Interview with Lone Receiver

by Mason Adams

Lone Receiver is a Haywood County rock band that plays acoustic shows in Turnabouts and electric shows below Turnabouts. At least before they started selling used furniture out of that part of the store. Anyway, Lone Receiver plays punk/pop/emo-type music, in the best sense of that ... uh ... genre, I guess.
A few weeks back I got to hang out with them in the basement of the United Methodist Church on Haywood Street. They were supposed to be practicing, but there was a funeral going on upstairs.

Let’s start out with what are your names and what do you do in the band.
WO: I’m William Owen and I play bass. Oh yeah, I sing too.
SH: I’m Seth Horton and I play guitar and I occasionally sing, background vocals mostly.
GW: I’m Grady Wiley and I play the drums. I can’t say I vocalize.

How long have you been together and how did it start?
SH: Last year, in November, 2001.
WO: I was in a band with some other people, Daniel Baker and Eric Huskey, works at Turnabouts, and we played a lot of punk stuff, and we made stickers, and then we stopped playing. We were 101 in the Corridor.

What was the bands name?
WO: 101 in the Corridor. Sort of a random name. It was just a fun project. And so, I invited Seth to play in it, but then it was defunct. So, we called up Grady one day.

How did ya’ll find out Grady played music? Cuz he’s a little bit younger than you guys.
GW: I played with William for a few years here, at our youth group. And I’ve known Seth for forever, pretty much.

Stop for a second, I just want to make sure this is taping ... So how do you find Waynesville?
WO: Places to play have been our major downfall, finding shows to do. But people are great. We have lots of friends who come usually and tell other people. We have actually a growing group of fans based in Franklin. They come here.
SH: They’ve offered for us to come play there too. They had some friends of ours and just came one time.
WO: And they’ve come to every show since, too.
SH: Our goal is to get a show out of town.
GW: With our demo, stuff has been coming along, like the Turnabouts gigs, things just falling into place. We can actually get some of our stuff out for people to hear.

Are you shooting for Asheville or Greensboro, or just anywhere you can get?
All three: Anywhere!
WO: Baby steps.

What would be the ultimate goal then?
GW: Record label maybe. Get signed by someone in the future. I’m not saying anytime soon, we’re still in school. But in the future maybe.
WO: We’re recording a full-length album in the late spring, early summer, with Carl Powell.
SH: Sleeping Wolf Productions.
WO: So, I don’t know. See if that gets on a label.
SH: Touring would be good.
WO: Yeah, touring would be amazing.

Have you thought about how to do that?
WO: Buy a van off EBay and go!
That’s how a lot of punk bands start, is network with other areas, go through and have the local bands open up for you, then return the favor when they come through here.

What’s it like playing downstairs under Turnabouts?
SH: We’ve only been down there once. It’s all dirty down there. It was about 3 hours. The actual show was fun.
WO: Decent turnout too. There were like 50 people there. We played with Thaddeus.

Tell me about Thaddeus.
WO: They’re our friends who are in 8th grade. They play punk stuff.

Do they do originals?
WO: Occasionally. Yeah.

What are most of your songs about? How do you write them?
WO: I write the lyrics. Seth comes up with a lot of musical ideas, and then Grady and I come in and add our stuff to it. Depending if he has a song, it has a certain ambiance and mood to it, I get lyrics, things I’ve been thinking about, and I try to put it in the context of the music, so it goes together.
GW: Try and tell stories with our music.
WO: We try to be universal, like U2. “With or Without You” could be about anything.

How did the “Fresh Prince of Bel Air” cover come about?
GW: That was Seth. Just one day, hey let’s play this.

What other bands do you cover?
SH: We do Jimmy Eat World songs.
WO: And One Amazin' Kid, out of Charlotte. My cousin’s in that band. We cover one song by them.

Grady you also have a musical heritage in the family, with your father playing bass in Sons of Ralph.
GW: Right. Father playing bass, grandfather’s a band director, my other grandfather has played and taught my dad.

What do they think of this band?
GW: They’ve been very supportive. They give you constructive criticism; they aren’t scared to help us, which I like. It makes us better. We’ve also hired Carl Powell to come in and give us lots of help. He’s produced our demo. He’s been very, very important to our band.

Seth, your father told me you took formal training for a couple years and just outgrew the lessons.
SH: I took lessons for two years back in middle school.

How about you other two? Did you have lessons or just pick it up on your own?
WO: I had lessons for a few weeks one summer. Then I started playing a whole lot, with different bands.
GW: I drummed with a guy named Matt Henley, a very very good drummer. He plays with pretty much anybody he wants to. He works with the bands at Tuscola High School and Western Carolina University. John Henson. They’re not really my lessons, they just struck me through marching at Tuscola. Really the only lessons I’ve ever had.

What do you think about the Waynesville scene?
SH: The Waynesville scene...

Is there a scene?
SH: There’s a scene. It’s a big difference from the Greensboro scene, I guess.

Contrast and compare.
SH: OK. In Greensboro, you have more alternative stuff, like indie-pop stuff, the emo stuff, and the metal and the punk. Here you have a bunch of folk bands mostly. For lack of a better word, like a hippie band.

Has going to UNC-Greensboro and being around that been an influence on you? Were you all doing this type of stuff before you went to college?
WO: We did the same stuff. We’ve gotten a little more harder-edged in our electric stuff recently.
GW: Pretty much every time Seth comes back into town, he has some new song about an experience he’s had.
SH: I’m a pretty avid show goer down there. I take inspiration from that, I guess.

What would you like to see around here? Any changes as far as the kids?
SH: I think it would be cool to see more younger bands. More high-school aged kids in bands.
GW: There’s always people going around school carrying guitars or whatever. Even if it isn’t the best musician, why not get together? You can always learn from someone, whether it’s someone that’s been playing for a month or someone that’s been playing for 10 years.

Here are the lightning round questions. If you could put out a split album, and pick one band, past or present, who would you do it with?
WO: Do I get a buzzer? Huh, I don’t know. I’d say Led Zeppelin. Just because they’re ... John Bonham on drums was arguably the best rock and roll drummer ever. It would be such a weird contrast with the two bands. I’d love it. It’d be awesome.
SH: I guess for more of a similar sound, the band 238, out of Florida. It’s like my favorite band ever.
GW: Mike Portnoy and Drum Theater. Insane drummer, just out of this world. Probably the best drummer: Fastest hands, fastest feet, you name it, he’s got it. That would be insane to have, just to have someone that good.

Biggest influence.
WO: Oh wow. Like bass-wise or in general?

Let’s say for instrument.
WO: I worked a lot with Carl Powell. He’s been very inspirational for me to develop my own sound. Instead of copying what other people do, finding what fits my own style.
SH: I can’t think of an actual person or an actual band, I just think of genres of music. I’m influenced by a lot of classic rock, I don’t know, and metal stuff, and hardcore stuff. Emo stuff. That’s a bad word, I hate saying that word. Gosh. Of course, punk, that’s where it all began at.
GW: I’d say, I don’t know, this is kind of weird, but jazz really influences what I do. Buddy Rich, Gene Krupa, the greats. I incorporate some of their signature stuff on, say, cymbals, or on bass drum or something. Do insane stuff like that. I’d say the biggest influence though would be my dad, just for him being there and sitting down talking about music, just got me into it.

First concert ever.
WO: That I ever went to? Umm ... I can’t remember. I saw Phish when I was in 5th grade. Before that, Jump Little Children, I saw them a long time ago. I saw them at Western, with the Samples.
SH: And Jars of Clay.
WO: Jars of Clay, yeah.
SH: That was my first one too.
WO: I got on stage.
SH: Really?
WO: Yeah I got on stage with the Samples. It was great.

What were you doing on stage?
WO: I was like in 4th grade, and they were like, ‘Hey come on stage!’ I was like, ‘OK.’ But yeah...

Grady, what was yours? I know you probably had a ton.
GW: I’d say it was probably a festival down in Alabama. Alabama June Jam, I don’t know if they still have it. My dad played years ago. I had some kind of connections at that one, got to go backstage and play around on some drums. That was in 2nd or 3rd grade.

Mine was at the West Virginia State Fair. Tiffany opening up for New Kids on the Block.
(Everybody laughs.)
WO: No way! That’s awesome. That might be the coolest thing ever!
SH: You have to put that in the interview.
WO: Did she play ‘I Think We’re Alone Now,’ by the Youngbloods?
I’m sure she did. That was one of her biggest hits.

Next question: Favorite place in Haywood County.
WO: Just Dogs.
SH: Yes. Same here.
WO: Just Dogs. The owner, Smokey, he’s the Man. We went by there yesterday.
SH: Also the Teagues' house.
WO: We are friends with the Teagues. One of the band directors at the middle school. If it’s like a Friday or Saturday night, a bunch of us go there. We’ll leave it at that.

Anything else you guys wanted to add?
WO: We have this rivalry, it’s like a pseudo-rivalry with the Big Stomp Mountain Boys, because we’re all really good friends with each other. I actually play in the Big Stomp Mountain Boys too. They’re our age. They play a lot of traditional bluegrass, cover all that stuff. It’s sort of a fake rivalry; we’re always like ‘Our songs are better than you.’ And then they’re like, ‘You guys don’t make as much money.’

If someone reads this and wants to get a copy of the demo, what do they do?
WO: Go to our website,, and email us at
SH: Come see us.
WO: Support Southern rock! Iron Maiden. That band is the best thing ever. Smokey from Just Dogs loves Iron Maiden. We mentioned them one time, and he went in the back and brought out these Maiden CDs, and you can tell they had definitely been well loved. Played very much. It was awesome. Maiden rules dude. “Live After Death” video 1985, greatest video ever. Giant 30-foot mummy that shoots fireballs out the eyes.