POZ Showcase: The Hundred Acre Woods
Their band name may be based off of a children’s book, but their game is anything but immature. You know…maturation where it counts. Philadelphia-area, banjo-wielding (!) punk quintet, the Hundred Acre Woods are making a name for themselves with their odd-ball take on indie rock. Taking the best of PropertyOfZack favorite, Evan Weiss, and adding a touch of punk-gloom with a Modern Baseball glare, the Hundred Acre Woods is sure to make a believer out of you.
Please list all of your band members and their roles in the band.
Winthrop Stevens - Vocals/Acoustic Guitar
Zack Reinhardt - Electric/Acoustic Guitar and Vocals
Pat Loundas - Bass
Will Davis - Banjo/Vocals
Brandon “Kooger” Harrison - Drums
What’s your hometown (or what are your hometowns)?
ZR: We all met and more or less started the band in Chester County, Pennsylvania, but have since made Philadelphia kind of our “home base,” as most of the band currently lives in the city.
How did the band come together? How long has it been?
WS: Zack and I started the band in the fall of 2009 when I was a junior in high school and he was a senior. It started as more of a collective, with lots of different members lending their styles, but has since become a full group.
PL: I played shows with the band on drums for over a year before I ever practiced with them. It all started at high school coffee houses and then ended up in Philly basements.
WS: Pat recorded our first ever demo, and he’s been our homie-for-life since.
Why should people listen to your band?
WS: I think that we try to be as honest as possible in our songwriting. While I’m not sure if our music has a central theme, I hope that people can relate to the things that we say. For me I tend to focus on my own actions and how I can better myself as a person. I may not necessarily be saying anything that hasn’t been said before, but I hope that people can find a connection regardless.
ZR: Yeah, I’d agree with Throp in saying that I try to write things that will hopefully connect with a listener. I think I’ve always used music as an outlet to kind of isolate a feeling or mood or experience and trap it in a song. Even if it’s a feeling you’d rather not remember or revisit, it’s good to have it there in a song rather than letting it eat away at you.
How have you grown since you started?
WS: For me, we have grown a lot in terms of energy both on-stage and off. While I think our sound has always blended punk and folk, we have definitely drifted more towards the punk side of things in recent years. With earlier records we were at a sort of disposition in terms of our recorded material sounding different than our live show. We’ve always been a loud band, but our past records have been very stripped down. I think that our new record is going to display the punk aspect of who we are, which we have all wanted for a while.
What sets you apart from other bands?
ZR: Will Davis
BH: Beautiful facial hair.
WD: AWW, Guys.
What’s the best part about being in your band?
PL: Seeing a lot of new music for free. Shows rule.
BH: I second that.
ZR: For me I think it’s either playing live or just the process of taking something from its conception and building on it until we have a fully fleshed, finished song.
WD: For a while, I was the only one in the band who was 21, so when we would play shows at bars and whatnot, I would collect all of our beer tickets. That was pretty cool.
WS: I get to make music with my best friends in the world, and I don’t think I could ask for anything more. I might be an only child but they are definitely my brothers!
PL: Thropdad killin’ it with the real answers.
More times than not, influences tend to bleed through. What bands are currently inspiring the music that you’re making?
PL: I think most of my contribution in writing is influenced by stuff like Into It. Over It. I also draw a lot of interest from our swampy homies in Sun Hotel from New Orleans.
BH: I tend to pull most of my influence from my friends writing and performing around me. Some of those being Alex G, Roof Doctor, Bleeding Fractals, and even Congenital Death (they rip).
ZR: When I started writing music I took most influence from pretty standard folk. Now, however, I think I can’t help but be influenced by all the music my friends in Philadelphia are playing in their respective bands or projects. I second Alex G for sure!
WD: As the banjo player a lot of my influences and style come from deep traditional bluegrass, artists like John Hartford or Bill Monroe; they are rather inspirational. Currently I’m pretty into Hop Along and Fletcher C. Johnson, check that dude out!
WS: I find that as we have continued to write new music, I have focused more on writing for purely myself rather than trying to emulate others. That being said, I was really influenced by bands like Pinback, Elliott Smith, and Sufjan Stevens. As of right now, some bands I currently love are Toe, Full of Hell, and our homies in Modern Baseball.
What would you say the band has already accomplished and what do you have your eyes set on next?
ZR: I feel like we’ve already grown quite a bit since we started THAW. Our music has really matured with us and I always feel that brings a sense of honesty to our writing. I can hardly wait for what this year will bring for the band.
BH: We really want to make it out to new places to play also. I know we all have talked about playing more shows in the South. We’ve heard nothing but good things.
PL: We’ve been at it in some form for over three years but have stayed local for the most part. I am definitely excited to take our songs on the road and meet people all over the country. ALL OVER THE WORLD!
Thus far, what’s a favorite memory or something quirky that’s taken place with the band (in-studio, onstage, or elsewhere)?
BH: My favorite memory is opening for Ra Ra Riot at Bryn Mawr College; having people I didn’t know singing and dancing to our music. Shit’s real, I had a great time.
WD: Brandon’s right. Shit was real. Really real.
PL: I think our collective favorite shows are at Maggot House. We had our self-titled EP release show there with an 8-piece band and it’s always the best crowd. (P.S. Brandon wasn’t in the band at the time so he don’t [sic] even know. And none of us really remember our New Years set at Maggot…)
ZR: Yeah, the EP release show at Maggot House was by far my favorite too. Having such a huge back line was incredible, and as a bonus, it was all my best friends too.
WS: Agreed, on all points. Maggot House will always be my favorite place to play in Philadelphia. Shout out to Mark and Alex!
Is there anything in particular that you’d like people to take away from listening to your music?
WS: This may sound totally cliché, but I think the main message we would like to send as a band is to just have fun. I know that we have some much more serious songs, but in the end I hope that we project positivity towards people that like our music. Sometimes life is horrible, but it can also be incredibly beautiful. Spread the love, bull!
If you could change something about the music industry, what would it be?
ZR: I’m just glad that so much of an industry is rising up from the independent music scene. In a perfect world, the whole industry would be grassroots: Friends helping friends helping friends.
PL: Lower the drinking age to 18.
BH: Lower the dependency on foreign oil.
ZR: Increase dependency on foreign music (like Toe).
WS: I’d love to see more women in music recognized. They can totally rock just as hard as any dude. Girl power all the way. Free Pussy Riot!
PL: Also free pizza.
How did your band’s name come about?
PL: You gotta ask Thropdad about that.
WS: When I was a little kid people would always tease me about my name and call me Winnie the Pooh. I am the fourth Winthrop in my family, and my Dad always told me the same thing used to happen to him. I hated it at the time, but I guess it has helped in the end!
What’s the biggest mistake someone’s made while playing?
ZR: The only thing I can really think of is maybe being the cause of the police being called on a house show or two… (shoutout to Maggot House and Hellmouth, RIP). Another time we were booked on a show that was 21+ and almost couldn’t play because most of us were underage. Oops
PL: I guess we haven’t done too much stupid stuff. Luckily we’re hitting the road soon and should have some silly stories to share!
WS: For some reason I’m really good at cutting my hand open while we play, so I’m sure our sets will involve a lot more blood in the future. So kvlt.
Any pre-performance rituals?
PL: None that we can disclose here :)
WD: Most of the time we make it a routine to share a box of pizza or two, or three, generally we’ll recycle those boxes to write out our set lists.
PL: Yeah pizza was what I meant.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
BH: O’Doyle Rules!
ZR: Jawn Travolta 2013
WS: Hi, Mom!
PL: Thank You Based God.
*If you would like your band to be featured on a POZ Showcase, email us.
*This Showcase was compiled, written, and edited by Michael Meeze
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