In this interview spotlight, we chat with Shotgun Bill about influences, challenges, the latest album and more.
Full Q&A along with links and a stream of Northbound Train (from the album Train Cars, Prison Bars…and a White Guitar) below.
Where are you from and what style of music do you create? (In your own words, not necessarily in marketing terms or by popular genre classifications.)
I grew up on the New Jersey Shore and started playing out in high school and college as a bass player..but many years of real life kept me away from music and playing out in public until about 5 years ago where I teamed up with an old friend, Frank Patrouch, and started playing and recording. Since then we produced 3 albums, Frank Patrouch- “Whiskey & Revenge”, Frank & Bill- “One Good Line” and Frank & Bill-“Unplugged and Uncouth”. During this time I started working on my own project and last year I released “Shotgun Bill- The B-Sides”. Then this summer I just released “Shotgun Bill- Train cars, Prison Bars …and a White Guitar”. Since then I have been out on my own playing my material at various local coffee housed and festivals here on the Jersey shore. My style of music is a sort of singer/ songwriter with a country americana vibe.
What led you down this path of music and what motivates you to stay the course?
I started playing piano in 2nd grade, guitar in 3rd grade and trumpet in 4th grade…so I started in music quite early. But in high school I started playing the bass and stuck with that for years then on. One of the 1st bands I was in was with my 2 brothers, and had the bug ever since (since 1972). So I’ve been doing this for a long time. Luckily I have been financially stable and I have never needed music to pay my rent…. so this also makes it easy to follow my dreams.
How is your new release different than previous ones? Did you set out to accomplish anything specific?
Shot Gun Bill- “Train cars, Prison Bars …and a White Guitar” is different from the previous release, “The B-Sides” since I have been working with an new collaborator and old friend, Scott “Tango” Yetka, who has helped me up my game and keeps me on track. There are 16 new tracks and have tried to be a little more creative in the instrumentation. Now what stays the same…is that you will find a few more train songs and jail songs, why? I don’t know , they just come out of my head. Just having a great time!
Do you face any challenges as an indie musician in a digital age? On the flip side, how has technology helped you (if it has)?
This is a great time to be a musician, (as long as you can afford it!) You can record an album and get it out there on the Internet and all the music sites. While maybe you don’t recoup a bundle of cash, at least you can feel good about people listening and liking your tunes. You now have the freedom to produce, record and develop your own music and get it out to the masses! I know many like to record on their home systems, but I am old school and like going to the studio, where I have an engineer who helps keep me grounded and helps me in many ways produce a better product.
Where can we follow you online and hear more music?
I am also on Spotify and Itunes.
Anything else before we sign off?
Thank you for opportunity to be heard…I am sending you one of my new tracks “ Northbound Train”. I hope you like it.