Broadtube Music ChannelThe Overlook

December 15, 2017by Kolade Olamide0

Tell us about yourself. 
Well, we are The Overlook, from Richmond, VA. We are a duo that consists of Wade Puryear and Joshua Bryant. Wade is a lifelong musician and writer as well as an advocate for children’s and families’ mental health and well-being. Josh is a music major from VCU, majoring in classical guitar performance. We are both married, have children and day jobs we work to support our families. But, music has been in our lives from very young ages. We grew up together in a small town in southern VA. And, we just released our debut EP – “Together, We Walk”.
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Tell us about yourself as an artist. 
We have known each other for over 20 years now, and have been making music together off and on for most of that time. The great thing about us working together is that we know each other so well, so the comfort is there. That really helps in not being afraid to push the boundaries and try new ideas together. If they don’t work, we have that ability to tell each other so. We strive to make music that draws the listener in, but also tries to satisfy the artist in us. We want people to like it, but also have small, unique characteristics that give it a feel all its own.
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Tell us about the genre of your music. 
There are so many influences in our music; it is hard to pinpoint a “genre”. We both are in to similar things and completely different things. So, really it is rock-based, with more indie influence. But you also have elements of synth-pop and hip-hop in there as well, while loving the harmonic structures of jazz chords. “Alternative” could be the closest one-word answer, we guess.
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Tell us about the story behind your song. 
Josh: The story behind this song is very personal. It is really about my reaction to my son getting meningitis when he was five months old. That whole experience, from rushing to the ER, watching him have seizures, to being escorted to a holding room and having a chaplain to come in to see us, to spending weeks in ICU not knowing if he was going to live or be able to function afterward – that whole thing was like you watching your world coming to an end – almost an out-of-body experience. So, the lyrics to this song are putting it in a context of earth-shattering events, and how you respond to those events. We left it open enough for people to be able to apply it to their own experiences, but there are lots of personal meanings in there for me. It really is about everything from choosing the right path to the ER, as every second counted, to my son, who is six years old now and sharp as can be, telling me he made up his own song and it was called “when the darkness comes, you will be alive”. Pretty heavy stuff…..so I stole it!
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Tell us the challenges you are facing as a musician.
Probably the same challenges most every other musician faces. Time, money and resources. Those things are so valuable and necessary. You can make great music, but what do you do after that? That is the biggest challenge. With us, we are learning as we go. Trying to learn mixing and mastering, learning how to market ourselves. This past year has been a TON of learning experiences. The good thing is we have that knowledge for the next time around.

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Tell us about the recording and production of the song. 
This is the only song on our EP that wasn’t completely done on our own. We got the help of a good friend of ours, Matt Goves (drummer from The Ernies) to play drums, and had another good friend, Todd Matthews, to help us with tracking the drums. Outside of that, it was all performed in our studio….aka Wade’s basement…..and mixed wherever we were at the time with our laptops.
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Tell us the names of blogs, radio or TV stations that have supported you so far.
We are in another band together, PhotoSynthesizers, and we have had some mild success there. The band was named one of Paste Magazine’s Artists to Watch in Virginia, written about numerous times in local publications and performed on the local CBS morning show here. We’ve also been played on radio in the region.

But, as far as The Overlook, you are our first official blog appearance! We are so grateful to you all and honored for having us! This is a great platform for up-and-coming artists, and you have done an awesome job. Thanks so much!
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Tell us more about your music career, experience and future goal. 
Josh: I have played guitar for what feels like my entire life. Most of my early childhood memories revolve around music. A private lesson music school I went to growing up gave me my first taste of what it felt like to rock a crowd. I was hooked from that moment. It eventually led to me going to college for it. That gave me a much deeper understanding of music, from a theory standpoint. It removed some of the overwhelming mystery around writing and arranging. From there, I had the privilege of working with great artists that expanded my understanding of the craft. As far as a future goal, I’m sure Wade and I both just want to reach as many people as we can, hoping they will find something that touches their spirit. Oh yeah, and to be successful enough to make it my only job I need!

Wade:My grandmother taught me piano starting as early as I can remember. She had me play a lot of church music as well as old standards.  I played in random bands throughout high school and Josh and I both took lessons at a small family run music and art school. Kept going in various bands throughout college touring regionally. In the early 2000s I was part of an Avant Gard group called The Dukakis 6. That was some weirdly fun in your face spoken word craziness that caught the ears of folks like Lake Trout, who shared the stage with us on a few occasions. After that I self-produced a few things before hooking back up with Josh in Photosynthesizers.

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Tell us what inspires you to write, compose and sing. 
We draw from our experiences. Like we said earlier, we both have families, and they always provide inspiration. And, we just like to try and be somewhat positive and come up with ways to explore different topics in a way that is unique to us. From questions about spirituality and existentialism to love to hope. There are so many things to be inspired by.
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Tell us the secret behind making a hit song. 
When we find out, we will be sure to let you know! All jokes aside, we just want to be authentic to ourselves. If that leads to making a hit, great! But, it will only work for us if it feels right. There is a fine line to walk as an artist. Our goal isn’t to write a hit. Our goal is to write what feels right and have lots of people love it. Keeping our fingers crossed we get it right. But, the journey is the fun part!
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Tell the kind of advice you will give to an upcoming artist. 

The best advice, we have found, in life generally, is to do what feels right, but not be afraid to take risks. You should also make sure you have defined goals and develop a plan to achieve them. The plan may not always go the way you think it will, but keep the goal in mind. You may have detours, but don’t let it take you too far off course. And, just enjoy the experience. That’s what it is all about.
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Elaborate on your music careers, albums, songs, tours, recognition or awards you might have obtained. 
As we had mentioned earlier, a lot of our high points have been in our band, PhotoSynthesizers. That band has been together for a while and gained a bit of success here in Richmond, from winning the Reader’s Choice award for best hip-hop group in Richmond by a large local publication called Style Weekly five years in a row, to opening for Snoop Dogg on two different occasions, to also playing shows with De La Soul, Shabazz Palaces, Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, Digable Planets, Yo La Tengo and others. PhotoSynthesizers has one album, “Speakers In Black Holes”, out on iTunes, and some other material on our social media sites.
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Tell us how you write your lyrics, compose, sing and record in the studio.
All of our material, except for the drum tracking on this song, “Refuge”, has been done in our homes. We really do the bulk of our work out of Wade’s basement. As far as lyric writing, we just talk out what we are thinking a song should be about, often as we are building the song and writing and arranging the music. Then we start writing lyrics from there and make edits as we see fit. For the composing, we both often have a number of different ideas for songs. We just start working on one and see where it takes us. Sometimes it works, and other times the ideas don’t really develop as much. That can be due to it just not speaking to us at that time.
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Name five biggest artists that you like. 
Radiohead, Nina Simone, Rage Against The Machine, The Cure, The National

Honorable Mention:Talib Kweli, Death Cab for Cutie, Foster The People, Tool, Vince Guaraldi

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Name the artists you have collaborated with before in your songs or artists you are willing to collaborate with in the future if you have the chance to do so. 
We haven’t done much collaboration as The Overlook, yet. We did a song “Light Years” with BarCodez, the emcee from our other band, on this EP. We are likely going to be working on some music with the female vocalist, Sam Reed, on our next project. As far as who we are willing to collaborate with in the future, we would love to work with and possibly write for vocalists that are looking for our particular sound. We love the composing and collaboration experience and would like to see what we could bring out of artists that they haven’t discovered yet.

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State the links to your social networks and stores for the purchase of your music.

Spotify

https://open.spotify.com/album/3MjjxSthf8jfl81vDmGwZa?si=JQfqniGuQNmf4EIDGG50fw

iTunes/Apple Music

https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/the-overlook/1313605335

Bandcamp

the-overlook.bandcamp.com

YouTube

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7KoABoTSvpLKdxzpqhiBHw

Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/theoverlook.official/

Twitter

https://twitter.com/music_overlook

Instagram

https://www.instagram.com/theoverlookmusic/

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Tell us about your happiest day and saddest day. 
Josh: My happiest day(s) were my children being born. I have 2, and meeting them for the first time was the most amazing thing I have ever felt. There really isn’t any way to describe that joy. My saddest day, ironically, is what this song “Refuge” is about…..almost losing my son. That is the total other end of the spectrum. Nearly losing that thing that brought you your greatest joy.

Wade: The saddest day is definitely an easy one. November 22, 1996. On that day both of my younger brothers left this world in a car accident. Just like the themes in at least one of our tracks on our new EP, from such a sad sadness and struggle comes light and life. It is definitely too much to get into in this short answer; however, it is incredible how much inspiration and strength has come from their life and their passing. The happiest day of my life is pretty easy as well. August 4, 2012. That’s the day I married my wife, Carrie. What made that day so happy besides the fact that I got to marry my soulmate, was that all of our friends and family descended upon this beautiful place in the Virginia mountains and in true do it yourself nature set up the outdoor wedding, the food, the music and everything. It was such an example of people pulling together for good. And, at least for me, that’s one thing I hope that people get out of our music. That despite struggles and strife we can always come together and create something new and something good.

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Tell us how you will spend a million dollars.

Wade: in all honesty, first, I would give 10 percent away. Then I would find some way to invest in the two biggest passions of my life. First our music; more equipment, more publicity and distribution. And second my family farm where we raise sustainable products; adding land, adding cattle, and more distribution.

Josh: My mind would go straight to how can I invest, create sustainability from the investment and use it for good causes. Of course, I would look to set my children up to help them achieve their goals in life, without having to be as worried about money as my wife and I have. But, money is what you make it. I like Kanye West’s quote, “Having money’s not everything. Not having it is.”

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