Interview with William Everett Cline
For those readers who are not familiar with your music, give us a little background info....
Back ground info? My name is William Everett Cline, I'm thirty two years old and I grew up playing music in Myrtle Beach, SC. After playing in a few bands as a teenager, I started writing my own brand of music ten years ago. I'm not really sure on how to describe it. I would say it's a mix of Outlaw Rock and Southern Rock N' Roll. Hard rhythm hooks, soft ballads and lots of emotion is what comes out when I play it live. I write music from my convictions and experiences as a person. I built this record from scratch with the money I earned as a tile contractor over the past seven years. I began recording the album in 2005 and released it on my own under my Label, Stompin' Ground USA, LLC on January 15, 2007. As man who loves what America has allowed me to do, I don't agree with the direction of the culture and have never been one to follow the pack. So I guess all that stuff comes out when you listen to my music or hear it live.
What have you been up to lately?
Lately I've been trying to fine tune my sound. I played a show last week here in town and the response was overwhelming, "Will, it's time for your to leave this town behind". I've known that for a while, but now it's has become a reality. Myrtle Beach is a great place for families to visit for the summer, but when it comes to the music scene here? It's like living in a retirement home. It sucks the life out of your ambition and drains your creativity. My music is not the Nashville country brand, Americana or Pop Glam Rock. So, that leaves a cat like me, who doesn't play Jimmy Buffet happy hour gigs, kind of out in the cold. I grew up playing on bills with two or three bands for live shows, doing 45-60 minute sets. Bars and Clubs don't cater to that style much anymore. Artists are creative by nature and when that feeling is not around, you have to move on to find something new that inspires you. Right now America is being brainwashed and transformed to a socialist nation, and I have been inspired by the whole "Hope and Change" deal. If you’re gonna go down America, go down swinging, kicking and fighting' like hell.
Who do you listen to among today's artists?
I really think Shooter Jennings is head of his time. I got turned on to him 2006 when he put out Electric Rodeo. What he has been doing with his music over the past few years is unmatched in my mind; he is by far the most talented, under rated artist in music. I've watched his live show a few times and by all means, he really gives his fans their moneys worth. He is a really talented musician. For the most part, I really don't listen too much of "today's" music. I have a hard time relating to most of it. Don't get me wrong, there are a lot of great new artists out right now. I have also been turned onto a few Americana acts over the last few years. A lot of these artists are so full of talent and song writing that it's blows me away how they stay under the radar.
Any other major influences you would like to bring up?
There are a lot of influences in my music. Waylon Jennings, Led Zeppelin, The Marshall Tucker Band and Lynyrd Skynyrd come out in my music. The Outlaw movement of the seventies as well as older R&B blues music like Jimi Hendrix and Billie Holiday. I really listen to A LOT of different stuff. I'm all over the map with music. You would be surprised by some of the stuff I’m into.
Could you pick some highlights for us from your excellent debut album, Stompin' Ground USA?
Highlights from Stompin' Ground USA? Where do I start? I would have to say the biggest highlight of the album was combing high tempo hard rock, wild leads and then fusing it with some slower emotional ballads. The album really has a good balance to it. Every song on the album comes off as good a tune. I really think that comes across when you listen to it from front to back. These days it's not popular to pay tribute to the men who have died for this country on the battle field. But on track Memorial Day, everyone one these men come alive. That was a highlight for sure. Paying tribute to my family and history it left behind was the basis for the name of the album. And by far it was the greatest highlight.
Freight trains seem to be recurring theme in your songs, what is it about them, that fascinates you?
"I got Freight Trains and Horses. I got sad songs and waltzes".
You know, life has been one big train ride for me. I have been riding the same old train for years so I decided to put a Freight Train on the album cover for William Everett Cline - Stompin' Ground USA. I guess when you have a freight train running through your blood; you have to write about it. Freight Trains symbolize a lot for me. Trials, tribulation, hard work and the momentum I have to accomplish what I want to get done in this life. In a lot ways the freight train is great symbolic icon on how America was built from the ground up.
In your opinion, what ever happened to Southern rock?
What happened to Southern Rock? It died on the operating table in 1979. I think the music business wanted to usher in a one hit wonder, pop culture movement. The 1980's Nashville moved in, took the place of southern rock, and never looked back. Today if a Southern Rock band heads to Nashville, they will get their music ripped off. You can't take a rock n' roll song, put in a Nashville studio and call it southern rock? That's the most counterfeit form of music that exists today. I understand it sells a lot of records, and most of these artists are good people, but most of them don't write their own music, they are signed for marketing purposes. It really is impossible to listen to commercial country if you write your own music. The culture has changed a lot. Southern Rock is still alive today because of the radio, but the current day culture doesn't understand what it means to be original with writing music. They are quick to copy what's popular and what sells. The bands from the seventies era, where killed off by the 80's pop culture movement of MTV.
Any future plans for William Everett Cline?
For the most part, I live by the seat of my pants. I have been working on finding the right booking agent who can help me get on the road with more with bands I actually fit in with. My main goal is playing live on a more consistent basis threw out the South East and Midwest for people who have never heard or seen my sound before. The rush and feeling of playing is unmatched and I put a lot of hard work into this project and I really want to earn it the hard way. I guess I'm old school in that sense. But at the same time, I also need a break to make it happen. The sound I have in my head keeps growing and I really want to record another album. For the most part, life is good and I really got the biggest kick out Puresouthernrock.com taking interest in my music. I definitely think this interview will help my music gain some exposure. I really appreciate you guys being so cool.
No problem, William. And be sure to check out our artist profile for William Everett Cline.