Time for another “Artists on Independent Venues” interview. Awesome songwriter Wanda Wesolowski is up today to give us her perspective!
And just like that, we are at number five in our series of artist interviews which we are running throughout our cross-country trip to raise money for the National Independent Venues Foundation (NIVF) and Musicians on Call (MOC).
We were introduced to Wanda and The Wanda Band last year at ShoalsFest in Florence. In an area literally bursting at the seams with musical talent, she is an artist who stands out from the crowd and is someone for whom we expect big things are on the horizon. Wanda draws on a lot of personal experience in her songwriting, whether it be relationships, grief, or her perspective on the world, and wraps it in beautiful melodies and shiny guitars topped off with singalong hooks. She had us from the first note that rang out at McFarland Park that day and we are delighted she has taken the time to give us her perspective on independent venues.
LH: What are the independent venues you remember from your neighborhood growing up?
Wanda: I grew up in Huntsville, AL where the independent venues of my childhood were coffee shops and art centers like Lowe Mill Arts.
LH: Do you remember the first show you saw at an independent venue?
Wanda: Toy Shop at the Flying Monkey Theatre.
LH: What was the first independent venue you played as an artist?
Wanda: A coffee shop called The Foyer, age 17.
LH: Do you have a favorite venue/city that you particularly look forward to visiting?
Wanda: I love to see shows at Saturn in Birmingham, AL.
LH: Do you have a bucket list venue? One that you’ve not performed at that you dream of playing one day?
Wanda: The Orion Amphitheater.
LH: Any special relationships with venue owners/anyone who particularly helped your career?
Wanda: The Foyer coffee shop in Huntsville, AL and Gold Sprint Coffee in Huntsville, AL and Druid City Brewing Co. in Tuscaloosa, AL. These venues have helped my career in ways I can’t even fathom.
LH: Weirdest thing that ever happened at a show?
Wanda: Nothing weird…. Yet!
LH: Funniest thing that ever happened at a show?
Wanda: Women threw bras at me during my most recent album release show.
LH: As an artist, is there one thing that you would like venues to know/something they could do to make your life easier?
Wanda: Feed artists they get hungry and food is expensive on the road.
LH: Any specific questions you’d like us to ask the owners?
Wanda: Not particularly.
LH: Any last words on independent venues and their importance to live music?
Wanda: The types of shows that independent venues throw are important for the audience to be able to experience culture in their city and see artists they wouldn’t have otherwise seen. Having independent venues to host smaller artists is important because everyone needs to get their start somewhere, artists don’t normally just jump to playing arenas, they started out small and independent. Independent venues are important to the future of artists!
Head to The Wanda Band’s website to see where you can catch them doing their thing.
To read more about our cross-country fundraising trip for the National Independent Venues Foundation and Musicians On Call, click here. All donations go directly to your chosen organization. To donate to NIVF, click here. To donate to Musicians On Call, click here.