An Interview with Rob Teter

ImageTonight, Friday August 10, Rob Teter will be playing a show at the Hub-Bub Showroom. Rob, a former member of The Belleville Outfit, is a Spartanburg native, “an expert at backing very large vans with trailers attached into impossibly tight places,” a licensed boat captain, a resident of New York City, and an “aficionado of the breakfast taco” – a skill he attributes to his time spent in Austin with Belleville.

I was lucky enough to talk to Rob about his music and his process getting ready for his show, and I’ll be even luckier to be at the Showroom tonight to hear him!

Looking back on your time with The Belleville Outfit in comparison with playing solo now, how has the transition from playing with a band to playing a solo show been?

Well, it’s been very difficult. It’s an entirely different ball game really, and it’s one I’m still learning. I prefer to play with a band; there’s something more exciting about getting a group of musicians behind something where everyone can bring something to the table, and I hope to do that again in the near future. Either way, I’m never really “solo” – there’s always a small trio or band behind me. If I could bring someone in to cover up my mistakes all the time I would.

What would you say your musical influences are?

It’s hard to nail down exactly, but I would say Uncle Walt’s Band is a big one. I grew up listening to and playing his music in Spartanburg. Lyle Lovett and Townes Van Zandt are other big ones. In general, I’d describe my music as “Americana” – a genre that can expand anywhere from indie rock to blue grass. It’s music that people are writing themselves. You’re never gonna hear it on the radio, but it’s popular.

Reflecting on these influences, if you could play one song for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Do I have to already know how to play it?

Nope! It can be yours or someone else’s.

Hmm. Well I want to say that by no means could I narrow it down to one song in real life. I think I’d choose Lyle Lovett’s “If I Had a Boat.” It’s always been one of my favorites. It’s very clever, and there’s something absurd but romantic about it.

As a native to the area, how does it feel to return to Spartanburg to play?

I’ve been lucky to play and support Hub-Bub and the arts in Spartanburg. As a kid, Hub-Bub didn’t exist, so the most encouraging thing about now is that there is an arts community willing to support local artists. A community that’s willing to go out and listen to music.

Where do you see yourself in the next ten years?

If I could make a living doing this that would be the greatest thing ever. Regardless, I will always play for fun. I don’t know where I see myself, but if I got to choose I would be doing this for a living. I would be just as happy doing this for whenever I can.

Come out and see Rob Teter and Friends tonight at 8:30!

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