Interview by John Wisniewski
William Elliott Whitmore is a is an American blues, country, folk singer and musician newly signed to Bloodshot Records. His new release Kilonova is a covers record, including songs by Bad Religion, Bad Religion, Bill Withers, Captain Beefheart, Johnny Cash, The Magnetic Fields, and ZZ Top. Whitmore has toured with Chris Cornell, City and Colour, Murder by Death, Clutch, Lucero, Converge, Red Sparowes, Modern Life is War, Frontier Ruckus, Frank Turner, Esmé Patterson and The Low Anthem. A collection of 10 cover songs from artists who have influenced WEW’s 15-plus-year career. It’s punk rock without the breakneck tempos; it’s rock-and-roll without turning it up to 11.
John Wisniewski: William, you have a new album out (check it out here) with covers. Could you tell us about the recording of these classics?
WEW: I’ve been working on this album for a few years now. I record at my cousins place in Lone Tree Iowa, called Flat Black Studios. This is the ninth album we’ve made together, so you could definitely say we have a great working relationship. There’s a lot of amazing musicians around here too, old friends, so when I decide I need a saxophone on “Bat Chain Puller”, or drums on “Busted”, I can call on my buddies to help.
WEW: Besides the artists I’ve covered on this album, some of my favorites are Mike Watt, Loretta Lynn, Public Enemy, Ralph Stanley, Neko Case, Buck Owens, Kendrick Lamar, Fugazi, Samantha Crain, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, and Ted Leo.
John Wisniewski: What inspires you to write?
WEW: I’m inspired by my natural environment. The woods, fields, and small towns near where I live in Lee County Iowa. Also by issues I believe in, which include social justice, equality, and the corruption of public servants. Who cares what I have to say? I don’t know, I just do my best.
John Wisniewski: Will you be playing any live dates?
WEW: Yes, a lot. Tour dates can be found on my website williamelliottwhitmore.com
John Wisniewski: Plans for the future?
I’m writing my next album now. It’ll be recorded soon for release late next year. In the meantime I’ll be on the road, come out and say hello!
Oct 12 – Washington, DC – 9:30 Club (Supporting Murder by Death)
Oct 13 – Philadelphia, PA – Theater of Living Arts (Supporting Murder by Death)
Oct 14 – Buffalo, NY – Rec Room
Oct 16 – Pittsburgh, PA – Mr Smalls Theater (Supporting Murder by Death)
Oct 17 – New York, NY – Bowery Ballroom (Supporting Murder by Death)
Oct 18 – Boston, MA – Royale (Supporting Murder by Death)
Oct 19 – Brooklyn, NY – Music Hall of Williamsburg (Supporting Murder by Death)
Oct 20 – Asbury Park, NJ – Asbury Lanes (Supporting Murder by Death)
Oct 23 – Athens, GA – Caledonia Lounge
Oct 24 – Asheville, NC – Grey Eagle
Oct 26 – Louisville, KY – Headliners
Oct 27 – Nashville, TN – Cambria Hotel True Music Room and Bar
Oct 28 – St. Louis, MO – Off Broadway
Dec 7 – St. Paul, MN – Amsterdam Hall
Dec 8 -Fargo, ND – Fargo Brewing Co
Dec 10 – Omaha, NE – The Waiting Room
Dec 11 – Kansas City, MO – The Record Bar
Dec 12 – Columbia, MO – The Blue Note
Dec 13 – Chicago, IL – Thalia Hall
Dec 14 – Madison, WI – Majestic Theatre
Dec 15 – Des Moines, IA – Wooly’s