What is the name of your band?
Whiskey, Stills and Mash, a 3-piece southern rock band from Hiawassee, Georgia
How long have you been doing music?
2020 will be my 40th year in the music business. I got my first bass guitar at the age of 14, and I’ve been playing ever since. By my estimation, I’ve played somewhere between 2,800- 3,000 Live shows in my life. I’ve been in far more bands than I can remember, playing everything from blues, country and top 40 to heavy metal and southern rock.
How long has the band been together?
Whiskey, Stills and Mash was started in 2015. I’ve been a part of the band for one year.
What is your favorite part, and least favorite part?
Without question, my favorite part is performing live on stage. When you’re connecting with an audience, and the band is hitting on all cylinders, it’s an indescribable feeling. Absolutely everything else you do, all the work you put in to forming and creating a band is done so you can have those onstage moments. Ultimately, that’s the payoff.
My least favorite part, equally without question, is the booking process. There’s no shortcut, no secrets, no hidden formula, it’s just hard work and perseverance. It’s a buyer’s market and every club owner knows that. Gigs are hard to come by, it’s extremely competitive out there, and the entire booking process and all the politics that go with it, are definitely the biggest negative in this business. But, like anything else, it’s what you make of it. Work hard, and you will see results.
Any advice you would give to other musicians trying to get booked?
A mentor of mine once told me, “if you knock on enough doors, sooner or later, one is going to open”. So, that’d be my first piece of advice. Go after anything and everything. Swing for the fences because ultimately, somebody is going to get those gigs, why can’t it be you? Persistence is the key. Don’t just drop off a business card or promo pack at the venue, or send one email, and then sit and wait for callbacks. Follow up time and again until you get an answer. My second piece of advice: play, play, play. Get out there on stage as often as you can and if you’re good, sooner or later, someone who can help you is going to see you. No one ever got discovered in the garage.