Interview with Blotter
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
We as a band are based around three core members: Timmy Pollock, Trey Bennett, and Jimbo Wainwright. Timmy and Jimbo were inspired by Timmy's Dad/Jimbo's uncle who played drums in bands growing up, and wanted to emulate him. For Trey, Trey's Dad is a lifelong fan of music, especially Guns N' Roses, and that's what made him pick up a guitar. Honestly, our families are built into music and playing musical instruments, and we couldn't see us doing anything that wasn't music related.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
We all love to grill food, and drink beer! Also, spend time with our families, go fishing, camping, and occasionally party and have a good time. A lot of our material stems from conversations we have. Be it a certain phrase or sequence of words someone uses, and think "man, that's a good song name" or "that would be a good lyric."
How long has your band been around?
We've been flying the BLOTTER banner for about 11 years now.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
We are based out of the beaches of Eastern North Carolina in the United States. More specifically Newport and Manteo, NC. Our location doesn't have much influence on our music. It's more the people we know/meet, or life experiences we have.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
Originally we were called The Rock Grommets, since we're from the beach and liked surfing, but that didn't really roll off the tongue or was very memorable. Eventually we decided we had to make a name change, and sat down one day at a mutual friend's house to discuss it. After an undisclosed amount of beers and racking our brains someone came up with the idea of "what if we went with BLOTTER, like the paper they put LSD on?," and we just really liked it. Thus BLOTTER was born! The name itself is more so our brand; the music we write is what means more to us.
Tell me about your most memorable shows.
Sheww, we have a few! The three that stick out most in our minds are: Our most recent show where we opened for The Midnight Devils and Enuff Z' Nuff in Jacksonville, NC. We had an absolute blast with those guys, and got to meet Chip Z' Nuff! There was also our first show in Charlotte, NC at the Tremont Music Hall where we first debuted new stage antics like using a talkbox, setting off smoke bombs, smashing guitars, and integrating breakdowns into our songs. Another memorable show was back when we were still a cover band playing backyard parties. It was a New Years Eve party, and we had set up in this tiny little shed built entirely of wooden pallets. There was about 50 people there, and 30 of them were crammed into this tiny little shed with us! To this day we call it the Sardine Show because they were packed so tight we were shocked the whole place didn't fall apart!
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
One of our favorites was the Tremont Music Hall in Charlotte, NC. It's no longer there, but we loved the venue. The Empty Glass in Charleston, West Virginia also comes to mind, the locals there really love some live music! We would be completely stoked to perform at the Norva in Virginia, or the Fillmore in Charlotte, NC.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
If we're talking dream lineup, opening for KISS would probably top the list. Ghost and Black Label Society would be an awesome lineup to play with also!
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
Practice, practice, practice! If you can't make it sound good live, why expect people to pay to listen to you? Make sure all band members are on the same page. Everything works smoother if you're all together.
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
It takes money to make money. Don't be afraid to invest into the band!
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
To date, the song that means the most to us is a song we wrote called "Reflections." It really opened us up to song writing. We learned how to add components like vocal harmonies, meaningful lyrics, breakdowns, and dual guitar solos into a song to really make it pop and flow.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
Some of our favorites to play include "Empty Promises," "Let Me Drown With You," and "Innocent Pillows." The ones that get requested the most are "Sad N' Lonely," "The Tree Song," and "Yesterday."
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
Basically we all come up with our own ideas individually, and bring it to each other to hash out if we all believe we can make a good song out of it. As far as inspiration goes it comes from things like life experiences, emotions, and whatever drags that spark out of us.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
We don't really have a message. The music we make is just an extention of us.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
Disagreements are just a part of life, and being in a band is no different. What we do is decide collectively what's best for the band as a whole, and not for ourselves individually.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
Up next for us includes our new album due out in March 2023, a new acoustic album we can't wait to begin recording, and another album we plan on starting later this year. Besides that booking some shows for the summer is what's in the future!