I really like discovering new acts and talents as I progress on towards the half-century of my career in music journalism. What is frustrating is discovering a “new” band that’s actually been around for quite some time. Such is the case with SeepeopleS, who will perform at Mainely Brews in Waterville on Friday, Jan. 15. I recently called singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist and frontman Will D. Bradford to chat about his band and their impending appearance. The opening question dealt with the area code I punched in to make the call.

Q: Where is 857?

Bradford: It’s a Massachusetts number. SeepeopleS was originally a Boston band. That’s where I got that number. I lived there for a bunch of years a long time ago.

Q: So now you’re in Maine?

Bradford: I’m now in Portland, yeah. I spent about seven years in North Carolina, too.

Q: How many albums do you have out now?

Bradford: Five records now. Actually, 2015 is our 15th anniversary.

Q: Wow — I’m trying to figure out how you got by me all these years.

Bradford: Well, a lot of people still think of us as an Ashville, North Carolina, band, which is where we toured out of for about seven years, and during that entire time I don’t think I ever brought the band north of Portland. In fact, I think this Waterville show might be the first time the band has gotten north of Portland since maybe 2004. Yeah, it’s been a while.

Q: How many band members have there been over that 15-year period, or is it the original line-up?

Bradford: Well, I’m the only one left as far as the original line-up goes, but it’s got to be close to like 25, maybe 30, and they’re all over the place. One is playing keyboards for Lynyrd Skynyrd now.

Q: Are any of the new members you have for this upcoming Mainely Brews gig from Maine?

Bradford: They are. They’re actually all local boys. I moved from North Carolina — to be perfectly truthful and honest — because I was having some battles with addiction so I kind of got off the road for a couple of years between 2011 and 2013 to kind of clean up my act, which is sort of why I came back up to Maine. Once I started doing well and kind of got my life back together, I was really, really lucky to get some of the best musicians in town — so I lucked out big time. They’re all Portland cats.

Q: How much time do you spend on the road?

Bradford: This year is nowhere near what next year’s going to be. We just finished up a nice tour from Colorado down to Georgia and then back up here. Then in January we just have an East Coast run from here to Charleston, South Carolina. Then in February and certainly in April the band will be West Coast and the rest of the country. We used to do about 200 dates a year, but I’m getting older so I’m cutting back a bit.

Q: So obviously this show at Mainely Brews will be your first one there, right?

Bradford: No, SeepeopleS played Mainely Brews, and like I said, that might have even been that last show north of Portland. It was probably between 2003 and 2004, maybe 2005, but probably it’s been 10 years.

Q: Well, then you know the venue up there.

Bradford: I do, yeah, it’s a nice place. I remember when it first opened actually. I think we were one of the first bands to play there when it first started up. But it’s great to be able to have any place these days that has live music. I hope nobody takes it for granted up there because there are not that many places like it anymore. I grew up in Bangor when I was in high school, and there’s no venue like Mainely Brews in Bangor. It’s pretty cool that Waterville does, you know?

Q: Seeing it’s been a while since you were there, what can folks expect from your show?

Bradford: Well, SeepeopleS’ shows are not like a lot of others, so they can expect to probably leave having seen a part of a different kind of show, I guess you could say — like a more involved show.

Q: Oh, how so?

Bradford: Well, lyrically we’ve singled out some pretty serious stuff, you know. We take the songwriting aspect very seriously, but nobody really wants to be in that kind of mood when you’re having a couple of beers, so it’s sort of an effort to combine something soft and lilting with pure fun. We try to pull off a show that maybe tugs on the heartstrings a little bit, but also be as wild as they can get, so there’ll definitely be some dancing and general freakiness.

Q: Well, Will, is there anything you’d like to pass on to the folks reading this article about your return to Waterville?

Bradford: Well, it really is just come to the show! With SeepeopleS we’re all producers. We all do different music. I make hip-hop music on the side. I’ve recorded bluegrass bands and jazz bands, producing their CDs. So the thing about SeepeopleS is like everything. Going to our show you’re going to hear all sorts of stuff. But in general it’s all really, really fun, so if people want something slightly different than what they’re used to, then definitely come to a SeepeopleS show!

Lucky Clark has spent more than 45 years writing about good music and the people who make it. He can be reached at [email protected] if you have any questions, comments or suggestions.

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