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Opening for the Rolling Stones: Will Tully ’06 of Des Rocs

Brittany Carlson

On July 23, 2019, The Rolling Stones, arguably one of the most well-known names in the music industry, will be playing at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA. Who will be on stage opening for them? Will Tully ’06, drummer of DesRocs, a contemporary rock band that is currently on tour with the Stones. We spoke to Will about his journey into the music industry, from learning to play at Canterbury to performing in front of thousands of people. Read what Will had to say about his journey and where it has  taken him over the last ten years:

How did you get started on the drums?
It's a funny story, actually. While I was at Canterbury, I had to fulfill an art requirement to graduate. I thought I'd paint but the class was full, so I headed to the music department where Dave Overthrow told me all of his drummers had just graduated, and he needed someone to play. He asked if I'd be interested and I thought, why not? That was 14 years ago.

Who are you inspired by, musically?
Travis Barker was one of the first drummers I took to, and I still try to emulate his performance style. Jon Theodore of Queen of the Stone Age is another one. Both of these drummers take rock drumming to a new place by incorporating other genres to make a sound that's fresh and new. They've also both taught me that visual performance is just as important as musical.

How long have you been with DesRocs?
Well, I've been touring with the singer, Danny, for about 10 years with other groups, but DesRocs almost happened by accident. Danny wanted to try writing songs, so we recorded a few and put them up online. That was only about 15 months ago. Then, one day, we woke up to find that Spotify had added our song Let Me Live, Let Me Die to some of their curated playlists and our numbers went through the roof.

Do you have any pre-show traditions? What will you do right before you step on stage at Lincoln Financial?
I always warm up. To quote the great Michael Scott, "I'm not superstitious, but I'm a little stitious." It’s  really just a meditative thing. I try to stay relaxed and in the moment.

What are your favorite and least favorite parts of this line of work? 
My least favorite part of touring is missing the special friend-and-family moments because I can't be home all the time. Weddings, birthdays...it's tough to miss those.

On the bright side, I couldn't ask for a better job. I get to play an instrument and do something I'm passionate about. This job allows me to travel the world. At the end of a tour, I'll often have a group fly me home a week later so I can explore wherever I am.

Do you have a favorite city or country you've performed at?
When I first started touring, I had those big U.S. cities circled. But, you know, New York and L.A. are such music markets, that the shows can be lukewarm. Often the middle of the country is where people really let loose and once you leave the U.S. the shows are so much more fun. People enjoy the music and shows so much more. Western Europe, like the British Isles, for example, the people know all the words to the songs, and they go bananas. It's a treat.

What advice would have for someone wanting to follow in your footsteps?
It's a bit cliché, but you're only on this planet once. Don't be afraid of failing at something you love. Give it your all. See where it takes you.

 

For more information: https://www.desrocs.com/