Today’s Feature – February 19-20: Will Dailey

February 19, 2008 at 9:59 pm (Today's Feature)


Will Dailey has a lot to be proud of. The respected and celebrated singer/songwriter out of Boston, Mass is one of the most promising emerging artists on the indie scene, a recipient of the 2006 Boston Music Award for Best Male Singer/Songwriter, a performer at this year’ Sundance Film Festival as well as a 2nd degree black belt. And as you might imagine, all of this wasn’t achieved without a bit of struggle.

Actually, calling it “a bit” of struggle doesn’t do Dailey’s situation justice. Facing several of the obstacles many new musicians go through, Dailey emerged from the masses poised to explode across the worldÕs musical palate, only to be derailed by a painful hospital stay with appendicitis. The real challenges however came after the surgery when Will was slammed with a $50,000 hospital bill… and no insurance to help out. It would soon become clear that Dailey’s resiliency was more than strong – he’s “kind of like Bruce Lee; be like water. Always be ready to form and do whatever the situation needs.”

“Back Flipping Forward,” the follow-up to “Goodbye Red Bullet” is that trophy of resiliency that Will can hold high within the industry. Much like the events leading up to its creation, a good deal of the album is based on struggle. The songs contained on this release shows off a variety of influences, as if youÕre “hearing a long forgotten master being channeled,” according to one reviewer. The music on “Back Flipping Forward” is a step above “Goodbye Red Bullet” in that this record was developed as a shared experience. Dailey recalls “Last time I was more on my own, but I didnÕt want this album to be that way. It is not as much of a spiritual experience. When you bring in all these different talents and personalities on something that you created and bring it to the next level together, itÕs tremendous. I remember being in the studio thinking, this is the best thing IÕve done so far.”

Dailey will be out supporting the record, so make sure you pull up to a show. The performance goes from a whisper to a scream – starting out as an acoustic one man show and turning into a full blown band tearing through the audience. Learn more by picking up a few Will Dailey albums and jumping into the XXQ’s.

XXQs: Will Dailey (PEV): Hey Will how you doing?

Will Dailey (WD): Good how you are you?

PEV: I’m actually looking at your video [on your site] from your trip and performance at this year’s The Sundance Film Festival. How was it?

WD: It was good, it was good. But a lot to cover in a couple days. Next time I’ll make time for leisurely movie viewing.

PEV: Was is pretty much all work?

WD: Yeah, I wish I would have had more time to ski and see some movies. I was talking to a lot of the musicians there and was like, ‘Has anyone seen any movies?’ No one had time to see a movie.

PEV: What was the atmosphere like? How were the crowds?

WD: It was great. It was packed. The one I did at Music Cafe was my first one in Park City. I had no idea what was going to happen but the room was full. There were all kinds of good people in the crowd.

PEV: Traveling around, what has been your favorite city to play?

WD: I really like Seattle, Boulder, New York is always an experience. Going home is always the finish line.

PEV: Where is home like for you?

WD: Boston.

PEV: What’s the music scene like in Boston?

WD: Great! There are a lot of good musicians here. This home to Aerosmith, Cars… The roots are always here. I know New York has great bands, but Boston has bands that tend to hold on tight.

PEV: What is your take on the east coast music scene versus that of LA?

WD: East coast-west coast battle?

PEV: (laughs) I know there is a dividing line and I’m interested on your take?

WD: I’ve lived in LA and played many, many shows there. My label is there and have a lot of friends there who have made a really good career for themselves. I also feel like if you are in LA, you are just trying to make it. You live in Chicago or Boston, you are trying to make it but it seems like you will do your art regardless of the income you will make. It’s a lot of like how people experience God. It’s like how Pearl Jam had that connection with Seattle. It’s just a connection that you have and they kept it.

PEV: You are the first to be signed to CBS Records. How has that development been going so far?

WD: It’s been great. It’s looking at the music industry from a different angle. And it’s taking it on with a little more reality, I want to say. I mean it’s not like, ‘Let’s sign an artist for one million dollars and then pour three million on him.’ With CBS they are doing a lot traditional things like radio. And I’ve made an album with them and we are talking about releasing singles. It’s like a little bonus.

PEV: What can fans expect from the new album, “Back Flipping Forward”?

WD: I had a lot of material to select from. I picked these ten songs because… The struggle of making “Back Flipping Forward” to get it recorded and get it out, I was doing before I got signed. A lot of themes in the album are based on struggle. I had the opportunity to go back to LA to record it but I stayed here in Boston with some really amazing musicians. If the songs needed petal steel, we had this amazing steel petal player. If we needed horns, we had a great horn player. We had all these cats from the Boston music scene; they are the real deal. I had my regular backing band on it as well. It basically these little ditties I wrote (laughs).

PEV: When you sit down to write music what kind of atmosphere to surround yourself in?

WD: I usually just make sure I have some sort of instrument in hand and a pen and paper or a phone I can call into my voicemail. I don’t really check time I just make sure I am always ready. Kind of like Bruce Lee; be like water. Always be ready to form and do whatever the situation needs. I usually make music for Bruce Lee. When I make music, it’s about being on your toes, I always make sure I am on my toes. I don’t ever think about it as a task.

PEV: I can honestly say you are the first person we’ve had that compares the music process to Bruce Lee…

WD: I actually think you should compare everything to Bruce Lee.

PEV: Nice. When you go on tour and you are playing, what are the best and worst parts?

WD: Sometime when your are doing the van thing, it is like a ten hour drive, just do wake up in the morning and do a radio show. That can be the worst part. The best part is like, I said, going to Park City for the first time and the room is filled and they want to talk to you, for the first time. That is usually the most rewarding.

PEV: What can fans expect from a live Will Dailey show?

WD: All kinds of things. I like to come out in a whisper, with just my guitar. And then the band will come out and by the end we are tearing it up. Kind of like someone fighting Chuck Norris… very, very bloody on stage. It’s that whisper to a scream, it’s that kind of journey I want to take them on. It’s like Billy Joel or Elton John, who can just be at their piano and then all of sudden there are like nine guys on stage; horns and everything is just way over the top.

PEV: When you get to back home, what can we find you doing in your spare time?

WD: Well, I just moved. But sometimes I end up hermit-ing a lot. And kind of just holding up inside my place. I go to see my friends bands in town. I just walk a few blocks and catch some great shows. Maybe watch some movies. Like the other day I saw “Juno” and “There Will Be Blood”… Back to back. It’s very much like my show- “Juno” is very uplifting and then “There Will Be Blood” is very bloody.

PEV: How have all your friends and family reacted to your success?

WD: They don’t think I am crazy anymore. I’m not the black sheep any more. It’s amazing what happens when people start seeing your mug on TV. There is a confidence when you thrust yourself in a career that has no step ladder.

PEV: All of a sudden you were right.

WD: Yeah! All of a sudden everyone knew you were going to make it. And the ones that really did know you were going to make it can be the most dangerous. They like to remind you that they knew it before.

PEV: You get to to a lot of shows, so is there an up and coming artist or band you think we should all be looking into now?

WD: Yes, I’ve played with my new friend Tim Williams, he is great. And my friends from Rhode Island, The Low Anthem, are quite brilliant. My friend George Stanford is good. I love the band Mid Lake. I never get bothered by any of those “End Of Year-Top Albums” lists but it really bothered me when Mid Lake’s album was not on any of them. I was really upset, I was mad at myself that I was really upset.

PEV: Do you find it frustrating with the mainstream media about how artist get out there?

WD: I’m not Bruce Springsteen, so I can’t really complain about what it’s like to do like 50 interviews in one day. But what is interesting is that you have to have like five personal websites – MySpace, Facebook… I mean that is not really my job. There are all these different outlets and you have to put so much energy into it. I mean, which magazine to I pick up now or which website do I go to now? But I think just recognizing it is a large step.

PEV: What’s one thing we’d be surprised to hear about you?

WD: Um, surprised to hear about me?… I’m a second degree black belt.

PEV: So, what’s next for Will Dailey?

WD: Touring… and taking my little sister to see “Cloverfield” (laughs). Catching up on my movies. And I’m also demoing a lot. Hopefully put something out in the next year.

PEV: Thanks for taking the time out with us, we really appreciate it.

WD: Thank you!

For more information on Will Dailey, check out


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