Interview with Digital Summer Guitarist Ian Winterstein
Oddly, Darius asked if I could do the write-up for this interview. He said he was confident I could do it justice. I’m still trying to figure out if he was placating me out of laziness or if he is in awe of my writing skills.
Ian Winterstein is a guitar player in an Arizona-based hard rock band named Digital Summer. He previously appeared on our show in October 2010. Darius is a huge Digital Summer fan to the point he even once sent me a picture message of his Sirius radio showing a track from the band that was currently being played.
Darius wanted to have Ian back on the show to promote their Kickstarter campaign. The band is trying to raise money from their fans to assist in finishing and properly releasing their next album. The band posted a video with endorsements from bands such as Sevendust and Drowning Pool.
I left the business side of the music industry because of my strong belief in the power of music. I will never forget sitting in a meeting for Machine Head’s 2001 release, Supercharger, and hearing my colleagues discussing whether or not a power ballad should be included on the record. I’m all about diversity. Enya, Slayer, Def Leppard, In Flames…bring it on. But Machine Head writing a power ballad is, simply put, a bad idea. An idea so bad that merely typing it, a decade later, still makes me shake my head.
Darius brought Digital Summer to my attention over a year and a half ago. He loves them. He’s in the gym, as I type, doing his triceps and back, blasting “Just Run.” I’m sitting here in Palm Springs, tuned to a rock radio station that just played, in this order, Green Day, Offspring, the new Chevelle single, Nirvana, and Temple Of The Dog. Of the five songs, only one was released this decade. The other four weren’t even released in the decade prior – but two decades prior. Dave Grohl is amazing. Love Chris Cornell’s voice. But seriously, can’t we move on…just a little? Maybe squeeze in about two songs an hour that weren’t released when I was in junior high school. And all these stations with the moniker, “Today’s Hottest Rock” need to give it a rest. Look, I know about all the radio algorithms in place that say they’re doing the right thing to make money. But the system is failing. It’s broken. And their refusal to usher in the stars of tomorrow is one of those important pieces they’re refusing to fix.
It would be a pleasure to see Digital Summer on a New York City marquee in the coming years. I speak for Darius when I close this out and say we enjoy speaking to Ian. We applaud and are inspired by his enthusiasm and the resolve of his band. We cannot wait to hear the new album.
Few things in this business make me genuinely smile, and seeing these guys meet their Kickstarter goal is one of them. #HARDWORK.
The audio from our conversation is here for everyone that wants to download it early.
Navigate through all of Digital Summer’s world on their official site.