By Johnny Griffith
They’re loud, they’re rowdy, and they’re some of the most talented musicians you’ll find on one stage. They are the White Trash Wannabees (WTW) and in case you didn’t get the memo, they’re here to have fun and play some great music. This three-piece band out of East Texas has been tearing up stages in the area for over a decade and brings a mix of talent and charisma to the stage that is second to none in the rock scene around here.
With a healthy catalog of crowd favorites and a growing number of originals mixed in, WTW has cultivated a loyal fan base with whom they have a great relationship and love to interact with from the stage during shows. Having recently released a new CD and with more originals on the way, I decided it was time to sit down with guitarist and frontman Donnie Dodson to get a better idea of just exactly who these guys are:
Johnny: So what is the current lineup of White Trash Wannabees?
Donnie: For a while now WTW has been me, Donnie Dodson on guitar, my brother Dustin Dodson on bass, and Jay Baker on drums and vocals. We’ve got a really good groove together and have gotten really tight with the current lineup.
Johnny: Where is everyone from originally, and currently living? If not local, what brought you to East Texas?
Donnie: Dustin and I grew up in Linden and have been living there pretty much our whole lives. Jay currently lives in Longview.
Johnny: You guys have been in the East Texas music scene for several years. When did the idea for the band first take shape?
Donnie: Well, I guess it would be around 2008 when it first took shape. I was just getting out of another band and Dustin was just finishing High School so we decided it would be a great idea to put something together so we could be in a band together. There aren’t just a ton of opportunities out there to do something you love doing with your brother so we made it happen.
Johnny: How did you all get started in music initially?
Donnie: Our family on our mom’s side pretty much all play music so it was sort of expected that you’d end up playing something growing up. Jay’s family was pretty much the same way, so I would say we all came by it naturally from a very young age.
Johnny: Who were some of your early influences?
Donnie: Man that’s always a tough question to really nail down. Our influences are kind of all over the place. I think though, for the band as a whole, it would be safe to say our influences would be mainly 70’s and 90’s rock, like Led Zeppelin, ZZ Top from the ’70s and Alice In Chains and STP from the ’90s. Pretty much it’s the rock that you can sing along to and sticks in your head.
Johnny: So how about the name of the band, what’s the story behind that?
Donnie: Well the name kind of started out as a joke several years ago and at some point just became permanent.
Johnny: A typical WTW show could have just about any song, from any genre, in it including your own originals. What do you consider the “genre” of the band to be, or do you like being hard to pin down?
Donnie: We really don’t like to be pinned down but at the end of the day we are definitely more of a Rock band than anything else. That being said, we will try to please everyone that comes to see us no matter what genre of music they want to hear. We can have fun with anything and are willing to try to play just about anything. You might come to one of our shows and hear anything from rock to country to our originals to our version of some old rap songs. It just depends on the night and the crowd.
Johnny: White Trash Wannabees had a CD release party recently. Was this your first CD and what was that process like?
Donnie: We’ve had a couple of CDs we released previously but this is really the first thing that we really went all out on and tried our best to make it as perfect as we were capable of doing. As far as the process, we recorded in Dallas at Empire Sound Studio, which I would recommend to anybody who is looking to record. We really had a fun time recording and getting to hear the songs really come to life, but we’re glad to be done and have our album out for our fans to enjoy.
Johnny: How has the reception been so far?
Donnie: The reception to the album has been great, and we just recently released it online so we’re really excited. It’s been great hearing all the positive feedback.
Johnny: Do you have any show you’ve played that sticks out in the memory banks?
Donnie: Man, there have been so many fun shows over the years it would be impossible to pick just one. Each show has its own personality and memories that are just as good as the next one.
Johnny: What’s coming up in the rest of 2019 that has you excited?
Donnie: We are looking forward to trying to spread the music around as much as possible. We’re going to continue writing and do our best to give everybody some more original songs that we plan to be recording in the near future.
Johnny: How would you describe a White Trash Wannabees show to a first-timer?
Donnie: It’s definitely a high energy show and it’s just a good time. We love having fun WITH the audience, and if they want to hear something, we don’t want them to be scared to come ask for it.
Johnny: The East Texas music scene is a pretty tight group. Besides yourselves, who’s the one-act out there locally, maybe flying under the radar, that you’re excited to see what they do next?
Donnie: We’re definitely fortunate to be friends with a lot of the local bands. It’s all a pretty tight bunch and we tend to get on stage together often. There are a bunch of great bands in this area that are all deserving of attention, but Post Profit and Lee Mathis and the Brutally Handsome are putting out some good stuff right now that everyone needs to check out.
Find WTW online at: