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Secret Stages Preview: Western Medication

Photo by Emily Quark

On Nashville band Western Medication’s latest album The Entertainers Secret, you’re guided through the album by two robotic voices, one male and one female presumably. The album harkens back to 80’s post-punk and indie bands like Joy Division and The Stone Roses, dark at times and brighter and propusling at others. This weekend the band plays Secret Stages, a two day music filled festival in Birmingham, Alabama featuring 60+ up and coming acts.

Read our recent exchange with the band’s singer Justin Landis, leading up to them playing at Secret Stages.

There are lots of ways of releasing music nowadays. You use to release through a label you were involved with Jeffery Drag and now have begun self-releasing. What are the advantages to self-releasing?

Self releasing’s been great for us!  I think there’s advantages and disadvantage to self releasing though.  It’s always nice to work with a team that believes in the music you’re making but I think self releasing makes a lot of since in today’s music climate.  Bigger labels want to work with bands that have a proven track record of working hard and making good music but you can’t really get to that point until you can prove you belong there.  There’s so many ways to get your music in front of people these days that I’ve never really understood shelving a record because you can’t find a label to release it.

Many of the bands playing at Secret Stages are from the Southeast. Does being a band based in/from the Southeast have any effect on your music?

I don’t ever think about being from the Southeast until we go on tour.There are so many different cities that have grown from their own self-created music cultures.  I think the best music comes from when you can show people your musical roots but at the same time add new elements that show your style.

Discovering music has changed drastically over the past decades, Secret Stages is called “a music discovery festival”. How do you guys discover music?

I’m a big record collector.  I can remember being 15 spending my first paychecks on records and my parents not understanding at all.  I think that discovering music happens when you really care about the bands you’re listening to and then finding out what their influences are.  It kind of spirals out of control from there.

Secret Stages is coming up in the next couple of weeks, are there any bands playing that you’re excited to see?

Omni and Anwar Sadat both blew me away when I saw them last.  Also, two of the best bands from Nashville are playing on Friday – Skyway Man and Tristen.  Do yourself a favor and check them out!


Western Medication plays at 8:45 on Saturday 8/2 on the BMR Stage @ Pale Eddie’s Pour House.

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