AN INTERVIEW WITH ET ANDERSON
ET Anderson have been staples of the Columbia, South Carolina scene since the release of their 2015 release, Et Tu______?. The group made a name for themselves with their blend of equal parts drifting psych rock and raw punk energy. Front man W. W. Wilson sat down for an interview before a concert in Clemson, South Carolina. Wilson and band mates take a break from starting a record label, collaborating with Secret Guest, and working in the studio to talk hot takes, tasty food, and even tastier riffs.
THE FIRST TIME I EVER HEARD ABOUT ET ANDERSON WAS WHEN I SAW ONE OF MY FRIEND’S 45 OF YOURS THAT COVERED SPACEMAN 3. WHAT MAKES SPACEMAN 3 SPECIAL TO YOU AND WHAT INSPIRED THAT 45?
I really loved that shit. I got really into them when I was just sitting at the house zoning out and getting stoned at night and their music is just very entrancing. They kind of ride a wave of a lot of blues progressions and make them their own in a way. And kind of how they pay homage to drug culture and bands like Velvet Underground and bands like Suicide and a lot of straight-forward psychedelic shit. I like that their records are pretty chill for the most part, but live they’re very loud and noisy and sometimes they just play like fucking forty five minute pieces that are just drone pieces where no one really gave a shit about them then, but their music has lived on in time. It had to for me to be able to find it.
ANOTHER THING THAT STRUCK ME ABOUT ET TU, _____? IS HOW DIVERSE IT IS. IT SEEMED LIKE THERE ARE SO MANY SOUNDS. WHAT ARE SOME OTHER BANDS THAT INSPIRED THAT?
Connan Mockasin was the reason I started doing this project. A lot of that. That’s the only one I feel like with Et Tu. I used to really be into Spoon back in the day when I started writing my own stuff. Their bass and rhythm section of that band really inspired me a lot.
I was playing in a band called Octopus Jones at the time. One of the dudes, Danny Martin, has a band called 2 Slices now and the drummer, Darrin Cripe, was a heavy influence on me. He has a band called Acid Chaperone and they’re the coolest show I’ve ever seen. They’re an instrumental psych rock band and they play catchy ass riffs. Like Tame Impala. They were a heavy influence on me.
ET ANDERSON WAS ONE OF THE FIRST BANDS THAT I ASSOCIATED WITH THE COLUMBIA MUSIC SCENE. HOW HAS THE MUSIC IN COLUMBIA CHANGED AND WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO YOU?
I was inspired by the band Can’t Kids from Columbia. I quit playing music for a year and it was during a stagnant point in Columbia music except for them, so they inspired me to play music. I feel like there’s been a lot of cool shit to come out of Columbia. Everyone talks about Charleston a lot because there’s a lot of cool shit in Charleston but there’s a lot of great secrets in Columbia. Max plays guitar for us, his band Ugly Chords is one of my favorite bands. They’re awesome. Columbia also has such a diverse amount of music, they’re heavy on the alternative-folk type shit but then Columbia has a huge hardcore history. Columbia is definitely all over the place when it comes to music. There’s a lot of shit coming out recently and I think it’s awesome. Especially for how dead the climate can seem anywhere, especially in a small town. We were talking about Contour played at Space Hall. The collective there that started that used to be the Scenario Collective, but its transformed into doing this thing called the Space Hall which is a venue but also has outlets for photography lighting - all this cool shit. There’s more than music, and the arts scene has been taking hold.
ANY RESTAURANTS IN COLUMBIA THAT YOU'D RECOMMEND?
The Whig, Bar None. They’re both bars but I love their food. Pho Viet, which is awesome Vietnamese place down in five points. I don’t know. I think that everyone should go down to the Melting Pot because that’s where I serve.
ARE THERE ANY BAND-WIDE HOT TAKES OR OPINIONS?
We’ve been trying to figure out what the next great rock band is. I think rap has taken over what rock is. I think that’s my spicy take. Who is the next great, icon status? I can think of a lot of great bands but who is going to be the next icon status?
WHAT INSPIRED APT?
It’s nice to have a different outlet for creativity other than being in one band, like just having something else to have as a platform. It doesn’t have to be pigeon holed as a label or just being in one band or just being music, it can be more than that.
The first thing we did was the secret guest thing because that was a good way to open it up but it’s going to be a bunch of different entities. I see all this stuff, people doing their own shit. I listen to a bunch of podcasts of people starting things. I’m obsessed with Crooked Media and Pod Save The World. It’s really cool to see people to create a channel and it doesn’t have to be for one thing.
IN A PREVIOUS INTERVIEW I READ YOU SAID THAT ONE IDEA WAS TO TAKE A BUNCH OF DIFFERENT GENRES AND STYLES TO MAKE “APT MUSIC.” WHAT DOES APT MUSIC MEAN TO YOU?
Everything that’s cool. That’s it. Anything that we do is going to be great and it’s not even going to be us it could be anybody. There are so many people doing things right now and we just want to open channels, collaborations, shows, working with people on music, releasing other people’s music. We’re talking to people about starting a magazine, doing a podcast, and all these things so it seems like a media conglomerate.
WHAT DO YOU WANT PEOPLE TO TAKE AWAY FROM YOUR MUSIC?
Whatever experience they want to have with it. I can’t tell people what to feel so its however they feel, whether its emotions or inspiration, whether it’s wanting to come enjoy a show or skipping over our shit. I just want people to have whatever they want. I don’t know if I have any intentions other than trying to write songs that I think I would like and I feel if I would like them then other people will.
photos by GENEVA HUTCHINSON