Wille & The Bandits will play an intimate gig in Truro just eight days after releasing their new album Paths on Friday, February 1.

The band, comprising members from Cornwall, Devon and Dorset, have toured with top acts such as Status Quo, Deep Purple and Joe Bonamassa.

To support the release of their new album, they will tour the UK in March 2019, which starts at the Truro Old Bakery on Saturday, February 9.

Lead singer and guitarist Wille Edwards said: “I feel that we have finally managed to capture the various soundscapes and unusual instrumentation of our sound on one album without losing the raw, live energy of WATB."

The band adopts the musical essence, nostalgia and discovery of the late 60s and 70s and mix rock and roll with a more modern approach, combining elements of world music, dance music and hip-hop.

In 2014 the band was voted in the Top Ten bands to see at Glastonbury. They also played the Isle of Wight festival as well as at the London Olympics, picked to play by being voted one of UK’s best Live acts.

Other festival appearances include Boardmasters and several festivals in Europe.

An interview with Wille Edwards

1. You are releasing your new Paths on Friday 1st February. What inspired you on this album? Tell us more about the album. This is the album we have always wanted to make since the start of the band. We have always been hugely eclectic, but on this album, we have remained eclectic, but incorporated it into an underlying theme and sound across the album. We have very much mixed modern elements of recording with a more retro sound which has worked very well, and I think has created something very special.

2. What was the recording process like for the album? Any stories you can share with us? I think our intention has always been to be as creative as possible and new instruments give you the chance to apply new textures to your music and soundscapes, which we have always been drawn to. We have never been one of these bands that have set out to sound like someone else or target a certain market. We do what interests us as musicians and I think our audiences pick up on that. It appears to me that in the 60’s and 70’s bands could be experimental and that is where some of the best music comes from, when you are playing out of your comfort zone. Sometimes I feel that mainstream music is encouraged to conform to a pigeon hole, but with the internet it is also possible to have access to so much music from different periods and places, and it is easier to purchase unusual instruments, so we live in a world now where music should be at its most mature and knowledgeable. One great thing about this record is that we recorded it back in the West Country and independently, so we didn’t have anyone to answer to and could make the record we wanted to. Also, being close to home we knew fantastic musicians who could come in and guest and had huge guitar and amp collections which we could borrow to get the sounds we needed.

3. What was it like to tour with the likes of Deep Purple and Status Quo? Incredible experiences and ones that will stay with me for the rest of my life. It was so strange as we went from playing tiny Cornish pubs to arenas, so it was a bit surreal at first and very nerve wracking, but we learnt so much from both these acts. When touring with Status Quo they really took us under their wing, they loved our ethos. Francis and Rick – God rest his soul – used to laugh as we would park and sleep next to their massive, shiny tour bus in our old and battered LDV postal van, all sleeping on top of each other around the gear on every night of the tour. They used to tell us that we reminded them of the days when they used to do the same and kept encouraging us to just keep at it, they kept inviting us back to play with them and we became good friends. Deep Purple were also very good to us. All the band watched most of our sets each night from the side of the stage and Don Airey offered to play Hammond on our last record which was amazing. With Deep Purple we actually got an encore on the support slot, which the guys said had never happened before. We had standing ovations most nights, which I think gave us the confidence that our music could fill arenas and it maybe needed to move out of Cornish pubs and onto the bigger stages which it now has.

4. Tell us more about your performance at Glastonbury in 2014. How did it feel to play at such an iconic festival? Playing at Glastonbury was always a dream for me and something that was very special the first time we played in 2014. To be voted one of the top 10 acts to see at the festival and to hear it being said on BBC Radio 1 was even more unexpected and again something we’re all very proud off.

5. What are you looking forward to most when touring the UK in March? As always, touring the UK is a great way to see the country and we are blessed to live in such a beautiful country. We are lucky that we get to see so much of it, which gives a clear view of how each region differs and makes it easy to connect with people from all over the country when you have been to where they are from. We always request local ales and ciders on the rider so we all look forward to discovering some new drops while out on the road. But the thing we are all most

excited for is to tour this record as we are absolutely buzzing on it and can’t wait to get it out on the road and knock people out with the new songs.

6. What’s the best gig that you’ve been to, or has inspired you the most? I think I always get inspired by most gigs, even one at the local pub. I think every musician offers something different and you can take away a little bit of something, but I do remember seeing The John Butler Trio at Glastonbury and that having a big impact on me. I do normally find that the smaller gigs are better experiences, where you can see the musicians and feel the soul in the music more than at the big shows where you end up looking at a screen. That can seem more of a tick box achievement for the gig goer rather than coming away having been moved by the music.

7. Do you have a pre-show ritual? If so, what is it? I tend to make very strange noises which are called vocal warm ups, our drummer likes to sleep, literally till stage call and Matt normally is drinking as much cider as humanly possible.

8. How do like to relax on a day off during a tour? I live in Cornwall and I tend to indulge my other passion of surfing in my time off, but a day off on tour could be somewhere like Doncaster where that isn’t possible, so we might go Go-karting which is fun, but Matt the bass player always wins so that gets boring. Normally we play tourists and explore a bit. We had a great tour up in Scotland where we visited so many castles, lochs and distilleries that we actually felt we should have charged some of the crew for the experience.

9. What is the one item you can’t go on tour without? My guitar, but besides that it would have to be my sleeping bag as you never know where you will be sleeping from night to night on the road. We have slept in bushes, on a roundabout, under our van, in our van, on the beach, you name it we have probably slept there, maybe not knowing in the morning how we got there, but it’s all good fun and that’s why we live this life.