Greg Cheatham

Greg Cheatham plays bass guitar and provides vocals for local groove-based rock band 3XL. The band’s next show is Saturday at 9 p.m. at Chestnut Station in Gadsden. You can see 3XL in the Anniston area in April.

Do you have a job outside of 3XL?

Yes, I work as a stationary engineer for a government contractor in support of the Department of Homeland Security here at McClellan. I had a friend that was working for a nonprofit organization that helped place veterans in vocational fields. She submitted my resume to the company and changed my life. Thanks, Tina.

How did you get into music?

My mother and father had a huge record collection. When I was young, I found myself getting lost in the music of the late ’60s and ’70s. My father was in the U.S. Army, so we moved a lot. Those records were a constant; those records were my friends. I can’t remember one moment in my life when music wasn’t important to me.

What is the first song that you felt a connection with?

There are so many, but if I had to pick just one, it would be Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love” from “Led Zeppelin II.” It sounded dangerous.

What was the first instrument you learned to play?

Believe it or not, the first instrument I learned to play was the clarinet. I really stunk at it; thank goodness my band director at the time, Mr. Amberson, suggested I change to saxophone. I then graduated to playing guitar and bass.

Who are your music influences?

There are so many. Obviously, being a fan of late ’60s and ’70s music I was influenced by bands like Cream, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, The Doors, Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath, but I can’t leave out bands like Metallica, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Alice in Chains and Anthrax. I also love outlaw country music: Waylon Jennings, Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash, Hank Williams Jr., and Southern rock bands like The Allman Brothers and The Charlie Daniels Band. I am also very influenced by local musicians such as David Bergquist of Black Cat Bone, Phillip McCain, Jim Parks and so many others.

How did 3XL come together as a band?

3XL is about three lifelong friends that just love playing music and being around each other. I’ve known Shannon Deese (guitar and vocals) and Wes Corn (drums and vocals) since we were teenagers. We have all played in several bands over the years, but never with one another. After a few adult beverages one night, we came up with the 3XL concept; six months later, here we are.

Do you play cover songs or original music?

We do both. We spend a great deal of time writing music and like to share it with everyone as much as we can. We also like playing covers from artists that influenced us over the years.

What are the music influences for 3XL?

If you were to take the blues, Southern rock, a dash of county, a bit of heavy metal and a smidge of funk and throw it in a blender, that’s 3XL. Our influences are very diverse.

Can the community book 3XL?

Booking 3XL is easy. You just have to visit our Facebook page (“3XLBandBama”) and send us a message.

What are you passionate about?

I’m passionate about the local music scene, always have been. There are many very talented musicians in our area. I have really enjoyed watching the competitive culture morph into more of a community.

Would you like to suggest someone for a Spotlight profile?

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