You may have seen the name “S. Walcott” in a book you read in high school. Recently, the name doesn’t refer to one of Arthur Miller’s characters and instead represents a group of five young guys with noteworthy musical talent. The group consists of Johnny Donnelly who commands the vocals, Paul Sayour on guitar, Willie Grear on the keyboard, Rory Maynard on bass and Luke Graham on drums. The Cigar recently sat down with the South Kingston based band at the University of Rhode Island’s Fine Art Center for an interview about the band’s past, present and future.
The Cigar: How did you all start playing together?
LG: Before Johnny, our singer, came along we had all been playing together for four or five years. One Friday night at a school open mic, Johnny played a solo and we were looking for a singer. We all thought, ‘Johnny is good at singing so lets ask him’.
The Cigar: How would you describe your genre of music?
PS: I’d say we’re probably considered indie-rock, indie-pop or alternative rock. We fall into a bunch of different genres. We all have a pretty diverse background.
The Cigar: Who produces your music for you?
LG: We practice and record and do everything together. Producing and recording music is what I want to do for a career. I’ve been exercising those muscles with our music. I produce with the idea of having heard the songs a million times. I know the sound we’re trying to achieve. I do a lot of the work with everyone sitting behind me.
The Cigar: Your latest song is titled, “Life Vests”. What was the inspiration for the song?
PS: Music wise I came up with the guitar riff which is the center of the song. I showed it to everyone else and they liked it. Then we built off that and sent the instrumental to Johnny and he wrote the lyrics.
The Cigar: What is the significance of the title, “Life Vests”?
RM: The name “Life Vests” touches on the idea that sometimes you might keep someone afloat metaphorically. This could even be in a case where they don’t necessarily need you to do that.
The Cigar: What is your favorite song that you’ve produced so far?
WG: My favorite is definitely “Ghosts”. We recorded everything, but I ended up going back in and trying to see what else I felt was missing. I was playing around with some sounds on the keyboard and ended up working a crescendo into the chorus. To me it sounds like like a ghost.
The Cigar: You’ve been written about on Indie Rock Cafe, Competed in WBRU’s Wildcard competition, and been playing locally for a while. What has this done for your exposure and what do you see this becoming in the future?
Walcott: I definitely think that being in all of those things has upped our exposure in the state and surrounding area. The Indie Rock Cafe was pretty huge. There was a lot of people reaching out to us after that. Everything has helped us get a little more notice.
T’he Cigar: You’re all trapped on a desert island with no one else around. Which one of you would you eat first?
Walcott: Rory. He’s got a lot of meat to him. We’ve talked about this before and we decided Rory would be gone. If you dissect the lyrics to our songs you can find some hidden messages about that.
The next gig that the group is playing is at The Spot Underground on March 18th in Providence. The songs they’ve produced can be found online at, “swalcott.bandcamp.com”
You can see the live interview and performances of their songs at: “www.youtube.com/user/swalcottmusic”
You can follow S. Walcott on Twitter and Instagram at: swalcottmusic