While music has a habit of repeating itself and bands continue to copy their influences, occasionally a flower crops up among the weeds. We’ll call that flower Denver Williams. Let me tell you the story about the day I met Denver…. I was leaving the studio with my band one evening while a bunch of rag tag hippy looking characters were walking in to set up. I didn’t really have anywhere to go so I decided to hang out at the studio and see what was going on. They set up in a circle with mics set up around the room and just started jamming for fun. In a matter of minutes I was humbled and an immediate fan. I now see Denver as one of the premier songwriters in Texas and consider it a privilege any time I get to share the stage with him.
I’ve heard a couple of stories on your traveling and adventures. Share a quick story from your journeys.
My friend Marty was in San Francisco and we had started working together over the phone on ideas for a sonic space novel. One day I got an email requesting for me to meet him at a gathering in Montana at which point we would flesh out some of the details in the flesh. I told him I probably couldn’t make this one. A few days later I found myself on a whim barreling north with three other travelers in a truck that comfortably seats two. We had to take turns riding in the truck bed. By the time I got to Montana, Marty was in Seattle. By the time I got to Seattle, I had no idea where Marty had gone so I went to Portland. Marty is great. He eventually moved in with me for a few months in Fort Worth where we finally brought some substance to our idea. ‘Planet of Monsters’ is still in the recording process.
You have some of the most creative songs that I have ever heard, both lyrically and melodically. Take us through your writing process.
I am addicted to writing songs, and I take as many paths as I can conceive to be able to communicate ideas. I am constantly writing on everything, pulling out wads of scrap paper from my pockets at the end of every day.
I also collect and study new instruments as much as I can because I think that there is a different innate magic in each one. If I work a song on a banjo vs a piano it will speak differently.
Sometimes I am writing from a very personal point of view, and sometimes I am trying to create a projection of an ideal (or not so ideal) self. It is helpful to get stuff out, and it is also fun to be a super hero/villain.
It can’t go unsaid also that exercising music theory has been a huge part of growing as a song writer. For years I was all about “the feeling man”. Music is a language, and a teacher once told me that “words are handles onto reality”. Reading and writing any language just takes you deeper into the rabbit hole.
Who are some of your influences?
I could list for you a bunch of bands I like, but to answer the question from an honest place right now – I think those who have influenced me most are the great people/musicians who I have played with and shared and exercised ideas with. That is basically any one I have ever played with, but to name a few – Charles Marchbanks, Ryan Patterson, Will Tollett.
Are you into any other arts beside music?
Oh ya, anything that challenges and expands the mind is awesome for me. I recently read an article about math being an art, but how we don’t commonly perceive it as such. I dig math. Then there is the art of living which is also rad.
Where are you from originally?
The universe, man. Nah, just Fort Worth.
What band/artist are you into the most right now?
Jim O’Rourke solo stuff and Pavement.
Any links you want to share?
Any upcoming gigs to announce?
Wed February 24th at The Chat Room is going to be sick. www.thechatroompub.com
Burton Lee will be on the pedal steel, and Ryan Patterson will be travelling from Austin to play drums. Plus I’ve been in a special mood musically lately.