Matt Williams is the guitarist for the country trio Western Avenue who’s single, “Wherever You Are” was released today; here is a link to their website:
Q: How did Western Avenue get together?
A: Western Avenue started coming together in the fall of 2006 when Keith & I were introduced to Nikki by our friend Tara Lyn Hart. Nikki was teaching vocal lessons at Tara’s school & needed a couple of guitar players for a show she was doing. She called Keith, Keith called me & the rest is history! Haha. Funny enough the show actually got cancelled a couple of weeks before we were to play due to the club closing down. By that time we could already tell we were onto something special.
Q: What is the main difference between Canadian country music and American country music?
A: Some of the new country artists coming out of the States I find have more of that classic rock edge to there live shows (Jake Owen, Lady A, etc.). Where as a lot of Canadian artists live shows are more of the traditional kind. Both are amazing!
Q: What is “Wherever You Are” about?
A: Wherever You Are is the classic ballad story of wanting to spend as much time & experiences with the ones you love. People have really related to this song. We’ve heard from fans how this song has been played as the 1st dance at several weddings this year. As a musician that is one of the ultimate compliments & we’re truly grateful!
Q: What is the most inventive thing you have done to promote yourselves as a band?
A: Honestly…just playing as much as possible. We believe that the more we play, the more people will hear us. It’s not uncommon for us to do numerous Charity shows & even showing up at the Beach to rock out…haha.
Q: What is your strangest concert story?
A: Man…we could probably write a book one day on the journey we’ve been through (actually….I Probably WILL write a book…haha). I’m sure a lot of stuff will come out over the next few years anyways.
One of my strangest concert moments came when we were doing a show. We had a tone of family & friends in the audience, & this one woman made a point of coming up on stage & licking me from my shoes right up my leg. The funniest thing was seeing my parent’s expression in the front row. Was probably the most awkward moment on stage in my life…hahaha
Q: What sets you apart from other country trio’s?
A: Got to say the one thing that sets us apart is that 2 of us are married….haha. It really makes for some awkward conversations sometimes…haha. No, we believe we have a unique sound that combines all of our influences into well-crafted songs with sing-along choruses. Plus our shows are more like listening to a rock concert 😉
Q: Who are some of your musical influences?
A: All of our musical influences vary soo much! Collectively we all love bands like Bon Jovi, Def Leppard, Taylor Swift, Fleetwood Mac, Keith Urban, Sugarland. Anything with sing-along verses & arena-rock choruses!! Nikki’s influences stretch all the way back to watching Disney movies, Keith’s = all old country tunes, Matt = Celtic music & singing Take Me Out To The Ball Game a million times with my Mom when I was 3 years old (ha!).
Q: If Canada were a country song which one would it be and why?
A: “Here For The Party” by Gretchen Wilson! Great tune & us Canadians sure like to drink! 😉
Q: What is the most common theme in contemporary country music?
A: One thing I’ve noticed over the past few years is the whole sex, partying & rock & roll theme being embraced by country music! It’s pretty awesome because I came from a rock past & grew up listening to songs like that. Pretty amazing that almost anything goes in Country music now!
Q: Could a veggie munching, liberal, Jew like me be accepted in the world of country music?
A: You bet you would! Like I said above….anything goes in Country Music now. Believe Shania helped break down some of those traditional barriers that were in place years ago. Country music now has soo many different avenues, it really is remarkable!
Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)