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July 3, 2011

Pill Wonder

To Wil/Pill Wonder,
A Man, A Friend, and A Future Unknown
 
I was on my way to my first homeroom of 6th grade at Eckstein, the largest Middle School in Seattle, WA. I stared down at my schedule I had received in the mail before school began. As I walked through the packed hallways, my eyes never wavering from that slip of paper or the ground, I somehow managed to find my homeroom. Quietly entering and sitting down, I soon realized that the other 6th graders around me were speaking in different languages. As our teacher took roll I discovered that me and one other boy had accidentally been put into the English As A Second Language, or ESL, homeroom. Suddenly a slightly redheaded boy and myself were the minorities. As any duo would doin this situation we joined together, more out of necessity than an interest in friendship, we were both too nervous to converse with one another. Needless to say, other than sharing a locker throughout the year, Wil stuck to his friends he had come to Eckstein with from their local elementary school and I stuck to my new group of friends.
 
Wil and I didn’t reconnect until midway through our last year of high school. I had decided to start a band. I recruited my friend Hans from my soccer team to play bass and a guy named Nevin to be our drummer. One night chatting on AIM, knowing that I couldn’t be the only guitar player in a band no matter how much I wanted to be in Nirvana II, I asked my friend Frances what Wil’s screen name was, since I had heard rumors he was a guitar player. After receiving the information, his name: billy2million, I recruited Wil to be our lead guitar player.
 
Over the next five years Wil and I came to be great friends. A sort of Wayne and Garth type thing; you see Wil is actually a very quiet man, one might even say solitary, although he has gotten more outgoing in the last couple of years. Throughout this last quarter of my life I have been in constant awe of Wil’s music. Coming from almost the exact same background and neighborhood as myself, Wil has managed to carve a niche in this low-fi, jungle, tropicalia scene while still managing to sound completely like himself. (I think the second best export from the Wedgwood area of north Seattle is the backup kicker for the University of Washington football team, but I doubt the validity of his ties to Wedgwood).
 
I particularly remember when I was introduced to Wil’s song ‘Wishing Whale’. Wil and I had just seen Japanther; it was Wil’s first time and my second. After the show we were drenched in sweat and inspiration. A couple of days later Wil sent me ‘Wishing Whale’ along with a note describing his new song as “my Japanther rip-off.” After listening to the song 5 or 6 times I was flabbergasted. Wil somehow heard ‘Wishing Whale’ as a perfect replica of Japanther, whereas I couldn’t hear the song as anything other than completely Wil’s. That’s what amazes me so much about Wil, he’s a musical sponge that couldn’t completely reproduce something no matter how hard he tries, a sign of true individuality and style. What a talented dude. I can’t wait to see what he produces now that people are paying attention.
 
-Dana Jewell

Posted by Web Wizard

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