Just William

The Band

Who is Just William?

We are a four-piece band playing original music in the pop/rock/ambient styles. All of us have a desire to share our lives and experiences in song and music in the hopes that our stories will enrich or impact the lives of those who hear our music. All of us are believers in Christ, and while our music reflects our experiences in all arenas of life (not limiting music to just "Christian" stereotypes by any means) we do hope that people will ask us and talk to us about Christ, faith, life, and the reason for the hope that we have.

How did you get the name "Just William"?

Actually, the name is just a clever name, like Matchbox 20 or other similar names. None of us is a "William." We were just trying to find an original name. We did find out after we chose that name that there is a British author, Richmal Crompton, who authored a book about boy named William entitled "Just William." But we have no connection to that author or his work.

Are you touring?

Not at present. Currently we've been writing for a new album that will hopefully become available near the end of this year. So, we are picking up gigs here and there as we are able to. Please check our calendar and come see us!

Where can I buy your music?

Our music is available for purchase from many online services, including the iTunes Music Store, Napster, Rhapsody, Yahoo! Music, MSN Music, and others.

If you would like to purchase the our full-length CD itself and not just the music files, CDs are available from Grassroots Music, Amazon.com, TowerRecords.com, BestBuy.com, Wherehouse.com, BarnesandNoble.com, CDBaby, and others.

Do you have a message board/fan club?

We don't currently have a message board, but we DO have a e-mail, a blog, and a MySpace page!!! If you are wondering what is up with the band:

Jim Coates - lead vocals / lead guitarsJim Coates

Home City: Marion, IA

Family: Ashley - wife. Andersen, Reid and Griffin - sons, Grace - daughter.

What I do while I am not Playing Music:

For employment I am a programmer for Laridian, Inc. Laridian develops bible software for hand-held devices.

Outside of work, my growing family and leading the youth worship team at Cedar Valley Bible Church fill a good number of hours in my day.

Just to make sure I stay out of trouble, I also put as much time as my schedule allows into working in and on my studio, record company and publishing company (Eastern Skyline Studios, Eastern Skyline Records and Songs from the Skyline Publishing). (See a trend in the names??)

Favorite breakfast food?

Count Chocula... seriously

Favorite movie quote?

Pretty much anything from "Smokey and the Bandit"

Closet confessions (favorite lame tv show, musical artist etc)?

Did I mention "Smokey and the Bandit"? Oh yeah, and Mythbusters on the Discovery Channel.

What inspires you musically?

I'd probably have to say obedience... I feel that whatever musical ability I have is something that I have a responsibility to use. I consider it a gift from God and feel that at the very least I need to make sure I don't squander it. I don't have to think I'm the best or most talented, I just have to be obedient in being willing to let my music be heard and used. I've had lots of great opportunities, met lots of great friends, traveled to lots of great places, all because of music.

How did music come into your life?

I grew up in a musical family. My mom played piano and my dad and his brothers and sister all played and/or sang. Every time there was a family get together, there was sure to be lots of music. Early on as a young boy, my dad bought me my first guitar and started me on guitar lessons. I've been playing ever since.

Who would you most like to perform with?

U2, Splender/Headrush and Joel Hanson.

What venue do you dream of playing?

Austin City Limits... I love that show.

How did you meet the rest of the band?

I met Evan just after I started college... he auditioned for a band that I was in at the time. I met Dan Van Oss (our former keyboard player and lyricist) a short year or so later. Dan and I worked at a store together and both knew Skip from working there (he worked there too), however Skip didn't start playing with us until many years later. Josh has been a long time friend of Evan's and brought him into the band when he wanted to move to guitar.

What brand guitar, drums, etc. do you play?

PRS, Rickenbacker and Fender guitars. Orange, Vox and Fender amplifiers. James Audio custom pedals.

What is your favorite "Just William" memory?

Too many to list... and I'm hoping there are many, many more to come.

Five Biggest Musical Influences: Gordon Kennedy, Ty Tabor, the Hansons (Jade and Joel... not those other guys), Stevie Ray Vaughn, My dad... "Big Al" Coates and his brothers (Don and Ed).

Thoughts on Christian Music:

I personally believe that we are expected to use what has been given to us by God. What does that mean? Well...I'm not sure I can define it any other way than to say that it means that as an artist I should strive to make the best music, be the best performer and present an honest message to anyone and everyone who might come out to see the band play.

Do I mind when Christian bands preach from stage? No. Do I mind when they don't preach from stage? No. Do I have a preference as to which should be done? Yes. What does bother me is when bands feel that the correct approach is to be a cookie cutter copy of the last "successful" band. That's a type of deception that robs both Christian and secular music from a chance to be truly original and connect with the listener on some level other than just marketing to what's popular.

God made each one of us unique so that we can better serve...we need to take advantage of that.

Evan Marshall - lead vocals / rhythm guitarsEvan Marshall

Home City: Rochester, MN

Family: Heather - wife, Amara Skye and Fiona Raine - daughters

What I do while I am not Playing Music:

Generally I am either working at Mayo Hospitals and Clinics in my programming job, or I'm at home with my wife and girls. I'm probably going to sound completely boring at this point telling you that I'm into gardening and landscaping, am an avid reader, play MMORPGs (what are those???), and love to sit with either a good coffee or ale and chat with close friends. I've also been trying to start a small-group Bible study in our home, and be active in the church we go to here in Rochester, which makes us all pretty active. I do get the opportunity to jog and swim with another good friend of mine who is kindly looking after my health as well.

How did music come into your life?

I have been musically inclined, or so says my mom, since I was really young...but I got my first guitar when I was 14. I tried getting involved with local bands way back then, but never really did anything but sing once in a while. In 1990 I joined Arc Ministries from Allegan, MI playing guitar and singing for 8 months. After I had started college after Arc, I was playing guitar and singing worship music for a couple on-campus ministries, playing in the worship team at Heartland Vineyard Church, and going to a lot of concerts in the area when the opportunity to do so arose.

How did you meet the rest of the band?

I met Jim Coates (while he was with the band White Stone) at a Christian music festival in Iowa called "Lamb Jam". Jim and I have been hanging out for quite a number of years, and as bachelors would often hang out together in the early hours of the morning (like 3:00 AM!!!) at Donutland in Coralville talking about music and the band and life, as well as watching episodes of Beavis & Butthead and The Jon Stewart Show on MTV (that is way before his hosting The Daily Show too). Having a wife and a family, and living in different cities, each of us are no longer afforded that 'luxury'. But we chat often on AIM (sometimes too much!)

Josh and I met quite a number of years ago and he has been a good and faithful friend to count on in life. He and I share most of our musical interests, as well as politics and humor too. We both get a kick out of SNL, The Simpsons, and The Family Guy...for example. Originally I was the band's bassist...but as I started to sing more lead vocal parts, it made more sense to play guitar. I pestered Josh for quite a long time to consider playing bass for us. Perhaps 'forced' him to give it a shot is more accurate. But I don't think that he regrets this at all.

I met Skip through Dan Van Oss, who used to play keyboards for us and is an amazing lyricist. Skip has been a fantastic addition to the band, and is a really generous and fun person as well. He take music and drumming very seriously, and he is amazing as a result.

Favorite breakfast?

Mmmm....Ethiopian coffee (French pressed), sliced Bosc pears, and English muffins with orange marmalade.

What is the most played tune on your iPod?

It is more like what artists do I find myself listening to over and over again. Lately I've found myself listening to Switchfoot, Nickel Creek, The Working Title, Weezer, Alison Krauss, Flook, and a couple Vineyard worship discs..."Dwell" and "Sweetly Broken"

Closet confessions of my secret junk-food indulgence:

OK...this sounds weird, but I swear that it is awesome! Really! Okay...here goes....Breyers All Natural Vanilla ice cream and Lay's KC Masterpiece BBQ potato chips. You dip the chips in the ice cream. Don't say "gross" yet until you try it!!!

X-box, Playstation, Nintendo or other?

Nintendo GameCube and DS all the way. My girls and I are totally addicted to Animal Crossing on both systems. We can't wait for the Wii to go on sale at the end of the year. Geeks, all of us!

Musical Equipment:

ToneSmith Model 510 Custom semi-hollowbody electric guitar (special thanks to Kevin Smith at ToneSmith Guitars USA), Fender guitars, Sigma acoustic guitars, Line6 effects processing, Marshall, and Fender amps, Nady wireless

Thoughts on Christian Music:

There is a lot in Christian music to like in terms of quality and creativity, as well as having a more wholesome content. Too often times musicians will jump on the bandwagon of a specific style, rather than being creative on their own right. It is my hope that our music would be a reflection of the creativity and talent that God has nurtured in us, as well as our feelings about the world we live in.

Joshua Krause - bass / background vocalsJoshua Krause

Home City: Waterloo, IA

Family: Three siblings and in-laws, about a million of nieces and nephews, and two very loving, generous parents. Also a fat and lazy, but adorable and affectionate cat.

How did music come into your life?

Music has always been a big part of my family life. Growing up, my family was very musically active - my mom, dad and sister all wrote and sang their own songs. I played drums a few times in church as a kid, saxophone in junior high and high school, and guitar starting in college. My friend and bandmate Evan got me started on both acoustic and bass guitar, and I played at my church for a number of years prior to joining Just William (as well as again more recently)

Who would you most like to perform with?

Mute Math, U2, Switchfoot or Keane

What venue do you dream of playing?

Of the places I've seen, Pabst Theatre in Milwaukee is probably the most beautiful. I watched Rufus Wainwright play there a couple of years ago - just an amazing place.

How did you meet the rest of the band?

I met them through my friend Evan, who was the bassist at the time. I met Evan years before and he had "bugged" me for some time about considering joining the band. I finally gave it a go, and the guys have been great to play with and get to know.

Favorite breakfast food?

Cold cereal. Bagels perhaps a distant second, unless coffee counts.

Hidden talents?

My body can be most of a percussion section. Do fake languages count? Ebenglibish shoubould bebe thebe nebew nabatiobonabal labanguabage.

Favorite bands/artists:

Mute Math, Switchfoot, The Violet Burning, Iona, Coldplay, Incubus, Delirious, Splender/Headrush, Radiohead, Rufus Wainwright

What brand guitar, drums, etc. do you play?

Fender 4- and 5-string jazz basses, Hartke bass amps and cabinets, Boss pedals

What I do while I am not working with the band:

Earn money, drink coffee, listen to music, read, be involved in politics, spend time with friends, watch The Simpsons

Thoughts on Christian Music:

I think people should sing and play what's real and interesting to them. In whatever ways one's relationship and experience with God and faith have shaped his perspective on and interests in life, it will reflect in his music. But to really be real, music should encumber the entirety of one's life experiences and thoughts. I think music is a great thing we're able to enjoy in life and should do so when we play or sing or listen to it, and not restrict the scope of our music to necessarily having to have a particular mission or goal outside of the enjoyment of the music itself. Though what is said and conveyed lyrically in music is powerful, the whole of the music is valid and should be enjoyed for what it is.

Skip Lowe - drums / percussionSkip Lowe

Home City:Grinnell, IA

Family: Linda - wife. Ryan and Jacob - sons

What I do while I am not Playing Music:

Day Gig: Employee Benefits Consultant
Night Gig: Music

Short story of my life and how I started in music:

My passion for music began at the age of five the second I saw my first Drum Set! The bug has had me ever since. Music makes the world go round, crosses gender, race and religion boundaries.

Five Biggest Musical Influences: Buddy Rich, Peter Gabriel, Chick Corea, Led Zeppelin, Rush

Musical Equipment:

  • Yamaha Recording Custom (Custom Dark Purple Wood Grain Finish) Standard Depths, sizes: 10", 12", 14" 22"-Bass
  • Snare: 5"x14" Ludwig Super Sensitive Hammered Bronze.
  • Effects Drums: 22" Tama Gong Bass, 13" Timbale
  • Percussion: Cowbell, Wind Chimes, Temple Blocks
  • Cymbals: 13" Quick Beat Hi Hats, 15" A Custom Fast Crash, 17" A Custom Crash, 10" A Zildjian Splash, 22" A Zildjian Ping Ride, 18" Wuhan China Swish.

Thoughts on Christian Music:

It's the real deal.

Special thanks to Laura Askelin and her family for always
being excited about and supportive as a friend of the band and
our music, and for asking such fun questions for our biographies!

2001-2006 just william.,
Eastern Skyline Records,
Small Planet Music