[Interview] Exclusive interview with Bill Peterson from Bacchus

Dear readers, it is with great pleasure that we bring you today an interview with a band from Tampa, Florida that traces its origins back to the late 1960s and early 1970s. We welcome Bacchus and drummer Bill Peterson.

Hi Bill, how are you?

I am well. It is a great pleasure to talk with you today.

You are a solid drummer with a granite groove, how did you get into this instrument and what are your sources of inspiration?

When I was about 10 years old, my father took me to see the first Rock & Roll band in Lakeland, Florida. I decided at that moment I wanted to play the drums. Later I saw great jazz drummers like Gene Krupa and Cozy Cole, who were both very popular in the mid twentieth century. When I actually started playing, there were some superb local drummers whom I learned from. My style was heavily influenced by drummers like Dino Danelli and of course Ringo Starr. My favorite drummer will always be Hal Blaine, the most recorded drummer of all time.

The band Bacchus started in the late 60s, how did this project come about?

Charlie and Eric were leaving Tampa’s most popular band, the Tropics, and they were looking for a drummer. We got together and jammed, and we thought we really had something.

You released between 1969 and 1975 four 7″ and in 2022 a full-length was finally released, how would you describe this record?

This is a collection of our best recordings with a continuing great groove from start to finish.

You have opened the concerts of many legendary artists, what memories do you have of those experiences and of the magical period of the 60s/70s?

Opening for BB King in Tampa, Florida, in 1970 and enjoying meeting his band backstage stands to me. He was a very gracious man, and of course, one of the greatest Bluesmen that every walked. I also picked up some new tricks watching his drummer! We also opened up for the Mahavishnu Orchestra at the University of Florida and meeting Billy Cobham was also a thrill. The list of performers we have played with goes on and on, each one making a great impression on me. I learned from them all! Being young and on the road in the early 70’s was a constant high. There was nothing better than making music with good friends and having a helluva great time!

The album uses biblical references to describe current society and its behaviour. What themes does the album deal with?

It’s about celebrating the gift of life.

Heavy Psych, Hard Rock and Proto-Metal are the genres that you are compared to, which of these do you feel is more your own?

To me, we are a combination of rock, blues and funk, with a little Tampa swagger thrown in.

In recent times thanks to the famous Brown Acid volumes, the band has gained new visibility, do you have plans for live dates in the near future?

We are working on that, and more to come soon.

The music market has changed, music has changed, how do you see the future of your music genre?

Styles come and go, but music that makes people feel good like the blues will last forever. Ask Billie Holiday or Joe Bonamassa.

Given your great experience, what advice would you give to young artists who decide to offer more sophisticated music such as yours?

Study everybody you can possibly can, YouTube, live performances, etc and work on developing your own style.

As usual, I will end with a free question, allowing you to talk about any topic of your choice that I have not covered in the previous questions.

I am grateful that there is renewed interest in the band. I have been very fortunate to be both a musician and an educator, forging friendships that have lasted a lifetime.
Super to talk to you!
Ciao.

I thank Bill Peterson and Bacchus for the interview, an honour for our webzine to be able to offer this article. Wishing him all the best in the continuation of his musical career.

Bacchus |Official Website|Facebook Page|Spotify|YouTube Channel|

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Author: Jacopo Vigezzi

2 thoughts on “[Interview] Exclusive interview with Bill Peterson from Bacchus

  1. I was an entertainer back in the late 60’s and worked with Bill a few times before he got with Bacchus. Great drummer and friend. Haven’t seen him in a few years. Bill, if you see this, I sent you a friend request on FB.
    Sandy Vaughn McCann.

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