A Conversation With Red Wanting Blue’s Lead Singer Scott Terry

(Photo property of Blue Elan Records; courtesy of Right Angle PR)

By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com

It is a pleasure to welcome Red Wanting Blue’s lead singer Scott Terry to Jake’s Take.

22 years ago, Scott, Mark McCullough, Greg Rahm, Dean Anshutz, and Eric Hall began their musical journey in Athens, Ohio.  As the group traveled across the country, Red Wanting Blue captured the attention of not only their devoted fan base, but also several media outlets.  American Songwriter dubbed the band “Midwestern rock heroes,” while they appeared on shows such as The Late Show with David Letterman, NPR’s Mountain Stage, and VH1’s Big Morning Buzz Live.

The band released 12 studio albums including 2014’s Little America, which was released in July 1, 2014. The album debuted at number three on Billboard Heatseekers Chart and number 31 on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock Chart. Currently, Red Wanting Blue is traveling across the United States promoting their latest record, The Wanting.

In this edition of A Conversation, Scott opened up about The Wanting’s recording process, the group’s work with singer-songwriter and producer Will Hodge, and how the group overcame the obstacles throughout the band’s lengthy career.

JE: 2018 marks Red Wanting Blue’s 22nd anniversary. How has the band’s sound evolved over the years?

Scott Terry: Whoa…straight out the gate with a tough one. It is such a hard question to answer. It’s like asking to explain how your heart and mind have developed and grown over the last 20 years…where does one even begin? Well…a music review a long time ago referred to us as “Heartland rock and roll” and that’s sort of stuck with us over the years…so I’m comfortable using that as a way to classify us, but only as a jumping off point.  I guess the best way to answer your question is: A LOT.  You have to remember that when we started we were just kids. Everything about our band has evolved since then… our inspirations, our songwriting, our proficiencies, our families, you name it…it’s all evolved. Hell, we used to have baby faces that couldn’t grow facial hair…now we can all grow beards. So, I guess growing up ain’t all bad.


Red Wanting Blue The Wanting

(Album cover property of Blue Elan Records; courtesy of Right Angle PR)

JE: Let’s talk about your latest studio album: The Wanting. This will be Red Wanting Blue’s latest studio album since releasing 2014’s Little America. How was the recording process similar or different between your last record?

Scott Terry: This recording process was a departure for us from our previous albums. For starters, it was our first time making an album in Nashville. We recorded The Wanting at Sound Emporium with our longtime friend/producer, Will Hoge. Our previous three albums were recorded primarily at our studio in Columbus, Ohio where we brought our producer in to our home studio.

This time around, it was important to us to have a destination studio. We wanted a different energy than what we have at home. And with Will being from Nashville, he has access to amazing facilities, equipment, artists, you name it….it was a real breath of fresh air for us to have someone else take the lead on the production. We all had a blast during the process, too because we’ve known each other for a long time. We have a mutual respect for one another and trust each other…which is a huge thing in making a record. It made a tremendous difference. The vibes were very right this time around.

Probably the biggest difference between this album and our previous work is that this is the first album where everyone in the band contributed as writers. Truthfully, it’s the most collaborative album we’ve ever made. It’s the first time we ever gave ourselves the time to really do it right. We did it our way and we’re really proud of that.

JE: Speaking of Will Hodge, how did his vision for this album helped the band grow as artists?
Scott Terry: We had a lot of talks about the kind of record we all wanted to make before we actually put it all in motion. Will knew our sound well, and we all thought if we give him the reins…he’s going to get us closer to the sound we’re going after than any other producer who frankly, wouldn’t have a real sense of who we are as a band and how the relationship we have with our community of fans.  He was the perfect guy for the job.

JE: One of my favorite tracks on the album is “Younger Years.” Could you please share the story behind the track with my readers?
Scott Terry: This song was one of the first to be written as part of the collection of songs that became The Wanting. When we first discussed making the album… we all promised each other we’d do things differently than had before..and that we’d try to not lose sight of what was important. We wanted to get back to the basics of what is was that we loved so much about playing music together….and I think very naturally came out this song where we were nostalgic for the good old days. I mean aren’t we all just trying to get a little of that back in our current lives? I know we are.

JE: What were some of the biggest challenges that Red Wanting Blue faced throughout its career? How did the band overcome those obstacles?

Scott Terry: We’ve certainly faced our fair share of breakdowns…the emotional kinds as well as the mechanical kinds out there on the road. We had countless thefts over the years…not to mention a couple member changes early on, too. We also had to deal with all of the things you hear about that plague most bands. Nothing has ever been handed to us. We’ve earned our stripes and most of them…we wear proudly.

Probably the biggest obstacle we face is that in 20 + years is that we haven’t been able to shake the music bug. Even when it makes no sense to continue, no matter what pile of shit life throws at us…we still come back for more. That’s the spirit of The Wanting, and even more so, the Band. Regardless of whatever the outcome… we’re lifers.

JE: How has social media helped the band increase its following? Does Red Wanting Bluer have a favorite social media network?

Scott Terry: I think the greatest way that social media has helped us is in getting to have a more personal relationship with our listening community. Nowadays, we have an avenue for letting our fans see us as people…not just performers. The relationship has gotten more 3D…blurring the lines between fans, friends, and musical peers. It really feels like a community now. Pretty great. Oh…and I think it’s safe to say we’re all most fond of Instagram.

JE: If you had the chance to meet with aspiring bands who want to have a career in the music industry, what advice would you share with them?

Scott Terry: This is corny but…Follow your heart. It’s your best compass. After all, you only live once…don’t waste a minute of it… oh, and try to enjoy yourself along the way.

For more information about Red Wanting Blue, visit the group’s website.

You can also connect with the band on social media. Visit their Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube channels.

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