Humans of Sam Houston: Anthony Wells, Student Music Manager

Anthony Wells is a senior criminal justice major at Sam Houston State University, but beyond his studies he works as the Merchandising Manager of the high-rise band, Jerrett Zoch and the OSR Band.

Wells first met one of the band members, Daniel Huggins, after he returned to Texas from serving nearly eight years in the U.S. Army in Anchorage, Alaska.

“I met Daniel at the local Huntsville Cavenders and we struck up conversations on musical backgrounds and guitars,” Wells said. “That night happened to be the same night Jerrett Zoch and the OSR Band was the supporting act to Cody Johnson at Shenanigans in October 2014.”

Wells and Huggins continued to foster a friendship, and eventually he was introduced to Jerrett Zoch and the OSR Band.

“Over the course of three to four months I would see the fellas around town, chat occasionally and we eventually struck a friendship up,” Wells said. “In January 2015, Daniel approached me with the idea of being the Merchandise Manager for the band and the rest is pretty much history.”

Wells noticed the passion that the band exuded as they performed; it was apparent to him that they encompassed something that Wells wanted to become a part of.

“The talent was clearly apparent since the first time I saw the fellas play live,” Wells said. “They are well rehearsed and ‘gel’ well together on stage and their set list offers enough variety to feature the talents of each member of the band. I served as merchandise manager for the better part of three to four months before I began venturing into assisting with booking.”

Wells decided to take his management skills to the next step as he learned the ins and outs of the musical agency business.

“While on the road Daniel was able to assist and refine my abilities as a guitar technician, essentially showing me the exact nuances of his instruments and the way he likes them set up,” Wells said. “I was able to combine the skills of booking with tech work, my job as merchandise manager and my background in driving complex operations in the military to take a larger leadership role off stage.”

Although Wells is a criminal justice major, he has considered a career as a professional music manager.

It is definitely something I have looked into and thought of,” Wells said. “I would prefer to have more formal training in business and business administration which is one of the reasons why I am taking a hard look at graduate school.”

Wells has developed a bond beyond a managerial position with the band. Though he has received other offers from bands, Wells sees the quality of friendship in his business.

“I have received a few generous offers from several other bands to join their team,” Wells said, “However there is something about working your tails off and being on the road with your best friends that can’t be replaced with a newer outfit, regardless of money or status.”

Wells makes his job a priority although he is still a student. He travels to the band’s performances and says he loves the opportunity to watch the other bands that perform alongside the OSR Band.

“Every single weekend we are on the road as a team,” Wells said. “If we are not playing show that weekend, we make it a habit to go out and support other local and big name talent in the area.”

Jerrett Zoch and the OSR Band currently have two albums released, “Jerrett Zoch and the OSR Band” and “Kings and Queens” which released in 2016.

“Our current record, 2016’s “Kings and Queens” is quickly becoming a huge success for us,” Wells said. “Our first radio single of 2016, “I’m Done” is currently #40 on the Texas Regional Radio Report after only 4 weeks.”

Wells and the band are thrilled for their anticipated shows that will feature Wade Bowen, Josh Ward, American Aquarium and The Dirty River Boys. They are additionally thankful for the support they have received in their newfound success.

“We are so blessed to have a great group of family, friends and fans in this industry that not only support us when we are hard charging up the charts but also supported us starting out and through our growth as a band,” Wells said. “We make it a priority to follow our fans instead of having our fans follow us.”

Wells said he has experienced many unusual circumstances as a student merchandising manager.

“There are really so many memories I literally could not pick one,” Wells said. “A few of the great ones include running out of gas in the truck at 3 a.m. on the way home from a show, late night drives to College Station to see our favorite Texas country music artists, getting to read the morning funnies on air with Nash and Carey Dean of 106.9 The Ranch (Corsicana, TX).”

Wells reflected on his time in the military, and how music motivated him through his years of service.

“Probably the coolest part is getting to hang out with some of your heroes in Texas Country and Country music,” Wells said. “I can remember traveling the world many times while in the military and these guys and gals were the ones that kept me singing along on my ipod during late night flights to Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan and many other locations. It really has been an honor to meet and learn from such talented musicians and businessmen.”

Wells will continue his career both in criminal justice and music management. He would like to continue to build his experiences in each field.

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