Down the twisty paths of The Fillmore in Philadelphia, I was led to a small, cramped room that is referred to as the ‘Green Room’ in contrast to the Fillmore’s main stage ‘The Red Room’. Within I found four music loving dudes who were genuinely excited to be a part of the ever changing rock world.
For these vagabonds, home wasn’t quite so far away, but the world they found themselves in was. A Will Away, a Connecticut based band, noted that “cities are hectic and crazy”. Their small town roots have driven them musically and also shaped them into the musicians they are today. “We sort of just got used to living in this environment where things are just never changing.” Now, the band is has toured with Moose Blood and is currently on tour with This Wild Life.
The band collectively agreed that shows in the middle of nowhere are among the coolest for them, putting in perspective their small town feels. Their fans, who are among some of the most dedicated, often travel for hours to reach their shows at some of these venues. Not a single member of the band noted having driving more than two hours for their own music idols and they all believe the love and dedication from the fans is unbelievable. “I think they’re really excited about interacting with the records. I think we sort of made the records somewhat interactive themselves.”
A Will Away has also taken to Twitter as many modern artists have to get that truly interactive feeling with their fan, noting that they’re “busier on Twitter than anything else.” However the band also makes a point to interact with their fans, staying by the merch table every night, learning fans’ names, and making that genuine connection.
Perhaps it’s that level of human empathy that makes A Will Away’s music just so unique. Every song is like a psychological journey that leads to a better understanding. “If you just want to listen to them and hear them as like straight fun pop rock songs you’re probably going to enjoy them, but if you decide to sort of like dig into like the little stories that we told on the record and how we put them together and stuff, there’s something there,” notes Matt Carlson, who writes most of the lyrics for the band.
The band has noted the plentiful amounts of different musical influence they have. Most obviously, they listen to rock including Tom Petty and Lynyrd Skynyrd. However, they aren’t afraid to admit that they’ll listen to basically anything as long as it is musically “good”. They even cited artists such as Chance the Rapper and Future. “I listen to melody and like where lyrics land more than anything. The instrumental count versus the lyrical count,” Matt again explains. For A Will Away they’re more focused on quality over genre. Each musician in the band is able to follow their rock-core North so they never lose their direction, but still are able to bring in elements of their own musical taste.
When it comes to pulling together the finishing product, each member agrees that “less is more”. With the band operating in a four part dynamic, they note their focus on “making every part of a song shine…while that’s happening everybody takes a step back and keeps it very simple.”
The band’s teamwork has been a feature that has gotten them through everything in their careers. “We’ve had almost nothing but roadblocks,” they confess. Between growth, transportation, and publicity, they have had to overcome immediately everything. When asked about these roadblocks they all immediately cited their van and the struggles with living on the road with the possibility of breaking down wherever they go. Not to mention the financial burden. “We had to shape our entire lives around being broke for about five years,” as was noted.
Despite this, A Will Away has persevered. After dropping out of school, having some tough conversations with their parents, and deciding to risk it all A Will Away confessed to me that they “just want to fucking play.” Currently they are forced with the inability to work quite as much as they want to. However, the band has teased a new album as soon as possibility 2018. However, when pressed further about whether or not fans should be on the look out, they did follow that up with: “don’t look out for shit.” A Will Away tends to be a band focused on the quality of their music as opposed to how quickly they can push content out.
As far as how they want to sound, A Will Away says: “We’re not confident on anything in regard to what people want to hear.” The band is still feeling overwhelmed upon the release of their newest album, Here Again. The band insists that the mainstream media doesn’t want to hear their music and they play for a select niche that gets smaller all the time.
That being said, A Will Away urges younger musicians to stay true to themselves if they want to be successful in the scene. “We made the biggest mistake in the entire world wasting years playing to an audience rather than trying to play for ourselves,” they say, and they don’t want up and coming artists to fall under the same fate.
At the end of it all, these guys are really just some guys in a band who want to play for you. With immense talent, charm, and passion, they keep chugging away to make their mark on the rock scene.