This article originally appears on Boston Band Crush ). Coming off a great performance on the Late Late Show (video down at the bottom), Will Dailey gave us here at Boston Band Crush a bit of insight into the interesting path of his musical career…but before you read that, you had best consider spending some time on a boat with Will. There’s even two days left to win tickets and cruise free!
Rock and Blues Concert Cruise Series
Will Dailey & the rivals at sea w/ guests Gypsy Tail Wind and more
BBC: It seems that you have an interesting, sustainable career based on a newer approach to development. A lot of artists out there are working hard to get music licensed (as that seems to be a better source of revenue than sales for many). You have a tremendous amount of music licensed to television, particularly. Is that a primary focus for you?
WD: Not really. It was an accidental twist in the road and it only remains in my periphery. Through my label a lot of the supervisors get the music first and when you get one song place it kind of snow balls into more and more. When I hear how hard people work to get their songs on TV it does surprise me. I think hard work is best served with getting as many shows as possible and creating good music. Serving my creative needs has always been my primary focus. If I am not going to be doing that then there are easier lines of work.
BBC: Does it play any role in the writing process? Do you ever think about writing songs that are compatible with licensing uses or is it just coincidence that they work well for that purpose?
WD: Never do. When songs are done being tracked you hear conversations like, “this would sound great in film.” Just like you hear people say this would sound great on the radio. It is an accepted medium now that Bob Dylan has Cadillac commercials and Pete Townshend opens up CSI. As with the rest of our culture, it is everything all of time. People will gravitate towards artists that are true to themselves.
BBC: What is your favorite scene that you’ve have a song placed in?
WD: I don’t always catch them because I am on the road, playing a show or recouping from one of the two. I did see one where a guy was found dead with an arrow in his back and my song was playing on his stereo. Which means that guys who are wanted dead, for one reason or another, listen to my music.
BBC: Your most recent work, Torrent, has been made on an imposed schedule. Can you talk a little bit about that and describe how it affects the songwriting process.
WD: I don’t find it imposing at all. I actually came up with Torrent to rid myself of the imposing schedule that the industry can put on you with an album cycle. Putting out 12 songs every two years isn’t my idea of creative freedom. I am songwriter I’m never really taking breaks from songwriting. I am far more excited about a career when I can record the songs as I write them.
BBC: The Torrent album is also being released in a special DVD format. Can you explain why this choice was made and why it makes for a better listening experience?
WD: When people get a regular CD it is a copy of a copy of a copy. When they get an MP3 it is a copy of a copy x10. T Bone Burnett’s CODE presents the audio in the highest form ever delivered to the listener. It is audio as we listened to it in the mastering studio. It you are going to work so hard on something, pouring all your blood and sweat into it, it should have the best dress to wear to the ball. CODE is the sonic equivalent of getting a painter actual canvas instead of a print copy.
BBC: Your career almost hit a dead end of sorts on what I believe was your first extensive tour. You developed appendicitis and, like most early-career musicians, had no health insurance. How did you cope with that situation?
WD: Sold a lot of equipment, stopped touring, fought a lot of bills. In a lot of ways I am still coping with it because the physical hold up and cost combined held me back for a while and took a long time to recover from. It happens to a lot of people and it could have been a lot worse so I didn’t let myself get too hung up on it. I just pushed forward. Now I’m climbing out of that hole and I’m stronger for it.
BBC: I know there are a number of organizations that try to help sick musicians who have no insurance cope with their situations (Sweet Relief for example). Did the experience inspire any activism related to health concerns or insurance for musicians?
WD: My first act of activism was to get out of dept and bills. Unbelievable, that period just ended. But the most important thing to do during that time is to tell your story. Hopefully, interviewers (like yourself) do their homework and ask interesting questions so that you get it out there. People need to know that it is hard working people, artists and entrepreneurs who are often screwed because they don’t have health care and that it ends up costing so much more to not have people on health care.
Prior to my hold up, even more since then, my main focus as in individual and somewhat of, a public person, is to zero in on prevention and not the Band-Aids. The greatest thing that I have been a part of this past year is Farm Aid. The people at farm aid have had tremendous success for 24 years supporting family farms and forcing people to think about where their food comes from and how their dollar is spent! The key to health starts with what you put in your body and how you treat it. If we don’t have a culture that values that we won’t have a political system that sees the value in prevention and coverage for all.