Artist Interview: 1-on-1 with 20 Win With Willard

The group I am sitting with today is one that has every piece of the puzzle to make it to the top. Mixing incredible lyrics, polished instrumentals, and a sense of passion behind each and every word, they just ooze success. Another Indianapolis based band whom plays very few shows in the city (have you gotten that I love that concept) they are a group not to miss when you get the chance. Do yourself a favor and listen to these guys. It is my pleasure to introduce you to Win With Willard.

Where did the name come from?

It was spray painted on an overpass in Tennessee. It looked good in writing. We found out years later that it was a politician’s campaign slogan from the 70’s.

Where did you guys all meet?

Adam, who plays bass, and I went to school together in Louisville. Mike, who is on the drums, and our original guitarist knew each other in Detroit. We went to school together in Anderson and wound up sticking around Indy as sort of a middle ground.

When did you know that music was going to be something you wanted to make a run at?

I think we’ve always had that itch. It’s the sort of escapism you inherit when growing up in the Midwest. I can thank my dad for giving me a decent enough musical education and letting me ruin his old Gibson to give me any specific direction.

Where does the inspiration come from in a new song?

I’ve constantly had melodies bouncing around my head since I was a kid. For this last record (Remember the Alamo) we wrote and recorded it over the course of about three years. At that pace you can sort of putter along and wait for a little spark here and there. After a while though you’re struck with the impracticality of waiting for the spark. I’m trying to learn from the artists I admire who just work their tails off. Writers write. We write and hope the work pays off.

Who writes all the songs?

We usually arrange everything together. I’ll come to the group with what I think is a pretty complete idea. Thankfully the finished product rarely sounds like what I had originally envisioned.

Is there a ringleader in the group?

Not really. Evan says that because he’s the ringleader. The songs are his, so we follow his lead in their growth process.

Where can I get a copy of your new album?

iTunes, CDbaby,, Luna, Indy CD & Vinyl, Borders downtown, etc.

Any thoughts on a nation wide tour to support it?

That’s the plan. We’re putting a string of regional dates together for the summer and will be looking for some folks to manage our booking following that. Touring can make or break any band, especially a young one. We’re trying to be smart about it. We really have no ambitions to be rock stars, or tour for touring sake. I love what we do. We just need to make enough to live on and we’ll be happy.

What is the largest crowd you have played for?

About 700 at Birdy’s.

The smallest?

My wife.

What is like working with Introit Records?

It’s a mob front. It’s funny you should ask, Introit was actually just the name we started throwing around in college any time any of our friends were playing in town. We have a pretty creative circle of friends, one of which, a designer here in Indy, made a logo that we just started slapping wherever we could. There really is no business behind it. Just whatever we feel like releasing at the time. All in all it’s a good relationship.

What is your favorite venue to play?

Here in town? We’ll have to be diplomatic here. The crowds at the Mel and Local’s Only are always really supportive. Makes for a good time. Spin and Birdy’s are kind of our home bases, though.

If you guys could live anywhere else in the world where would you go?

That’s the question of the hour. I don’t really care as long as I like the people around me.

Any tattoos in the band?

Mike has some misc. shapes on his arms. Eric (who is on keys) has some pretty nice work on his forearm.

Who has the most?


What are you guys drinking on stage?

We have an unspoken rule not to drink onstage. If we break it it’s probably going to be cheap and beer.

Let’s say that you are headlining at Verizon Wireless Music Center. Who is your opener?

It’d probably be a superhybrid of the Last Good Year, Mardelay, and that kid from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. We’d call it Shortround’s Roundhouse Review.

You guys play a lot with a good friend of, the Last Good Year. How did you guys all meet?

We went to school with most of them. Good bunch of guys. We all moved to Indy around the same time and have sort of mooched off each other’s crowds ever since.

What is the most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you on stage?

We are a pretty unassuming band. I’m sure I’ve fallen off a few stages.

What was it like working with Peter Gaunt?

Pete’s awesome. We basically just meet him in Muncie, have a few beers and then hang out. You walk away pretty certain you wasted the day because you never really felt like a tool. Two days later he sends you some pretty great shots.

Do you guys all have jobs outside of music?

We all work at Angie’s List about 50 hours a week. Pays the bills.

What was the last movie you saw?

Revolutionary Road.

Did you like it?

Pretty solid. Makes you want to stay the hell out of the suburbs that’s for sure.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

A better guitarist than I am now.

What do you want to be remembered for when this is all said and done?

We used our brains and youth to find some truth, and made some music along the way.

I always let the artist get the last word. Go.