Don't Mess With Winkie - Sound In The Signals Interview

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Your new 3 song EP came out not too long ago and you guys released it for free with printable artwork. I thought the printable artwork was a really neat idea. Why did you guys decide to go digital but emphasize the ability to create your own physical copy?

This was kind of a quick decision. We recorded for a audio engineering class at the University of Illinois. I knew that we were going to have some cool songs, so we thought it would be a great thing to release before we start working on the full length at the end of this year. As for going electronic, it was the best method we could think of. None of us had the money to really put the EP out physically without cutting back on the quality of the production, so we decided to make a digital package with as much to offer as possible.

I think you guys may be one of the better ska/punk groups I’ve heard in a long time. One thing I like about your music is that it is recorded nicely but not too polished, meaning you keep a lot of the raw punk energy that is missing from a lot of music these days. Can you take me through how you guys record your music and what types of sound you go for?

The sound we get is mostly due to where and with who we record, especially for out last two releases. 'Charlie Eats The World' was recorded by our friend Aaron Stanley, who had played in a ska band in the past and also recorded them. He knew the sound we were trying to get with our band, so he did a really good job mixing it that way. We have worked with some great people that really understood that we wanted to keep up that energetic sound. The guy we are working with for our next release is really excited to capture that sound.

You guys have a new album coming out this winter. Can you tell me a little about the album? Where you are recording it at? Who’s producing it? What can fans expect from it?

This is going to be the biggest thing for ourselves yet. We are really excited on the songs we are writing currently, and what we have recorded has turned out incredible. We are amped on the opportunity we have to record it as well. We are working with a guy named Josh Niemiera up near Chicago. As for producing, it's really a team effort. DMWW usually does all the producing stuff, and Josh has some good idea on spots. We make it work pretty well. I feel it's going to be our best stuff yet.

Ska music has always been kind of a fun sound and the way you guys play it gives it a lot of energy. What got you guys interested in ska music or music in general?

Cody, the guitar player, and I both had an older brother kind of expose us to ska music. Cody and I would listen to lots of Less Than Jake and Operation Ivy. During that time, we started going to shows, seeing Springfield area punk bands like The Gunga Dins and The Timmys. That is when we decided that we wanted to start our own band. The Black Sheep Cafe opened up right around when Cody and I started making ska music, and that gave us the avenue to go at it.

You guys are an unsigned band kind of doing things on your own, and the DIY kind of mentality really seems to be picking back up with bands. Do you guys prefer to stay unsigned for the time being or if the right label came along would you sign. What do you think would be a good label situation for your band?

We would totally be interested in joining with the right label. There are a lot of really awesome people doing some awesome stuff with DIY labels right now, so it would be pretty awesome to work with some of them.

I know working the DIY route it can sometimes be tough to get certain types of media opportunities. Do you think websites treat up and coming artists fairly or do you believe there is a big push to only push stuff that most people already know about?

I think it can go either way. It can really good newer bands, a great way to get exposure. But with that, there are so many larger bands that pushed show hard over Myspace, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr. There are some neat stuff that is done online, like promotions stuff and a place to have your music, but it can get very cluttered. It gets hard to cipher through all of it.

You guys are from Illinois what is the music scene like there and who are some up and coming bands you think people should check out?

Springfield, Illinois has a rad scene right now. We have an awesome venue called the Black Sheep Cafe, which I mentioned earlier. It's our home. We wouldn't be anything if we didn't have Springfield and the Black Sheep Cafe. As for some bands to check out: Renae have been making some huge waves lately, Obi Wan Kanblo-Mi is a group of rad dudes making rad music, The Nephrons are one of my favorite Springfield bands right now, and The Transatlantic are a newer band that is doing some really cool stuff.

For anyone who hasn’t heard Don’t Mess With Winkie what song or two would you recommend as a good introduction to your band?

I would say the songs "I Have Never Even Seen Free Willy" and "Cheesesteak" are good ones. We play a spectrum of ska music. These kind of show that.

I guess that about wraps it up. Thanks for taking the time to answer the questions. Do you have any closing comments you’d like to make?

Thanks for asking them! I guess just watch out for our new full length early next year, and hopefully we'll see you at a show!

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