Six Question Set w/ Will Walker

While thinking about topics for the blog it dawned on me that a huge milestone was about to occur. Will’s Pub is celebrating its 19th anniversary for the entire month of September. 19 years is a long time to do anything and the events they have planned certainly do justice for the history and legacy of Will’s Pub.

Venues that are committed to providing a stage for live music, a great selection of alcohol, and a quirky creative sense of community that welcomes everyone to take a load off, grab a drink, and enjoy the weird circumstantial entertainment that life provides have always resonated with me. Music is my coping mechanism for all the things I can’t control and the crap that inevitably comes up in life. On many occasions Will’s Pub has been a shelter from the storm by providing an amazing show and a place to unwind with friends. It’s been one of my favorite spots to enjoy live music since I first moved to Orlando in 1998. There have been numerous occasions where my mind has been blown standing in Will’s watching some band slay the stage that has shifted my perception of the possible and for this I am eternally grateful.

After deciding on a topic and staring at the screen awhile putting this post together, I started to wonder what Will thinks about the 19 year journey he has been on. What better way to start off the Six Question Set series than with a salute to the man and the place that has been connected to so many great events, hangovers, and lost keys in my life and the life of others over the years. Of course when I asked Will if he would do the interview he responded in the affirmative in no time flat and returned the questions in less than 24 hours. So here we go…

What has been the worst thing(s) to deal with over the years running Will’s?

I guess it’s really hard to look over the things that are the current “bad stuff”.
Closing the first location may have been the worst. Spending tons of time and energy just to have it end.
I guess second on the list is dealing with the bureaucracy of the city trying to reopen Will’s.
The 3rd would be vomit.

What has been the best thing(s) to deal with over the years running Will’s?

100% it is the people that get it and fully fall in love with a band. The people that could be anywhere with their precious spare dollars and time that spend it with us. That crowd noise at the end of the night. The band is done and it’s just the huge noise of people socializing.

Can you describe why the venue has hosted such a variety of acts over the years?

Well, Will’s wasn’t a live music space at first. We were just a bar with some space. We we’re lucky to have attracted a really large amount of musicians with super eclectic tastes. There was never a question of whether or not we were going to be diverse. We already were. The musicians supported each other as long as it was good. Genres really weren’t that important. Now move that same model up to now and it’s really what is still happening. I still deal with some of the same people and the byproducts of that. Plus doing live events 5 to 7 days a week you really can’t beat on the same folks every night.

How did Sam Rivers start playing at Will’s?

Well some of the above musicians played with Sam. Sam would slide in to watch KOW. Actually Sam would slide in from time to time to see all sorts of acts. I really think Sam eventually playing there had tons to do with the love Anthony Cole felt for Will’s and his friends there at the time though.

What are your 3 favorite bands?

This question is a trap! I’ll give you the 3 I have been stuck on. I’ll listen to the same albums for quite a while then move on or in case of 2 of these backwards! Black Sabbath, Matt Woods, Hot Snakes.

Do you have any advice for bands, bar owners, or bored people?

Bands do it for the sex. Then it will probably pay off. Bar owners do it for what the band is doing it for.
If you’re bored take a hint from the band and all of you don’t even think it’s gonna get you rich, just maybe happy!

To sum it all up get to Will’s Pub and help celebrate.

9/3 – Bloodshot Bill
9/5 & 9/6 – Ikky Entertainment Orlando Band Reunions!
9/8 – Park Ave CDs DJ Night
9/10 – Eternal Summers
9/12 – The Everymen
9/14 – Super Sweet Outdoor Funtime Show Fest
9/15 – Fast Preacher
9/18 – Country Covers #3
9/20 – Girls on the Beach
9/21 – High on Fire
9/24 – New Sam River’s Rivbea Orchestra
9/25 – Broncho
9/27 – Orlando Indie Comedy Festival w/ Kyle Kinane
9/29 – Park Ave CDs DJ Night
9/30 – The Ambassadors