Tell us about your tour vehicle. Any notable breakdown stories?
Kelly Willis: We have a Sprinter Van that has been outfitted with a bathroom and kitchenette.
We’ve had many things fall off or get knocked off. Someone tried to drive it under a low tree. A little duct tape and we’re back in business. But if it’s raining you definitely don’t want the captains chair behind the driver.
How do you eat cheaply and/or healthy while on tour?
Willis: I am NOT the health nut in the group but… I try to eat salads as much as possible because they offset all the milk duds.
How many strings do you break in a typical year? How much does it cost to replace them?
Willis: Good question for Bruce since I change my strings every 4 months whether I need to or not.
Where do you rehearse?
Bruce Robison: One time me and Kelly didn’t get into a fight and the music sounded good. It was crazy!
What was the title and a sample lyric from the first song that you wrote?
Robison: I remember a song called “Hurricane Mary” and it was a play on a female hurricane name that was crashing through town. It was horrible, I try to forget about it.
Describe your first gig.
Robison: First gig. That was at my seventh grade spring fling with my garage band called High Voltage and it was a huge success! They put our picture in the paper. The set list had ZZ Top, Merle Haggard, Grand Funk Railroad
What was your last day job? What was your favorite day job?
Willis: My last day job was working for a cult/b-movie rental in Alexandria,VA called The Video Vault. It was my favorite job because of the co-workers and the crazy films.
How has your music-related income changed over the past 5-10 years? What do you expect it to look like 5-10 years from now?
Robison: That’s a good question. Making more money off the road now than I did 5 years ago, but I have high hopes for my new music label, The Next Waltz, and really hoping that I can be chasing tour the way I want to.
What one thing do you know now that you had wished you knew when you started your career in music?
Willis: It’s a lot more fun being in a band/duo than being a solo act. Stress cut in half, laughs doubled.