Last December Smyrna-based band 13:1 took a vacation to Dallas, TX., because they wanted to get away and see what it would be like to play a gig at the prominent biker bar Strokers Dallas.

Last December Smyrna-based band 13:1 took a vacation to Dallas, TX., because they wanted to get away and see what it would be like to play a gig at the prominent biker bar Strokers Dallas.

The guys and gal delivered such an impressive display of their heavy, alternative rock sound that Strokers invited the crew to headline at their 16th anniversary earlier this month – making them the first non-cover band to headline a show at the venue. As if that didn’t sweeten the pot for the band, the guys have also recently linked up with renowned rock producer and manager Joe Gingerella – who is also managing the Smyrna band Devolver  – and will be playing at the 2012 South by Southwest Festival in March.

Name Jay Mills
Age 32
Residence Smyrna
Talent guitarist
Favorite band Metallica

Guitarists Jay Mills and John Wetherall spoke with the Smyrna/Clayton Sun-Times about playing at SXSW and more.

Q You guys are going to be playing at the 2012 SXSW Festival. What do you think will distinguish you from other bands at that festival?

A Wetherall: We bring a whole new sound and our influences are all over the place. You’re looking at hard rock with blues leads. It’s hard to classify our sound.

Q How did the band get started in 2008?

A Wetherall: It started out with me and Jay. We were doing open mics, making up our own music and we had a lot of fun with that. Pete Martinez came along – he’s the lead singer. It’s actually a funny story with him because his mother used to babysit me; I’m 36 and he’s only 22, now. We’ve known each other all our lives. He came along and started singing; and from there we said we need a drummer and a bass player. That’s pretty much how it evolved. We started trying out drummers and bass players. It was funny when Allen [Siembida] came along because [I] knew him; we used to ride bicycles when we were little.

A Mills: Actually, out of the whole band, I think there’s only two people that didn’t grow up together, and that was me, because I was from Bear; our base player Shannon [Quimet] was from Texas.

Name John Wetherall
Age 36
Residence Dover
Talent guitarist
Favorite band Foo Fighters

Q What’s the story behind the band’s name? Is it a metaphor for something?

A Wetherall: Me and Jay started this – basically – whole rollercoaster ride. We’re a bunch of gear-heads and we’re into racecars; 13:1 is a compression ratio. Basically me and Jay thought of that and then we weren’t solid on it. One of our good friends came up and she brought the Bible out and in Hebrews 13:1 it stated that a group of guys that get together to entertain people will entertain angels without knowing it. Then we stuck with the name.

A Mills: Like John said, we named it after a compression ratio and we were toying with the idea of changing it, and whatnot, because it wasn’t really official until we found that out. It was almost like a fate thing.

Q Lets discuss your lyrical content. What inspires your writing?   

A Mills: The way we write is we’ll come up with music and then Pete… I don’t know, he’ll listen to it and then he just kind of [goes] deep down inside himself, and he’ll find like a life experience, something that he has gone through or something like that. It’s kind of weird. At the time, because of practicing or playing live – and the way the sound is onstage – you don’t really… you hear what he says but you don’t really understand it. But once you go into the studio… I watched him and listened to him record our first album and it was like: dude, where do you come up with that? It’s all like personal experiences that he has had; it’s deep stuff, when you really listen to it. You may not know what it’s about – or you don’t know where he was coming from – but once you find out from him you’re like: man, that’s pretty deep.

Q What’s the long-term goal for the band?


A Wetherall: I want to make a living off of it, but the biggest goal is to get our music out there bigger than what it is, and get it heard.

A Mills: Honestly, you want to be huge. But right now, if somebody said, “Hey man, I’ll pay you what you make at work; you got to play a couple of shows a week; we’ll send you [on tour] but I guarantee you that you’ll be able to pay your bills and whatnot,” then I’m [interested]. I don’t have to drive around in Lamborghinis and have a big mansion and all that. I would rather go to a studio everyday and hangout with my band than go to work every day.