In October 2009 we got an opportunity to interview Robby Rigsbee via email about all things Zach Williams and The Reformation, including the new album and their future plans.
Can you tell us a little background on Zach Williams and The Reformation, how did the band come together?
Basically, The Reformation was playing in another local band (Further Down) and met Zach one night at a show. Zach was in the middle of a pretty ugly divorce and was blowing off some steam, after that night we kept bumping into each other, forming a friendship.
On the nights we weren’t playing shows, we were over at his house partying and playing guitar. He had never been in a band before, so he was real green, but he had all these great songs. So, Red and Evan started helping him craft and arrange his songs. Eventually Zach needed a place to live, so he moved in with Red, and Josh, and the idea of a band started.
He needed to play live but didn’t have a band to back him, so everyone in Further Down (minus, myself and our singer at the time,) started playing shows with him. While this was happening Further Down was decaying, and had pretty much ran its course, and we called it a day. And then the core of Further Down became the Reformation.
Your music has been described as “Southern folk fusion”. How would describe approach to making music?
Well mostly Zach will come in with an idea for a song, and we will build it like a house. We all wear our influences on our sleeve and we don’t care what people say. So we try play and write based on what we know and what we grew up on. Classic Rock N Roll and blues.
Does Zach Williams and The Reformation have any particular musical philosophy?
Play from the heart and have fun doing so!
Your debut album, “Electric Revival”, came out in April 2009, can you tell us a little bit about the recording process?
We recorded the album in spurts over the winter, so we could start touring in late spring with a good product to sell. It was recorded at Young Ave. Sound in Memphis TN. Engineered and Co produced by our friend Jennifer Lee. We did most of the production our self’s. It was the most fun we have ever had in the Studio. It was so laid back and there were no pressure by producers or Money people. It was a great studio to work in and located in a good spot in Memphis.
Jennifer is great friends with Luther Dickinson of The Black Crowes and she asked him to come in and play slide on Angel with a Broken Wing, and that was a great highlight in my career and fun experience. He was a great guy and a real Southern Gentleman. It only took him about 30 min to complete the song..LOL
I hear a lot of Duane Allman on your playing, what other major influences do you have?
Duane is the man, hands down! Although I really love what Marc Ford has done. Marc is probably my Favourite guy right now. He has a real unique style and gets great tone! Mike Cample, Billy Gibbons, Jimmy Page is great, Warren Haynes, Ronnie Wood, Freddie King, Muddy Waters, Steve Gaines and Allen Collins. When it comes to bands, we all love The Allman Brothers, The Black Crowes, The Band, Tom Petty and the heartbreakers, and Lynyrd Skynyrd.
What do you think about the state of today’s music scene, is there a future for Southern rock?
Unfortunately society is forced to like crap music. Every time you turn on the TV or radio there is some type of hip of hop or crappy punk band, but there is a scene for southern rock. There are a lot of bands like us out there that I know of, and bands like the Allman Brothers, Skynyrd and ZZ Top still tour heavily and sell out crowds, so I think there is a definite market.
Besides live shows, what’s new on the horizon for Zach Williams and The Reformation?
At the moment we are looking for management to help us get on some bigger shows, and we are going on a European tour in March for two weeks. In the meantime we are trying to play as many shows as we can and get our name out there as much as we can. Hopefully we can get a few labels interested and maybe go on tour with some popular acts.