Indie Funded – Whetherman
Touring is such an important aspect in any musician’s career. Whether they are independent or an established act; getting out on the open road and playing for new audiences is an unforgettable experience.
Folk artist Nicholas Williams is Whetherman. Together with Rachel Murray on vocals and JP Salvat on percussion, have created “The Whetherman Trio” and are hoping to have the chance to tour Europe in the summer. I had a little sit down with the down-to-earth Williams and asked all about the campaign, the perks for backers (there really are some fantastic ones) and much more.
Their campaign is slightly different than your typical crowd-sourcing campaign, because it is only running for about a month. As you read this, you become a potential backer, and let me urge you to read the interview, watch the video and let yourself get inspired to contribute. We all play a vital role in keeping the independent dream not just alive but thriving.
Help Kickstart Whetherman’s tour!!!
Before we begin, tell the readers a little bit about yourself and The Whetherman Trio.
Whetherman is a folk project that I started back in 2007 as a solo artist, and over the last few years slowly introduced new members that broaden the sound to more Americana/Singer-Songwriter. The Whetherman Trio represents the core of this new sound, with Rachel Murray harmonizing and JP Salvat on percussion. We’ve been a close knit group for many years now, and with all of us able to tour there’s less limitation on how far the sound can reach.
The new Kickstarter campaign starts on February 10th. This is your second crowd-sourcing campaign, correct?
Yes, this would be the second campaign I’ve done through Whetherman. The first was two years ago, when I was looking to obtain a vehicle that would allow me to travel all over the country for my first Nationwide Tour, and it was successful! I’ve been touring and living in my Honda Element (nicknamed ‘The Beast’) ever since.
What made you choose Kickstarter for a second time?
It’s a win/win situation for everyone involved. Not only do independent musicians have a platform that allows them to raise funds for touring, new albums, merchandise and the like without a label or contract, but it also grants people to be a benefactor in their contribution to a project they believe in. It’s a beautiful way to ensure that despite the declining reasons people have to pay for music these days, bands and artists can both maintain and grow without signing their rights away.
Tell us about this campaign, and how long it’s running for.
We’ve been invited to do a circuit tour by an agency called “Songs and Whispers” located in Bremen, Germany. They have two different acts from different countries in a similar genre tour together for 15-18 shows in 24 days, and most of the shows are between Germany and Denmark. They book, promote, and present each show with professional sound and lighting, all we have to do is make it over there. This is why we’re doing a month-long campaign. We have to come up with funding for our plane tickets, travel costs in Europe, and order new merchandise that will help spread the word of Whetherman. Our good friend and talented videographer Alex Glustrom is also joining us to document the entire experience so everyone can see what they contributed to.
That sounds like a great opportunity! How did you get in touch with “Songs and Whispers”? Did they seek you out, or did you reach out to them?
Basically, you submit to “Songs and Whispers”, and they sort through those submissions and then invite you. The whole thing came about through a singer/songwriter friend of mine named Drew Davis, who is scheduled to do the Fall 2014 Tour.
I heard there will be some cool incentives for backers, what is your favorite item or experience you are offering?
We’re pulling out all the stops! From Whetherman, my favorite incentive would be re-mastered vinyl copies of ‘Streams and Pastures’ (2013) From our talented friends, I would say my favorite item(s) would be all of the handcrafted items from wire-wrapped and beaded jewelry to paintings to herbal apothecary packages.
Aside from a European Tour, do you have a tour for the US planned for this year as well?
Yes! This Spring I’ll be doing a solo tour along the east coast, central US and west coast before we take off. Our goal after this European tour is to be touring as a trio more frequently, so these solo acoustic tours will be less frequent after this year.
Favorite part of touring?
The aloof feeling of the open road. Sure you have dates set up for shows, but knowing you have time and freedom to explore without much agenda is one of my favorite feelings of all time. No stress, no limits, no over-thinking!
Any state you have found a particular fondness for?
I’ve gotten to see most of the best spots this country has to offer over the last few years, but one state has it all in my opinion: California. The diversity of that land is unlike anywhere else, and it definitely has an incredible energy.
A lot of times during interviews, we ask, “What does being indie mean to you?”. I would like to switch it up a bit, and instead ask what is the best aspect in your opinion about being “Indie”?
Well somehow my last answer could easily be used for this question as well. But I think my favorite part of being indie is the grassroots struggle turned progress. There is something very rewarding about creating and building something up with your hands and the help of those who believe in you.
Artist Name: Whetherman
Location: Jacksonville, FL
Genre: Folk, Americana
Members: Nicholas Williams- Guitar, Harmonica, Ukulele, Banjo, Mandolin
JP Salvat- Percussion
Drew Matulich- Mandolin, Fiddle, Guitar
Rachel Murray- Vocals
Alex Hayward- Drums, Vibes, Vocals
Adam Mantovani- Bass, Vocals