This time, we get to know Blister Soul, a four-piece rock & roll band from Joplin, Missouri.
Greg Ballew – Guitar, Lead Vocal
Jason Otero – Guitar, Backing Vocal
Bryan Bridgford – Bass
Tony Otero – Drums
The track "2nd & Wall (For Thomas Gilyard)" is featured in the New Artist Spotlight Family of Playlists.
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1. Tell us a little about where you are from and what you are currently doing.
We're located in Joplin, Missouri, a small town in the southern midwest, where people are as likely to say "ope" as often as they say "y'all."
We finished playing a string of shows this summer, and we're working on getting back into the studio to finish recording some songs that we began working on this spring.
2. What inspired you to start playing and making music?
Each of us will have a different answer, but a common thread is that it was an important part of our lives during our formative years. We started each of us started playing in late elementary/early jr. high, and just kept it going ever since.
Each of us had musicians in the family. As children, seeing live music played every week at church was pretty influential, especially since there was an immediate reaction from the people in the room. It's pretty obvious how it affected people, and the musicians playing it had a lot to do with that.
𝟯. Who are your biggest influences?
As a band, our biggest influences include the Drive-By Truckers, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Starflyer 59, and Vigilantes of Love.
4. What are your goals in the music industry?
We’ve all got full-time jobs, we’re all married, and most of us have kids. We live 2 hours away from any major market. Shows are pretty rare, and extended touring is never going to happen, which makes growing a fan base pretty difficult. So, realistically, the goal is that this project can make enough money that it pays for itself. Creating, recording, and releasing music is a lot of work, and it doesn't pay all that much. So making enough money to break even is how we're currently defining success.
5. Tell us about your creative process when you make new music.
Every time we get together in our rehearsal space, and after everyone is in tune, we just start jamming. It's never anything planned - it just starts with a riff or a groove, and someone else just joins in. It ends up being some instrumental piece that never existed before, won't be recorded, and will be forgotten once we're done warming up. 99% of the time, we just move on to working on something we had planned, but every now and again, we make a special note and that initial riff is worked into a song.
That is how our song 2nd & Wall got written.
"Practice does not make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect."
6. What is your all-time favorite song?
This is an impossible question. Not only are there too many great songs, but there's no way all four of us would agree on it.
7. What is the best advice or council you have either given or received in terms of music?
Practice does not make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect.
That is, you can feel like you're doing a good job in practice, but if you're practicing something wrong, you're just getting better at doing it wrong. Practice does not stop when you get it perfect, you keep going to make sure it's always perfect. That's a lot harder to do.
8. Proudest accomplishment?
Good question. I'm not really sure what the others would say, but releasing our EP last year was pretty cool. That whole process was a lot of fun.
And then, seeing that people cared about it enough to stream it so many times, and choosing to follow our artist profile, we don't take any of that for granted.
9. What is something about you that might surprise someone who knows you the best?
I can't think of anything about us that's very surprising. It seems that everyone is trying to outdo each other by being shocking, and that can get a little tired. Maybe the surprise is that we're making this kind of music at our age (mid/upper 30's). Rock is definitely a young man's game, and we're not anymore. The last show we played, we could have been the parents of other bands.
𝟭0. Tell us about your highest and lowest points in music so far.
The low point is not making music. The high point is that we're still doing it, and doing it on our own terms. We define our own goals and reach them in our own time.
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