Another year of the Woods Unsigned Battle of the Bands has come and gone and has given us a new winner with local pop-punk band Would You Kindly?
The band consists of East High School student Jacob Dirks on drums and East High graduates Hunter Milner, Elijah Carrier and Andy Copple on the vocals, bass and lead guitar, respectively.
Would You Kindly? took top honors over eight other bands this year including Edenforge, Brainwreck Band, TJ F1GH, My Enemy, Biscuits N Gravy, Verb the Noun, In Due Time and Arch Your Back Girl.
“We were really shocked when we won,” said Carrier. “We weren’t taking it super seriously; we just wanted to have fun with it. We hadn’t practiced for about a month and a half before the day of the show. We like entertaining people with our stage presence as much as our music…we are very high-energy.”
“It was really surprising when we won,” said Milner. “It took a minute for it to sink in because we didn’t think it was going to happen. Looking back at all the hard work we’ve put in over the past two years, it feels about right that we took a win. It was one of our better shows in a while.”
The winning band was created over the summer of 2016 when the East High School friends gathered for jam nights at The Chesterfield.
“We all knew we liked to play music,” said Milner. “After participating in jam nights, we were given our first show by Rosario Perez (REV). After that we realized we could keep writing music and go ahead with the band instead of just playing at the jam sessions.”
Listening to some of the band’s tracks, it is easy to hear the band members’ influences showing through the music. The sound is, in a way, reminiscent of My Chemical Romance and early Panic! at the Disco.
“It is an amalgamation of a bunch of things,” said Carrier. “It’s mostly based in pop-punk, but we mix in some post-hardcore, jazz and Latin music. My bass playing is influenced by John Taylor of Duran Duran and my guitar playing is influenced by Frank Iero of My Chemical Romance.”
“We have a core set of influences we all agree with,” said Milner. “Outside of that, we all have personal music tastes. We don’t stick it inside of a genre box…we just do what we think sounds good when we are writing. I don’t like to try to go after other vocalist’s sounds, but I feel like I sound like a mid-career Gerard Way of My Chemical Romance.”
Music is often an emotionally driven form of artful expression. What feelings do the members of Would You Kindly? emote into the songs?
“I’d say it’s happy sounding sad-boy music,” said Carrier.
“It’s sort of rebellious in a way,” said Milner. “We are one of the younger bands in the scene, and that makes us feel a bit different than everybody else. Generally we want to be as high-energy as possible, and we are known for that.”
Each artist has a reason to create, so why do the members of Would You Kindly? play music?
“It is a good way for me to release my emotions,” said Carrier. “I’ve been involved with music since I was a kid. My parents are both musicians. I like the scientific behind music, the whole theory end. It gives me an outlet to be creative and analytic about what I’m doing.”
“It’s exhilarating,” said Milner. “It helps you connect with random people in the audience you don’t know. It helps us connect with each other. It’s really rewarding in the end.”
“Over the past two years I can see how we’ve grown as musicians,” said Carrier. “That’s kind of why I do it.”
If you would like to see Would You Kindly? the band’s next show is at Whiskey Dick’s on Nov. 4.