The Alex Wilson Band is a trio of musicians with deep raw vocals and a big-band blues sound and an increasing fan following in the Midwest. Wilson currently takes the stage with Marc Wilson on the drums, Eric Wills on the bass guitar, and Alex on lead guitar and vocals. Alex Wilson’s debut album “Tell Me Why” was released on his own label Rathskeller Records in October, 2008. I had a few chances to speak with Wilson in between his busy schedule of gigs and composing.
Maximum Ink: You started playing guitar when you were five years old and had a family full of musicians. Is guitar your only accomplished instrument?
Alex Wilson: I’ve fiddled with music my whole life. I’ve played shows on the drums before and I still have a fondness for percussion but I could never call myself a drummer. I play a little bass but my main focus is the guitar. I didn’t begin to consider music as a profession until I was about 17.
MI: You are a non-smoking blues musician with his own record label in Milwaukee. Do you have a significant other?
AW: I don’t. Chemistry and timing have not yet been on my side simultaneously.
MI: Since music is an art form that takes a lifetime to master, how do you improve your skills?
AW: Fine tuning skills as a musician, as far as I know, just takes practice…a lot of it. It takes both mental and physical dexterity to play guitar. You have to practice what you do to be in shape for it but I think most of it is in your mind and in your heart.
MI: I’m an avid vinyl collector and Wisconsin has some great places to find what you’re looking for. What is your favorite medium for listening to music?
AW: As a music lover, I prefer vinyl myself. It’s crazy to think about how the iTunes generation, without even knowing it, are chopping off the bottom and the top frequencies that are an essential part of the way that music is recorded and should be heard. I own an iPhone for emergency music but speakers sound much better than ear buds.
MI: What are a few of your favorite albums?
AW: It’s hard to narrow down albums and musicians because there are literally hundreds of records that have had profound influence on me. On the spot, “Thunderbird” by Little Walter, “Electric Lady Land” by Jimmy Hendrix, “West Side Soul” by Magic Sam and “Revolver” by the Beatles are some of my favorites.
MI: You and your band are on the road most of the time. How do you deal with that nomadic lifestyle?
AW: “It’s definitely hard to travel and play shows relentlessly but playing music is a release for all of us. There are so many interesting people with so many perspectives out there. To only see your own corner of the world is something that is wrong with the world today. We all breathe the same air, live next door to each other and should communicate better while being more tolerant. The world could be a better place.”
The Alex Wilson band has played all over the country and in various places around the world. They plan to book a European tour some time in the future but are currently busy with composing, reading, and have a number of shows and festivals to play this summer in the Midwest. They will be playing July 2nd, at 2:30 on the Harley-Davidson Stage at Summerfest and July 31st on the Harmony Bar/Capitol Beer Blues stage at the Atwood Summerfest in Madison. All of the band’s press releases and scheduled events can be found at www.alexwilsonband.com.(3125) Page Views Alex Wilson Online:
CD: Tell Me Why Record Label: Rathskeller Records
• Purchase Tell Me Why on Amazon
• Download Tell Me Why on Amazon