You may remember Miley Cyrus letting a guy, Jesse Helt, accept an award at a recent awards show over the summer. Well Jesse Helt has friends. Ish Herring, lead singer in the band William Pilgrim & the All Grow Up’s, met Helt at the My Friend’s Place homeless shelter and apparently that friendship has remained. William Pilgrim & the All Grows Up just released their video for “In the Streets” and we talked with them about the inspiration for the video and what is up next.
KRISTIN: You are part of William Pilgrim & the All Grows Up. How did this project come about?
WP: By a total one in a million fluke of the universe. I was living homeless on the streets of hollywood and hoping to make some money, I placed an ad on Craigslist saying I could sing. Honestly, I was just looking for $100, not to form a band but Philip called me up and things just clicked. The two of us are extreme opposites in every sense of the word. I think it is that strange combination that makes our music what it is.
KRISTIN: You are friendly with Jesse Helt, who made news when he accepted Miley Cyrus’ VMA award for her to bring attention to the 1.6 million runaways and homeless youth in America. How did you meet him and what made you want to include him in the “In the Streets” music video?
WP: Jesse is a friend and our connection started at My Friend’s Place in Los Angeles. Most kids on the street have no family or friend support. My Friend’s Place is a life line. They were a great help to me during my time on the street. When we filmed the music video for “In The Street” we were right off Hollywood Blvd and I invited Jesse and a few friends over, mainly to catch up. Friends are the most important thing you got on the street.
KRISTIN: Speaking of the new single, “In the Streets”, tell us your inspiration behind it and what made you choose this as the new release.
WP: The song came from events I witnessed. It speaks to holding on to hope in the face of overwhelming evidence that nothing is going to change. I lost several friends on the street. Looking back, I can see they had lost their optimism, that things would get better. When that’s gone, it’s really hard to keep moving forward.
KRISTIN: You also collaborated with Blind Boys of Alabama, which is a 6-time Grammy Award winning gospel group. How did they play into this new song?
WP: The Blind Boys of Alabama are icons of inspiration. Their music was a soundtrack of hope during the civil rights movement of the 60’s. To have them lend their voices to the song “In The Street” was really an honor. I also think it bridges the gap between the struggle for racial equality in the 60’s and the fight for economic opportunity we see today.
KRISTIN: With the release of the new single, do you have plans for a new album in the future?
WP: Our full album titled “Epic Endings” was just released this month. It also features collaborations with Brenton Wood and Exene Cervenka of X. Just like the unusual pairing of Philip and me, the album is a mix of contradictions that some how sounds like we are having fun along the way!
KRISTIN: How would you describe your music to someone who has not heard it before?
WP: We sound like what Jackie Wilson and Johnny Cash would sound like together if they joined a band led by Jason
Isbell. Wrap your brain around that!
KRISTIN: When and where can fans hear the new single, pick it up, and watch the new video?
WP: Go to williampilgrim.com to see the latest videos along with footage from our trip to New York. You can also pick up vinyl or CDs there.
KRISTIN: Where can fans keep up with you online? Are you on social media?
Make sure to swing over to William Pilgrim’s website to watch the video and check out more information about them and their music. Follow them on their above listed social media sites to keep up with what is next.