backup voices are just screeching through. And, you know, it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s really hard because once that’s out there, it’s out there, it’s very difficult to undo, you know, see end up you know, just kind of living with it. And so I’m a it’s a learning process for me to you know, live and learn In the righteous County, the pool Yeah. And we did all the mixing together, just me and him. And we did all the mastering together. And I, it’s, in my opinion, the single best sounding track that I’ve been able to put out. And of course, I’m always on a I’m on I’m on a really tight budget, you know, I’m, I’m self funded 100% self funded, I have no label, I have no label funding or anything else like that, which is okay, just means my learning curves a little steeper.
(mXf//Colin) yeah, no, that’s awesome. And I think that makes it even more impressive like that I noticed your track. And maybe it was a producer you were talking about, but the quality like the production quality is really good.
(mXf//Anna) Sorry. It wasn’t actually to say the same that I realized the quality and like the taste in all of those tracks. And I wanted to ask you basically have your inspirations. I don’t know if if calling asked about that before, but I wanted to ask you about your favorite artists about maybe inspirations in other places of art and music, but mostly about your favorite kind of stuff.
(Will) So I think that I always tend to gravitate towards storytellers. I’ve always enjoyed storyteller type musicians. I grew up in a in a country music household where everything has a has a storyline. It’s you know, there’s no you didn’t start to get these really random lyrics until you until you got to like Louie Louie and stuff like that. But in the country, genre, it pretty much dog truck, wife, divorce, dog lost job now drunk, you know? That’s pretty much the format. But so I’ve always I’ve always really dug good artists who were really good storytellers. I love to Billy Joel, I, you know, I can still listen to anything Billy Joel writes, because I can visualize it so clearly in my head. You know, what’s that, you know, the theme from the Italian restaurant? I can. I mean, I can still totally visualize every aspect of that. And, and even lyricist like Ozzy Osbourne, you know, he’s really good at painting a picture with those words. Jeez, there’s just, there’s a lot of people that are you know, Imagine Dragons. I, I listen to those guys, too. And they can, I mean, I just have such clear images in my head of what they’re saying. And, and for whatever reason, that really resonates with me. And of course, I like to that’s my that’s my writing style as well. I like to tell the story so. So I would guys like those, you know, folks like those. I love Sia. I don’t know if you ever listen to Sia. Yes. Yeah. Absolutely. Love see. When I listened to her, it’s, it’s it’s almost like a teleporter it takes me right there, you know, to the, to the scene, you know. But I do tend to be kind of all over the charts. As far as that stuff goes, sometimes something I just hear and for whatever reason, I was listening to this old Don Williams song, you know, that I latched on to. And it’s kind of a kind of a corny song, a goofy song, but the story in it is just awesome. So definitely that.
(mXf//Colin) Oh, that’s great. I like the story part. That’s awesome. And I see that in your music as well.
(Will) Yeah, the the righteous county song I wrote, inspired by my big brother. We grew up extremely poor. I mean, really, really poor, in a really small town. And, you know, I think as a byproduct of poverty, and maybe a little bit of desperation, you start doing things you wouldn’t ordinarily be doing, you know, getting in trouble and stuff like that. And so my brother, of course, started getting into trouble a lot. And then I started getting into trouble. And I found that once you kind of got into that loop, it was really hard to get out of it. And especially, you know, when you start getting started having run ins with the police in a small town, you are forever on the radar, you know, nothing, nothing major, just stupid kid stuff, you know, but so that’s why I wrote that, you know, the white trash refugees. That’s kind of what we are because we’re both professionals in the working world. And you know, we’ve done okay for ourselves. We’ve obviously taken different paths than the one we were going down back then.
(mXf//Colin) That’s awesome. Is your brother into music at all?
(Will) No, no, my big brother is not I think in my whole family. My older sister took to it a little bit. But none of the none of my mother, my younger brother, or my older brother ever did. I always did. Just because I have real strong connection with my mom and my mom was, you know, she actually would sit down with me at 12 years old and teach me guitar chords and, and teach me things.
(mXf//Colin) That’s cool. I was gonna ask you when you got started, so you got started at a young age. And that’s great. And a lot of people start and stop or don’t stick to it. So that’s really cool that, you know, he stuck with it. And this made a difference.
(Will) Yeah, I mean, I’m an old guy now. And, and some people, you know, you know, like, younger people, you know, my, my children are grown and, and sometimes, I think sometimes I embarrassed them with some of my videos and my music and stuff. And they’re like, what, why do you still do this dad? I’m like, what else am I going to do? You know, if you can’t do something, if you can’t do anything, do something, you know. I’m also compelled to do it, I just, I chronically do it. And I have for, you know, 30 years where I just, I’ve always got it rattling around in my head. And, and, and the therapy is to put it down in on paper and then put it down on tape or digital, you know, so.
(mXf//Colin) Yeah, for sure.
(Will) And it’s therapist.
(mXf//Colin) Yeah, I think probably, I don’t drink too much my own but I think more effective to feeling a lot better. So that’s great. And you know, what also actually is good. It’s other people too, right? Because you put that out there and people it resonates, you know, there’s a lot of, you know, human condition is common shared. And so I appreciate, you know, artists like you musicians, because there’s a vulnerability to right, like these are your real stories or your life that you’ve learned and sharing with everybody. So I think that’s awesome.
(Will) Thank you. Yeah. You know, another endless source of material is that I played you know, live for gosh, you know, 30 years of, of playing in bars and nightclubs and and honky tonks and casinos and wedding receptions and corporate parties and stuff like that and nothing will give you more material than watching audiences night after night after night after night. That’s where the gorgeous song comes from is watching those watching. Yeah, watching those drunk guys and ours who you can I get always almost set my watch for when the fights would start breaking out based on watching people striking out over and over and over again yes, and when they when they realize the the their impending fate is going home alone that’s when the fights always started. So but so I was that that video that’s why I wanted to do it like that was just to be that you know the kind of that douchebag that just doesn’t take no for an answer. And then in the end thing thing, but he’s still lost again. Yeah.
(mXf//Anna) Do you have a shout out to you remember for something the mall stereo favorite one.
(Will) Um, well out here in the Pacific Northwest, I really liked playing some of the festivals. You know, the Rose Festival we used to have in the in the 90s we had a lot of cooler outside festivals than we do now. Of course, we’re not a lot of people even like to go downtown anymore. I don’t play shows downtown anymore. But I like I like those festivals like our quake and the buy and the Rose Festival. Where you know, you’re you play on really huge stages. You don’t have to play for you know, if you’re playing in cover gigs like I did for years, you’re playing four, sometimes five hours a night. So on on these, you only have to do you know 45 minutes or an hour and 15 or whatever your slot is. And in and it’s a it my experience is that it’s always a pretty receptive audience. It’s a fun audience. I used to play in a Celtic Rock Band years ago, and some of the funnest shows I played. We’re in that Celtic band. For some reason, you know, that kind of music would just really people have a lot of fun to it and Of course, we were always a smash hit around St. Patrick’s Day, but oh, yeah, yeah. And we, and actually in that group, we opened for a band called the commitments. And the commitments were a movie, it was a movie called the commitments in the 80s. And they were like this Irish soul blues band. It’s kind of a cool movie, but
(mXf//Colin) I’ve not seen it. I think I’d heard about it, but I had not seen it.
(Will) Yeah. Yeah. And that was, that was a lot of fun doing. I like those, those shows like that, where you’re where you’re opening up for the, you know, for obviously, a established, you know, act. Cuz usually you had a good audience, a good built in audience, if you didn’t completely screw it up would be a lot of fun. And, you know, memorable for you. So, really?
(mXf//Colin) Cool. Do you have a dream venue? I mean, like, maybe it’s just that those festivals coming back? Or is there something like any travel you’ve ever wanted to do?
(Will) Um, well, you know, I grew up in a kid in the 80s. And so you saw these metal bands, playing arenas, and coliseums and stuff like that. And playing those stages was, you know, because playing the festivals, you’re playing those really big stages like that is really, really enjoyable. But if I could pick a place that I would love to go play, it would be red rocks in Colorado. I grew up out there. So I when I was a kid, I’d save up money to buy concert tickets to go see, you know, Stevie Nicks, and Peter Frampton, and Prince, you know, Prince and the revolution. And yeah, just those really cool groups. But it’s such a cool setting over there. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen pictures of it. But it is just really a neat outdoor amphitheater.
(mXf//Anna) Yeah, I self yourself, you pictures and also like, there’s cool artists that were there. I mean, even even recently that we’re playing. Yeah. Yeah. Dream. space for you.
(Will) So cool. It’s still Yeah, it’s still a super, super popular place to play. For most artists, I think that I think that some artists would probably have to avoid it, you know, like, like, maybe like Taylor Swift and stuff where their draw is just so huge. That I don’t know if they would fit there. I mean, I know it’s several 1000 seats in the amphitheater, but I’m not sure if they, if they would book places like that just because they draw so heavily, you know, like pink, but they also have pretty elaborate stage shows. You probably need some trusses and stuff like that in a in a Coliseum. So
(mXf//Colin) Yeah, yeah, pink does some pretty crazy stuff wise.
(Will) I’d love to see I’ve never seen her live but I’d definitely love to see pink.
(mXf//Colin) Yeah, I haven’t either. But but I’m with you. Yeah. Cool. And and one thing I have to ask pivoting a little bit is stealing Luckey What is the story behind that name?
(Will) I I’m I just made up that name. At the time I made it up. The like the reality TV shows like the Kardashians and stuff like my daughter’s used to watch this one show called The hills or something to that effect. But the name stems from watching all of these basically a bunch of people acting like brats, you know, acting like brass and I thought I’d like to whatever however they got so lucky I’d like to be able to steal it and not act like a jerk.
(mXf//Colin) Yeah, for sir. Oh, that’s cool. Yeah, I’m with you too. I wouldn’t mind doing that either.
(Will) In that title in that title track that I released on that on that on the stealing lucky EP The title song I got that one line in there. Someone called the president Paris Hilton had a movement, you know, that comes from just these these these people that it just seems like no matter what they do, you know, the stars seem to always align for them and and, and they just seem to get away with with, you know, just such atrocious things yet. They still do quite well. So it might be contrived. I don’t know. It could be.
(mXf//Colin) No, no, it’s good. I like it. And it is interesting to me sometimes seems to me like the more crazy they do then the more attention I won’t understand it, but that’s okay. Yeah. So Awesome, okay. And you know, I didn’t realize you’ve been doing this for so long, it’s pretty amazing and storied history, the live performances over the years, like, what do you find is the hardest part about doing music?
(Will) Well, there’s always the bitter pill of rejection, you know, rejection, it’s, it’s so funny, I did, I did boost a post sometime back. I got off Facebook for many years, just because it just seemed to be an outlet for people to, to just kind of, you know, complain and, and scream, look at me look at me as they complain, you know, and at any rate, I just left a really bad taste in my mouth. And so I got off it for a long time, but then I got back on. Because like, you know, my producer, and then, you know, like, another buddy of mine has has a as a TV show. And he was like, listen, I know, all the reasons you don’t like it. But if you’re, if you’re trying to get your music out there, unfortunately, it’s kind of a necessary evil in the modern world that you’ve got to, you’ve got to kind of partake in it and make the best of it. And then they were right, so I got back on. And I put, I did one of the boosts might, you know, they were, you know, try to boost it, that way, you can increase the reach beyond your own base. And so I did that, well, then, I started seeing just these, you know, like, really crude emojis and stuff popping up in my, like, my inbox. And, and one this one gal, she was just vicious. And that and that was in direct message to me. And so I just thought, I don’t really know how that how that you know, how that, that that works? How how it populates people’s feeds, or, or if it’s just an ad on the side or something I you know, I didn’t, I’m still honestly not sure sometimes, how they how that stuff is put in there. But at any rate, I just thought, Oh, the nice thing to do would be to write back and say I apologize, I I’m not, I’m I’m new to boosting like this. I’ve never, never done it before, or at least if I had it might have been eight years ago or nine years ago. And I don’t recall that. So I wrote back and said, I apologize. I didn’t, I didn’t realize it was like, like cramming itself intrusively into your feed where you couldn’t get rid of it or something, you know. And she wrote me back after that. Just cussing me out for writing her back. Yeah, and then at the end, her last line is and by the way, your band sucks. So I save that and I still have it on my phone. I look at it when I when I need motivation. I just pop that up and look at it.
(mXf//Colin) Good for you, man. It’s always easy to be the critic and the artist.
(Will) Well, well then, you know, I called my I called my, my buddy. And I’m like, why are they getting so mad at me? He goes, I really don’t know. They can just click a button and it goes away. And I survived kind of what I thought would happen but apparently, I don’t know. Maybe it gets anchored into their, their storyline and they can’t get it out or something so
(mXf//Anna) that currently like people get very easily offended. Basically anything. It’s really so easy right now to offend somebody.
(Will) Yeah. Well, you know what, ironically, the song that I boosted was my song called stones.
(mXf//Colin) Yeah, I like that one.
(Will) Thank you. I wrote that. I actually wrote that for my friend Todd. Todd Hoffman. He’s the he’s the originator of a gold rush TV shows. And he has a new series right now on Discovery. Hoffman family gold. So those are that reality gold mining shows, you know? So he called me one time when I was in Idaho. I was over there for work. And I was talking to him and he was talking about these people that would just go online just to bash him. You know, just to run him down and stuff and and I thought, Well, geez, that seems awfully crazy. I can’t believe anybody’s got that kind of time. You know, what this is, this is what people do. So at any rate, so the that that was last season that we watched the, you know, the premiere episode, we go over to his place and watch it and and then I went back home and I was sitting there just kind of scrolling through the comments, you know, the feedback to the to the new show, and sure enough, they’re they’re just bashing him or just bashing him and so on. Oh, I wrote that track. And I after I wrote it, and I cut a demo of it, and I said, Hey, Todd, I, we me and Todd did a music project before, too. We did a rerelease of one of my, one of the older songs that I wrote. But so I called him up and I said, Hey, I wrote this, I wrote this track just for you, if you want to sing it, you can sing it, you know. And he didn’t have time he was up back up in Alaska, again, doing filming and everything, and I get impatient whenever written something, I got to get it down and get it out of my head and move on, you know. So that’s that I wrote that, but ironically, the that was the song that That lady was bash was chewing me out for. And I thought, I thought, Oh, I wished you had done this, like, like two months ago, because I did. screen captures in that video, you’ll see some screen captures of people, you know, saying horrible things about another person, you know? I’m like, Oh, that would have been so perfect. If you’ve just done that two months ago, because I could have grabbed those into the video.
(mXf//Colin) Yeah. Do you put your videos on YouTube? Or where do you where do you publish those.
(Will) So I’m distro kid, I used to do them myself. But you can’t I can’t put videos directly to to iTunes video or to vivo or to title that that I can figure out. So distro kid does offer a service where they’ll upload you to distro vid and they’ll also upload to YouTube, vivo and all the rest of those video platforms. So with a click of a button, they they take care of all of that for me. So it’s super handy, very handy. You know, you know, when you’re trying to put stuff out there, you I’ve spent a lot of time scratching my head going, how do you get it out there how to without a label? You know, without any support like that? How do you get the stuff out there? And, and, and so I you know, of course I’d get on the get on the internet machine and start searching to figure out how and like vivo won’t accept anything if it’s not coming from a publisher or label. So. So that was the workaround?
(mXf//Colin) No, that’s good. I was just curious, because I, you know, relating back to what you were talking earlier about people consuming on phone. I I do a lot of my phone and Spotify. And I think Spotify is the big one apple music too. I was curious if you see like, Do people still gravitate toward videos? Or are people more interested in audio only these days?
(Will) Well, so I get, you know, I get streaming reports. So I, if I if I look at the streaming reports, and I compare those to like video counts, I think the streaming reports are typically about 30% Higher. As far as plays go, that one track that I did release with my friend Todd. It’s but that one’s the inverse that one’s view count is in is kind of it’s in the 10s of 1000s. But its stream count is like around 10,000. So
(mXf//Colin) is that stones you’re talking about
(Will) are different? No, that song is called state of mind.
(mXf//Colin) Oh, okay. Yeah, I did find you talked about falling asleep and can’t can’t get her out of my head. I’m paraphrasing. So probably let me know.
(Will) You’re on track. You can you can find that one under Todd Hoffman. And we’ll Barnes we released that one on his name. Okay, but it’s a really cool video, it was really fun to make and we did a we worked really hard on the production for it to the sound is really good. And we added all the stuff that I wanted to add on the original that didn’t I just couldn’t afford, you know, so nice. But it sounds beautiful. We have electric violin on it. And we had a really good producer was just another really super talented guy with an with a really good ear, you know?
(mXf//Colin) Sweet Okay, that’s awesome, dude. Yeah. And so it’s interesting you’re collaborating with all these different folks and then do you think about your music like as individual songs or do you think about putting ever putting into like a like an album? And it’s kind of a two part question because I’ve been curious like past couple months do albums even really play a part anymore? Like when I was a kid, I think you and I might be close to same age. So I remember when it was you know, vinyl and then CDs, but it was always about album. But now it seems the track is more big deal but I still do see LPS come out like what are your thoughts around that?
(Will) So I yeah, I share I share that same Um, you know, that same bit of confusion over which way to go the I, I would, I think I would like to do, you know, like a full album release a full album, but only only kind of if it’s just pressed in vinyl and purchased that way, you know, I think that the market is such that everybody kind of anchors in in singles, you know, in single releases, and for me financially, it’s way, it’s way more cost effective to release singles. Because I, I can’t remember the last time somebody said, Yeah, I just bought the new, you know, the new Taylor Swift album. You know,
(mXf//Colin) I have a history in the song. Yeah, you’re totally right.
(Will) Yeah. And why should they, you know, they, they’re not, there’s no motivation for them to unless there’s something special or commemorative about it. Otherwise, iTunes, Spotify, just select the ones they like, and, you know, I remember, you know, when you ever I’ll be out there a little bit. Yeah. But I remember whenever I used to go buy those, and you’d end up buying the whole thing for one track. That’s really,
(mXf//Colin) yeah, that’s how it was when I was a kid, for sure. And then
(Will) you’d be like, dang it. wished I could have just bought that one track. But, yeah. So. So I don’t know, I think if you’ve got the, if you’ve got the cloud and you’ve got the pole, then absolutely, I don’t see any problem with putting on, you know, putting out full albums. Or obviously, if you’re on a label, they still kind of demand. You know, you put x num X amount of music out for them. Oh, that’s a good point. So I’m not on label. I’m not controlled by an a&r guy, I can kind of just go whatever direction I feel like when the wind takes me, you know,
(mXf//Colin) that’s great. No, I like I like the independent spirit. And like you’re saying, you know, are your artist your artists, artistic? creative art is not influenced? That’s awesome. Yeah. Do you? Are you thinking about doing more live stuff, especially now, you know, post pandemic, and maybe not what it used to be, but it’s, it’s, it’s coming back?
(Will) Yeah, it is coming back. I, you know, I did, you know, up to up to when COVID hit for, you know, for our region. You know, I was booked a year out in advance. And then when COVID hit, I just sat there. Yeah, and I watched one show after the next, cancel, cancel, cancel, cancel, cancel. And I honestly got just really depressed. really got into a funk. And just kind of thought, well, I can’t, I can’t play shows. So I’m just going to try to be as constructive with you know, the time as I can. And so I just started going back into the studios and doing you know, just a bunch of studio work to get kind of a backlog of material, you know, down and recorded. And, and so yeah, I’m kind of at that point now, where were looking, you know, back at doing some club dates and stuff like that are definitely on the table again, so
(mXf//Colin) cool. Well, I hope that really works out for you, do you? I don’t know how the whole like, licensing or anything works out if you go play live. Is that something that they can be recorded and then pushed out as like a video?
(Will) Oh, yeah. Yeah, I mean, I own the rights outright to everything I own my masters copyrights, I own everything outright, so I can, I can make whatever I want with it. Live shows and stuff like that, I can absolutely do all that. It’s just the sound quality can be kind of harsh. That’s one of the things that’s kind of always deterred me is and I’ve even brought in you know, professional, live sound recorders, you know, engineers and still listen back and gone oh, this is awful, you know? So I’m sure there’s really good ones out there. And obviously your budget is kind of the determining factor and all those things true you know what kind of budget you have.
(mXf//Colin) Yeah, but I was thinking man it’d be great if you know if you got out there because that’d be a way to you know, it’s unique to you and then your videos in what you’re talking about earlier about like you know videos are gaining even if streaming is on average above the videos is still pretty good poll the videos are getting I think live would be great I I’m not you know a producer or sound guy so I don’t know how you would fix the quality issue but I would love to see it.
(Will) Well, that’s just yet there are so many other sound sources when you play live that even with the best multitrack recording you still have all these other and you know anymore though there’s there’s some really good applications that you know, some pretty sophisticated applications You can use in the studio to, like, isolate frequencies and start canceling them, you know, it does tend to kind of degrade the, the source sound that you’re trying to capture sometimes. But yeah, I mean, it, everything’s on the table as far as I’m concerned, you know, anything that keeps me occupied?
(mXf//Colin) Yeah. And do you think about like, when you’re doing your story writing? And I think I think I kind of know the answer. But I want to, I’m just so curious. Because you’re talking about a lot of your stories came from your live experiences from before? And then do you think about producing music for your fans or for a certain group or more for yourself? And, and then just put it out there?
(Will) I, you know, honestly, yeah, it’s 100%. For me, I make it to, to, to get this off my head, and then I put it out there and let the pieces fall where they may. If folks like it, that’s fantastic. And I’m eternally grateful. And if they don’t, well, you know, I’m just doing what I my thing, I’m just doing what I like to do. So, you know, I try not to try not to overthink that end of it, you know, I know that, especially label bands, they’re playing for an exact demographic, you know, the artist almost just becomes kind of a commodity, you know, and we’re going to focus you at this demographic, and everything you release is going to be in this, this lane right here, you know, so I think those people are masters at writing for a specific targeted audience or a specific fan base. I don’t think I really have a fan base, so I can write whatever I want and throw it out there.
(mXf//Colin) For sure. Let’s go Good. I’m glad you’re getting it out there. And that’s why I’m thinking to the live thing might be a way to connect with fans. And then, you know, you could maybe promote afterwards. I don’t know if if there’s an opportunity, like when you do a live show, do people come and like, look to stream you or or buy teasers and stuff like that?
(Will) Well, so that again, no, nobody, I don’t think anybody’s ever deliberately came out to stream it. To stream the shows. And as far as like Merchandising, and stuff like that goes, I’ve never been real good at that either. But I’m sure if I invested in it, you know, I could have products like that. I’ve just, I don’t know, I guess I get kind of rolled up in the, in the, in the music writing and, and production portion. I mean,
(mXf//Colin) I think that’s right, you know, and I admire is genuine. And, you know, trying to go out there, like you said, fit some kind of square peg in a round hole. So I like the way you’re doing it.
(Will) But I mean, I see other friends, you know, that, that do all of that stuff. And I think some of them do okay with it. And of course, at the end of the day, the budget, the budget, the budget, you know, it’s got to try to you got to try to pencil it out so that it can at least help offset its cost, you know, and I’m not, I’m not a young kid with delusions of grandeur. You know, I realize I’m a middle aged guy. And, you know, record labels will not be beating down my door anytime soon. And that’s okay, I’m okay with that. I’ve, you know, I’ve done a bunch of that kind of stuff already. I just, this is kind of where I’m at, you know, I’m making it put it out there. If you did get great, you know, say hello, and say you liked it and share it. And, you know, one day at a time, I guess.
(mXf//Colin) Awesome. Well, that’s great. Do you have anything that you’re working on, like work in progress or upcoming project?
(Will) Well, I do. I’ve got another one. I’ve got a another track that I’ve already started with my pup with with Dr. Puya. Um, I liked the sound of that last one so much that I’m kind of in a I’m kind of in you know, a little bit of a crossroads. If I want to keep kind of pursuing that kind of sound. When I did that I
(mXf//Colin) I went by the way, which was
(Will) the righteous county song.
(mXf//Colin) Ah, that was different because it had been more country but seemed like a modern country. To me my perspective.
(Will) Yeah, well, we did like the we did the breakdown in the chorus like a lot of modern hard rock does. Where the chorus goes into half this heavy kind of halftime you know, when you when typical country, that’s when everything ramps up, you know, what I wanted to I wanted to usually there’s a sound in my head that I that I’m going to try to capture with whatever that next one is. And with that one, I was hearing like the Allman Brothers and like Janis Joplin in my head, you know? And so I that’d be, that’d be a really cool sound if I could kind of emulate captures kind of something like that. One of the things I do, I’ve been a singer for my whole life and, and so when you listen to that song, it sounds like there’s about, you know, three women in the background singing. And, and it sounds like there’s, you know, it actually sounds like there’s a pretty good lineup of backup singers in there. But they’re all me. I do I kind of have this Janis Joplin voice that I can, that I can do, you know? And sound like Janis Joplin, I did, you know, sing it for my mom sometimes, and she would just about pee your pants laughing. Because if she turns away, she’d swear that that’s who was standing there singing that stuff was. And so I did it in that track for the first time. I thought, I thought, well, I’m going to do the backup vocals like this and try to get this mood, you know, I’m always trying to write to a mood, you know, some sort of, you know, way you’re, you’re feeling at it at a certain time. And, and so I did that on that one. And I was like, and even even Dr. Poole Yeah, he calls me up later. And, and sometimes he’s talking me off of the ledge a lot, you know, and sometimes I’m talking him off the ledge, but he called me up and he goes, you know that that actually sounds really cool. You know, when we layer it in there just right and, and add a little bit of processing to it. gives it that really big sound. Oh,
(mXf//Colin) Yeah. So I listened to that song earlier today. I wouldn’t have guessed that. So I’m gonna go back now that you explained it and listened again, just you know, get that feel for
(Will) it. That super high, that super high voice you hear that’s that’s me. And that’s one of the voices that’s I like to do. Awesome.
(mXf//Colin) Well, listen, well, it’s been been great meeting you. And I certainly hope we stay in touch. I appreciate you know that we connected on Twitter and collaborating. Appreciate your support for us, and we have a little bit of time left, but I want to get too close. I wanted to leave some room in case you have any questions for us or anything you want to talk about anything you want to put out there.
(Will) Um, so I think that I did. I did look you look you folks up? is would you be keeping me abreast as to whether you’re going to use this or not? Or if it’s going to post anywhere or anything?
(mXf//Colin) Oh, man, I’m so glad you asked. Yeah, I should have talked that through in the beginning. So thank you for bringing it up. The way that I do it is I’ll take the recording, then I’ll create a transcript. And then I share it with you. And I get your approval. I may also have questions because sometimes I don’t remember or I might not know how to spell it a name, you know, and things like that. So I’ll come back and say, Hey, here’s the transcript. Here’s maybe some of the questions I have if you could help out. And then I like to get your approval. I try my best I like to keep it genuine. So I like to keep it as close, you know, word for word. Sometimes I might take it. There’s too many ums and ahs, especially in my side, I might take some of those out. And then I want to get your approval. So you can say, hey, Colin, I want you to reward this. If you if you think more like if there’s an answer, you want to elaborate, we can put it in there, you know, so it’ll just naturally flow in the thing. Typically, we don’t go too crazy. But I’m just saying that we have room to do that. So I like to stay closest to it as we can. But I want to get your approval, make sure you’re happy with it. Once you like it, then I publish it on our website. And we have different interviews there. So I’ll publish it out there. Right now today, we’re only doing the text so we just publish that don’t share the video are not quite there yet. I gotta let you as you can see work to do if I’m actually like a podcast, but hopefully we’ll get there someday. Yeah. And then we tweet about it. We love to tweet and promote and kind of mix it up with your music. And then you’re welcome. I’ll send you I’ll send you all the information so that you’ll know every time I tweet, by the way, of course, I always mentioned you. So you’ll always know anytime I tweet related to your music or when this interview comes out, and then you’re welcome to retweet, share, I have couldn’t find it. But if you have a website, you’re welcome to put like, strictly speaking, all the content, this is just how it will work for any content I put on my website is copyrighted by me. But you know, this is us together. So like if you wanted to publish it somewhere, sure. I’m more than happy, you know, you can take it and or take pieces. Anything that you want to make use of you’re more more more than welcome to.
(Will) Okay, thank you. Yeah, that sounds awesome.
(mXf//Colin) Okay, cool. And it takes some time. So I appreciate your patience. Because, you know, it’s, it’s one of those things that doesn’t take 40 hours, but it just I have to find time, you know, to, to actually sit down and do it. So, I would say a week or two. I’ll come back with that first draft. And I’ll keep you updated. And you’re always welcome to DM me on Twitter also, anytime you want us to we can stay in touch, but I just want to set that expectation. So just to be you know, Canada, we’re gonna turn around in two days or something.
(Will) No, no worries, no worries at all. I submit to a lot of different things. You know, the indie radio stations have been super, super receptive. The online radio stations. Yeah, I have. I am so thrilled If, if, if, you know if those had been around 20 years ago, man, like they are now. They’re just they’re really supportive. And and, you know, I pop in and I listen to the radio shows, and I might have a couple of the of the stations open on my desktop, you know, when I’m at work or something? What a great thing that is. And and I have to say it’s really refreshing to have you come through and be legitimate and genuine as you are I, on the flip side of this, I can’t believe how many how many sharks are in the water, you know what I mean? I get more I get more messages and solicitations. Everybody wants to monster wants you to pay for play listings, curators, you know, stuff like that. And I’m not saying that they’re not legitimate. I’m sure they have to be on some level. I just don’t know how to gauge whether they’re good investments as far as, as, you know, pushing traffic. I don’t know. And, you know, they make these. And the reason I’m I’m always a bit leery of them is they make these pretty kind of outrageous guarantees sometimes.
(mXf//Colin) Yeah. You know, I worry that sometimes it’s bots, because they’ll say, I’m not a musician, but I get those two in my DMs sometimes Hey, we’ll get you 1000 streams and I’m like, okay, 1000 robots, that’s not going to help me.
(Will) Exactly. And another point, if you don’t mind, if you if you got a second sometimes on my on my my social media and stuff, I’ll post, you know, certain that this song has hit this many, this many plays or this many views. It’s always and I tend to mention, you know, my gratitude to people for listening to it. Because I do not buy numbers, what the numbers you see are legitimate eyes on, you know, supporting, you know, supporting the project. So, but then I have you know, I’ve seen other friends who, all of a sudden, you know, one day they’re at, I don’t know, 120 plays and then the next day, they’re 38,000. You know, and I just gosh, I think why do you just look so tacky? And so if it if it does, well, I want it to do well on its own merits. You know, I don’t want to I don’t want to you it’s like acting like you’re a millionaire or something. What’s the point? It’s just shallow? And, you know, you gotta take a shower afterwards, because you know,
(mXf//Colin) oh, man, no, I told I couldn’t say it better myself. I’m really with you on that.
(Will) Just think it’s, it’s kind of goofy. Yeah. The only other thing if if I could add is that one of the things I’ve tried to work work for is sync licensing. You know, always, always want to, you know, you were talking about what shows do you want to play and stuff like this? Oh, yeah. What I really would would love to hear is, you know, one of my songs in a soundtrack in a movie, or a TV show. I just for some reason, that just fascinates me to, you know, to be able to see that and hear that coming back. I, one of the things that’s the most thrilling for me, when I’m looking at my my download reports, is not necessarily how many of them there are anything, or the PAY ON, which is, which is almost nothing. But it’s where they’re where they’re where they’re coming from.
(mXf//Colin) And interesting. I like to see you or Florida,
(Will) or Iceland, South Africa. Brazil, when I that’s what I’m really looking for when I’m looking at my reports, because it just when I was a little kid living up way in the mountains in Colorado, listening to those songs on the radio, you know, would kind of teleport me back to that place. And now I’m on the other end where I think I get this whenever people are listening to my songs on the radio, kind of when I see where they’re at. It kind of teleports me to where they’re at. You know,
(mXf//Colin) it does. It’s so cool. That connection.
(Will) It’s yeah, it’s super, super special. Tim, very special to me when I see that.
(mXf//Colin) So awesome. I know. That’s fantastic. Yeah.
(Will) That’s all I just wanted to mention that. No, I
(mXf//Colin) Love it. That’s great. And you know, you’re saying, you know, just kind of parroting back I appreciate you being genuine and really great getting to know you will and sharing all that so awesome. Thank you. You too. Yeah, thanks. I think I hijack a little Anna and it’s not usually as quiet as today but I took over a lot of the time so
(mXf//Anna) and it was very interesting and I was just I just shut up and listen to you both because it was very pleasant conversation. Please ask me anything.
(Will) I just wanted to ask you your accent sounds like A friend of mine who is Serbian.
(mXf//Anna) I’m Polish actually I’m from Poland. Polish. Okay, so yeah, like what Serbian is is Slavic too. So,
(Will) OK, Beautiful accent!
(mXf//Anna) Thank you so much. Thank you so much.
(mXf//Colin) Okay, awesome. Well, thanks again. Well, I will, like I said, take a few days a week, give or take probably a week and a half on the calendar and get back to you with the draft and then you can review, edit, make refinements, things like that. Don’t hesitate to contact me anytime or anytime. You know, I really great get to know you and hope that we sent
(Will) us. Absolutely. Thank you very much.
(mXf//Anna) Thank you so much. Thanks.