Interview With Music Band Sloan Woolly
Sloan Woolly was founded by Jack Seigenthaler (Guitar and Vocals), Henry Ingram (Keys) and while studying at Stanford University. Under the name Mammoth, they were later joined by Ben Josie (Bass) and played countless shows around the San Francisco Bay Area for two and a half years. Upon graduation, the band moved to Nashville, Tennessee to play with and learn from everyone they could in Music City. Read the interview to find out more about them.
BESIDES MUSIC, WHAT THE WHOLE WORLD FINDS UNIQUE ABOUT YOUR BAND IS ITS NAME. HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH THE NAME SLOAN WOOLLY FOR YOUR BAND?
We started the band up in college and at the time, we went by Mammoth. But we quickly realized there are about 10,000 Mammoths out there, and we knew we needed something we could call our own. We got hooked on the idea of using “woolly” in the name as a nod to the flag we’d flown for the last few years, but we needed to pair it with something unique. At rehearsal one day, Ben was talking about how he had a big crush on Sloan Peterson from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Suddenly, our keys player had a eureka moment: “Sloan Woolly!” We all thought it was catchy and we knew no other band had it, so it stuck.
HOW DID YOU GUYS MEET AND HOW DID YOU KNOW THAT, YES, WE CAN ROCK TOGETHER?
Jack, our vocalist and guitarist, Henry, our keys player, and Ben, our bassist, all met in college out in California. Back then, we played under the name Mammoth. We started gigging a little here and there – frathouses, backyards, etc. It was a blast – we’d set up our own shows, so we’d have to scrounge together the gear. The rooms would be tiny and super sweaty and the sound would be horrible so the only way to put on a good show was to bring some rowdy energy. And we loved it, more and more. Once you gig enough, you start to build in little moments together, and you start to feel some momentum – we’d do an original (we only had a few) at a frathouse and suddenly, one guy would know the chorus and sing along. So eventually, by graduation, we thought, hey, maybe we can try to take this somewhere after school and do it for real.
WHAT IS THE BACKGROUND STORY BEHIND YOUR LATEST MUSIC PIECE “FUTURES”?
Jack was drifting off at work and started thinking about his path to Nashville. A tiny wrinkle in the past could’ve put him just about anywhere else. His mom had been obsessed with the idea of string theory when he was a kid and was always talking about this idea of infinite realities all happening at once. So that became the main lyrical theme. All the futures each of us dream of, in spite of the path we’re stuck on–or blessed with. As we worked out the parts as a band, we found opportunities to shake up the rhythms a bit, and ended up with what we hoped was a new spin on a blues rock tune. It might be our favorite song to play live–it gets people up and dancing and gives us the opportunity to really lock in together as a band.
HOW IMPORTANT IS PERSONAL BRANDING FOR YOU, AND WHAT YOU DO TO GROW YOUR PERSONAL BRAND?
The music is always the most important thing for us, and beyond that it’s just about being ourselves. It’s easy to get caught up in the little details of an Instagram post, but for us it always comes back to the music we make and the energy of our live set. We try not to take ourselves too seriously – we just hope you’ll hop on board and join us for this ride.
WHAT IS ONE PIECE OF ADVICE YOU WOULD GIVE TO A BUDDING ARTIST?
Read Ari Herstand’s book “How to Make It in the New Music Business.” It’s a huge crash course on every aspect of being a musician in the modern era. I picked it up to read a chapter on distribution and ended up going through the whole book in 3 days. Can not recommend enough.