The poster band for ‘80s college rock, Nashville’s White Animals wrote hook-laden originals (“This Girl Of Mine,” “Goodnight & Goodbye,” “Ecstasy”) while placing a unique stamp on well-worn cover versions (“Gloria,””For Your Love,” “Tobacco Road”). Three decades later, the band continues to tour on a limited basis while still drawing droves of loyal fans. Ahead of the band’s Friday, Oct. 30 show at WorkPlay, frontman Steve Boyd reflected on the band’s career.
Weld: How has your band’s touring schedule been over the past few months?
Steve Boyd: Our last trip out was in September — we went down to New Orleans and Mobile. We did Memphis and Oxford back in the Spring and did Jackson, Miss. this summer. A years ago this Fall, we did Nashville, Chattanooga and Atlanta. So we’ve played about eight cities in the past calendar year.
Weld: Are you seeing next-generation fans at your shows these days?
SB: I’m seeing some kids who weren’t born yet when we first started playing. Most of them have grown-up hearing the records from their parents. In Virginia a couple of years ago, a couple of kids who’d seen us on YouTube road-tripped from northern North Carolina to Virginia. They’d become fans on the Internet. It makes us feel great to know that you didn’t have to grow up with the band to get the band.
Weld: Although your band first made a name for itself in the ‘80s, you’re still drawing on those early songs for current shows.
SB: When we started in the ‘80s, we weren’t trying to sound like an ‘80s band necessarily. We were trying to sound like our heroes which were, by and large, bands that came along in the ‘60s that were influenced by blues and R&B.
Weld: Even though you’ve released new material in recent years, there’s a nostalgic sense of community at each of your shows.
SB: In the old days, that’s how we connected. We connected as a community through music a lot more than people do today. You knew that if you showed up at a certain band’s show, you were going to see all of your friends and that was the main way to interact with people. This generation has Instagram and Tumblr. We didn’t have those ways to communicate with each other back in the day. I’m glad we came up as musicians when we did. It’s still the same four guys on stage. We’re just trying to enjoy the moment and enjoy every gig.
White Animals will perform at WorkPlay on Friday, Oct. 30 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15. For more information, visit workplay.com.