Today’s Feature – November 1-2: Sons of William

November 2, 2008 at 2:25 pm (Today's Feature)

Joe and David Stark aren’t pulling any punches. These Louisiana boys look to their father for inspiration in much of their music – sounds that include the blues and classic rock their dad, Bill, introduced them to. However, it’s the twist that the “Sons” are really proud of; it’s their own take on the melodies that makes them stand out. They’ve got some help too – some marvelous help. Jen Janet steps in as the third member, bringing “soulful chops and vocals, and undeniable stage presence.”

While the Sons of William seem new to the scene – they actually bring plenty of experience. Just look at Joe – he’s taken offers to shred the guitar with the likes of Butch Walker, Marc Broussard, Will Hoge, and Rock Star INXS, amongst others. That experience, along with their tweaks on their classic rock influences is well represented on their latest album, “What Hides Inside.” I like how these guys describe it; “We feel we have found our own voice through a constant balance of studying the music we love and abandoning self-imposed rules. We are not ashamed to wear our bluesy influences as long as we feel like we are challenging ourselves.”

The trio is constantly touring, so hop over to their page for the schedule and head out to a show. And check out the record – it’s definitely something new. You’ll learn A LOT more below, in the XXQ’s.

XXQs: Sons of William (Richie): Hey Joe, how are things? Where’d I catch you?

Joe: I am in my hometown of Houma, Louisiana, where I’m from and where I reside at the time.

Richie: What kind of bands where you listening to growing up?

Joe: Culturally, there are a lot bands that came from this area. Lots of Cajun music, blues, the absolute ruthless roots of the cultural bleeds into the dialect and in the dancing. So there is a very rich music culture here. It’s also the last place with a Walmart before you drown in the Gulf of Mexico (laughs). It’s a small fishing community that most people don’t know about. It heavily influenced how we play and write.

Richie: Do you all share the same taste in music?

Joe: Yeah, but I mean we disagree in some records here and there. But we listen to the same kind music that people like to listen to. So, there is some kind of common ground there.

Richie: What kind of environment do you have to be to write music?

Joe: Um, when it’s good it kind of comes at any time. Sometimes you have to work for it though. That is when we are putting our best foot forwards. When it comes from nowhere that usually brings our best songs. Usually the song is there before we go to work it up as a band. We don’t really get together and pow-wow around.

Richie: I know you get a lot of questions about being a family but I have to ask has there ever been any sibling rivalry?

Joe: Nah man, my brother is my boy. You know he hears music like, I mean we come from the same family and our “value system” is the same so we get along really well. In the same thing he is the first guy to like look at me and tell where to go get off and tell me how it really is. You know?

Richie: I understand, trust me. Brothers across the world understand.

Joe: It’s good though because it takes away all the bullshit of being in a band. It’s like he can just tell me, ‘I can’t believe you are going to wear that shirt!’ Or ‘Dude, that sucks’. It works out perfect.

Richie: How have your other friends and family reacted your success and careers?

Joe: We’ve actually been very fortunate to have nothing but a lot of support from family and the people we surround ourselves with.

Richie: What can fans expect form a live Sons of William show?

Joe: When you come to see us live, I would say we try to be as tight as possible. We bring a lot of elements that aren’t in the studio. In the studio we have all kinds of things going on. When it comes to live we are working in the confines of a trio. But it is a real rock show and our band works under the motto, ‘If we have to leave the house we mind as well be doing it for a reason.’ So we kick as much ass as possible.

Richie: What can fans expect from your album, “What Hides Inside”?

Joe: That record was made over the process of a year. Over tour breaks and when we could find time. It was a collection of songs that were pieced together over a year. Unlike a Fleetwood Mac record that takes a year, it’s because we had to do it that way, not because we chose to (Laughs). I think it has some of the best records we’ve ever written. We’re super proud of it. We want everyone under the sun to hear it.

Richie: With the music industry being so tough with so many great bands out there, what do you do to make sure this album is different than others?

Joe: We try to separate ourselves as much as possible and a natural progression forward as possible. The thing is we don’t belong to any kind of “club”, so there is not band out there that we try to be like. Like it’s so good to be like this band or that. Sometimes it’s frustrating because doing that may help us get more noticed and booked. But the thing is we are a rock band. We’re not going anywhere. We’re touring the country. It’s nice to be out on our own. The other shit comes and goes but we maintain a pretty strong stance even if it is one we take alone.

Richie: If you weren’t playing music what do you think you’d be doing for a living?

Joe: You know, I don’t think I’d be much good for anybody (laughs). I’m trying to think… I’ve been doing it for so long so I can’t thing of anything else. Maybe like some kind of labor or something, maybe a roofer. I don’t know.

Richie: What’s one thing we’d be surprised to hear about the members of the band?

Joe: Surprising? Well, I don’t know if there is anything that I would think would be surprising… Um, I guess we call ourselves the Sons of William but there is a girl in the band and she is the best musician out of all of us. She can play circles around me on the guitar. But something surprising about my brother… I don’t know…

Richie: Come on Joe, this may be the time to do the one brother that gets to embarrass the other brother kind of thing (laughs).

Joe: Oh, I don’t want to dog him out (laughs).

Richie: No, it’s cool, I understand… About the dynamic of the band; two guys one girl – you don’t see that combination in a rock band too often.

Joe: It works. The dynamic does take some getting used to. She handles everything from a dirty joke to driving duties. She’s great.

Richie: Is there a band up and coming now that  you think we should be looking out for?

Joe: There’s a guy that has success and following but is still under the radar – his name is Dax Riggs. I think he is one of the best artists out there right now making music. He is also from my hometown. Like a crazy David Bowie, meets a Gothic/Death rock (laughs). He’s really good.

Richie: Cool, I’ll have to look him up. So, what’s next for the band?

Joe: Um, we’re actually letting our agent run us ragged in the new year. We do a big festival down here. A little bit of touring towards the end of the year. Being a part of bigger tours too. Then go to the south and then the east coast.

Richie: Awesome. I’ll have to catch up with you when you come to town. Well, thanks for taking the time with me today. Best of luck on tour.

Joe: Right on man we’re looking forward to it.

For more information on Sons Of William, check out:


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