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Currently finding himself on the acoustic basement, he's been playing daily shows with his "band in a box" and will only continue to do so as he prepares to drop his debut full length as a solo artist on August 20th, 'Genuine and Counterfeit'. He's no stranger to the music industry but as a solo artist he has only been performing steadily since May of last year. With two more full US tours under his belt since that time, he will be heading to Australia with The Maine and Anberlin post Warped Tour with more sure to come. Read on for our exclusive with William where he breaks down the story and inspiration behind 'Benny and Joon' as well as talking about the unique stage he's been on all summer!
What were the three things you had to bring with you this summer to survive Warped Tour?
I've been obsessed with the Game of Thrones series so I'm on the fifth right now so I bring that. They're only available in hardcover which is incredibly inconvenient to travel with. Like a hardcover book with a thousand pages but I had to have it. I had to bring my backing band, this heavy metal band playing always behind me.
Goes really well with your acoustic set.
Thanks, I had to bring my knee scarves. A plethora of knee scarves and then I had to bring my laptop because it's my band in a box.
So you use it in your acoustic shows?
Most of the time. I've done a couple with out just to give a little variation but most of the shows have been with my band in a box.
Maybe how is it been playing the Acoustic Basement this summer?
It's been amazing! I think that it's consistently one of the most talented stages by far of the entire tour. I mean all the stages have really, really great acts but I think that the singular diversity on the Acoustic Basement stage is so expansive that it's just really cool. We have a country singer named Austin Lucas who is incredible. We have a kind of folk pop girl named Billy The Kid that's amazing. We have like Ace Enders, Craig Owens, me. Allison Weiss was on it for half the tour and she was amazing. It's really just across the board really diverse, talented people. We're not going up there with a band with us. We're going up there by ourselves so it's a cool environment like to showcase our art. Our skills and share an intimate set with our fans.
Then I know since we last talked, you announced the full length record coming out August 20th "Genuine and Counterfeit". How do you think it compares or differs from the EP's that you put out last year?
I feel like the EP's were where I tried a lot of different things because it was my first release or my first group of releases as a solo artist so I was kind of experimenting a lot but I think that I found what the sound needs to be with my full length. It's very focused from front to back. Much like the EP's are. From front to back, it's a story. The full length essentially picks up where the EPs left off.
I know you recorded it in Chicago. Did the recording process kind of change for this full length or did you do all the past EP's in that full recording studio.
Yeah it was the first time I've recorded an album in Chicago which is crazy because I live there but I've always recorded elsewhere. Like LA or Nashville or New York. Even fucking Arizona but Chicago for the first time. So it was really great. I got to work with the producer that I wanted to work with. Marc McClusky. He's incredibly talented. Me and him killed it. We did the record exactly the way we wanted to. We had arguments. We had laughs. It was very, very focused.
Then 'Benny and Joon' is the first song that you've released off the album. I think you played that song the last US tour you did, right? So maybe if you could tell us a little bit about the story behind that track?
Well 'Benny' is essentially about two odd balls who become drawn to each other. It's about being yourself and not really caring if other people understand. I wanted to write it from the perspective of being in a insane asylum. Like falling in love in an insane asylum essentially. Like everyone's eyes are on you. Like what's the crazy person going to do next but really, it's just dealing with judgmental people and not really caring what they think. It's just being yourself. Embracing your quirks. Just the point of it being healthy.
Then maybe to end it off! Obviously you're half way through Warped Tour, what's going to be coming up for you considering the album is about to come out?
Yeah, I've got a tour with Anberlin and The Maine in Australia and my video's coming out for 'Benny and Joon'. Then the album is coming out August 20th. It's like never ending but I'm really excited. Things have just been really cool, like snowballing. Which would be really relieving most of these days on Warped Tour. It's been incredibly hot and humid. I'd welcome a snowball fight!