Willess, an Alternative Rock band, fuses their own sound with remnants of Bowie and Weezer, creating a modern twist and smooth vibe in today's Alternative market.
After cutting the EP Young Hopes and Old Memories with former Collective Soul guitarist Ross Childress, the band has played numerous national cities.Willess released " A Little Closer" in 2019. The single, and its corresponding music video, garnered a big following on Spotify, introducing the band to a global audience.
By Kreig Marks, June 2020
TRR: Hi guys. Welcome to Tru Rock Revival Magazine. To get started, tell me about the band, who are the players.
WILLESS: Jackson Redd - Singer/Guitarist
Matt Morse - Guitarist
Jeffrey Peplinski - Bassist
Aaron Hawley - Drummer
TRR: Before forming the band, did you all know each other?
WILLESS: So the band actually came together when I (Jeff) went to sell a bass guitar to Matt about 5 years ago, when I needed some money. He and I had a beer or two and talked about getting a band together. We played a couple practices together but things fell apart for a little while. I came back later that year refreshed and ready to play (this was in late-2016, I think), and he brought our drummer Aaron into the mix. We got to playing together a few times a week and in 2017, Matt said “let’s go” and we went and recorded “Old Hopes and Young Memories” with our buddy Chris on bass.
TRR: Out of all of you, who’s the one that’s most laid back?
WILLESS: The most laid-back on and offstage has to be Aaron. That dude is cooler than a frozen cucumber.
TRR: LOL! Who’s the most intense, on and off stage?
WILLESS: The most intense on and offstage is probably Matt - that dude always has a fire lit under his feet, haha!
TRR: What inspires all of you to make music and to keep pushing ahead?
WILLESS: The biggest inspiration to us, as far as pushing forward and playing music, is the continual desire to make ourselves heard. We just have all that Rock n' Roll, and we need to share it with the world!
TRR: Let's steal a line from your song "Save Myself." Who in the band could never be saved by himself?
WILLESS: Well now - that’s the million dollar question, isn’t it? Probably Jackson - he needs the rest of us to pull him into some shenanigans every now and again!
TRR: Tell me about the band’s “questionable” Rock n' Roll activity.
WILLESS: “Questionable” Rock and Roll Activity, eh? I’ll be honest, the most questionable activities we get up to these days is going to bed around 11:00 and getting up for work at 7:00 a.m. Ha!Ha! For real though, we’re all pretty much comfortable hanging out, having a few beers, and listening to records!
TRR: With the whole pandemic the past few months, are you guys still on track to release some new music later this year?
WILLESS: We certainly hope so! We’re actually setting up our own studio as we speak, and have plans to release at least a track before year’s end 2020. We’re constantly writing new material, though!
TRR: Matt, your first guitar was a Peavey. You still have it? There are a lot of collectors out there who pay crazy $ for Peavey’s.
WILLESS: Funny enough, I definitely still have that one! If you can believe this, Jackson uses that one every now and again when he’s blown out the strings on his other guitars.
TRR: I believe it. Peavey puts out some very durable guitars. Have you guys rescheduled the gigs that had to be cancelled?
WILLESS: Not quite yet! With everything still on the touch-and-go, we’re in the process of making sure everyone is not “down with the sickness” before we get out and rekindle the crazy rock shows! We did write a song called “Contagion,” so we’ll see if it makes the cut for the new record!
TRR: (A little Disturbed quote there). Cool. Make sure to send us an MP3. What’s the most memorable show you have done?
WILLESS: Most memorable or best? Those can be two different things, haha!
TRR: Let's go with most memorable and then the best.
WILLESS: Most memorable may have been our first time playing at “The Wormhole” in Savannah, GA. That was the first time any of us had ever signed autographs, so it was a big deal. The best show we ever had might have been a small gig we played at the “Men’s Refinery” in Augusta, GA - we were just super "on" that night.
TRR: What are your top 3 goals as a band for the next year?
WILLESS: Release our new record, “The Age of Reason is Out to Lunch,” play some crazy shows, and party on!
TRR: "The Age of Reason is Out to Lunch?" Can you explain that title?
WILLESS: Jackson came up with the title. He has always wanted to name an album that. It's a lyric from the 80's New Wave band "The Vapors," the "Turning Japanese" guys. The song is called "Letter from Hiro" off the album "New Clear Days." Personally, with all the chaos going on in 2020 I think those words are just as relevant now if not more than they were in the 80's. I think others may feel the same way. Good Question
TRR: Thanks for the clarification. Is there anyone you’d like to give a shout out to?
WILLESS: Anyone we’d like to give a shout out to? Well, Matt wants to give a shout out to the boys in Weezer and to Alix! Aaron wants to show some love to his friends and family! El Jefe sends out mad love to his son, Zachary! Jackson says, "Hi to Mom and Dad and his fiancé Misty, and sends peace and love to Phil Lynott, wherever he may be!"
TRR: Thanks guys! We'll be looking forward to "The Age of Reason is Out to Lunch."
For further information on Willess, follow them on Facebook and Bandivious and check out their website.