Nashville band Year of October is making a splash around Music City U.S.A and beyond. Phelicia Sullivan, a Graves County native, recently spoke with Paducah Life about their formation, their influences, and their decision to pursue music as a career.
The core of the band started with you and your husband Josh. How did you guys start making music?
Josh and I met in college when we were both students at UK. He played in several bands, but we didn't start writing anything together until after we'd dated for over a year. We realized that we pushed one another to get better and continue with our music. The support system between us spurred us on to want to do it as a career. We started out acoustic and performed that way a bit. We'd include friends from time to time. We decided to move to Nashville where there would be more opportunities. We're both bank tellers for our day jobs, and Josh met Greg Diamanti when Greg came into the bank one day wearing a superhero shirt. They both started geeking out about the Increcible Hulk. Josh found out he was a drummer, so he joined us, and that led us to the current line-up.
Your sound is one that has definite overtones of blues and sometimes country, but the music is decidedly rock-n-roll. How did you get from acoustic sets to driving rock?
I think it was the blending of our influences. I grew up listening to people like Patsy Cline and Etta James. My grandmother plays piano, and as far back as I can remember the family would gather around and sing. I'd make her play for me constantly! I sang in church around Mayfield, and I just wanted to be a performer. Josh brought in something different with influences like the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, grunge, and hip-hop. Our two backgrounds came together into what we have now. I come up with most of the lyrics, sometimes writing them in my mind while I am at work, and Josh writes the music. It is a good process.
Our first instinct was a comparison to the Alabama Shakes, and we aren't the first to think so. What do you think of the comparison?
We've heard that before, and I think it is pretty awesome! I love them. There's no way you can take that in a bad way!
What has it been like to make albums in Nasvhille?
Our first one was released in 2012. We didn't have a set band then, so it is an amalgam of people we brought together. It was fun, but I don't recommend doing it without a set band. And Nashville was a little overwhelming at first. There are so many here who play music, and you can easily get lost. But once you learn how Nashville works, you develop an appreciation and an ability to navigate. I love it! We finished our second album, Golden Days, last year, and we've been doing a lot to push that and play live shows.
And with your last album, you decided on a vinyl pressing. Tell us about that decision.
We both worked in a record store in college, and we have our own vinyl collection, so we simply loved the sound of it. The Golden Days vinyl is really neat, too. They are all multicolored with random colored vinyl so each one is totally unique. We've sold a ton of them, and it is just really cool to see them. You look at the discs, and you can see those tracks grooved in. Those are our songs!
More information on the band can be found at yearofoctober.com. Hard copies of their music can be purchased at Etcetera Coffee in Paducah.
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