We are sharing our recent interview with Canadian-based musician Bob Wilcox. Bob’s childhood was spent bouncing from one foster home to the next. Music for Bob was then and still is the ultimate and most illuminating art form. Ultimately, transmutation of that early darkness has paid off. For several years Bob has been developing a devoted following and crafting his seasoned blend of sounds with several notable recording artists and producers.
Currently Bob Wilcox works toward the Summer 2018 release of full-length “Future Family Members,” he shares a duo of diverse tracks from the upcoming album ” via “Mount O” and “Heather.”
Twist Online: First of all, tell us about the start of your professional career:
Bob Wilcox: Well I think my first “professional experience” would be making my record “mental mines” at the legendary Mushroom Studios in Vancouver with Ryan Dahle of Limblifter and Bryan Adams’ incredible drummer Pat Steward. We did tons of pre-production with Kurt Dahle of the New Pornographers. I was only 22 years old. Stepping into that incredible live room, and having so many talented people believing in me was something that very much informed the sound and direction of that recording. Some people never get an opportunity like that, so for me it was a huge boost.
Twist Online: Who or what inspired you to get into the music industry?
Bob Wilcox: I would say people like Ryan Dahle and Jordon Zadorozny. Both of them had several major label recording contracts. Ryan pushed me to study the craft intensely and focus on writing high-quality songs. I recall Ryan reminding me to practice specific guitar picking rhythms until they were second nature etc. And because I had lived in many foster homes, I really wanted to do something that would remind people who have gone through similar things that accomplishment and curiosity are possible. So I became a hermit and used the skills developed while in foster care to insulate myself in a musical world.
On weekends I would sometimes leave the group home I lived at to visit my grandparents. My grandmother Sylvia owned a lovely Baldwin piano; that is where my first explorations began to germinate into songs.
Twist Online : Tell us about your upcoming release ““Future Family Members.”
Bob Wilcox: Conceptually “Future Family Members” for me is about a personal quest for life-affirming knowledge and also a swing at shaking off childhood abuse. It was written with a desire to explore themes of continuance, losing family members to disease and addiction, and reconciling disappointed relationships; plus the day-to-day conflict of mental illness.
Sonically, I believed that people like Jordon and Ken could help me to reach a level of cohesion that would help to weave things into a tapestry that is supportive of the thematic structure of the recording.
Twist Online : What kind of response are you expecting from the release?
Bob Wilcox: My main goal in mind now for FFF is for it to be heard by as many music fans/and former foster kids as possible.
Twist Online : One of your tracks, Mount Olympus, has been entered into a contest at the CBC in Canada. You must be excited?
Bob Wilcox: Yes it has been heartening to say the least. So many people in Canada and across the world have shared the song, written me emails detailing what my music means to them etc. And the fact that they’ve been taking a little bit of time out of their busy lives to vote for me is amazing. So I’m excited for all of them to hear the record in its entirety.
Twist Online : What’s your favorite music genre?
Bob Wilcox : I find writers like Keith Whitley, the Carpenters, Prince and the Beatles ever inspiring.
Twist Online : Do you need certain kind of environment for writing tracks?
Bob Wilcox : I usually turn the lights down low; it seems to me that somehow a lack of light in the studio facilitates when writing, and searching for the little moments that lead to musical interest for me. Really though, I believe that songwriting is a 24-7 occupation. My brainwaves are never really firing in a non-songwriting way. So it’s about constantly capturing melody ideas on the phone, paper… writing lyrics and cataloging them as well helps.
Twist Online : Have you set some target to achieve as a music artist?
Bob Wilcox : My target is to deliver emotionally truthful and moving recordings that resonate with individuals who value exploring the dichotomy of being human. And musically for the recordings to sound explorative and immersive. The best records for me are magical little worlds that I can climb into whenever the need to escape for a few arises. Making my music a meaningful escape for myself and others is also something key that I’m very much hoping to accomplish.