The Weeks talk southern music and life, will perform at Druid City tonightBy Ellen Johnson | 04/11/2017 10:04pm
Photo courtesy of Sacks & Co.
That's Sam Williams' advice to any young band just starting out. A lot of good opportunities will come your way early, he said, but you have to know which ones are the right ones to take.
"It's doing what you want to do," said Williams, guitarist for southern rock band The Weeks and Birmingham native. "I think that's the biggest thing for us, being from Alabama and Mississippi, taking things slow is definitely part of who we are."
Since coming together in Jackson, Mississippi, 11 years ago, The Weeks have known which opportunities to take. Despite all still being in their 20s, they've made five albums, toured Europe with Kings of Leon and ushered in a new wave of southern indie rock. Tonight they'll perform at Druid City Music Hall on a leg of their "Easy Does It" tour, which kicked off the last week of March.
"I'm so ready to be back on that lifestyle," Williams said the week before touring as he was driving around town and picking everyone up for rehearsal. "They talk about cabin fever, but I'm way beyond cabin fever. I'm so ready to get out on that tour."
It's not that they don't miss home when they're on tour, he said. They do. But not in the way of missing a house or a bed or familiarity – the band thrives on the new places and experiences that touring brings.
"[Touring] definitely influences the music," Williams said. "There's a lot of reality that you see driving through."
They claim Jackson as their hometown, but really they grew up in a small town outside of Jackson called Florence, population noted as 4,141 in 2010.
"It is slow," Williams said. "We were definitely the black sheep growing up there."
Casted of twin brothers Cyle and Cain Barnes, on lead vocals and drums respectively, and Damien Bone on bass, joined by Williams, the band came together in high school.
"We're all from small towns so we would always appreciate when a regional or national band would come through," he said. "You have to kill time somehow because there's not a lot to do around Florence, Mississippi."
Williams credits the lackadaisical nature of the South with much of their musical motivation.
"And that's sort of why the South is a breeding ground of so much of the arts," he said. "You're pretty good at it because there's nothing else to do. You're kind of the odd man out, so when you find that creative community that we found with the boys, you really go hard and embrace the hell of it. We're doing this every single day."
They made their first record in 2008, followed by the move to Nashville in 2010 where they signed with Kings of Leon's label Serpents and Snakes. They later toured with KOL, playing arenas of 20,000 and garnering experience and influences along the way. They also toured with KOL again this year for three shows on their WALLS tour.
"They were sort of like the renaissance of all the music we grew up listening to," Williams said of KOL. "You don't just have to wear leather jackets and be cool to do good music."
Besides the "Kings" of southern rock, The Weeks also take influence from Lynyrd Skynyrd, Wilco and The Allman Brothers Band.
They recorded their fifth and current album "Easy" in Memphis, and that's just how it feels to listen to it – easy. The group took a deeper approach and let the process flow when making the new record.
"We wanted to change the process, just sort of immerse yourself in it," Williams said. "We wanted to sort of take our time, and not be like 'we've got ten songs, let's go to the studio and let's cut this.' Let's take our time here. Let's not rush ourselves."
They've been together for a decade, but Williams said not much has changed for the band or how they do things.
"It’s what works for us and what’s always worked for us and what will continue to work for us," he said. "We stick with that more than the changing of the times."
Tonight's show with The Lonely Biscuits starts at 8:30 p.m. with doors at 7:30. Tickets are $12 at the door or at www.druidcitymusichall.com.