Will Foster

Photo by: Danielle Petrosa

Today’s featured artist is a tirelessly persistent force of creativity in the amazing and vibrant Columbus, Ohio music scene and has been for nearly the past 30 years. He is such a prolific dude. The kind of person who could sit down and create an entire album in one day and then do it all again the next day. It has always been fascinating to watch this guy doing his thing. He makes it seem so natural and effortless. The words and the music come out of him in a way that is similar to the way we all were when we were kids; spontaneous, unfiltered, uncaring and free. Quite amazing and refreshing, really, because it seems like most people don’t operate like this, these days. His back story is vast and leads in all directions. The guy is a true legend. Let’s hope someone out there will compile the Will Foster complete history and discography someday! 

I would imagine our paths first crossed in the late 90’s or early 2000’s. In Columbus, Ohio there were only a few places that people hung out to see shows. His band, the Guinea Worms, played a lot and we definitely played a few gigs together back in those days. Will is also well known for his work in the studio. He has recorded a ton of bands and helped them capture their music. I was lucky enough to get the chance to work in the studio with him back in 2009-2010 and it turned out really nice! The Cheater Slicks have also enlisted his expertise on many occasions in the studio and I hear they are working on a new one with Will Foster right now! I highly recommend taking some time to track down anything from Will’s infinite catalog of music! & Thank you, Will, for all the amazing sounds !!!!! 

Photo by: Danielle Petrosa

LT: You’ve been a guiding force in the Columbus music scene since the early 90’s. There was a lot going on back then. What bands have you been in and what’s your take on the music coming out of Columbus in those days? 

WF: Well I wouldn’t say a guiding force, more of an enthusiastic
reminder.  First band I was in was Clay.  Chris Quickert and I started
it in high school.  I also played with Jake Wyckoff in a band called
the Wrong Dogs.  We decided to all join forces in 1991, found the
excellent drummer Bill Duross and started playing Apollo’s as Clay.
Clay was a mish mash band, totally fun, nothing was off the table.
Apollo’s was the minor leagues for sure.  You got a pitcher of Olympia
beer when you played and had to put up with the sound guy Rollo, or
was it Rolls?

LT: How did you get into music and what inspired you to start making music?

WF: I remember being at Buzzard’s Nest Records and “Come Sail Away”
being played in there, deciding that song rocked and buying the 45.  I
still have it.  My dad used to bring home 45’s that were being
discarded by some downtown radio station in the ‘70s and early ‘80s so
we listened to those a lot.  Also his other (way more radical) lawyer
friends told him to shop at Mole’s Records so I got to go in there a
bunch with him.  He really like the Dead Boys second record.  I think
cause of the Stoned cover on it.

Photo by: Danielle Petrosa

LT: Are there any moments in time, shows, records or recordings that you have made, that you feel have completely captured the true spirit and essence of what you’ve been trying to do?

WF: The Guinea Worms show at The Charleston in Williamsburg in 2007 is a highlight.  We were playing a bunch of shows with Tyvek around then. Gary had had to spend the previous night in The Tombs and he got out just in time to ROCK.  We were into it, the crowd was into it.  2007
in general was my year I guess. That year was so good Lou Reed would
need a whole month to beat it.

LT: It seems like you have always been a huge music fanatic and underground music supporter! What are some bands/records that you’ve been digging these days?

WF: The newest things I have liked recently are Tropical Fuck Storm,
Hinds, The Lemon Twigs and Willie J Healey.  I got a really bad case
of tinnitus about 5 years ago so listening isn’t what it used to be
for me.  I also had hyperacusis, which can really ruin your day.  The
tinnitus is still driving me nuts but I can at least withstand some
volume now.  Really, it was bad.

LT: Any new projects that you’ve been working on, events or anything online that you wanna tell our readers to keep an eye out for?

WF: I’ve been helping The Cheater Slicks make a new record.  We did
some socially distanced recording to my Tascam 38 then dumped that
into my computer to overdub vocals and they sent the tracks down to
Texas for bass overdubs then who knows how we will mix it all,
probably a lot of emails…

I also digitized a bunch of early Cheater Slicks shows from VHS
recently and Tom thought it would be cool to compile a live version of
their first record from those tapes so that should be happening soon.

I also got the Esh file from Mike Rep.  I scanned all the pics for a
Youtube video but there are about 20 audio tapes in there. Lots to go
through and discern.  Sammy Esh always fascinated me.  So do monkeys

Will Foster’s Rock and Roll Timeline

  • Listens to High Tide and Green Grass a lot  THEN
  • Hears “Come Sail Away” at Buzzard’s Nest  THEN
  • Meets Brad Poure and starts to dig Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin  THEN
  • REM joins the party.  So does Black Flag  THEN
  • Iggy and the Stooges and The Fall invite him to the real party.  THEN
  • Athens, Ohio was there already!  THEN
  • Country Teasers are the afterhours soundtrack.
    God, this list is full of white dudes.  Smash the patriarchy man.
    Kill yr idols!