w/Jake Winfree of Inducing Panic

Nick Lotz

Has anyone read the Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy? Remember the part where on the cover of the book it says ‘DON’T PANIC!’
Ignore that. It’s time to fucking panic. In fact, it will be induced. By a band…called Inducing Panic (which kicks ass).

Lazy hooks aside (come on people, there’s only so many puns that are possible), Jake Winfree, the lead singer of and brainchild behind Inducing Panic, has created a hardcore jazz punk band that’s simultaneously furious and hilarious. With only two LPs on their band camp page, they have come out of studio punching and kicking (much as the crowd will be punching and kicking at the show next Wednesday).

They aren’t playing alone either. Bloodclot will be there too, featuring a members of Danzig and a John from Cro-mags collaborating in some kind of punk rock super-group.

I had the privilege of interrupting Jake Winfree’s day with an impromptu phone interview. Check it out below.
Your music is so angry and yet in it's own way quite hilarious. Reminds me a lot of Oingo Boingo or the B-52's. What inspired this sort of wacky blending of hardcore punk and comedy?
Winfree: Yeah it totally is. It's just angry sarcastic stuff. I like that you brought up Oingo Boingo, I'm a huge Oingo Boingo fan. I like Danny Elfman. I thought it was just great stuff. Good reference point. I'm also a big Mike Patton fan. Back to the original question...yeah you know I like to keep things in a little bit happier tone. It's a lot easier for people to reach out. When you're being a constant negative and all that stuff it's really tough for people to swallow that pill. So if you make them laugh a little bit it's a little easier to digest.
There were three songs on your band camp that stood out to me. I'll list them and you can talk about each one.
"Different" ~~~ love the ska guitar riffs in this song (I think that's right?). What was your inspiration for it?
Winfree: I do like a lot of ska music in general. There’s (sic.) no particular favorites I have. Just the whole idea of it: reggae on crack. I'm very into that. More importantly I've come across these people in the music industry who just have these giant egos. It's really difficult to work with them. No matter who you could be a close relative to them and they'll feed you to the dogs for five dollars it seems like. It's real dog eat dog out there.
So that's really what that one's about. I've had my fair share of running into people and had legal battles over money and stuff like that. It's just a horrible time. It's basically just a big shout out to all those losers who treated me like a second hand human .... you know. Whatever.
Wow, that's a lot of anger. Do you still have fun playing music or is it not worth it?
Winfree: No, it's always worth it. Really I don't know what I'd do with my life if I wasn't playing music. I'd probably just be strung out on drugs and just a bum and a horrible person in general. Music keeps me in a good mood and it's a good way for me to vent.
"Thank You" ~~~ the lyrics are somewhat brilliant with you both calling out self help appreciation hogwash and the dregs of society in the same breath. What do you have to say about this song?
Winfree: "Thank You" is a little bit more of a straight forward (song). Definitely sarcasm being played out there. I've been in and out of jail growing up ... I grew up pretty poor and got to see a darker side of the world. Now at the same time I am thankful I got to see that because it allowed me to be the person I am today and I wouldn't change any of that but at the same time it really sucks when you're being targeted by police officers or you can't get a job or you're just being run down by your family .... it just seems like the system wants to take your disposition and use it against you. I think I wrote that song two years ago or so and it was right around Thanksgiving and everyone sits around the table and says, 'Oh I'm thankful for this' and I was like, I'm not too thankful.
"I Don't Care" ~~~ my introduction to Inducing Panic. Really evokes the apathetic nature of our generation, in my opinion. What do you have to say about this song?
Winfree: For "I Don’t Care" it's just...when I was younger I was a really outgoing person and I felt like going out and meeting people...I still do it now but I'm a low scale fashion. One of the things I noticed is when you're working your job or out or whatever you're going to come across these people that just babble on and on and on and you're like look I just want to give you your burger so you can get the fuck out of my line or I just want to get my .... you know, you're at the DMV and the lady is processing your information and babbling about her kids .... it's the small talk. It drives me nuts and I can't .... it's very tough to sit through it anymore these days. I don't want to deal with it. I really think as the years pass I become more of a dull person and even more antisocial as the days go by.
So really it's talking about those people who just won't shut up. I think I'm like a magnet for some pretty odd characters I could be shopping for a pair of pants and some guy is going to come over and give me his whole life story.  It's like okay. Like, I get it. I don't really know why you're telling me that you lost your wife and your kids hate you. Congratulations. You're a shit bag. But like I don't fucking care man. I really don't. So that was really the premise of that whole song.
Your upcoming show is with Bloodclot, which has a Danzig member and a Cro-Mags member in it. That's gotta be a huge deal. What are your coping mechanisms for dealing with this sudden burst of popularity?
Winfree: Boy, you know what, I hope we're getting popular! I try to treat everybody the same. It all goes back to that different thing. I don't try to stroke anybody's ego. I'm happy with the success that we've had. We've had some really fun gigs in the past. I'm looking forward to it. I'm not going to stop any time soon.
For tickets to Inducing Panic's upcoming show at Now That’s Class on July 26th 2017, click this link.