Ninkasi Studios + Supersonic LipsAug 29, 2017 Comments (0)
We love music here at Ninkasi (surprise!). It's a big reason why you'll find a recording studio right inside our brewery offices.
Last summer, we led a search to find the best Dallas band. We teamed up with distributor Andrews Distributing, Spune Productions, and Untapped Festival to host a summer-long competition. Twelve bands battled it out across the city with one goal in mind: win the battle, win a trip to record with us at Ninkasi Studios, and win a spot on the Untapped Dallas Festival stage.
We were thrilled to announce Supersonic Lips as the winner and even more thrilled to have our studio master, James Book, give them dedicated studio time at Ninkasi Studios. Not only are they some of the best rockers out there, they are also downright fun people to share a beer (or two) with.
The result? An album you should probably check out sooner than later featuring album artwork illustrated by our Artist in Residence, Neal Williams.
So, what's it like recording at Ninkasi Studios? We sat down with Supersonlic Lips to recap their experience.
Q: How did you hear about the Last Band Standing Contest?
A: We found out from Charlsie Grace, our band manager at the time.
Q: Why did you decide to enter the contest?
A: We thought the format interesting. We nearly turned the offer down because we were expecting a typical “battle of the bands,” but fortunately we kept reading the event’s description and realized we would actually be judged on things we’re good at, such as originality of songs, live performance, and social media presence. Not being a popularity contest, we knew we had a chance.
Q: Did you initially think you had a chance at winning?
A: NOPE. We were convinced we wouldn’t win throughout the entire competition.
Q: When you found out you won, how did you feel?
A: On the night of the finale, two of us left the venue after our performance (one back to work, actually), and the other two that stayed couldn’t believe when they said we won. We thought it was a mistake and awkwardly walked up the stage because we still thought we lost somehow.
When it finally hit us, we felt our music truly valued and our work rewarded, for once.
Q: What were you hoping to get out of entering the contest? Exposure, brewery experience…?
A: Exposure, more than anything. We got the opportunity to play some interesting shows with local bands we were meaning to play with for a while, but then if we won, we would get to play with TV On The Radio and Gogol Bordello at Untapped Fest. And with Ninkasi Brewing Company being based 2,000 miles from Dallas, we also fancied the idea of making noise outside our usual circles.
I guess it didn’t hurt to toss in an all paid trip to Oregon, free recording and mastering, a couple of hundred CDs, badass artwork with Neal Williams, and a ton of beer. We’re still pinching ourselves.
Q: How has life as a band changed since you won?
A: Our attitude has changed. We take ourselves and our music more seriously than before. Our songwriting and communication has improved, our self-perception as performers and confidence is positive.
Winning the Ninkasi "Last Band Standing" has taught us that whatever it is, we can do it.
Q: Describe your experience at Ninkasi Studios. What did you think of Eugene?
A: We fell in love with the town. Things are a bit more relaxed up here and one breathes easier, which made it us feel at home by the time we got to the studio.
The studio itself is incredible. Although it's placed inside the company's main headquarters building, it remains intimate and isolated and allowed us and our producer, James Book, to work comfortably. There were plenty of restaurants within a block in every direction and an arcade bar, and everyone at the tasting room knew who we were so we literally felt like rockstars. Pardon the cliché.
Q: How has your knowledge of beer changed since forming a relationship with a brewery?
A: Well first of all, we now have a favorite brand!
We also often think about all the special steps that it takes to create such a tasty beer, and the positive impact a brewery could provide to its local community.
Q: What’s the coolest thing about Ninkasi?
A: The best part of Ninkasi is how true they stay to their values. It’s clear how much their employees live and breathe their “perpetuate better living” tagline in the way that they’re encouraged to follow their passions (both during work and after). This tagline goes beyond the company, as it provides life to Eugene, as well as it has done to us.
Q: Tour dates?
A: We’re currently planning a March/Apri 2018 tour along the west coast. Naturally, Eugene will be on the route.
Q: How’s the album release going?
A: We released “Blinded Pleasures” at the end of June and it's been selling well. We’re receiving great feedback regarding the direction we’ve taken since our last EP and our fans are excited for things to come.
Q: What’s next?
A: We’ll be busy giving this album as much life as we can for a little while, and after our traditional December hiatus, we will be cracking open those cold Ninkasis to begin writing our first full-length album.