Prodigiously talented young songwriter Will Anderson has recently relocated to the Gold Coast in order to further his musical ambitions. At just 19 years of age, he’s already proficient on over 10 instruments, and is about to play a run of shows in support of his single Notions, which perfectly showcases his uniquely soulful sound. Anthony Gebhardt fired off a few questions to Will in the lead up to his big performance at the NightQuarter in Helensvale on 29 April.
So you’ve recently relocated from your home town of Mackay to the ‘big smoke’ of the Gold Coast. Why did you choose this neck of the woods? And how have you settled in, was it a bit of a culture shock or have you taken it all in your stride?
I always had such a romance for the Gold Coast when visiting as a kid, from the surfers and the beautiful beaches to the way that the traffic seemed to move that little bit slower than the rest of the world. It’s my kind of city and I have been loving this place since relocating! The music scene is more friendly and supportive than anywhere I’ve come across, it’s like Gold Coast musicians are on the same team rather than competing, its dope!
You’re about to play some shows to coincide with the launch of your single Notions. The first show of which is up in your old stomping ground of Mackay. Did you do a lot of gigging around the Mackay area before you moved to the Gold Coast? And do you have a bit of a loyal following up there who will come out and make it a big homecoming gig for you?
Yeah I’ve definitely broken more strings in Mackay than anywhere else, it’s where the trees grew that became the didgeridoos I play and it’s where I strummed my first guitar and drank my first beer. It’s the place where I fell in love with music and for that Mackay has always got my heart. I can’t wait to get home and show everyone who supported me at the very beginning while I was playing at the back of empty pubs how much I have grown as an artist and as a young man through my songs and stories.
Watch Notions below:
Is it true that you can play over 10 different instruments!? How did you manage to achieve this? And which of them gives you the most enjoyment in playing?
Well five years ago I couldn’t strum a guitar and didn’t know I had a singing voice for that matter. I was given a guitar at age 14 and that was THE moment, it felt so natural and just made so much sense inside my mind. I feel that I was born to play music and it was one of the greatest moments in my life when I realised that. I started my own ‘class’ at school where I would skip regular classes, sneak into the music room and play any instrument I could get my hands on. That was where I grew and learnt, alone, teaching myself to play music in whatever way felt natural, which has inspired my instinctive style of playing today at age 19. I would have to say the didgeridoo gives me the most fulfilment, you can feel the instrument vibrate through your entire body and soul.
Until music came along you had aspirations of being a professional rugby league player. Do you still maintain ties with your sporting past, or is music the total focus now?
I was training and playing rugby league for the Mackay Cutters 6 days a week. After music came along there was a point where I had to quit playing, which was emotionally very hard for me, but my coaches and teammates got behind me and in a matter of weeks I went from playing on the Mackay Stadium field to being the halftime entertainment!
What’s been the most memorable gig you’ve played so far?
Undoubtedly my most memorable gig so far was my first big support, for Kingswood’s sold out show in Townsville, when I was 16. I have never been more terrified when playing and was admittedly under qualified, over dressed and shitting myself! While clearly nervous standing side of stage, one of the Kingswood boys offered me a swig of tequila, some comforting words and a drunken slap on the back before I walked out in front of a roaring, sold out crowd. I remember feeling as though I had an out of body experience onstage that night, the crowd fed me like wild fire and somehow I nailed it. I strummed my guitar so hard for my last song that when I looked down my guitar was covered in blood! That was an early taste of the most addictive drug there is, live music.
What’s in store for you for the rest of 2017, after this current run of shows?
All I am thinking about at the moment is getting more music out to the people, so I am writing and recording every day, as well as making sure my live show is tight. I took my time over the last two years in developing myself as an artist and discovering who I am. With my first single out, it’s now time to showcase my music and perform to anyone who will listen. So expect more music and shows in the coming months, just keep your eyes and ears peeled.
Be sure to check out what all the fuss is about when talented newbie on the block Will Anderson performs at the following shows in support of his cracking single, Notions.
28 April, The Milk Factory, Brisbane QLD
29 April, NightQuarter, Gold Coast QLD