We had the good fortune of connecting with Will Overman and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Will, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
There wasn’t one really, I mean there was, but it came in time. Music is unique when it comes to other small business because generally the business part is an afterthought, at least it was for me. I got into music for the love of it and never even thought about making it a business until I was in it for at least a few years. However, I will say that until you realize it’s a business you’ll never make a sustainable career out of it. There are plenty of insanely talented musicians with zero idea how to make a living out of it.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I think like most artists I feel this yearning to create and to connect. One of the most magical experiences for me is staring at a blank piece of paper and then a few hours or days later I’ve got a song. It’s the something out of nothing that really gets me going. And then, if I can share whatever feeling or emotion I’ve written about with someone in the crowd and it impacts them in any way, shape, or form, well that’s everything right there. I had my first show in over a year the other day, due to Covid, and the feeling I get on stage performing and connecting is unlike anything I’ve ever felt. So I think to answer your question about what sets me apart, I’d have to say it’s my the amount of heart I pour into my music. I’m not the greatest songwriter the world’s ever heard, I’m certainly not the best guitarist, and I’m not the best singer, but I’m going to try as hard as anyone out there and give you everything I’ve got on that stage.
I got to where I am today through almost ten years of doing the damn thing. I’ve got a long ways to go but I’m proud of how hard I’ve worked and what that’s achieved. If you aren’t willing to grind and endure more downs than ups then you’re not cut out for a life in music, it’s hard and it can be extremely draining, but if you can push through that the rewards are life-giving.
I think one of the greatest lessons I’ve learned is to never get too far away from the music. The actual creation and performance of music is about 20% of my life as a songwriter, the other 80% goes to back of house stuff: promotion, video editing, management calls, etc etc. It’s easy to get caught up in that never ending cycle of promote, promote, promote to the point where you forget why you’re doing what you’re doing in the first place. So for me, remembering to stay grounded to my number one goal of creating the best and most authentic music I can is of the utmost importance.
I kind of touched on this, but I think what I want the world to know about me and my brand is pretty simple: I love making music, I love the way it makes me feel, and I want that for my audience. I’ve poured myself into my songs and whether you’re listening live, in your car, or on your headphones, I guarantee you will feel that.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Oh man, Charlottesville ain’t LA but for a small town it’s got a stellar food scene. Let’s seeeeeee.
So, let’s talk grub first. For breakfast I’d recommend one of my favorite spots in town, Petite Marie-Bette, or Belle and get one of their banging breakfast sandwiches. Lunch is my favorite meal so this’ll be tough. Recently I’m all about Stock Provisions, the local butcher, and their unreal pork belly biscuits, seriously one of the best I’ve ever had. If you’re in the mood for a solid sandwich it’s damn hard to beat Greenwood Grocery out in Crozet. Next let’s talk drinking… If you’re in the mood for a pint and a bit of bluegrass The Whiskey Jar is the spot to be. I can’t tell you how many afternoons I’ve sat out front, sipping a beer, waiting to see a show at The Jefferson Theater. If you’re feeling cocktails it’s pretty hard to beat Alley Light. The drinks here are always fire and you feel fancy as hell in there because of the vibe and decor. For dinner I’m pulling no punches and going to Lampo. If you like pizza, like really, really good pizza, then Lampo is the bomb. It’s wood fired and absolutely out of this world.
Shew, now that we’re done with that let’s talk places to see and things to do. Cville is notoriously gorgeous. With the Blue Ridge Mountains on one side and the rolling hills of the Virginia Piedmont on the other, pick any direction and the drive’s gonna be beautiful and lead to somewhere, well, probably more beautiful. I’m a big hiker so I’d recommend hitting up Old Rag, a 13 mile loop about an hour north of town that provides rock scrambles and some of the best views in the state. If you like to fish, which I do, the area does not lack rivers and streams. One of my favorite spots to go is the Dry River out near Harrisonburg. It’s stunning and though I don’t catch many fish because I’m terrible at it, it’s just a great and healing place to be.
If you’re into history the University of Virginia is like a living museum. Even though I sucked at college and fought it pretty hard, I took a lot of pride walking UVA’s beautiful campus as a student. And just down the road is Jefferson’s Monticello, a must see for history buffs.
In general though, I’d just recommend walking around downtown Cville to get a feel for the city proper, and then hopping in your car and driving every beautiful country road you can find until your heart is filled to content with bucolic, pastural scenery. Sounds lame, but I swear it’s a great use of your time.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Oh man, I’ve got so many people, things, experiences, etc. to be thankful for, this is hard. But, I’ll whittle it down to a few things.
First off, I’m thankful for my wife. Janey’s been with me through just about every iteration of my career and it’s no secret that being married to a musician is not easy. A life in music, especially as a touring musician, asks a lot of my family and it takes sacrifice, but not only has Janey been ok with that, she’s advocated for it and pushed me more so than anyone else. She also happens to be my muse, I write a lot of songs about her. Seriously, like I just put out an entire album about her called “The Winemaker’s Daughter”.
The next folks I’d like to shoutout are The Avett Brothers. If you’re not familiar, TAB are a band from Concord, NC and in high school I was OBSESSED with them. They were the first band I completely latched onto when I needed my teenage angst satiated. But as thankful as I am for their music, it’s their overall presence that helped inspire me to be a musician. I connected with their music on a deep level that I wanted to feel with my fans, but I also looked up to them. Scott and Seth (the lead singers) were role models for me and on some level they still are.
Lastly, and again I could shout out SO MANY people, but I’d be remise if I didn’t thank my dad. My pops and I kind of started our musical journeys together. When he turned 40 I must have been 12ish and we decided to learn an instrument together. So I picked up the cello and he picked up the guitar. From there we played together throughout middle and high school which really helped get me into playing live. He’s also a huge music fan in general and started taking me to live shows when I was really young. My first concert ever was Dave Matthews Band in Virginia Beach and I got to go backstage and meet Carter the drummer. You could say the bar was set pretty high after that!
Other: Spotify – https://open.spotify.com/artist/1M5GFR2V1c6WL2CgbnW3FB?si=QE0OmsElSbiAPvwjxmJ6Yg Apple Music – https://music.apple.com/us/artist/will-overman/725616905 Bands In Town – https://www.bandsintown.com/a/6630509-will-overman?came_from=251
Joey Wharton Janey Gioiosa Tristan Williams Maggie Graff