Will Robbins: A musical journey | News | The Press and Standard
by The Press and Standard | September 29, 2017 5:00 am
Last Updated: September 27, 2017 at 10:27 am
By GEORGE SALSBERRY
Walterboro native son Will Robbins left his hometown bound for Spartanburg with a plan in mind.
“I moved to the upstate in the fall of 2009 to potentially go back to school, but continued playing and branched out and worked,” Robbins explained.
“I started playing guitar around age 12. I’ve been singing most of my life,” Robbins said. His interest in music found him learning to play the drums, bass and a little piano along the way.
A 2006 graduate of Colleton County High School, Robbins is the son of Janice and Walter Robbins Jr. He has one sibling, Jenny Robbins Bunton.
Settling into Spartanburg, Robbins’ new-found friends shared his love of music. “We were a group of friends just working and hanging out together and that would always have music incorporated.”
The friends became St. Maurice. St. Maurice became one of the Upstate’s favorite local bands. Recently, St. Maurice released its first album, “Hagiography.”
The four-piece band out of friends, getting together and playing for the fun of it, “never really had any type of direction, but eventually evolved into what it is today. We’re still just having fun,” Robbins said.
St. Maurice features Robbins and Geordon Tullis on guitar and lead vocals; Jonathan Inman on bass and vocals; and Tyler Tullis on drums, percussion and keyboards.
Their musical influences, Robbins says, “range from loud alternative rock to smooth, groovy funk to freestyle jazz and beyond.”
Their music does not fit neatly into a single genre — you can find a little funk and big guitars woven together in one song followed by another that leans towards rhythm and blues. If there is one thing that never changes, Robbins said, “it is the attitude and energy that comes with the music.”
Crafting a song, Robbins said, for the most part is a group effort, although sometimes a band member comes up with something and brings it to the table.
“We definitely like to mix it up, not to just have something different, but to write and play something we enjoy on multiple levels,” Robbins said.
“Hagiography” is the result of a three-year musical odyssey — an odyssey that brought Robbins back to his Walterboro musical roots. Some of the St. Maurice’s studio work was done at Ben McMillan’s Zealous Recording Studio in Ehrhardt.
McMillan, another Walterboro native, plays guitar with local band Pareidol. “Ben and I have been working together for several years now,” Robbins said.
“Walterboro is a small town but there is just so much creativity and passion within that creativity,” Robbins said.
“I grew up listening to local bands, seeing guys getting into the craft of making music. Doing it in a place you would not think would have it,” he said.
“There’s a lot of great talent out of our corner of the Lowcountry,” Robbins said. “I’ve always been proud to be a part of it.”