Glostik Willy funks it up at Oddbody’s

By Matt Clevenger

Photo: Glostik Willy draws legions of fans to festival performances, including the festival they created themselves, WillyFest

Known as the creators of “hippy metal,” Glostik Willy, the self-proclaimed “life support for the rock and roll you thought was dead.”

Formed in 2008, the Muncie, Indiana-based trio has built a dedicated following far beyond the traditional festival circuit, thanks to its high-energy live shows and legendary after parties. Touring almost constantly, band members Jameson “Jay Moe” Bradford (guitar), Ralf Mowf (drums), and Zachary “Buddha” Aguilar (bass/vocals) have performed over 600 times in 25 states and two countries. The band released its second full-length album, Willy Town, earlier this summer, and in its spare time also runs its own annual festival, WillyFest.

Currently on tour with longtime friends Ekoostik Hookah, Glostik Willy takes the Oddbody’s stage Friday, Sept. 23. Bradford took a break between shows recently, calling the Dayton City Paper to discuss festivals, touring with Ekoostik Hookah, and the new album.

You’re currently out on tour. How are things going on the road?

Jameson ‘Jay Moe’ Bradford: We’re on the road with three bands, some of our friends from Florida and some of our friends from Chattanooga; we’re doing this whole tour together. So, three bands, almost two weeks on the road together – it’s going to be a good time. It ends at this festival that all three of us are playing in West Virginia, so it’s going to be a lot of fun.

How much of your time do you spend on the road?

JB: As much as possible. Sometimes I’ll say, “We’re going on the road for 40 days – you guys ready?” And, we’ll be on the road for 40 days. We try to spend as much time as we possibly can. If we have off time in our schedule, we’re in the studio recording, or we’re putting things together for other tours or working on our festival. With Glostik Willy, it’s a 24/7 job.

Is your brother also in the band?

JB: My brother is the drummer, I play guitar, and our bass player, Buddha, we met him in seventh grade band class. We hit it off, and we’ve been best friends ever since. We started a band that day. The names have changed, but the three of us have been playing together for more than 15 years now.

How would you describe your new album, Willy Town?

JB: A lot of people think concept albums don’t exist anymore, but we’re here to prove them wrong. We wrote a whole concept album about some of our friend’s mishaps. It’s really about some stuff that happened to him, but it can be related to by a lot of people because it really just addresses the struggle that’s going on in our country with our criminal justice system and corruption. That’s what this whole album is about. But we like to show people the positive in the negative. When you can take those negative events and put them into a song with a positive message, a lot of people can relate to that.

The album was recorded at the legendary Suma Recording Studio, outside of Cleveland. Grand Funk Railroad recorded there, they made two gold albums there. Wild Cherry did Play That Funky Music there. We brought Dave Katz in to produce because he’s one of our favorite musicians. Not only that, he’s one of the best songwriters and vocalists that I know, for sure. He brought a whole new aspect into it.

Once we got done, we were like, “This sounds really good, who could we bring in to master it?” We hit up Adam Ayan—he’s done Rush albums, Nirvana, Foo Fighters—that took it to the next level. It’s a great album, I love it.

What’s it like touring with Ekoostik Hookah?

JB: Touring with Ekoostik Hookah is the most fun ever. Dave and Steve and the rest of the guys, they’ve gone the extra mile for us many times, for sure…Steve Sweeney was actually just messaging me at 5 o’clock this morning, sending me AC/DC videos.

It’s a lot of fun, and it’s kind of weird, you know, because when I was 15-years-old, we’d all go to Hookahville. We’d be watching Hookah, and I just remember thinking, “One day, I’m gonna be playing with that guy.” And now I’m in a band, Ekoostik Willy, with those guys. So, it’s kind of surreal at times.

How did you get the idea to start your own festival?

JB: We’ve done several festivals, under all kinds of different names. Two years ago, I said, “I’m going to do a festival called WillyFest.” I want it to be different than what’s going on everywhere else. I want something unique. I’m a very picky guy; I feel like I want to do things my way and do a festival the way that Glostik Willy wants to do it.

The second year of WillyFest, everybody thought I was crazy, but I brought in a wrestling ring. Then I started booking old famous headlining wrestlers like Mick Foley, he was the announcer for the wrestling. We had RockStar pro-wrestling, and Tommy Dreamer, and Shark Boy; I got all the biggest names I could possibly find. So, the wrestling brought a whole new aspect to the festival.

We have something, a way that we’re going to top it for next year. Willyfest is just one unique gathering, where you are guaranteed that something is going to happen at this festival that is not going to happen anywhere else, so you don’t want to miss it.

This year Willyfest is going to be the biggest, craziest thing anybody’s ever heard of, because nobody’s ever tried to do this before. This is going to be the year we give back to the fans, and nobody’s going to believe what we’re going to do this year for Willyfest. I think we’ll release that information at New Year’s, but it’s going to be big.

Glostik Willy performs Friday, Sept. 23, at Oddbody’s, 5418 Burkhardt Rd. in Dayton. Ekoostik Hookah is also on the bill. For more information, please visit GlostikWilly.com.

 

Reach DCP freelance writer Matt Clevenger at MattClevenger@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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