NEPA Scene’s Got Talent spotlight: Bassist Grant Williams
Every week of NEPA Scene’s Got Talent, our free open mic and talent competition at Thirst T’s Bar & Grill in Olyphant, we feature a quick Q&A with the latest audience vote winner, which was bassist Grant Williams on April 14.
The weekly winner receives $50 in cash and the headlining slot for the following Tuesday, and all other performers are encouraged to compete again as often as they’d like or simply show off their talents for fun.
After 12 weeks, the 12 winners will face off against each other in front of a panel of local celebrities who will determine the winner of the grand prize – a vacation package that includes $500 cash, three days and two nights in Cleveland, Ohio to tour the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum and the Great Lakes Brewing Company, tickets to a Cleveland Indians baseball game, and a free recording session at TwentyFiveEight Studios in Scranton when they return home.
We asked the 27-year-old Scranton resident and former Graces Downfall bassist about winning Week 4 with his original bass compositions.
NEPA SCENE: What brought you here to this event?
GRANT WILLIAMS: Overwhelming advertising. One day, NEPA Scene and these events took up most of my Facebook feed. I had to know what it was.
NS: How long have you been practicing your music?
GW: I’ve been playing bass for about nine years now. These solo compositions and performances have been on and off for about three years.
NS: What interested you in music in the first place? How did you get started?
GW: My father was a guitarist and would always try to get me to play, but I had no interest. When he died, my mother gave me his acoustic. Maybe it was guilt or some unfulfilled obligation, but I kept picking it up and playing it. Music slowly established itself as a necessity in my life, and no matter what instrument I picked up or discovered in that time, nothing was as cool to me as the bass was.
NS: Is this something that you’re pursuing as a career or is it just for fun?
GW: It’s absolutely my career path. I can’t imagine doing anything else with my time here besides music.
NS: What was your immediate reaction or feeling when you won?
GW: Naturally, I was thrilled. Every NEPA Scene’s Got Talent I’ve attended has just gotten better and showcased more talented people. To be recognized amongst/by them is an honor.
NS: Why do you think you won the audience vote?
GW: I think there is a unique quality to my performance. I don’t know too many people who play songs with just bass. It certainly helps me stand out. Also, and it pains me to say it, I think the bad rep that bass has as an instrument helps me. I’ve had several compliments that started with, “Ya know, dude, when you pulled out a bass, I didn’t think it would be any good.” If I can entertain you with something you’re predisposed to dismiss immediately, it also helps me stand out.
NS: How will you spend your $50 prize?
GW: “Date Night.”
NS: Where can people see one of your performances next?
GW: This musical avenue is still very new to me, unfortunately, so these showcases are the only things I’ve been bringing these to lately. This project remains in its infancy, and I have big plans for it. There will certainly be other venues. Currently, I’m still playing shows with Graces Downfall. You can catch us at McGrath’s in Dalton on Friday, April 24.
NS: Where can people find your music online?
GW: All the website/social media pages are still in development. If you’d like to catch them all when they launch, I’d encourage you to send me a friend request personally. I assure you that once they do go live, I’ll never shut up about them.
For more information on NEPA Scene’s Got Talent, which is always free and open to anyone, click here.
Photo by Robb Malloy/NEPA Scene