Interview: Thomas Wilby Gang

We recently had the opportunity to chat to a bunch of bands from the Rogue PR label. Our latest one was with Wakefield-based blues country outfit Thomas Wilby gang where we found out about their new album, influences and infectious love of music.

Interview by Jane Howkins

Feature photo by John Jowett

How is 2019 treating you so far?
It’s been great. We’ve not done as many gigs as last year but the quality of the gigs has been better. I think our live performance has improved greatly too, partly because we’ve worked hard at refining our set.

Have you released any music so far this year? If so, what can you tell us about that?
We released our second album Wasters Regards on Vinyl / CD and online digital in June 2019. It has 11 tracks of blues, rock, gospel and alt-country goodness. We’re really into the traditional American genres.

Are you working on any new music at the moment? What are you working on, and when will it be released?
At the moment we are mixing down a live performance that we did in 2018, supporting Dark Horse at St Austin’s in Wakefield. I have to say, I actually prefer a few of the live tracks to some of the album versions. There’s something really cool about live recordings. Maybe the tightrope walk of pulling it all together bleeds through somehow. Besides that, we’ll be going into the studio to start work on a new single soon. We’ve never released a single before and it’s always nice to try something new.

Have you got any upcoming tours planned? If so, where are you playing and where are you looking forward to going most?
We have no tours planned at the moment. I’ll hold my hands up and admit that we are primarily a studio band at the moment due to some family commitments. We do gig, but not as much as I’d like to.

Who/what has influenced you the most as musicians?
That’s a tough one. For me, if I had to pin it down to a single record, it’d definitely be Exile on Main St by the Stones. I heard that album when I was 14 years old. Before that, I was listening to EMF, so you can see how much of a leap it was for me! If I was answering the question for the entire band I’d have to say playing support for some great bands has had a huge influence on us: Cry Baby Cry, Wet Nuns, The Temperance Movement, etc…

What have you been listening to recently that you can recommend to our readers?
Although it’s maybe a bit more acoustic and country than most of our stuff, I can’t stop listening to Southeastern by Jason Isbell. The craftsmanship evident in his songwriting is inspiring. I’d also recommend anything from Daniel Norgren, Phil Cook or Hiss Golden Messenger.

Why do you think people should pick up one of your records or come and see you live, and what can people expect from one of your shows?
We don’t have to justify our music, do we? We do it purely for love! So I guess people should listen to our records and see us live because we are genuinely passionate about what we do. We aren’t in it for the money! For our live shows, you can expect to hear some fat slide guitar riffs, thick vocal harmonies, thumping drums, bass, and luscious keys. Oh, and some harmonica too!

Any last words for the fans?
Yes. We’ve finally got a shop sorted on our website. Check it out and grab yourself a t-shirt, some stickers or an album!