Billy Changer, Teardrops Wasted
by Kyla Wyllie
We had the privilege to sit down and talk with Billy Changer, a new aged musician with a vision for the future. Get ready world, as a wise man once said, “we’re going to Billy Change you.”
Being exposed to some of the greats, such as The Rolling Stones and Hawkwind, at a very young age, Billy’s musical inspirations started early. “My dad has been a rocker all his life, I thank him for showing me good psychedelic music when I was young.” Billy opens up to us, saying that even though his dad wasn’t perfect in a sense, he did have a huge impact on his interest in music. “My parents did want me to play, they put me in guitar lessons at the community center, and that’s kind of how I got started.”
However, he didn’t stop there, Billy goes on to tell us about how he got into song writing and recording his own music. “There was a point where I got kind of bored just playing guitar. I remember seeing this ad in a magazine, it was called a BR8 Machine, and it was like, one of the first digital recorders. I loved it, I loved that you could record multiple tracks off yourself and just build off it… That was kind of the beginning of the power of writing a song, it wasn’t even writing for me, it was showing people, I always had a hard time showing people.” Sharing your own music is sort of like bearing your soul to another person, or hundreds of people, it’s personal and sometimes difficult. Once you can overcome that, the possibilities are almost limitless.
Throughout the evolution of Billy Changer, from jamming with his friend Micheal Vince when he was a kid, to playing his first show when he was seventeen at the Cobalt Cafe, to traveling around the U.S. in the band “Corners,” Billy’s style of music has progressed into his current sound. “In fact I’ve created my own insane name for the music I record: Mutant Pop,” when we ask to describe what that sounds like, he replies with, “I’d like to think we sound like Modest Mouse, Deerhunter, Beach Fossils, New Order, and The Cure.”
Becoming a musician is a risky decision, what makes it worth while? We asked him why he makes music, simply stating, “I don’t want to be making music, I HAVE to make music. There’s nothing else more me and I’m determined to make that way.” Billy Changer has a raw passion for what he does, and that’s something that’s hard to come by nowadays. Money is the most important thing to many people, and musicians don’t tend to make a lot of it. That’s why it’s even more important to support your local musicians, let them know that you appreciate what they are doing and head over to your local venue sometime, you may just realize that that’s something you want to peruse.
Considering how many shows Billy has played, he’s had some pretty strange experiences, some of which weren’t the best. “We were performing in Mishiwaka with The Growlers and had my girlfriend and her friend one stage with wigs as woman statues smoking cigarettes,” he tells us. “This stupid dude asked her how much she was an hour. I immediately delayed the next song and asked the dude how much he was an hour. He said $35, and I said that he was a cheap whore. Yeah, that didn’t go too well…”
All’s fair in love and rock n’ roll right? There are good aspects and bad aspects of rock music, some might argue that it’s not a good thing for kids to be raised into (we beg to differ, but that’s something for another day). We asked Billy about how he felt about girls in the music scene, and after that show experience, if he would want his (hypothetical) daughter involved and around that atmosphere. “Oh, that’s a loaded question… I have lots of feelings about it.” He then goes on to quote one of his songs, “Island Fever,” to try and explain his views on this subject.
“Driving the females apart, just forget about it
Hitting all the corners at once of my little circle
It ain’t no joke when you’re playing with hearts
Feel the beat, dance the Mutant Pop
Got the Island Fever
Pay the other hyna in bumps hoopy doopy
Getting high just for fun,
at least for now, so much trouble
I blame the Mutant Pop
Got the Island Fever.”
“This song is actually about girls and myself in the scene. Island Fever is how I describe the scene of men that play in bands around me. Many of the same girls go for different guys in different (or the same) band and end up causing a stir. Many times, this was the talk of the town, and I more than often, happened to be apart of it. My girlfriend, Gabbi Green, is a scene girl in the best way, she loves music and shows me love and sets me straight. She’s a good example of girls growing up in the music scene.”
On that note, let’s wrap up this article with a huge thank you to Billy Changer for sharing some of his experiences and a piece of his story with us. A show of his is definitely one you won’t want to miss, and it just so happens he’s on a national tour, accompanied by Broncho. Check below to see if he’s stopping in your town!