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10 minutes: Tyson Prince of the Spin Wires

Some bands elicit a mood. Other bands instigate action. And if Buffalo’s The Spin Wires is understood to be the latter, the sound of its dance-inducing hop rock is apt to prompt a barroom full of ebullient drinkers to drench itself in a sheen of sweat, spilled cocktails and cups of draft beer.

The trio of drummer Joe Grasso, bassist R.J. Porter and guitarist Tyson Prince deliver party music for the hoisting masses, and has been doing so since the release of its self-titled EP and appearance at Buffalo’s Tudor Lounge in 2013.

Influenced by the catchy likes of Foster the People and the Arctic Monkeys, the band wants to be the soundtrack for scuffed floorboards and rounds of Rusty Chain; a sound that injects energy into an already free-flowing evening. And whether at Tudor, inside Elmwood Village favorite Mr. Goodbar, or as the backing track to a video counsel car race the band has delivered.

Now at work on a new EP — due out this summer —  the band will pause to bring its action-packed playlist into Goodbar for a show at 11 p.m.  March 11. But before leading the band’s usual brand of amplified animus, Prince took some time to discuss Spin Wires-forming drinking games, the band’s stated genre of dance rock — and having its songs used by Nintendo.

Question: You and drummer Joe Grasso formed the Spin Wires in the aftermath of a Beer Olympics tourney. If you each had to win one drinking game to assure career success for the band, which one would it be?

Answer: Unfortunately, despite a record number of games, Joe and I both have a poor track record of wins in drinking games. This is why we have lost many a boozy tournament. Perhaps it’s because the loser is rewarded with drinking. As far as games go, I’m not too shabby at Flip Cup, and Joe can throw a mean Beer Pong ball. However, my favorite drinking game is Kings Cup because of the all the shenanigans and randomness.

Q: The Spin Wires sound is termed as "dance rock," yet sounds influenced by punk-leaning outfits like Fall Out Boy and early 311. Where does your style come from, and how do you intermingle it all together?

A: Since the inception of the band at that Beer Olympics tournament, we decided that we wanted to write music that was simple, upbeat, catchy and danceable, but still rock. As our bassist RJ once opined, we needed to have songs that would get the girls dancing, because if the girls don’t dance, no one will. This is why we injected some pretty fun covers of songs by Icona Pop or Lady Gaga [into our act].

Q: Over the past few years, the band's music has found its way onto games for Nintendo and Xbox. Did you seek out this opportunity, or are basement-dwelling gamers just huge fans of your fist-pumping single, "Ignite"? 

A: We have been very active online and helping out indie video game developers. This ranges from offering royalty fee music to your DIY “basement” game developer, to writing commissions or licensing songs for established companies. The more we do, the more different developers hear of us and ask us to help out.

This has came back to us and some of the more successful developers have licensed our original music in a number of different Nintendo, PSP, PS4 or Xbox games. This includes using our thumping “Ignite” in a racing game, "Super Toy Cars," but one of my favorite commissions was writing “Reckless” for the PS4 game, #KILLALLZOMBIES.

Q: You guys are semi-regulars at Mr. Goodbar. What makes the place such a timeless Elmwood Village venue? 

A: I think Goodbar has hit its mark with their demographic and is a good representation of hip, blue-collar Buffalo. Personally, it’s my favorite place to play, and [the bar] tends to attract people who just want to have fun. They have good music, the bartenders are cool, and their location is perfect. And more importantly, their prices are pretty cheap, despite having a pretty massive selection of beers. 

Q: Finally, as Buffalo continues to evolve as a place that more outsiders are embracing, how does the role of the Buffalo band change?

A: This is a great question. I think there is more going on now than ever for bands in regards to festivals and events. We also now have a pretty awesome alt-rock station that cares about the local scene in Alternative Buffalo. In sum, it would appear to me that there's a bit more opportunity for a Buffalo band now than a decade ago.


Who: The Spin Wires, with the Meat Whistles

When: 11 p.m. March 11

Where: Mr. Goodbar, 1110 Elmwood Ave.

Admission: $3


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