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Music Blog


What It’s Like to Be William

How did music become such an important part of your life and when did you see it as something that you wanted to do as an adult?

Seems like before I knew what it was even called it was important. I got involved with music at age 8 via choir, then recorder, and then symphonic instruments in middle school. At age 13 I knew a bit of every instrument in the room minus flute and had aspirations of being a band director. The director even allowed me to conduct sometimes. That same school year, I discovered guitar for the first time. That’s when I knew.

What instruments do you play and what drew you to them?

Guitar, predominantly, bass and drums. I dabble with the piano, accordion and other instruments for fun.

What’s the biggest challenge in mastering your instrument(s)?

Practicing. Everybody needs to, but few consistently do it. It’s not always fun or what you want to do. But you reap what you sow!

What’s your favorite kind of music to listen to? Is this the same kind of music you like to play?

I’m a rocker at heart, so I often listen to metal and all forms of alternative music. However, I try to listen to ALL types of music, so anything can be my favorite depending on my mood at the time. I enjoy playing it all. There’s something to take from all genres in my opinion. Music is simply A-G and it repeats. The expression of A-G is what creates “genres.” It’s really all the same to me.

If you had to create a playlist for a cross-country road trip, what would you be blasting in your car?

Periphery, Incubus, No Doubt, Andy Timmons and Brad Paisley.

What’s the appeal in playing in a band like the Phil Dudley Band? Any drawbacks?

For me it’s a combination of things. Most importantly, there’s a lot of “room” for me to express myself and it has really pushed me to a new level of playing. I also like that he writes compositions versus three-minute pop songs. It’s not the norm, especially for a 23-year-old as he is. He writes and plays what he does because it’s what he feels, it’s not about the audience. It’s kind of like a “who cares” mentality. To be successful, you have to have that in you somewhere. Drawbacks? Well the hour drive one way to practice was rough at first. However, again I say, his music pushes me to next level playing. Every time we practice is another chance for me to work on my skills and create something in the process. Being a strictly original band kind of limits the venues and frequency in which we play. But I think it makes the shows special every time. So all in all, I don’t really view anything as a drawback. It’s all good in my opinion and a necessary part of the process.

Is The Phil Dudley Band the first band you’ve played in?

No, I’ve been a working musician for 13 years and have played with a LOT of different acts and I still do. Some highlights for me are playing guitar for Lauryn Hill (R&B), lead guitar and bass for Michael Warren (Pop/Alternative/Country) and lead guitar for Gabriel Tajeu (R&B/Folk-Rock) in recent years. There are many others, but I don’t want to bore you! Haha.

You guys have produced a few albums together. Give us an idea of what the recording process is like for a band like yours.

Well, The Phil Dudley Band is very organic. The same goes for a lot of the recordings. All the previous albums were actually recorded live at his house with a digital multi-track recorder as were all the recent videos up on the web. They’re a lot like reel-to-reel in that it’s really, really hard to punch in. Everybody has to be on it in one pass. With the new record, we are actually hiring an engineer and going for a bigger and better production. We will still record most of it live though I’m sure. Overdubs will be minimal if any. We don’t want to put out something we can’t reproduce live. Backing tracks are a joke to me…and taking jobs away!

What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment so far as a musician/musical artist?

Playing with a major artist like Lauryn Hill in front of 30,000 people was definitely a big deal for me. Besides that I would say just being able to stick with it, make money and connect with all types of artists and people by way of being open to playing all genres.

Why did you want to start teaching music at Mason Music?

Well I mentioned earlier I used to aspire to be a music teacher when I was 13. Now, at 30, with 13 years of working experience I find myself in a position where I’m viewed as a mentor to many youngsters. It’s awesome to be an influence and watch the process of people “get it.” I think Mason Music is a great program/outlet for the youth (and others) that allows me to be myself and help people at the same time. Music changes lives. You don’t have to be a musician for it to impact you. For those who do play or aspire to play, the journey is always a special one that lasts a lifetime. I want to be part of their journey.

Outside of Mason Music and The Phil Dudley Band, are there other places around town that folks can catch you playing?

Besides the different names I mentioned earlier, keep an eye out for The Divines, Nadia Tellis, & Matt Carroll. I’m on gigs with them from time to time. I also play Sunday mornings at Redstone Church, Canterbury United Methodist and Independent Presbyterian Church.