White Reaper

Q&A: White Reaper

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White Reaper is heading to the Masonic in San Francisco on Jan. 17, as a direct support for Spoon. They’ll be promoting the album The World’s Best American Band, which was produced by Kevin Ratterman (My Morning Jacket, Young Widows). About the title, guitarist/vocalist Tony Esposito said, “Because we are the best. Just like Muhammad Ali was the greatest, you gotta say it out loud for people to believe it.”

In between gigs, we spoke to Sam Wilkerson, the band’s bassist, and asked him if they are indeed the world’s best American band, what inspires them to write music, and how they came up with the band’s name.

How’d you guy come up with the band name?

We were like 18 and saw a prop in a Halloween store that said “White Reaper” and we thought it sounded cool.

Are you guys really the world’s best American band?


White Reaper
White Reaper

What’s “Judy French” about?

It’s basically a song about having a dang crush.

What was the writing and recording process like for “The World’s Best American Band”?

We went into the studio and wrote the majority of the album on the spot, with the exception of a few parts that were pre-recorded on Tony’s iPhone.

What inspires you to write music?

Just loving music and the process of writing it.

Which songs are your favorite from the album, and which ones are you most looking forward to playing at your show in San Francisco?

My personal favorite is “Crystal Pistol.” That’s what I’m most looking forward to as the bassman.

Do you have any crazy tour stories that you can share with us?

We just got stranded in Montana for three days because of a snowstorm. That was pretty crazy. Other than that we’ve been chased by a crazy man on a highway in Washington, and been in a few wrecks.

What’s something about you guys that most people would be surprised to find out about you?

We are from Kentucky.

If you could put together the ultimate rock n roll supergroup, who would be in it and why?

Frickin’ Stevie Nicks, Paul McCartney, Gwen Stefani and Kanye West because they slay in their own different ways.

Spoon and White Reaper play The Masonic in San Francisco, Wed 1/17 @ 8 pm
Photo Credit: Jesse DeFlorio

An avid drummer whose discography includes albums on Digital Nations (a Steve Vai imprint), music critic Louis Raphael has always kept a pulse on the San Francisco music scene. After many years as the San Francisco Music Examiner for Examiner.com and AXS.com, he decided to start Music in SF® as a way to showcase what the San Francisco music scene really has to offer.

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