Indie/Rock Band WILLIS Boasts Beachy Surf Rock Viibes In New Track “Now & Then”

Florence, Alabama based collective WILLIS has just released their 3rd album titled “Locals 3”. The 5-piece indie/rock band is comprised of Murphy Billings, Edward Armstead, Trey Murphy, Glenn O'Steen and Will O'Steen. The band that is already known for singles like “Real Estate Sale” and “Fight the Vegans” is coming out with an album full of melodic and surf-rock vibes. The album is a fully written, composed and well produced selection of 7 tracks that definitely show the characteristics of the band. All songs are recorded, arranged, written and performed by WILLIS.

The second single on the album and my personal favorite is a beachy tune titled “Now & Then”. The rhythmic attitude and chill rock vibe takes the listener on a journey through the hypnotizing and mellow rock sound arrangements. “Now & Then” has slight undertones of alternative blues and soulful roots. The track focuses on the ups and downs of love and the dating world. “I’m starting to get tired, The same old conversations, And all this time I've wasted is adding up, And maybe I’m just out of touch.” is my favorite lyric because it perfectly explains everyone's frustrations and struggles. I think “Now & The” can be interpreted differently depending on the listeners situation. The pummeling guitar, echoing vocals, surf-rock vibes and overall chemistry on “Now & Then” are a brilliant indication of what’s to come on the rest of their album “Locals 3”. I highly recommend you check out this track and the whole album. Stay on the lookout for WILLIS who will be heading out on tour and announcing dates in the near future!

Check out “Now & Then” here and keep scrolling for our interview with WILLIS!

Hey guys welcome to BuzzMusic! Can you start by introducing yourselves? What role does each of you play within WILLIS?

- Murphy Billings (vocals and bass, songwriter), Glenn O’Steen (drums and producer), Trey Murphy (guitarist), Will O’Steen (keys/synth), and Edward Armstead (guitarist)

How and when did WILLIS come to fruition? How did you choose the band name?

WILLIS started in 2016 in Florence, AL. Glenn and I had been playing music together for around two or three years with other groups and wrote songs but we wanted to start our own band with our own sound. We decided to team up with some of our friends from high school that played guitar, Edward and Trey. Will, Glenn’s brother was the final piece. He had always known and been around music and would just hang while we were just jamming so we kind of made him join.  Glenn and I (Murphy) were just sitting around thinking of names for around 3 months. We wanted it to be short and something that people could remember so we chose the name Willis. Willis is actually Glenn’s first name and I thought it matched the vibe of what we were trying to make so it just stuck with us.

Can you dive into more details on the lyrics of “Now & Then”? What inspired this song?

I went through and reread a lot of old text messages and stuff like that I had and that really inspired me to write this. Now & Then is about the end of a relationship and closure. Sometimes closure isn’t exactly what you thought it would be. This song about not even wasting time expecting a different ending and realizing that closure doesnt actually change anything in the end, honestly. 

What’s the overall theme of your new album “Locals 3”? What do you hope your fans take away from it?

I would say that the theme of the record is just about moving on. Sometimes moving on can be really hard but it will be worth it eventually. I hope fans can listen to Locals 3 and feel something. Hopefully it helps fans feel like they can move on from whatever they need to.

Do you have any hints of tour dates or upcoming show you can talk about

Right now, we’re just moving into our new place in Nashville, TN. But we have some things lined up in late September for the east coast. Then in late fall we’ll be doing the west coast. It’ll be dope and we hope to see everyone there.


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