WILL KOSTER w/ TROUT STEAK REVIVAL

Will-KosterWhat were the first few albums you ever bought with your own money and do you still enjoy them today?  I remember really grooving to Michael Jackson at an early age and buying the cassettes “Bad” and “Dangerous.” I would crank my boombox and try to do the moonwalk. MJ is still the King. The compositions, performances, and production on his albums are still among my favorites.

How long have you been singing and what artists did you like to emulate most as a kid?  I started singing when I moved to Colorado in 2005. I started singing a lot of blues songs and wrote songs occasionally. Casey our bass player and I lived in a mountain cabin for a while and we dove into a bunch of artist’s musical catalogues. We would end up learning a lot of the songs we were jamming out to. Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, The Band, and Neil Young to name a few. 

Trout Steak Revival are helping lead the charge for the ever-growing ‘new grass’ movement and yet for so many it’s a brand new experience; What do you feel Trout Steak’s brings to the genre or are you more purists than anything else? I feel like a huge part of new-grass and bluegrass music is the strong community vibe. We love being a part of the bluegrass family. I hope that what we are bringing to the genre is honest and full of fun and love.

Did you grow up with bluegrass or was it an acquired taste?  I heard of bluegrass music my freshman year of college. I went to Indiana University and a friend from West Virginia who plays fiddle, invited me to Louisville, KY for the IBMA’s. It was quite the introduction to bluegrass watching the greats perform and witnessing the organized chaos of thousands of musicians hanging out in a hotel. My first bluegrass jam went pretty bad because I only knew how to play blues solos… a new friend told me I should get a Dobro because I liked to bend notes so much….. and so I did.

Would you like to sing more lead with the band? is that something you have to fight for being in an outfit where everyone can sing so well?  Sharing is caring.

What’s the bands approach to songwriting? (how do you come up with songs? you guys had mentioned you were a democracy when we me that night at BK) We approach songwriting in a very honest and collaborative way. We typically start working on a song when someone has some lyrics, a melody, and some chords. We will start playing around with the ideas and see how the band can support the song the best. We usually will add a few chords, come up with instrumental melodies, figure out harmonies and things of that nature, as a group.

In terms of lyrics, do you feel you guys have a message (ie – what are you guys really about?) Lately our songs have been pretty uplifting and positive, but who knows….we may go through a dark phase at some point? Mostly, we just want to sing songs that we feel and that are true to us.

Any tips on what it takes to stay focused, fresh and sane on the road?

  1. stay hydrated
  2. don’t drink hotel water
  3. drink good coffee
  4. shower when groovy
  5. pack clean socks and undies for at least a week
  6. to boost moral: come up with famous peoples names to replace everyday words. For example: Can you pick me up a Gregory Alan IsaCoffee? (Gregory Alan for short) or Russels! meaning please turn on the Courtesy Lights (Kurts) in the bus…. It sounds strange, but it helps.
  7. Go swimming whenever possible
  8. grow to love burritos, hummus, chips, and veggietrays
  9. always order the meatloaf
  10. be excellent to one another

Trout-Steak-Revival-Band-FeatureWhat are you guys listening to on the tour bus this year so far? (any surprises?)  The Wood Brothers, The Lowest Pair, Elephant Revival, Fruition, The Infamous Stringdusters, The Deer, Kendrick Lamar, Prince, Bill Callahan, Bonnie Prince Billy, Mandolin Orange, My Morning Jacket, Ry Cooder, and Magnolia Electric Company are the ones that come to mind first. Surprised?

Do you think smashing a fiddle on stage would be cathartic, desperate or downright wrong?  I may differ to Bevin on this one. I would cry big tears.

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STEVE HENRY


1.0  – What is WORMBURNER about musically? Wormburner is a collision of musical influences from the vintage punk, new wave, and classic rock catalogues. On top of this music there’s typically a fairly dense lyrical component, often a narrative.

2.0  – Does the band have a favorite room in NYC?  The Bowery Ballroom. 2nd favorite: Mercury Lounge.

3.0  – Is it important to put on a show when you play live? Absolutely. Wormburner puts on a very physical live show. And audiences seem to respond to that.

4.0  – Which WORMBURNER song goes over best live? Probably “The Interstate”.

5.0  – What’s on your mind right before you go on?  No matter how much we prepare for a show, there’s usually some last-minute crisis to manage. Someone realizes he’s missing a patch cord or a guitar strap or something. I’d like to be able to tell you that the moment before we go onstage is a peaceful, zen-like experience. But that’s usually not the case.

6.0  – Does a band have to tour to be taken seriously? That’s a great question, and it’s a question A LOT of bands struggle with. Without proper support and publicity in advance of playing out-of-town dates, a band can end up playing to a stretch of empty rooms, town after town. And that very commonly leads to a band splitting up. Here’s a typical sequence of events: The band makes an initial impact by filling up rooms in their hometown, then they quit their day jobs and book a tour. The tour ends up being a disaster because no one outside their hometown has heard of their particular band, and no one comes to the shows. The band hemorrages money, and the band members grow bitter and they stop believing in what it is they’re doing. They go their separate ways and they often consider their band to have been a failure. It’s just my opinion, but it might be wiser for a band to have landed some sort of fully-funded publicity machinery behind them before quitting their day jobs and trying to make a living playing music on the road.

7.0  –  If the band had their own reality series, what might it be called? Personally I try to avoid reality TV at all costs. I’m pretty turned off by people who strive to get on TV in order to achieve some sort of ‘celebrity’ status. Sorry to be a downer but it’s just not my thing. So I can’t really even think of a clever title for a reality series about Wormburner. Sorry.

8.0  – Do you guys have a super fan? Yes. Her name is Terri O’Rourke and she’s the best. She comes to all our shows. But I don’t think we can claim her as exclusively our own super fan. Terri is a fixture on New York’s indie music scene, and she’s a true appreciator of great music. It’s an honor that she counts Wormburner among her favorites.

9.0  – For your half-time gig at the Super Bowl next year, you do a medley of which three WORMBURNER tunes? Peekskill –> Stolen Tags –> The Interstate

10.0  – Is magic a part of the musical equation for you? Sure. There’s definitely a certain magic to the songwriting process. I like to think that Wormburner has experienced this as sort of “a visitation.” One minute you’re in a studio making what feels like a directionless racket with your instruments, and ten minutes later a fully-formed song has revealed itself. That song didn’t exist ten minutes prior, and it’s a pretty cool thing.