Mon Hills Records – Part 3 – 18 Strings Interview
In the first two parts of this story, we learned about Mon Hills Records, the student-run label at West Virginia University. While I was at their album release party, I was able to sit down with 18 Strings and get their take on the Morgantown music scene.
“I am Andrew Tuck; I play guitar and sing and write songs for the band.”
“I’m Greg Thurman; I play bass.”
“I’m Chris; I play mandolin.”
(Andrew Tuck) “The Morgantown music scene is, in a word, ‘Eclectic.’ There is a great body of musicians and music being made here. Almost like a model version of a larger town, but in a small town in about 40,000 people, but, it’s surprisingly vibrant! Thanks to 123 Pleasant Street – it’s a local music venue that really encourages — “
(Greg Thurman) “–it’s a bonafide rock club–“
(Tuck) “it really is…It’s a bonafide original music facility
(Tuck) “–they encourage original music, that’s where people go if they don’t want to hear the same songs a lot of times. Any given night, even in the same night you could hear a punk rock band, a reggae band, and a bluegrass band. You know- just very eclectic, very cool, just very…important – it’s important to the scene.”
I asked them if they had any words of wisdom for a mountain community where there is not always a music scene to be a part of.
(Tuck) “Just do your thing, improve your craft and art, or whatever it is that you do Just do that regardless of consequence, just do it for its own sake. Art is important and it’s becoming increasingly rare”
(Thurman) “I would just say that music is a community and without people supporting it listening to it and making it, there is no music, so do one of those things and help your culture remain. I mean, that’s really what we’re trying to do I think is trying to let everybody into what they already like. The just have to come out here and experience it.”
Here’s General Manager Josh Swiger again, on the location of Mon Hills Record within a larger context
“You know you could do it in Nashville, you could do in LA, but they’re already doing it there. Find an area it can be done in. So a lot of our students could eventually, not really leave West Virginia as ,much as they could work in Pittsburgh but they could also start building our own industry here in the state. My biggest thing is let’s quit shipping out our talent in this state, and that goes across the board: engineering, medicine, everything. Too many times we have all this great talent that leaves West Virginia because of no opportunity, but maybe WE need to make the opportunities IN West Virginia.”
In the future listen for 18 String and other Mon Hills Artists playing on the frequencies.
For more information, check out the Mon Hills website! http://monhillsrecords.com/