The North and Wells Band is a 4-piece band comprised of four friends, who met while working nightshift at The Second City in Chicago. The Second City is located at the corner of North and Wells, and so The North and Wells were born. Although the group remains free from being pigeon-holed to a specific genre, they bring forth an original blend of soul, blues, and modern rock. Their new single “Holding Back” is out now and available on all major streaming platforms!
What’s great about “Holding Back” is that every section is worthy of being a hook. Where the average song would offer a minimal verse and a perhaps simple, logical pre-chorus as a pathway to the big moment, this song utilizes every second to draw your interest and keep you entertained.
The melodic changes start to happen fairly early on, so although it’s easy to vibe to “Holding Back” from the offset, there’s also plenty that works hard to remind you to really pay attention and to appreciate the creativity and the honest expression. The North and Wells offer a somewhat carefree approach to musicianship, though this contrasts slightly with the depth of thought and the concerns expressed within the lyrics of “Holding Back”. The track sounds great, easy to listen to on repeat and a part of that is because of how uniquely structured the whole thing is. When you really listen though, there’s plenty of youthful turmoil being presented, the mind has wandered freely and the songwriter has documented that journey. We’re looking forward to hearing more!
Listen to “Holding Back” here
Welcome to BuzzMusic The North and Wells Band! It’s such a pleasure to be chatting with you. We know how you all met but how did each of you get started on your own musical journey, before The North and Wells Band?
We've all had some pretty different stories getting to where we are now as a group. John (keys) came from a very musical family that inspired him to start learning piano and taking voice lessons. He had a great friend and mentor who really got him excited to play music by playing gigs starting in high school. Much love to KB! Also, his parents got him listening to great music when he was growing up (Beatles, Rush, Styx, Ben Folds). He is self-taught and plays by ear. Jakes (guitar) music background stems from growing up in Chicago playing blues with his father's band and eventually going on the road at 19 playing blues in Mississippi and the general south for a few years. 12:12 (lead singer) has found himself singing in churches from the south side of Chicago to churches in Georgia growing up. Sam Roth (drums) has been keeping time way before The North And Wells Band. He started drum lessons when he was 5. While making full-length documentaries he studied and played in the marching band at Mizzou.
You seem to be a band that puts a substantial amount of thought into your lyrics! Who/what has inspired each of you to be the artist you are today?
We do put a lot of thought into the lyrics, thank you! Daily life. Just like stuff everybody is going through. We like to think of ourselves as a "band of the people" if you will. We want our lyrics to be something everyone can relate to. We each have our own lyrical influences. Jake shows more of a bluesy, Bob Dylan/Paul Simon style. 12:12 says his biggest inspiration lyrically is Ms. Lauryn Hill/Marvin Gaye. John really relates to Joey Dosik/Paul McCartney. McCartney is like one of the best storytellers ever.
"Holding Back" seems like a pretty personal track. Is vulnerability something your fans can always expect from your music? Can you tell us more about this particular song?
We're a pretty open book. "Holding Back" is just kinda scratching the surface in terms of vulnerability. Jake wrote it as a poem and it fit the groove pretty well so we ran with it. We have a bunch of songs in the chamber that really dive into some personal experiences that we are dying to get out to the public as soon as we can. But looking back at like Chicago Summertime, it's a song about wanting to be falling into true love, but not sure if you'll ever get it because of the circumstances of our particular generation. So yeah, we'll be vulnerable. Music is one of the best ways to express emotions and feelings.
How have you honed your songwriting style over time, and what do you think are the main qualities that make a song truly connect and last in the long-run?
To cut you in on a little secret, a lot of our lyrics have stemmed from us playing a groove and 12:12 totally freestyling on top of whatever we are playing. Sure there are certain formulas to good songwriting, but we haven't been a band long enough to truly hone our group writing skills together. Individually, we all have our own backgrounds. Someone will bring a song to the group and we each have input on how to make it resonate with people who listen to our music. Also, people love stories. If you can tell a cool story and throw some musical instruments on top of it, it's likely to be remembered and listened to for a while.
Thank you for taking the time to talk to us! What’s next for you after the release of “Holding Back”?
We are currently in the studio working with a producer, Chris Steinmetz, on future projects. You can definitely expect a lot in store for 2020. Live shows. More music. Most likely a few new singles in the next couple of months! But definitely enjoy "Holding Back" until then! Thanks for helping us get our name out there! We really appreciate BuzzMusic!