The perfect way to bring in the looming colder seasons is with good music, good people and good beer. Fountain Square Brewery is an Indiana brewery that began in 2010 and is dedicated to supporting local arts. This weekend they are hosting the second-annual Hop Your Face Festival in Fountain Square in Indianapolis. Hop Your Face is an all day music festival to kick off fall, tap their imperial IPA for the season and celebrate local arts.
This year, the headlining act is a jam band from Carmel, Ind. called Funky Junk. Funky Junk is a four-piece collaboration of Jake Dugan and Andrew Trefny on the electric guitars, Troy Wingert on the bass guitar and Chandler Pickard on the drums. Funky Junk are dedicated to giving the crowd a fun and rowdy show anywhere they go– just be prepared to drink their whiskey with them!
What is Hop Your Face?
Chandler Pickard: It’s a celebration of Fountain Square Brewery tapping their fall beer, the imperial IPA Hop Your Face. It’s the second year they are doing the Hop Your Face festival and it’s christening of the season of fall. It’s called Hops Your Face as a play on words from the Grateful Dead. There are some other bands playing before like El Guapo. We’re headlining the event and it’s all day. It’s outside Fountain Square Brewery and we go on at 9pm. Last year Strange Arrangement played. They were the headliner and they killed it. There was a great turn out. This year they expect to have more. It is a really local thing. It is all about keeping your beer drinking local.
The beer is great there; it is delicious craft beer. They are bringing Fountain Square back. It has really gotten nice in the last few years. The area of Fountain Square had been a little run down but within the past five years they have made a huge effort restoring what Fountain Square once was. Now it has become a really cool hip little place to come down and have a fun time. They have a lot of good local restaurants, a lot of good local beer at Fountain Square Brewery. It is a really homegrown feel, nothing corporate in that area; it is just all local stuff. I love that about it.
We (Funky Junk) are Indianapolis natives. We want to support Indianapolis in any way possible. It is our hometown and we will always love it. I would much rather play for Fountain Square at a local festival that is all about keeping everything local. I love having the locals that drink there come out for some fun. It’s all of our friends, rather than some corporate shit.
Do you guys have anything special planned?
Pickard: The coordinator asked every band to play a Grateful Dead tune because Grateful Dead’s Steal Your Face is where they got Hops Your Face. So we are going to learn a few new Dead tunes for the festival and it will make it really special and obviously bring our own jest of band that is Funky Junk too!
How did Funky Junk first begin?
Pickard: I have known Trefny since I was five years old. One day we just realized we should stop playing Sega and start putting songs together and we realized were missing that part of our lives. So we wrote some songs and Dugan ended up calling me up about playing a Phish cover band party in Bloomington. He wanted me to play drums for him. So a few weeks later we met up in Bloomington and played this gig and Trefny was with me. We asked him, “Hey would you want to check out some of our songs?” and he jumped on board. Then a week later we got Troy boy on board, as Dugan insisted that he was a good bass player. And that is how we all got together. We started playing from there and then started booking gigs and ever since then we have been doing what we are doing. That was early spring of last year, so it has only been a little over a year and a half now.
Reflecting back on this past year and a half, how have you guys grown?
Pickard: It has been nothing but happiness and love. This has really shown me that if you really put your love into something, give love to everyone around you and be a positive person, that positivity will come back to you. It has even brought me and my immediate family closer together, it has brought me and my friends closer together and obviously my band the closest together. I have watched so many people be so happy and it is a great thing to see that–we want to bring people happiness.
I really love watching people be happy when they get a drink or dance around and have some fun for the night when they’re off work and they want to go out and do something. We want them to be able to come out, enjoy a few drinks, see their friends, dance around and have fun. That is what we are here for.
When was your realization of, “Wow- this is actually going somewhere”?
Pickard: This summer is when I realized it. It has always been my dream to play music for a living. But I really felt like this past summer, instead of me calling places, places started calling me about gigs and I started getting gigs by other people calling me. I started realizing there is a demand for what we’re doing.
What is your favorite place to play?
Pickard: The coolest place I have ever gotten play was The Vogue in Broad Ripple because it is a beautiful room to play and it’s big. The sound is like a mile wide and playing on that stage is really nice. But I have to give love to the Mousetrap for giving us our platform and also Plumps. I have mad love for all of them.I also really loved the festivals we played at this summer. But everywhere in Indianapolis are places that really hone in on the music that we’re doing and show us nothing but love and support. They are all super caring and treat us well.
How did you become a drummer?
Pickard: I became a drummer when I was a really young boy and I heard John Fishman of Phish and Jon Bonham of Led Zeppelin play and started thinking, man I really want to do that! I remember when I was a kid and the first time I listened to Zeppelin ‘s Black Dog on my headphones laying in bed, and I was like, “Wow this is crazy. I want to be able to do that.” It seemed fun to me and ever since then my family has never been anything but supportive. I thank them so much because having a nine-year-old kid wanting to play the drums is going to have a time that’s a little obnoxious. So I appreciate them toughing it out.
What future plans do you guys have for your music?
Pickard: We are going to have our EP coming out this month–Mashed Up Vol. 1. We actually recorded it at Ball State. We are really excited about that. Then we are going to keep on doing what we are doing- keep booking gigs and hopefully more festivals for next summer.
Why are you naming the EP Mashed Up Vol. 1?
Pickard: Well you know, that is just for our friends. Our family of friends is all equally mashed up. They have been so supportive of us and have helped us get where we are at and been so far. It’s to them and how much we care about them.
For more information visit: http://fountainsquarebrewery.com/