For many years, when I think of going to an outside concert and completely jamming out, one band in particular that comes to mind is Pepper. Whether you are into this style of music or not, you can’t help but feel good when you put on one of their records. The sounds of cracking open a beer, watching the sunset, and hanging with friends is what the styles of Pepper are all about.

I recently had the chance to interview the drummer of Pepper, Yesod Williams, about their upcoming tour, new music, the best part of being in a band, and so much more. Check it out below! His positive energy is contagious, you will see.

First and foremost, let’s talk the new tour. How excited are you guys to hit the road, and can you tell us about the opening acts?

We will never be not excited! It always feels like our first time ever heading out on tour—very rejuvenating! We’re taking out two bands we’ve never played with before: The Movement, and New Beat Fund. The Movement has toured with many of our good friends’ bands and we haven’t stopped hearing about them, so we’re stoked on the month-long orientation! And NBF, we have a mutual producer in common, the legendary Matt Wallace, who produced both our last albums. And FYI, we have a brand new song featuring NBF that is coming out the first day of tour, Nov. 10!

New music, when and what can we expect?

We’ve actually been writing the new album since this past summer tour ended, taking a break from it to go on tour, then going to finish the writing process by the new year, and we’re shooting for a Summer 2015 release. As far as what to expect, we really have no idea. We’re just letting the music lead the way and trying not to get in the way!

Now, I have been a fan of Pepper for so long, I am sure it feels that way for you too. What would you say has changed the most in the music industry since you first started?

Absolutely everything! … except the core and essence of it, which is just great music! I think the root of the industry is the same but the branches have changed; there’s a lot more ways to get out into the world of music now.

Social media has obviously had an impact on every musician, and you guys are very active on yours. Do you find it a positive outlet to connect with your fans?

One billion percent positive! The closer the connection a fan can have to their favorite band the better, and that’s me speaking as a music fan first and foremost!

One word that defines your band in my vocabulary: fun. Your music has a way of making people party and have a good time. Is that intentional?

Yes, of course, it’s the essential in life in our opinion, laughter and smiles for miles! Glad you feel that way too!

This may sound like a weird question, but is there a season you prefer to play in? I’ve seen you over five times, and it’s always tended to be in the summer since I love the outside stage vibe.

Not a weird question at all. Honestly, I love it all, especially when you’ve been doing one kind of venue for a while. The change up is good from big to small or vice versa, but if I were to choose one, yes, it would be summer outdoor. That’s the ultimate vibe!

Is there a certain Pepper song that fans go the most nuts for?

There are many! Of course, the usual suspects—”Ashes,” “No Control,” “Stone Love,” “Give It Up,” “F**k Around,” “Crazy Love,” etc.—but honestly, it’s all over the board from fan to fan, which is so humbling and gratifying.

When making music, what comes first, the lyrics or the sound?

Believe it or not, there is no method to the madness; it really starts anywhere. It’s all about that letting the music lead the way type of thinking! We’re just lucky enough to be transmitters hoping to recognize when the blessing of music visits us.

You guys have been touring for so long, are there any cities you haven’t visited that you’d like to play?

Absolutely! Yes, Bali, and the Mentawai Islands in Indonesia; it would be a surf trip/tour, not the other way around! In the Pearl Jam doc Twenty, they talk about how at one point Vedder made it a priority to route world tours around surf destinations. That’s the kind of shit I’m talking about!

If you weren’t making music, what would you be doing?

Good question! We’d still have our epic jobs in Kona waiting tables at nice restaurants, living a different kind of dream.

What’s the best part about your job?

Honestly, let’s put it this way: What’s not the best part about it? At the end of the day, we are just so blessed and grateful being able to travel the world with your brothers and yeah, we can also pay our bills. Amazing!

 

You can catch Pepper live at Union Transfer in Philadelphia on Nov. 25 and Irving Plaza in New York City on Nov. 26. For more information, go to pepperlive.com.

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