By: Lauren Jonik (email@example.com)
At its best, music is transparent--- like a clear flame. It can
be gentle and warming or bright and intense--- or both, but when
it is real, you feel it. Blending passion, honesty and soul with
down to earth rock and roll, Will Hoge and his band, bring a kind
of tangible energy to their songwriting and performing. It is this
sense of realness and fun that has been winning over audiences and
turning concert-goers into loyal fans.
band, composed of lead vocalist/guitarist Will
Hoge, guitarist/background vocalist Brian Layson, bassist/background
vocalist Tres Sasser and drummer Kirk Yoquelet, is dynamic in their
approach to sharing their music. At the heart of what they do is
the simple yet powerful act of connecting with each other, the crowd
and ultimately, the sounds they are creating and recreating night
after night. "We want people to enjoy themselves--- and we
want to interact with them," said Will Hoge. Whether playing
to small or large crowds, their dedication to putting on a good
show remains the same. As Brian Layson explained, "we try to
put on a very exciting, energetic show and we have a good time ourselves
and hopefully, that comes across to the audience." If the enthusiasm
expressed by fans is any indication, indeed they are succeeding.
"Everytime I go to a show, I'm blown away by their performance.
. . I think I know what to expect, but the shows are always so different.
I love how they change the setlists so often. When I saw them three
nights in a row, the set was different every night," said Darcy
Sachs of Atlanta, GA.
Behind every great live
performance is the foundation of solid songwriting. For Will Hoge,
the principal songwriter in the band, the process of bringing those
songs into existence varies for each song. "I think my favorite
ones are the songs where they come together and the lyrics and melody
and music all sort of spill out. Those are the real gifts."
Taking inspiration from the love the of music itself and the commitment
to growing in his craft, Will said, "it is like anything else,
the more you try and do it, the more opportunities you set yourself
up for." Your Fool, co-written with Tres Sasser, is
the band's current single and has been receiving airplay across
the country on radio stations, like WXPN in Philadelphia and WRLT
in Nashville. The first time the band heard one of their songs,
Ms. Williams, from start to finish on the radio was a memorable
one. "It was one of the truly celebratory moments of my entire
life," said Will.
their first full-length studio album, Carousel, in January
2001, allowed the band to grow at their own pace. "Doing it
independently really enabled us time to learn how to be a band and
go out on the road and handle things on our own. I think it was
definitely a good thing."
They signed with Atlantic
Records in the summer of 2001 and while on the road, have begun
writing songs for the next album--- their first record that will
include the guitar skills of Brian Layson, who joined the band in
December 2000 after the departure of guitarist and former Georgia
Satellites member, Dan Baird. The transition of the changing line-up
was an especially easy one for all concerned. "I remember telling
Brian after the first practice that we will be a better band if
he is in it with us," said Tres Sasser.
Believing that success
is building a foundation for longevity and utilizing their opportunities
to grow, the members of the band are grateful for the chance to
pursue their dreams. "I think in some ways, we are already
successful because we are all doing what we wanted to do as kids
and we are at an age where a lot of people had to give up, basically,"
said Kirk Yoquelet. Added Will, jokingly, "In a weird way,
riding around in a van with four other sweaty guys is sort of success
in and of itself."
With fire and grace,
the band is setting their sights appropriately high. When asked
what their hopes are for the future, Brian simply remarked, "we
want to take over the world. We all want to make a huge impact.
We love what we do." And it shows. The old adage is indeed
proving itself to be true--- where there is a Will---- and Brian,
Tres, and Kirk, there will be a way.
by Peyton Hoge, courtesy of HoopLA Media and Public Relations