Explore Sun-Drenched Pop Realms with Weary Space Wanderer

Jun 6, 2017

"The space around you, the space between notes, the space between people in a relationship… that’s all explorable. The chords aren’t as powerful without the space in-between."

From West Virginia Public Broadcasting and A Change of Tune, this is 30 Days of #WVmusic, the interview series celebrating the folks who make the West Virginia music scene wild and wonderful.  

And today's interview is with a laid-back pop act who wants to explore other’s music just as much as his own. This… is Weary Space Wanderer.

Weary Space Wanderer’s latest release is The Obliquity of the Ecliptic 23.5° - EP. Hear more #WVmusic on A Change of Tune, airing Saturday nights at 10 on West Virginia Public Broadcasting. Connect with A Change of Tune on FacebookTwitter and Instagram. And for more #WVmusic chats, make sure to go to wvpublic.org/wvmusic and subscribe to our RSS / podcast feeds.

Weary Space Wanderer is Kevin Hamric (guitar, vocals); Chis Baker (bass guitar); Jim Bidwell (lead guitar) and Mike Arbogast (percussion/drums).
Credit Rebekah Call

Interview Highlights

On the origin of Weary Space Wanderer:

I had been through a few different aliases and bands and this was the name I had playing around in the back of my head, really at the top of a list of crazy ideas. When I filled out my solo stuff with a backing band, it spontaneously came together. They started to show up enough where we needed a name. Not only did we name the band that, but I wanted it to be my moniker as well. So it’s just the name for the music I’m creating at this time in my life.

It was 2015, I had been playing solo acoustic shows, as well as in a band called The Roils. Weary Space Wanderer started when a few friends starting coming around and filling in, so before we know it there are four guys on stage. That’s when I thought it was a band, and I thought ‘not only are these great guys, and my friends, they’re great musicians and if I don’t take this opportunity to start recording, I’m really going to be sorry someday.’ So this is my first serious foray in trying to make an album, and trying to take it seriously.

I think this is me trying to find my footing and trying to be more of an explorer, more adventurous in this music realm, to really dive in and go see what I can do if head-first give it my all.

On moving to Morgantown:

I was born and raised in Braxton County, just outside of Flatwoods. So I’m a West Virginia boy, through and through. A lot of my youth was spent running around very deep hollows in central West Virginia, which I adore still to this day. It gives you a unique perspective when you start to travel, or even when you move away to a different town like Morgantown.

Weary Space Wanderer at rest (perhaps a bit tired from their wandering).
Credit Rebekah Call

On listening to #WVmusic growing up:

My parents took me to a lot of live shows, so live music was important to me. Whether I was seeing a show in state from someone local, or seeing a national act, I don’t think I discerned the difference between local and national. It wasn’t until I was older that I knew, or even cared, so if we were listening to Tim O’Brien or someone on Mountain Stage, I didn’t know the difference between a world-renowned act and somebody who grew up locally and became that.

The music in somebody’s backyard seems giant to you when you’re that interested in it at a young age, everything seems big and wonderful. I wish I would’ve spent more time exploring the people locally, and maybe found a mentor and got into music earlier in life. It’s not that I wasn’t playing, but I wasn’t making great leaps and advances. I only wonder what would’ve happened if I had latched onto someone locally who just pulled me by my bootstraps and pushed me to keep on playing.

Kevin Hamric as Weary Space Wanderer.
Credit Rebekah Call

On his experience in the #WVmusic scene:

The people that you meet are great, the bands that you meet are great, but the bad side of things is it’s hard. You want to meet these people, you want to hang out with other bands and become influenced and acquaintances with all these people around you, but it’s hard to do. We have a vibrant group of musicians and bands and artists, but we don’t always have these inroads to play. And that might be true everywhere, because I’ve never been a musician or artist in other cities, so that could very well be true anywhere. It’s just a very difficult thing to get your feet in the door before you ever play a note. I know I do this because I just really like playing for people and with other musicians and sharing this sort of thing you have between a listener and an artist. But before you get to that point, it’s hard, and it can get so difficult that you wonder if it’s worth it. But you get on stage and play a little bit and you know that it is.

It's such a competitive thing even when you don’t want it to be. I’m so supportive and in love with these other musicians locally, but there’s only so many people who can play at a certain set of venues. Sharing fans is the best way to do that. Getting on a bill with the people I’m fans of is one of my favorite things to do.

Music featured in this #WVmusic chat:

Weary Space Wanderer- “Solar-Powered Love”

Weary Space Wanderer- “Eating Apples in Eden”

Weary Space Wanderer- “Seasons to Change”

Support for 30 Days of #WVmusic is provided by Kin Ship Goods, proud supporter of DIY music and the arts. Locally shipped worldwide at kinshipgoods.com.