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How did you get started in the industry?


I went on my first tour of the south with high energy rock and roll band West Water Outlaws when I was 22yrs old. We threw all our gear into a black F250 we dubbed “Black Sabbath” and drove 17hrs overnight to Memphis, TN from Boulder, CO. Any night we didn’t have a show we’d scour the streets looking for a band that would let us play their set break in exchange for a few tips. We saw the sunrise almost everyday on that tour, got robbed and almost had a truck tire come through our windshield but after that I was hooked. 


What's your biggest motivation?


The thought of not being able to play music for a living. I’m obsessed. If I’m not playing a show, I want to be at a show. If I’m not in the studio, I want to be on the road and if I’m not writing then I’m not sleeping. 


Who are your biggest inspirations?


My classic heroes are Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and Nirvana. 


My current inspirations are Gary Clark Jr., The Black Keys, Arctic Monkeys, Sturgill Simpson, Queens of the Stone Age, Grandson, Highly Suspect, Brittany Howard, Leon Bridges, Bishop Briggs, Dorothy and Tyler Childers 


What is your greatest accomplishment yet?


Surviving the industry as an artist for almost 10yrs! I built West Water Outlaws from a basement band to a nationally touring machine that sold out theaters and played major festivals. After that band devastatingly split up I created an artist alias to continue making music while living out of my truck and eventually gained the courage to move to LA, come out as a solo artist and start all over again. 


Who are your biggest supporters?


My friends, family, management and band mates. And of course my core fans who’ve stuck with me - they’re like my fam now! 


What do you love most about your work?


No matter how much my stuff is trying to rock or not it always holds a story. To me songs are like a western film with a beginning middle and end - and when listeners relate to the story it means everything.


What is something you have struggled with in your career?


Singing and being the front man. From the day I picked up a guitar at age 5, I always thought I’d be the mysterious guy in the corner of the stage but as I grew older things just kept slowly pushing me into the light. I resisted it for a long time but eventually things got so bad that if I didn’t take the reigns, I might never have had the opportunity to play music professionally ever again. Sometimes you just have to have everything obliterated and then start over again I guess! It’s been truly amazing to take control and let it all hang out though! 


Best way to unwind after a long day?


Glass of red wine every time. 


Where do you see yourself in 5 years?


Rocking theaters internationally, hopefully opening for some of my favorite artists, printing limited release vinyl and racking up those online plays. 


IG: @willsbuck




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