I love when a band asked to meet in a bar, especially when that bar is Monty’s Krown, and especially when that band is Hinkley, a spacey almost psychedelic pop band that has been playing since 2000. Will, the founder and brains behind Hinkley met me one cold Sunday afternoon, sitting between a pinball machine and an ATM explained the sound of his band, the origins of his band name, and dealing with lineup changes in between sips of Genny.
How did Hinkley get started?
Will: I used to be, well still am, in a band called Muler. Muler broke up around 2000 the drummer Sean and I started recording songs, not playing out just fooling around. Then we formed Hinkley. Sean left; he had kids and other commitments so it wasn’t a good time for him. So I have been the main singer songwriter for the band since.
The band seems to fluctuate between 4 to eight members since its start.
We started out with five members then Sean left. Since then there have been a lot of people coming and going. We bulked up to eight people at one point but it’s hard to eight have eight people in a band. Plus it got stupid; we don’t need that many people. Now we are a four piece. It’s myself, John Dupree who plays guitar, Jonah who plays bass, and Charles who plays the drums.
Is it hard to keep the band all up to speed with so many lineup changes throughout the years?
It was actually. We have been the lineup for 2 years now so now everything is fine now. It was tough in the beginning though. We have been playing since 2000 so we have a lot of songs. When the lineup changed there was the question of just creating new music or bringing everyone up to speed on the old stuff. It was weird at first but now this line up feels the best. We melded as a sound as opposed to a bunch of people playing instruments.
Are you working on new music now?
We are recording with Mike Brown in Genesseo. We are almost done recording we will start mixing soon. As soon as we walked into his place we decided it was perfect and have had a really good time recording. We hope to be complete by sometime. It’s a slow process; the drive is a little long and it’s a money thing as well.
Your last band Muler has a very different sound that Hinkley is it strange switching it up so much?
Even before I got into Muler I was into the music I play now. Those weirder, drudgeier, slower types of songs like the ones in Hinkley. Muler was great because it was a kind of aggressive indie rock band. That was really cool and influenced me a lot but I think that I gravitate towards is what Hinkley is. I still love that driving guitar and bass rock n’ roll shit. It’s fun. Muler is still playing, we had a show a couple weeks ago and it’s fun to rock out to. I guess simple answer is I have always been doing this.
Do you write all of the songs for the band?
It used to be I would write a song and teach everyone their parts, but now with the new line up I come up with the structure of it and maybe a progression and let the other guys come up with parts on their own. I like the current process a lot more it is more interested to them and makes for a more interesting sound. I don’t play drums so it is hard to tell someone what’s going on in my head. Charles is an awesome drummer so it makes sense for him to come up with his own stuff. A lot of times they come up with something that is totally off the charts of what I would think would be played and it makes the song even better. It is the same with John and Jonah. They can do things that I can’t even imagine. It helps working with guys that understand their own instruments. Jonah also has a good idea of what a song should be so if I come up with something too far out he brings me back.
Does the name Hinkley mean anything?
Sean came up with the name and he doesn’t remember telling me this story. Where he grew up in Utica there is a place called Hinkley Damn. He told me this story that people would climb up the dam and commit suicide, so that’s why we are called Hinkley. There is the Reagan assassination attempt, his name was Hinkley. I didn’t have an association with that I had more of an association with the dam. But Sean will argue that it is about the Reagan assassination.