Interview – Phlecia Sullivan of Year of October


Music fans are welcoming the early fall well with adventures galore. After a fruitful long Labor Day weekend, new music is eagerly being absorbed as much as possible. Phlecia and Josh Sullivan of the Nashville blues-rock band, Year of October, are great examples of such music makers to sate those cravings. They are busy promoting their upcoming third LP release, ‘Trouble Comes’ that will be available towards the end of October, which is an apt date to do so. Within, are musical treats for every listener to get down to that show off their eclectic genre fusing and creative collaboration. Phlecia was kind enough to share her thoughts on their music and their lives thus far.

A prime illustration of their music is the tune off their new LP, Come & Get It. “… I think that it is a good representation of our album ‘Trouble Comes’ that is coming out in October. It’s a nice introduction to our new music. Josh has had the riff for the past couple of years and we were finally able to write something that worked with it. We’ve got an awesome music video coming out for it in the next month or so that we can’t wait for people to see.”

Musically, the experimentation mission in Year of October is simple. “For us it is always important to make music that we enjoy. We’re always writing new songs and developing new stories. I think that is what we try to do with our music, we want to tell you a story with every song and every record. I think that we will keep doing that with every release. We really don’t ever talk genres, we just try to write something that is genuine and important to us.”

As their discography grows, favorites are becoming more plentiful to pick out. “Our new record ‘Trouble Comes’ is probably our favorite thing that we have done so far. I think is shows how we have grown as a band. We are just so happy with how it has turned out. Going back to our album ‘Golden Days’, one of our favorite tracks from that release is Winter. I love it on the recording, but when we play it live there is just so much emotion in it. We really have a good time with it.”

Perfect shows are usually the creative and special ones. “Well, last year for Halloween we played a show dressed as the Gopher and Bill Murray from Caddyshack and I think that was pretty ideal. In all seriousness though we would love to play at The Ryman. That is a bucket list item for us. We have seen so many shows there, the sound is always perfect and there is just an energy about that place. It would be an honor to play on that stage.”

However, not every show is a piece of cake. “When we were first starting out Josh and I played in acoustic set at a restaurant in Clarksville, TN. We played for three hours and no one clapped. We also had a group of guys who heckled us most of the night. It was a blast. We did get paid for it though. Pretty much the only bonus of that night. The shows have gotten much better since then.”

Music is a totally different animal these days and musicians have to explore what they love to make good use of it all. “We really don’t listen to mainstream radio that much, so we aren’t super in tuned with what is popular today. We are really into older stuff. I’ve been jamming to Etta James, an Ella & Louis record and Neil Young‘s ‘Live Rust’ in my car. One thing I do find interesting about music today is how easy it is to get your music out there. At times it is overwhelming because there is so much new music, but if you keep digging through it you can find some real gems.” As participants within their distinct genre, Phlecia remained confident on its strength in 2017. “I think that it is alive and well. We’ve got a lot of friends who play in rock bands that have released some great records this year. There is a great rock scene in Nashville. We play with some amazing bands down here every weekend. There is also a lot of great rock music coming out on the national scale; just look at the new Queens of the Stone Age record ‘Villains’, the new Foo Fighters record coming out soon and a new Mutemath record [as well down the line]. There is a lot of good stuff happening.” 

Other mediums help keep the musicians grounded. “Books and movies are our escape. They also are what inspire us in our own songwriting. Stephen King‘s Dark Tower series is one of our favorites. A couple of the songs on the new record were written after reading that series and were directly impacted the books. Right now Josh is reading ‘Red Dragon‘ by Thomas Harris and I am reading ‘Endymion’ by Dan Simmons. We always have our books with us. [We loved] Dunkirk, [it was] Christopher Nolan at his finest. It was beautiful and got so much across with so little being said. We can’t wait to watch it again. It’s really a toss up with those two. We are super nerds. Our movie collection is categorized alphabetically by director and then sub-categorized chronologically by when each film was released. My favorite director is Wes Anderson and Josh’s favorite is Martin Scorsese. We recently re-watched Edgar Wright‘s Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy, Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and The World’s End. We love movies.”   

When not jamming, their lives are equally entertaining. “[We are planning on] watching some football, doing some laundry, petting our cats Snoop Doug & Moneypenny and sending out some booking emails.”

Jam on.

Give Come & Get It a listen below: