Wednesday night, Austin, Texas-based rockers MOBLEY will hit the stage at Phoenix Hill Tavern to play for a third time in Louisville, bringing a mix of indie rock, dance and soul to a stage more accustomed to things that rock hard and roll fast.
Lead singer Anthony Watkins II took Louisville.com’s phone call to discuss what his band has become and what they’ll be bringing to town this week.
Who is Mobley?
We started out in Chapel Hill, North Carolina… since then a few people have come and go, but when Tim Shelburne (the bassist) and Sergio Trejos (drummer) joined… This is definitely the most definitive line-up of the band.
How do you explain your sound to people?
I guess the way I describe it when I don’t have to give a catchphrase is that as a fan of music - and as a songwriter - my biggest focuses are interesting melodies and interesting rhythms. That is what I am interested in making and listening to. I don’t really like to think of it in terms of genre. I don’t think that anyone that really loves music really thinks about it in terms of genre.
Who are your biggest influences personally?
As a front man, I would say James Brown and Michael Jackson and Freddie Mercury are the big three for me – people who could capture a crowd and command a stage like no one else. As a musician, the Beatles are a big influence. I know it is a big cliché, but I didn’t discover them until college and I spent three years listening to them exclusively. And Radiohead… I lived in England for awhile when I was younger and I’ve always thought of myself as British at heart. That tiny little island has produced a disproportionate amount of good music.
You have what you term as an “interactive video” for people to see on your website. It allows the viewer to change camera angles, mess with the sound, and even take band members in and out of the picture. How did that come about?
I studied film in school and my day job is web developer and designer. I wanted to come up with something that would get people’s attention.
What can one expect from a Mobley live show?
Energy. That is the biggest thing. Creating energy in the room, between us and the audience. We are consistently told that people are surprised and blown away by what they see. We put energy into augmenting the show with video and lights and people are moved by the music - and the fact that we are moved by the music.
You guys tour a lot. Any good stories from the road?
We were driving back to Texas from Arkansas and we got pulled over by a state trooper. I heard him listening to country music so when he asked what kind of band we were I told him we played country. We talked for five minutes about country music and he let us off with a warning.
Anything you’d like to say to encourage folks to come out and see you play?
We have an unlimited guest list, so get on our Facebook and send us a message and we’ll put you on the guest list. Plus - We are printing our new CD this week. It’s called “Let Flip.” We’ll have fresh copies of that and some free music to give away.
Photo courtesy of Chelsi McMorris