On his mid-west tour, Bill Orcutt brought his guitar expertise to the Union South’s Prairie Fire of UW-Madison, in November 2012. His somehow unique playing style lit up the two-hour-long evening performance.
Generally known as the experimental acoustic musician, Bill has got his fame in experimental noise circles when he released his solo debut. However Bill doesn’t seem to quite agree with his name. “I don’t like labels,” he said, “every music is experimental, and everybody is experimenting a new way of singing and anything else.” Instead, he prefers to call his music a weird one. “I will just say it’s weird music. That’s what my mom will call it too.” In his performance, one may feel something intense, sharp, idiosyncratic, and personal, in a not so harmonious and peaceful way.
Bill says he never had a formal training in music before and learned all the way by himself. He bought a guitar from his neighbor and began playing in his 15s. “I learned in a way that everybody does, by learning songs in the 1970s. When I could do it, I felt great.” Now at the age of 50, Bill has formed a specific music brand of himself over the 35 years. “But you know we are growing and it’s still changing over time. I just look for things that are interesting and challenging to me, trying to find the music I want to listen to.”
Bill cooperated with other numerous musicians, creating what he calls “weird” music. He played in several local punk bands, most notably the Trash Monkeys, before forming Harry Pussy in 1992. He is best known as the guitarist of Miami noise-rockers Harry Pussy, with his wife Adris Hoyos being the drummer, until 1997. “It didn’t feel like singing at that time, it was more like some weird men and women playing weird things.” Bill quitted playing for the next 10 years, starting his family and working as an engineer in a software company.
“Here I am a musician, carrying my guitar and playing to people. But in other occasions, I am something else.” Bill is a husband, a father of two kids, and an employee who has been working for 15 years. “Music is like some kind of project I’d like to do. Nobody is forcing me to do it. And it won’t bring any financial burden to my family if I quit. So the only reason I play music is because I enjoy it.”
Bill has just finished his music tour along Chicago, Madison, Saint Paul and Iowa City. His main work currently is working on his new record that is expected to finish at the fall of next year, which might be another hit to weird music lovers.