Jacksonville is as well-represented as any city on the Pass the Good lineup. In a town previously best known for Lynyrd Skynyrd, it’s asmall miracle that the EDM and jam scenes have taken such hold there. Toeing the line between those two genres is Lucky Costello. Keyboard player Wil Begley fought an ear infection and a sunburn from hell to speak with O&A about his city and his music.
O&A: Where’d the name come from?
BEGLEY: We were watching shows about the 1920s gangster bootlegging stuff that mob bosses Frank Costello and Lucky Luciano were a big part of. We took a cue from Pink Floyd and how they combined the names of two blues musicians and used those two names.
O&A: Can you talk about how important the Jacksonville music scene is to you guys and the momentum that town is seeing?
BEGLEY: I moved here around 2007 when I was 14, and there wasn’t much going around, but around then, things started picking up big-time. The DJ’s really started things, but jambands and jamtronica quickly followed suit. New venues like 1904 Music Hall and Freebird Live play a huge part in the growth of the scene. The city is like any other place that’s not a huge music hub. We wide the waves as they come.
O&A: How does the recent addition of the bassist change the dynamic of the band?
BEGLEY: We had been looking for a bassist for a while, but it was hard because of how particular I can be about things. Our guitarist’s younger brother started jamming seamlessly with us, but there was only one problem – he was sixteen years old. We couldn’t just drag him out of high school to play in our little band. We told him he could gig with us once he turned eighteen and that was all the motivation he needed. His first gig ever with us was at Aura Music Festival in Suwannee.
O&A: That had to have been nerve-wracking for him and the band.
BEGLEY: He took the stage like he owned it. That kid is going to be an absolute master musician. He’s got a leg up on of us because of how young he is.
O&A: Within the band’s improv, are there times when you misread one another? How do you handle moments like those?
BEGLEY: Of course I’d like to say no, but it happens. Thankfully, it’s easy for us to find ways to reset. It’s all about listening to what one another is trying to say with their instrument.
O&A: What are the best and worst parts of being in an independent band?
BEGLEY: You can do whatever you want to do. You don’t have to have all these rules. You get to choose your sound and style, which means we never have to play the same thing twice. I can only imagine how horrible that would be for a musician doing the same show 100 times a year. The money isn’t always there, but we love what we do.
Photo: Wil Begley