Usually when people think of ska music they imagine people in checkered slacks and brightly printed shirts a la Reel Big Fish, most don’t think of people in nice(ish) suits and more formal attire. The first time I saw a Something to Do show I’ll admit I was a bit taken aback by their choice of wardrobe, but it certainly fit the title of their album Music For Fine Dining. As with any ska show, that first show I saw was incredibly fun and had me instantly hooked. Something to Do’s sound is very ska, but there’s something extra catchy about it and some songs can hit you on a personal level with the lyrics (or maybe that’s just me but She Won’t Like You At All off of their Music for Fine Dining hits a little too close to home.) Recently the 6-piece band out of Milwaukee released their fourth album, Not Making A Sound, in between doing work for movies, TV, weddings, etc. So, we sat down to talk with front man Nate Tredinnick about the new album, opening for Reel Big Fish, a bitter rival in The Spin Doctors, and Tina Fey
MMC: We’ll start off with an easy one, just give us a quick background on the band. How did you get the name?
NT: Heh. We came up with it. I kind of wish we had a cooler name, but, to live is to live with regret.
MMC: You guys recently released your newest album “Not Making a Sound” with two shows in Milwaukee and Madison, how did those shows go? Is there something about releasing a CD that makes the shows extra fun?
NT: The shows were at very cool places (Company Brewing in Milwaukee, The Frequency in Madison) and were pretty cool. We play a lot of shows and just about always have a pretty good time, but a party to celebrate a new release always does seem a little more fun.
MMC: This the first album in a couple years, after such a long wait is it exciting to finally show this new music to the public?
NT: Yes! I think this is our best set of songs and best-sounding recording to date, so, I’m real thrilled to get this out. It’s up on Bandcamp now and in the next few weeks will start showing up in all the other places online one goes for music; iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, etc. I feel like there are a lot of cool things going on with this recording and so far, the feedback has been good – no one has outright told us it’s awful or that we suck, so, confidence is high.
MMC: In between Not Making a Sound and Music for Fine Dining we did hear you had a song put onto a movie soundtrack, what was that process like? Was it a surprise to get that call or did you know the guys making the movie?
NT: Yeah, we actually did a few kind of random ‘do a song for this’ kind of things, including a song for a horror movie called “Catch of the Day”, a theme song and a bunch of music for this TV Special on Adult Swim called “Gigglefudge”, and a Xmas song for a compilation. We actually get asked to do all kinds of weird things so at this point, we’re never really surprised when a request comes in for anything from like “will you play at our wedding?” to “will you write a song for us about a killer fish man?”. Our answer is almost always “yes”, so, you people that want us to do something really weird shouldn’t be shy to ask us.
MMC: The tracklist for Not Making a Sound includes Tina Fey II and Tina Fey III which leaves us curious, what happened to Tina Fey I? Was their concern that three Tina Fey songs might be too much for the average listener?
NT: There are a few Tina Fey songs floating around but we just didn’t get to ’em all. In a perfect world, we’d have released a whole concept album just about Tina Fey called, uh, “Tina Fey”, but, and you heard it here first, dreams don’t always come true. That being said, Tina Fey is pretty great. Just found out that she has an extended cameo-type role in the second season of “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”, which is very exciting and may prove song-worthy.
MMC: A couple of years ago you guys opened for Reel Big Fish, was it intimidating to open for one the biggest ska bands?
NT: No! They are pretty relaxed fellows and it was cool to play with ’em. We did open for the Spin Doctors one time and we found them to be pretty unpleasant; I guess you could say they are now our sworn enemies.
MMC: Any other big things coming up? Shows? Tours?
NT: Yep. Upcoming shows include:
– Friday, October 7 – Valparaiso, IN (Franklin House)
– Saturday, October 8 – Chicago, IL (Livewire Lounge)
– Friday, Nov 18 – Eau Claire, WI (UW-Eau Claire)
– Saturday, Nov 19 – Minneapolis, MN (Nomad World Pub)
…with many more to come. Also, we’re releasing a music video soon. It has special effects, actors, fake blood…it’s a hell of a thing.
As we patiently await the new video you can check out Something to Do on Facebook and Bandcamp.