Sitting Down With Billy Nally, Drummer of Upcoming Alternative Band, the Wrecks
If you have yet to hear of The Wrecks—an alternative band that took the music industry by storm—I suggest you pull up your Spotify app and take a listen. Without a doubt, you will “wreck” your repeat button.
The Wrecks’ sound is unique, yet familiar in a sense. The band is oftentimes compared to distinguished alternative bands like Cage The Elephant, The Black Keys, and The Arctic Monkeys.
The band consists of 5 members: Nick Anderson (vocals), Aaron Kelley (bass), Nick Schmidt (guitar), Weston Weiss (guitar) and and Billy Nally, (drums).
Luckily, Billy was able to find time between sound checks and a 3 hour time difference to give us an inside look at his life.
William “Billy” Nally, 20, the drummer for The Wrecks, was just a small-town guy with Hollywood sized dreams. He grew up in Lacey Township, which is just 45 minutes away from our own Monmouth University.
After posting a few videos on YouTube in high school and sending them around to agents and managers, he began to realize the talent he truly possessed behind that drum set—and so did professionals in the industry. This realization quickly turned into action.
At the brink of just 18 years old, Billy decided it was time to make his passion into a career and move to the heart and soul of music: Los Angeles.
So, what do parents say when you tell them you’re moving across the country, skipping the college scene, and joining a rock band?
“It honestly was not hard at all to convince my parents to let me pack and move away,” Billy said. “They have been so beyond supportive it’s insane.”
Billy said his parents have always been telling him to do what makes him happy and do what he thinks is best for his future. “They have always been steering me in the right direction, I wouldn’t be anywhere close to where I am now without the support from my parents.”
How did Billy land the role as drummer for The Wrecks?
“I kind-of got lucky,” He explained. “I played in a few touring bands that were under my manager, and when he saw this opportunity for me, he knew I had to have it.”
When The Wrecks first got together, they struggled to find their sound. In an interview with High Voltage Magazine, guitarist Nick Schmidt said the band has come such a long way from the first time they sat in a room and played together.
Speaking of, Billy already had a previously developed friendship with his brand-new-at-the time bandmate, Nick Schmidt.
“It is awesome being in a band with someone you grew up with and went to school with,” Nick said referring to earlier days when they both lived in New Jersey, attending Ocean County Vocational School, where they studied audio engineering.
“Never did I imagine years later, I would be in a band with Billy,” Nick continued. “People don’t realize personal chemistry means so much to a band. Billy and I have been jamming for years, so it made everything so much easier.”
After adjusting to being a cohesive unit of equally talented musicians and building that chemistry, the band decided it was time to make moves to release their EP.
Word on the street is that the band recorded their first single, “Favorite Liar” in a recording studio— that they snuck into.
Holding back a chuckle, Billy smirked and said, “I wouldn’t actually say we broke in… but we weren’t supposed to be there.”
A friend of the vocalist was house sitting a friend of a friends house who had a “very expensive” home studio. “So we just did what we had to do and recorded the EP the best we could,” Billy explained. “But then we got a call saying the homeowner’s ex-wife was coming to check on the house and we had to get out as soon as possible.”
“It was really really sketchy and to this day the guy has no idea we were there. And we still don’t know who’s house it was. We never got his name.”
Evidently, this tactic was successful, considering “Favorite Liar” has over 5.5 Million streams on Spotify year to date and was on Satellite Radio’s Alt Nation’s top hits list.
The first time the 5-piece heard “Favorite Liar” on the radio was surreal.
“We were in a friends apartment listening to an Alternative station while we were playing Xbox,” Billy said. “We were just hanging around and then our song came on. We all stopped and we like, ‘what the hell, this is crazy!’”
Phoebe Nelson, a junior pre-law student and a singer in her spare time, said “Favorite Liar” is one of her favorite indie-rock band songs.
“The chorus is extremely catchy,” Phoebe said. “It reminds me of music Cage The Elephant or The Killers would put out. I would 10 out of 10 recommend giving The Wrecks a listen.”
Billy said it is a great feeling knowing something he has worked towards his whole life is being appreciated publicly.
Billy’s cousin, Mackenzie Bidwell, 20, is fond of the childhood memories she has of him and always appreciated his talent for music. Billy would play her favorite songs (by One Direction and Justin Bieber) on the drums and she found it so entertaining.
“I am so thankful that we have always had a close relationship,” Mackenzie said. “I am so proud of where he is today and I know he is going to keep going up from here!”
What’s next for The Wrecks? The band is just about 2 years old and are proud to say they have found their home in a Sony music label called, “Another Century.”
“We have great feelings and high hopes for our future,” said Billy on behalf of him and his bandmates, “This is just the beginning.”
PHOTO COURTESY of Kyle Lehman