With this being the first day of March, ATC is excited to get the month started with our first Indie Spotlight of 2011! In case you’ve forgotten how this goes, we pick a lesser known artist to introduce to our readers. This month’s Spotlight features California based trio, The Welch Brothers. The group was nice enough to answer a few questions for us, so continue reading to learn more about this talented group of brothers.
The Welch Brothers is a trio formed of three brothers – David, Jonny, and Nate Welch – who hail from California. The group recently recorded its first EP, God Bless California, which is available for download on the group’s Facebook page. They describe their sound as ‘California country’ which makes for a much needed break from the current mainstream pop-country that the country genre has become. Band member Jonny Welch was nice enough to answer a few questions for the interview portion of our Indie Spotlight.
First I would just like to thank you guys for agreeing to be ATC’s Indie Spotlight Artist for March and for taking the time to answer a few questions for our readers!
It’s our pleasure Aaron. Your blog is great, and we are glad to be featured on it.
So from what I’ve read on your Facebook page, you guys have all been singing since you were little, but hadn’t joined forces until recently. What were each of you doing prior to forming the trio and why hadn’t the idea of becoming a group not come up sooner?
Nate has been in and out of bands since middle school. He was most recently the lead singer of Bidwell; which opened doors for him to co-write music with many up and coming artists in Los Angeles. At the same time, David was getting his masters degree, and spent time developing a non-profit organization. He also stayed active singing and composing music. I was singing here and there in college, but focusing more on acting. More recently, I started my journey as a songwriter. About two years ago, I was driving to Santa Barbara with just enough gas in my tank and hardly any money, and for some reason it inspired my first country song. From then on, I started co-writing with Nate, and once we got David in the mix, the songs started taking form.
I’ve listened to the EP and done some research and I find it quite interesting that you say you guys record “California country.” For our readers that may not know exactly what that is, describe the genre and some artists you feel fall under that label. I’ve listened to the EP and I must say that it’s a completely different style of country that I’m used to listening to, which is a good thing in my opinion.
California country is pretty much the edgy rock music of California, mixed with the All-American roots of country music. Back in the 60’s and 70’s a lot of bands in Los Angeles were taking on a country flare. Bands like Fleetwood Mac, The Eagles, and America are a few examples. These bands have made a major influence on our musical and artistic direction. Also, we spent our childhood in North Carolina, and moved to California in 1997. Like they say, you can take the boy out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the boy.
Speaking of the EP, tell us a little about it.
This EP ‘God Bless California’ is about faith, love and everything else. These songs are just a few of the songs we have created in the last several months. We have had a lot of things happen in life to write about and we have finally gotten around to it. Each song tells a different story and translates many emotions. We are so glad to finally be writing together after so many years of being separated by other great opportunities. This EP is just the beginning of songs we are going to be releasing in the near future. Listeners have told us that our songs make them laugh, cry and everything in-between. We love that our songs antagonize emotion in our listeners. I think this is the goal of most artists. We are very excited about this EP and we can’t wait to see what the next step is.
Is there any song on the EP that you guys feel strongly and passionate about?
We all differ on which song we are most passionate about. I probably feel the most passionate about Rock’N’Roll & Rainy Days because it is about making positive changes in life. I’m so glad I became focused on God’s plan for my life instead of my own. I had a lot of people trying to drag me down, but God helped me get a grip and dream big once again.
I know that you guys write all your own music, do all three of you collaborate on each song or do you guys write stuff individually?
Usually, the concept of a song comes from one of us, but we all workshop every song together. We’ll re-write a song, and then re-write it over again and then again, and again, and so on until we feel good about the way it communicates emotion.
I mentioned earlier that the songs you’ve recorded all have a unique sound and style. Are there any specific artists you guys get your inspiration from? Or is it something you guys just developed on your own?
Artist and writers that inspire us are people that use their talents not for themselves, but for others. People that remain transparent about their struggles, burdens, and celebrations make the best music. Music has the power to lift people up and give them hope. We take inspiration from real life experiences that come from friends, family, and our personal lives. The peaks and valley’s of life have so many shades of color, and music is the blank canvas that is waiting to be painted on.
Who are some of your musical influences?
Our Influences come from both yesterday and today’s music, such as Simon & Garfunkel, The Eagles, The Band, Bruce Springsteen, John Mellencamp, Tom Petty, Rascal Flatts, Keith Urban, Taylor Swift, Brad Paisley and many more.
Do you guys regularly perform live? Or have you guys had the opportunity to tour at all?
We have performed together our whole lives, and although we’ve all had opportunities to tour separately, we have yet to go on tour together as The Welch Brothers. We look forward to that opportunity in the near future. For now, we are focusing on songwriting, production, reaching fans and funding.
What do you guys feel is your goal in music?
First of all, we always want to prioritize others above ourselves. We want to write music that people relate to. We anticipate our listeners to feel hope, joy, peace and understanding after listening to our songs. We are always writing music and we hope to produce a full-length record very soon. After we do this, we plan to take the record on tour. Then we plan to keep creating records, and also write music for other artists.
Where do you guys see yourselves, or hope to be, in 10 years time?
When I was in 5th grade, I use to go out to our garage and plug my cheap microphone into my brother’s guitar amp and sing along to music videos on CMT. All I wanted was to be a country singer when I grew up. I left that dream on the backburner until recently. So it’s exciting to see where this could go in the next ten years. Although creating records and writing is great, at the end of the day, we really want to use any influence we have for good. For example, I think we would all agree that Bono from U2 is a huge influence on our journey; and not just because of his music, but for what he stands for. His music is genuine and full of emotion, and he has also put a huge impact on the needs of the world. Our vision is to eventually help with Africa’s urgent need for clean water. We are definitely grateful for artists like Bono who have paved the way for other musicians to help people in need. So in 10 years time, we would be very happy to implement this vision.
Once again I would like to thank you guys for taking the time to answer a few questions!
Our pleasure Aaron!
To learn more about the group and to download the EP, visit their Facebook page or the band’s official website. Look out for our review of God Bless California in the next few days.