If you added up all the years of music experience from the five members of Birmingham band The Blips, you’d have more than a century of rock and roll. These Birmingham rockers — Will Stewart, Taylor Hollingsworth, Wes McDonald, Eric Wallace, and Chris McCauley — came together just a couple of years ago to form a Birmingham “supergroup,” that has now recorded two albums.
The Blips will play at Lowe Mill’s Concerts on the Dock this Friday night from 6PM to 9PM, and Hville Blast caught up with the band to get them to answer five questions about their past, present and future.
1. How did this band come together?
Stewart says the idea for the band came about when he contacted Hollingsworth and they discussed putting a project together. Although some members of the band had played with other members at some time or another, getting all five of them together for one band was an idea Stewart said he and Hollingsworth discussed for a while before it came to fruition.
“I think Taylor and I talked about it for about six months, and I sent out a text to try and get everyone together.”Will Stewart, The Blips
2. How did the pandemic affect the progress of the band?
Forming a band as a global pandemic hits is probably not ideal if you want to play live to promote your music, but could have been a blessing for The Blips, as they were able to spend more time writing music. However, the pandemic did delay the release of the band’s first album.
“We couldn’t play live, so we had to hold our record back for about six months,” McDonald said. “We played our first show literally the day before everything closed. Then played our second show right when things started opening back up. So we were some people’s last show before the pandemic and a lot of people’s first show coming back from the pandemic.”
3. Is this band a side project or the ‘main’ project?
All members of the band have multiple music projects going on right now. McDonald runs Cornelius Chapel Records and plays with the band People Years, in addition to playing solo as his musical alias, Terry Ohms. Stewart plays solo, with Janet Simpson in Timber and with Sarah Langford, among other projects.
Hollingsworth, one of the Birmingham music scene’s most revered guitarists, has multiple musical projects in the works, and can be seen playing around Birmingham in The Country Westerns, while McCauley — former member of iconic Birmingham band Holy Youth — and Wallace, who owns The Firehouse, a DIY venue and music education space — also have multiple bands and side projects going on. So where do The Blips fit in on the list of priorities?
“We’re all involved in too many projects anyway, so they are all side projects, really,” McDonald said.
“I would say (The Blips) is a side project with the potential to be a main project.”Taylor Hollingsworth, The Blips
4. Y’all have received a good bit of radio airplay. Do y’all intend to tour for the new album?
Touring is not easy, especially when you consider that many of the members of The Blips have families, day jobs and other obligations. But the band hasn’t ruled out touring to promote the new album.
Hollingsworth said if a worthwhile tour presents itself then the band would be open to touring. McDonald echoed those sentiments, saying if anyone wants to send them on tour, they are open for the discussion.
“We’re interested in a tour that 40-year-old men can handle.”Chris McCauley, The Blips
5. What is the song-writing process like for y’all?
With a band full of five frontmen, so to speak, one may wonder who comes up with the song ideas for a band like The Blips. But band members said the song-writing process is a collaborative effort, for the most part.
“Each person will being in their own songs, but there are some songs we all collaborate on,” Hollingsworth said.
“I’d say (the song-writing process) is mostly a workshopping process, where someone will bring a song in and we will all tweak it together.”Eric Wallace, The Blips
Where to see and hear The Blips
The Blips will play at Lowe Mill’s Concerts on the Dock series this Friday night beginning at 6PM. The concert is free to attend but parking is $5.
And those who can’t make the show Friday night can download the band’s music and sample some of the band’s tunes on Bandcamp or your preferred streaming service.