CW Wooten Interview
Photo credit: PAH Photography
1. What inspired the song, "Back to Wichita"?
I was inspired to write, "Back to Wichita" by a friend who had suffered a recent break-up, and then decided to return to his hometown to reset his perspective. I let the idea marinate for a bit, and I kept my friend anonymous out of respect for his privacy. It certainly helped that we had an upcoming show in Wichita and the venue owners at Wichita Union Stockyards were playing our single on country radio station KWLS (107.9) in the Wichita market.
2. What was it like being an artist during the pandemic?
When it became apparent that the pandemic was going to have a major impact on life in general (and live music specifically), the sudden cancellation of ten weeks of shows was crushing. Twenty Hands High has always had a robust schedule, so going from 12-20 shows per month to zero was disorienting. We released YouTube videos every 3-4 days to keep our name circulating. Also, there was a renewed focus on songwriting that led to us recording our first four songs in late 2020.
3. How did Twenty Hands High bounce back from the loss of live performances?
Initially, when the venues were looking to bring back live music, most live performances were outdoors to meet health department requirements and keep public safety in the forefront. Twenty Hands High managed to perform 106 shows in 2020. In 2021, we had 162 shows, so we've been very fortunate in that respect. We also managed to continue growing our social media presence during the pandemic.
4. Please tells us about your songwriting process?
It tends to start with a phrase that represents a familiar idea ("love found, love lost") in a new way. It could be something someone says, dialog from a movie, or an observation while out living life that triggers the idea or theme of the song. The best ideas feel like a lightning strike, and I have to furiously scribble down my thoughts before they escape. When it occurs like a natural flow of thoughts, that's when we feel like it's something relatable to everyday life. Everybody wants to feel like the song was written about them... so they'll focus on one line of the verse or chorus and adapt it to their life or perspective.
5. What does the future hold for Twenty Hands High?
If our new single, "Back to Wichita," is any indication, we are excited to see where this, and our other upcoming songs will take us. We've been lucky to have some great music industry mentors along the way. Likewise, several key people have reached out on our behalf within their spheres of influence to see what new opportunities might be available to us. It is humbling to have so many people who believe in us.