On a chilly night in November, I had the opportunity to interview the band, Wallysburg. An indie/pop band from Tampa, FL and currently working on their first, self-produced EP. This quartet made a lasting impression on me with how personable and passionate they are about what they’re going to accomplish. Not to mention, a memorable and arbitrary band name.
Wallysburg consists of:
Charlie Davis (Guitar/Vocals/Production)
Doug Lanza (Vocals/Bass)
Drew Alexander (Guitar/Bass/Keys)
Patrick Alexander (Drums/Percussion)
Charlie Davis (“Charlie”) and Doug Lanza (“Doug”) met in high school, but afterwards didn’t speak for 6 years just due to being caught up in other things. While attending Florida State University, Doug met, twins, Patrick Alexander (“Patrick”) and Drew Alexander (“Drew”). When the three started making music together, they soon realized they wanted a fresh sound, but didn’t have anyone to produce it. Doug reached out to Charlie whom had a catalog of songs and sounds. So, Wallysburg was established!
Below is our interview with Wallysburg (minus Doug wondering why the soup he ordered never showed up and having Patrick reenact how Doug ordered the soup showing us why the soup never showed up. Ha-ha.):
What is the origin of the name, Wallysburg?
Charlie: It was an apartment complex next to my high school named Wallysburg.
Any thoughts to ever change the name?
Patrick: We came in and were like no no no. We probably went through 90 names and eventually had to put the music out and were like we gotta pick something. Alright, Wallysburg.
How old are you guys?
Who are your major influences?
Drew: Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Jackson 5, KC & the Sunshine Band. Parents were a big role in my influences.
Doug: Blink 182; I started playing when I was bullied in middle school.
Charlie: John Frusciante… Red Hot Chili Peppers, and my friends growing up.
Patrick: Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers; Ronnie Vannucci; The Killers drummer is my favorite drummer.
What is your favorite song?
Patrick: Headlights Hanging Overhead because it’s a slower one probably my favorite because I think slow songs are the hardest to sound good on and I think we did a good job on that song. The space in the song makes us sound vulnerable which is what I like about it.
Doug: I’d say my favorite is probably Joyharbour, selfishly I sing on it. To me it’s on the edge of like weird. It’s a quirky song and it’s got a lot of weird sounds to it and I think it jives well.
Drew: I’d have to say The New Year which is the first song we released, but it’s probably one of my favorites. Because I think it’s the first collaborative song, we all did. A couple of the songs like Headlights Hanging Overhead and Waiting For The Moment, Charlie had pretty much done. We just sprinkled some stuff on it. New Year was a song that—we had a storage unit at the time. I think Charlie had the chords to the verse and like we kind of worked out a chorus. Then, Doug went in the room and wrote the hook in ten minutes. It is just a song everyone contributed on and we had a hand in it and most catchy.
Charlie: Bright Air Crisp Lines, it’s an instrumental track, but I was able to pretend to be like The xx for a little bit.
Who writes your songs?
Patrick: We meet up twice a week, but all have an idea. I work up drums. Then send it to Doug and he’ll have a hook on it. Then send it to Charlie or he’ll have a more finished project and say, “oh, I need more guitar or let’s write a hook.”
Drew: We all write the songs without being pretentious. … Kind of like The Eagles. We each develop individually as song writers and help each other out.
What would you say are the main topics or themes for your songs?
Doug: Common theme is self-doubt. The New Year is about being at a party almost black out drunk and having an epiphany like “holy shit I need to get my life together. I haven’t done anything with my life. I need to get my shit together, but like I am already drunk so might as well have fun for the rest of the night.” Realizing your own flaws and like progressing.
Charlie: It’s definitely a cooler way of writing a story. The New Year is autobiographical. I went to a New Year’s party and thought hey I am gonna do everything right tomorrow, but right now I am a shitshow. It’s a tease of sadness not helplessness out of a situation cause it’s like yeah, it’s fun and you’re out, but it’s also a little hopeless that you’re stuck in a cycle of having to start over again and start over again.
Drew: Joyharbour is a verb and a place. It’s the name of the EP because it sounds like a place, but it could be interpreted as an action. Self-doubt literally I can withhold my own personality and my own joy.
Doug: Joyharbour is a destination, but happiness is not a destination. Happiness is a journey. We created a place that dystopian. Joyharbour is supposed to be a happy place but ended up riddled with human nature which is essentially flawed.
*Wallysburg are on all streaming services*
Wallysburg’s first gig is at the Paper Crane on January 12, 2019.
910 5th Avenue N.
St. Petersburg, FL 33705
Tickets are $10
Wallysburg go on at 4:30 p.m. (EST) so be sure to get there early
Keep up with Wallysburg on social media: