“GIVE THE DRUMMER SOME”
There’s the lead singer, the bass player, sometimes a lead guitarist or a keyboard player. And then…well there’s the guy who bangs the drums. For some reason this person always gets back-end flack for being a role player. Yet, what most people tend to forget, that the heart that pumps the blood throughout the body lives off the beat. Today, we give the shine of 27+ exposures to the badass providing the very heartbeat for the band “Wheatus”, most notably known for their rebellious anthem “Teenage Dirtbag”. WIll Tully is a drummer and possibly the nicest guy on the planet. We sent him with some disposables and some of our Jerseys as he toured with Wheatus..since then he has started another band with a great sound..look out for this man he will be rocking a stage in a city near you soon.
WORDS AND INTERVIEW BY @PASSPORTKENNY
Whats your (full) name?
Where do you live? Or base your work out of?
I live in Brooklyn, New York.
What is your work?
I drum for a living!
How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?
I’d say about 8 years old. I love to bang on my drums, skate, be silly, play basketball, hang with my close friends and family. One of my favorite little lines I’ve read recently is a back and forth between a young boy and his mother. It says, “Mom, when I grow up I want to be a musician,” and the mother replies, “well son, you can’t do both.” I’d say that’s entirely accurate.
Whats your favorite home cooked meal?
Oh man, my mom makes a mean spaghetti and meatballs.
If you had to move to a state or country besides the one you currently live in, where would you move? why?
I’d move to Australia. It would break my heart to leave NYC, but even though I’ve never been down under, some of my favorite people I’ve met over the years hail from Australia. And it’s hot. I am not a cold weather fan.
If you could time travel – past or future? Where would you go and why?
I’d definitely travel back in time instead of the future. I don’t know what the future holds. It’s meant to be a mystery, and I want to keep it that way! As much as I’d like to say I would travel back to the early 60s to see the birth of the Rolling Stones, or perhaps head to the late 1800s to see the great Dr. James Naismith invent the game of basketball, it would be crazy of me not to go back in time to see the dinosaurs roam the earth. Maybe I’ll catch a ride on a Triceratops.
If you could learn any language fluently what would it be?
Spanish, for sure. Whether it’s people from Spain, Central America, South America, I’ve always admired their passion. They live hard, and they love hard. Also burritos are the greatest food the world’s ever seen. Or tasted, I suppose.
If we had to listen to one song while viewing your photos, what would it be?
Plastic Bertrand – Ca Plane Pour Moi. It’s fun, it’s punk rock, and I have no idea what he’s saying.
What was your favorite part of contributing to the ThroughWHOSE project?
I love the premise of TWC. Keeping the medium consistent allows the photographer’s personality to really shine in a unique way. I also happen to love everyone involved in ThroughWHOSE, what they believe in and what they’re all about. It makes contributing to TWC that much more enjoyable and satisfying.
What’s the weirdest nickname your bandmates have given to you thus far? If any?
Nicknames get thrown around a lot on tour. I did an entire tour where I sucked on a lollipop during every show, so Willie Pops became a nickname I lived with for a bit. One group enjoyed the fact that my lower body is pretty large for my frame, so Tree Trunk Tully became a thing. With Wheatus, the two names that have stuck around are Tattoo Tully, and probably my favorite, Bubble T. Gotta put the emphasis on the T though, give it a little attitude. bubble T!
You have quite the eye for landscapes in your snaps. What do you enjoy the most about touring on the open road
My interest in taking shots of the open road was due mostly because I’ve never seen the US apart from the coasts. Seeing plateaus, huge mountain passes, and seeing an entire highway freeze over were all new sights for me!
There are so many reasons to enjoy being on tour; waking up in a new city, meeting people from all over. But I’d say the number one reason why I enjoy touring is the same reason why I wanted to perform in the first place: there is no better feeling in the world than putting a smile on someone’s face. Being on stage allows you to extend that feeling to entire strangers, to inspire someone I may never have the opportunity to meet. Looking at a sea of genuinely excited people is what I live for.
If you didn’t play the drums, what instrument WOULD you play?
If I wasn’t a drummer I’d probably play the bass. I love being a part of the rhythm section, locking in with a bassist is a really rewarding feeling. It would be fun experiencing that synergy from the other side of the kit.
How do you maintain your sanity with all the crazy shit that must happen on the tour?
Touring is the best. I’d live on the road if I could! I’ve been blessed to travel with incredible people for the most part, so being on the road hasn’t been too tricky. It takes a particular personality to enjoy being on tour, you have to dig the insanity a bit, how hectic it can get. If there’s a bump in the road, moving forward and staying positive is what I try to focus on. If I need to clear my head I like to disappear by squeezing in a work out, or maybe grabbing a bite by myself to help me regroup.
In this picture, we see you getting inked up. Can you describe to us what you were getting tatted at the time? (Re: to photo titled “Will getting tatted”)
That was a really rad day in Lafayette, LA. We played this venue in the middle of a trailer park, and the fans went bonkers. A family actually drove down in an RV to go to the show, and they invited me in for my first authentic New Orleans gumbo. Anyway, after the show this dude strolls up to me and lets me know that he is giving away free tattoos for any of the artists who had performed that evening. I had him tattoo a sugar skull on my leg. I’ve yet to name it. Hmm….
What’s going on in the photo “ice road football!”? Seems like you guys decided to have an impromptu game of throwing the pigskin midtraffic.
Right! The National Guard shut the highway down on our trip from Notre Dame down to Lafayette. I want to say we were somewhere around Arkansas or Memphis. We were stuck on that highway for 20 hours! Fortunately we were caravanning with Eyes Set to Kill, a group we were travelling with, so those who weren’t behind the wheel got a little sauced and played some highway ice football.
And the pic “hopped in the fountain!!”, quite the capture you got here. Care to explain just how you managed to capture this gracious resemblance of a spouting fountain?
Ah, this was one of our first stops on the tour. We found this really hip coffee shop in Atlanta, GA, and the outside area had this beautiful fountain which fell from the ceiling into this wood barrel. So I did what anyone would do if they saw a really cool fountain; I told everyone to back away so they wouldn’t get soaked, and I hopped on in!
There are a lot of misconceptions about the “drummer” of the band. How do you feel about your role as the drummer for Wheatus and how do you add your personal touch to the sound?
Every band presents different challenges for a drummer. With many gigs I’ll learn the group’s tunes, and they’ll give me the freedom to put my spin on the groove and let loose a bit. With my own band, Secret Weapons, I prefer to stay in the pocket so my boys can shine. Wheatus has definitely been the most challenging gig for me to date. Brendan knows exactly what he wants from his drummer, and how he wants to hear each and every tune. I’ve learned an awful lot about myself and what I’m capable of from being around the Wheatus gang, it’s incredibly rewarding. Also I drum at the front of the stage for Wheatus shows, so….bonus.
What is it like transitioning into a new band? Tell us about the sound you guys are making and what it’s like working with different bands?
I’ve been in so many bands over the past 8 years. I love meeting new people and experiencing new things, so band hopping has been fun. I have a blast learning the tendencies of different artists. You can take what you like from everyone and bring it all together to make one SuperYou! I’m often in multiple bands at once, these days I spend a majority of my time with Wheatus and my new band, Secret Weapons!
To put it simply, Secret Weapons gets you movin’. The drums are bombastic man, it’s a lot of fun to play. And more importantly, it’s a lot of fun to listen to.