Local 913, Episode 48: The Hawkeyes
Originally, Jay Wiley, front man for the alt-country band The Hawkeyes, thought he was hiring the Pittsburgh band Country Music Gas Station as his backing band for a couple of gigs. What resulted from the very first rehearsal was clearly an all new direction and band for the singer/songwriter. Wiley talks about the ease in merging the two bands:
“I thought it was going to be really difficult because they were so different. I’m just a rock and roll guy. The close as I get is maybe Son Volt or Uncle Tupelo. When we sat down and talked about it, I said “Let’s go down that Uncle Tupelo/Wilco avenue.” We came together for a rehearsal and wrote three songs. I was like “Wow! This is really good!” It’s really straight forward and kind of dirty, I thought, “We can do this!”
With his backing band inspired by straight up country music and Wiley inspired more by rock and roll, The Hawkeyes began creating in their own words a raw and driving brand of rock ’n roll that is as much about honesty as it is attitude. Wiley confronts that honesty through songwriting and in particular story-songs. Wiley explains:
“Storytelling songs gives a perspective of where us, as individuals, have come from. I really believe you can stay in touch with your audience that way. You can really get a good, loving audience that way. Like the “Davenport” song...that could be anybody struggling to get by: day to day, week to week. That just happens to be about myself as a struggling musician; there are weeks where I don’t know if I’m gonna pay my water pay. And that’s fine, you do what you love and there’s value in that.”
For more on The Hawkeyes, check out their website.