Daniel: Just recently coming off a big tour, you continue to have dedicated and sacrificed your whole life to music. Over the years going on big tours what have you had to give up?
Keller: I wouldn't consider that I have given up anything. It's something I have always wanted to do, it's been a way of life for many years. It started even before I was playing music because, I was touring to go and see music. I kind of learned how to travel and play through Dead tour, or going to see Phish or Jerry Garcia Band in the late 80's early 90's. Then when I finally started touring for myself it became very easy. I have always had my wife and dogs with me and recently we had a child about five months ago.
Keller: Thank you
Keller: Since the child has come there have defiantly been sacrifices with them staying at home. So that's a huge sacrifice- being away from your family. But we've worked it out, and I am very grateful to be able to call the shots to only go out on the weekends or only go out of town for three or four days at a time.
Daniel: You have been doing something that no artist has been doing, how did you come about your original sound over the years?
Keller: I think it's a combination of all different kinds of influences, mainly Michael Hedges. He was a huge influence on me at a very influential stage in my life. I was 18 and I was absorbing everything like a sponge. Leo Cooke, Jerry Garcia, especially Jerry. I never considered myself a lead player; I am kind of a guitar searcher when it comes to lead, I am just kind of looking for notes, hoping that I might land on it. And the rest is just trying to keep it funky and keep a dance groove going.
Daniel: Whether young or old, everybody has an inspiration that keeps them motivated. Now that you're getting older, what inspires you from the younger generation's music?
Keller: Sector nine and the Disco biscuits. I have really had a love for electronic music in the last couple of years mainly because it's the complete opposite of what I used to do, which was just solo acoustic and vocals. So I would say those two bands are really focusing in on the drum and bass jungle, lounge, techno type of vibe and I really appreciate that. Moves and grooves and its up up music.
Daniel: Power and influence is defiantly something that either people don't play with too carefully or that people also take for granted. Over the years, in terms of things like politics and world issues, do you feel that someone who has as much influence as you has some responsibility on sharing your views through music.
Keller: "I've always tried to stay away from politics. There's a lot of bands that use their microphones not only to sing but also to express their views. I can respect that, because that's what their feeling. My career is more entertainment, first and foremost to entertain myself. Secondly, as far as politics goes, there's so much happening and with the news channels and everything, it's really easy to get your news and your politics. My goal is to try and make people forget about that. To escape and not really think about that." It's all about entertaining myself really, and I am really blessed that people are entertained by me entertaining myself.
Daniel: Now the festival Keller
Keller: The festival
Daniel: It is really something that has emerged over the last few years. When Phish went on hiatus in 2000, it really opened the gap to an emergence of artists to just get out there. Do you find that festivals are helping bands share the groove and spread the word?
Keller: I think festivals are fantastic outlets for both bands and festivarians alike. For the bands, it's exciting in the sense that there is going to be a lot of people that have never seen them before, just walking buy and being turned on to it. I know that I've been turned on to a lot of bands at festivals that I have never seen before. In general, a festival is a super exciting outlet for bands and fans alike.
Keller Williams will be appearing at the Cisco Systems Blues fest in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
July 13th 6:15 pm Main stage