Willie and the Giant are a band from Nashville, Tennessee who take the genre of classic rock and repackage it with a few modern bits to refine it for today’s crowd. The band played a set on Oct. 18 at Smith’s Olde Bar in Atlanta as the amplified waves of frontman Will Stewart, lead guitarist Jon Poor (Also known as “The Giant” due to his height of 6-foot-5), bassist Grant Prettyman and drummer Mac Kramer filled the Atlanta Room.

The passion for rock has been with Stewart since grade school. “I’ve been in a band since I was in sixth grade,” Stewart said. “It’s always been what I wanted to do.” When asked about how Stewart was “bitten by the bug,” he mentioned that the passion for music is just there. “Music is just something that’s inside of you,” Stewart said. “For me, that’s all I could think about – I can’t escape it.” When asked about favorite moments with the band, Poor favored playing music for his close friends. “I love playing in front of a crowd; that’s the best, but as far as memories, they’re usually intimate small moments,” Poor said. Stewart added, “Just the shared experience of the people that you’re playing for – it’s great.” Poor and Stewart also shared the best part about playing in a rock band. “There’s nothing better,” Stewart said. “I’ve heard crazy metaphors that explain the feeling you get when you play for people, but for me, it’s on par with sex.” Poor added, “for me, it’s just about the connection. Getting up on stage and having the audience dig what you do … it’s kind of a shortcut to connecting with people in the audience.”

Look for Willie and the Giant’s first album in early 2015. You can download their debut singles, “Poor Boy” and “Aint Gonna Wait,” on iTunes. Also check out www.willieandthegiant.com for more info.