Will Jacobs Interview by Christian Lamitschka for Country Music News International Magazine & Radio Show

Will Jacobs Interview by Christian Lamitschka for Country Music News International Magazine & Radio Show

Lamitschka:  Music has many new fans throughout Europe who may be hearing about you for the first time. How would you describe yourself and the music you play to someone who has never seen or heard you?

Answer: I would describe myself as a powerhouse guitar player from Chicago that plays High Energy Blues and Soul that's guaranteed to make you get on your feet!

Lamitschka:  How was the last year for you? What were your highlights?

Answer: This last year has been great for me! I've been building a lot of relationships here in Berlin with club owners and musicians, as well as reaching out to other countries to play. I've gotten to work on a lot of music with a lot of different people here. I guess my highlight of this year would be all the traveling to different countries. I've been to Ukraine about 4 times this year, as well as to Armenia, Georgia, france, and Spain.  

Lamitschka:  What is your latest CD and how's it doing?

Answer:  My latest CD is Called "Will Jacobs LIVE". It's a 10 song cd thats the first I've had in about 4 or 5 years. So far it's doing great! Everytime I travel I sell out of all the CD's I'm able to bring with.

Lamitschka:  How did you choose the title for the CD?  Is there a story behind the name?

Answer:  Choosing the title was pretty easy. When I went in the studio with my band we all played the music together in the live room instead of trying to isolate all the instruments. We already were playing the songs on our shows so I told the guys to just pretend it was a show. I figured since it felt like that even though we were in the studio, I'd call it "LIVE". That's all it was!

Lamitschka:  Do you write the songs yourself? If not, how do you go about finding the songs for your CD?

Answer: Yes, I do write the songs myself. I have a couple covers on the album from artists that I feel are special to me like Albert King, Johnny Guitar Watson, and James Brown. Otherwise, all of the music is my own. 

Lamitschka:  Please tell us about the songs on your album (influences, etc).

Answer:  Well like I said there's a mix of music. Some of my music, mixed with some covers from some of my favorite artists. The music I chose from my favorite artists have a lot of soul influence in them. While mine come from more of a blues background.

Lamitschka:  What is the difference between your last CD and your current one?

Answer:  My last CD was recorded when I was 16 years old, and was a power Trio called Will Jacobs and Dirty Deal. That was my first real band. The whole purpose of this second album last year was to have something that sounded like me now haha. I've also done a lot of writing since 16 years old and I was ready to get some of that music out there. This new CD has a 4 piece band on it, and totally different music. There's more coming in the near future as well!

Lamitschka:  Your current single is being played by radio. What do you feel is special about this song that makes people want to hear it?

Answer: Well the song "Runaway"is a song that I feel a lot of people can relate to musically AND lyrically. It's a funky tune about the stress of life and needing or wanting to get away from it all. 

Lamitschka:  What will your next single be?

Answer: I'm currently in the process of working on another album. It's hard at the moment to know what the next single will be. I have in narrowed down to several songs though! I dont want to say much else about it till I'm ready to release it!

Lamitschka:  What kind of songs do you like to record the most?

Answer:  I love to record blues mixed with funk and soul. Playing in Chicago for so long all 3 genres were mixed together a lot by the people I learned from. It's how I hear my own music as well when I write. I enjoy a wide array of different music, but Blues, Funk, and Soul is what I love to write, record, and play.

Lamitschka:  What is your favorite song among all the songs you have recorded and what's the story behind it?

Answer: At the moment my favorite song I've recorded is Runaway. It's a song about the struggle of life. Being in debt, your car just broke down, your rent is late, your girl just left you, and you need to just runaway from it all. 

Lamitschka:  How much creative control do you have over your music?

Answer: At the moment I guess you could say I have full creative control. With that being said, I always bring my music to the band with open ears. I don't mind changing things up a bit, especially if someone else's ears can help the music!

Lamitschka:  There's a lot of work that goes into a number one hit. What did it take to make it in your case?

Answer: There's no correct hit making formula. I believe that if you write a songs groovy enough, simple enough, and something people can relate to, it will go far.
Lamitschka:  Who inspires you musically and how deep do your musical roots run?

Answer: I'm inspired on a lot of different levels for music. I used to be into a lot of Jazz as well as blues. When I started playing on the scene in Chicago I was exposed to so many different styles of music and styles of playing. A lot of the people I had the privlege of playing with and watching in Chicago (Carl Weathersby, Linsey Alexander, Ronnie Hicks, JW Williams, and many others) as well as the music I was exposed to from them inspire me. I think my musical roots dig pretty deep into jazz, soul, blues, and funk, for a 25 year old. 

Lamitschka:  What do you think about today's music scene versus its post and where do you see it going in the future?

Answer: Well I can't say much about what the past music industry was like. I'm only 25. I know the music though, and I think a lot of people forget about where the music on today's radio comes from. I do belive there is a good future for Blues music. It';s spread all over the world into different corners of music. There's some kind of blues for everyone. I think it will always be here, and I think that the young generation now is adding to the definition of blues. Mixing it with different styles as well. I can't say I am a fan of everyone's mix, but Blues is an ever evolving genre. So long as us new songwriters remember where it comes from I think there's a bright future for the scene..

Lamitschka:  What do you think about today's music industry?

Answer:  It's a MACHINE.

Lamitschka:  If you had the chance to change something about the music industry, what would it be?

Answer: I would like to see artists in genres like Blues, and Soul get more for what they do. I feel like everyone says they love blues, but outside of the blues community, and in the general population of the music world, you don't hear it as much as other genres. I do belive some of my younger friends when they say they love blues, but why don't I hear it more on the radio, or see any blues on your playlist on your computer. The musicials I was lucky enough to play with work their asses off more than anyone I know, for so little in return.

Lamitschka:  As an artist, you so many tasks such as recording, touring, interviews. What do you like best, what's your favorite activity?

Answer: Playing live, and Recording in the studio are definitely my favorite. Between hearing the song go from you own ears to reality, and getting to play that music and get people dancing, and grooving it's the best high in the world. 

Lamitschka:  Are you doing anything to take music beyond its current borders or are you happy where it is?

Answer: I'm always writing. While I do mostly write Blues, and Soul music, I work with a couple other people trying to stretch out my own songwriting. It's a lot of R&B and Neo Soul that I like to work on outside of my own band.  
Lamitschka:  What inspired you to become an artist?

Answer: I always loved music since I was a child. It was around me a lot. I think what really made me want to become a guitar player though, was seeing ZZ Top in Michigan while away from home with my Parents. I remember seeing them on stage thinking….."yeah….thats what I want to do"while feeling the speakers pounding music into my ears and chest. It was an awesome experience. I think i was 11 or 12 at the time. 

Lamitschka:  What inspired you to become a songwriter?

Answer: Not only the Blues music that I listened to but when I attended Berklee college of music, I just loved to write. Hearing so many different people with so many ideas opened up my mind and my ears and the rest happened naturally. I just loved to write. 

Lamitschka:  What drives you?

Answer: My love for music drives me. The feeling of being on stage, a tight band, and a crowd dancing their ass off drives me. That feeling of getting off the stage covered in sweat, after giving it 200 percent for 2 hours straight playing your music and seeing smiles on peoples faces. That's what drives me. 

Lamitschka:  Who is your biggest critic, yourself or others?

Answer:  I am DEFINITELY my biggest critic. I do it all the time to myself even outside of music

Lamitschka:  When you get time off, how do you like to relax?

Answer: In my free time I spend it with my daughter. She's the light of my life, and motivation for most everything in it. If I'm not with her, I'm either cooking, playing guitar or trying to learn german through Berlin public TV haha.  

Lamitschka:  Is there anything in your life that you would change if you could?

Answer: I wish I would have spent more time studying and taking college serious than, messing around like I did. I feel like I missed out on so much I could have learned, and the opportunity to be even more of the musician I dream to be in the future.

Lamitschka:  What hopes and desires do you have?

Answer: I hope to one day finish school, but first I'd like to make a living completely off of music. I would consider myself lucky to be able to say that. If I can, can support my family, doing what I love, and one day put myself back through school, I would be the happiest guy on the planet. 

Lamitschka:  What has been the biggest disappointment in your life?

Answer: The only other thing besides not finishing college, would be that my dad isn't around to see what I'm doing with music. When I was 15 he passed away, and while my mother who I owe everything too has supported me through it all, I miss my dad being next to her doing it as well. I often think about what he would say if he were here to see what I'm doing.  
Lamitschka:  Is there any place you haven't played that you would like to?

Answer: I would love to play at Ronnie Scotts in London, and at the Lucerne Blues Festival in Switzerland!

Lamitschka:  What can your fans expect to see when they see you in concert?

Answer: High energy, powerhouse Blues and soul with a 4 piece band ready to get you on your feet!

Lamitschka:  When you're on tour, do you have time to play tourist?

Answer: Not all the time, but I always try to make time for it. I never thought I would move to Europe let alone be able to travel through it to different countries with music. My favorite part about it all is getting to experience different places and cultures and food. Being a tourist is my second favorite part about being on tour so I always try and make time for it. 

Lamitschka:  Do fans mob you everywhere you go or do they respect your privacy?

Answer: No they don't at the moment. At my shows people like to take pictures with me, buy a CD, get an autograph, and have some nice words, but outside of that I don't get mobbed

Lamitschka:  Many music fans today get their information about artists online. Do you have your own website and what will fans find there?

Answer: Yes I do! In fact Im on facebook, revebnation, instagram, twitter, youtube and I have my own website! You'll find everything you need to know about me specifically, Where my next shows are, pictures, videos and music as well as be able to leave comments, or contact me through the request form on my website. Here are all of the links!

Lamitschka:  Tell us about the fan club and how people can join it.

Answer: If youd like to be on my email list go to my website and send me a request form on the contact page! Just leave your email within your message and you'll be added to the email updates sent out periodically! Otherwise please visit my facebook or reverb nation and follow my pages! The more people the better!

Lamitschka:  What's the best compliment a fan has ever given you?

Answer: There was a time when I was told by a really young boy I made him want to play guitar. It was a feeling I cannot describe having him tell me that. I hope he's still at it!

Lamitschka:  What's your favorite song that you wish you could have recorded?

Answer: I'll Play The Blues For You, by Albert King 

Lamitschka:  What message would you like to send your European fans?

Answer: If you down and out, or just need a release and need to get on your feet Blues can be the answer. 

Lamitschka:  How do you feel about being winning the Youth division in the Chicago Blues challenge?  What has it done for your career?

Answer: Winning the Youth division in the Chicago Blues challenge and getting to represent Chicago at the IBC in Memphis was amazing. It led me to see the things I could do with music and want to do with music. Seeing all of the amazing performers and different styles of blues from all over the world was amazing as well. I never knew before that how big the blues world really was. 
Lamitschka:  Fans are always hungry for good road stories. Do you have one you can share with us (come on don’t be shy)?

Answer: Unfortunately my road stories are a little too crazy to let out at the moment. I would definitely get in a little trouble with my mother if I were to say anything because I know she will be reading this haha. I will say though Getting to be on the road with CJ Chenier was one of the most amazing experiences I've ever had. I learned so much about what it meant to be a road dog, leading a band, handling your music like a buisiness, and many more things. I'll never forget it.

Lamitschka:  Describe what a perfect day is like for you.

Answer: Wake up, Daughter to kita, come home and write music, pick up my daughter from school then go back to music once she's asleep!

Christian Lamitschka ( Ch.Lamitschka@t-online.de ) for Country Music News International Magazine & Radio Show

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