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Sound Off! 2020: Mr. Dinkles

Sound Off! 2020: Mr. Dinkles

Mr. Dinkles, a power punk duo made up of Mac Rettig and Gretchen Elliot, met at School of Rock in Seattle. The two were always more interested in rocking out than high school drama, so they linked up and started writing songs about it. With influences like the Dead Kennedys, TacoCat, Bikini Kill, Rush, and SWMRS, the two pair classic punk with current pop melodies, loud crunchy guitars, and catchy lyrics you can scream all day long.

"It's kind of inspiring," Gretchen says of Mr. Dinkles' inclusion as one of 12 Sound Off! semifinalists selected from an initial slate of 120-plus 21-and-under Pacific Northwest bands. "I didn't really know there were this many bands in Seattle, at least around our age, which is neat. It's inspiring and kind of wack, but it's a good time."

Here's what Mr. Dinkles had to say heading into their Sound Off! 2020 performance, which is set for Saturday, February 22 at the Museum of Pop Culture.

What excites you most about Sound Off! 2020?

Gretchen: The lights on the stage.

Mac: Big stage.

Gretchen: Because we usually perform in front of like 10 people.

Mac: And at coffee shops.

Gretchen: Yeah. So it’s a cool experience. Just the semifinals, being in front of many, many, many, many people. It’s pretty neat.

Mac: Yeah, I think that’s probably the thing I most care about.

How would you describe your sound?

Gretchen: It’s like punk, but we refer to it as alternative jazz.

Mac: Yeah, because we’re alternative.

Gretchen: And I like jazz.

Mac: I wish I liked jazz.

Gretchen: I can name two jazz artists. Charles Mingus and Marcus Miller.

What artists have influenced your music?

Gretchen: I like the Dead Kennedys for punk, but recently I’ve been listening to not punk, so a lot of King Crimson for no reason. I just think they’re neat.

Mac: I listened to SWMRS nonstop for a few months. Nobody knows that band. It’s a pop punk band. And everybody I know doesn’t like pop punk, but it’s fine.

Gretchen: Aren’t we pop punk?

Mac: Shh, it’s fine.

Why do you make music?

Mac: Because it’s fun.

Gretchen: She slid in my Instagram DMs and I just knew; I’d play drums.

Mac: Say yes to the Gretchen. Instead of yes to the dress.

Gretchen: I don’t wear dresses.

Mac: It’s a reality show. Say Yes to the Dress.

What’s the inspiration behind your band name?

Gretchen: It’s my cat. He’s an orange munchkin. Randy Dinklage Dinkles, that’s his full name.

If you could describe your music or your sound as an animal, what would it be and why?

Gretchen: My cat.

Mac: Yeah, definitely your cat.

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About the author

Tony Drovetto is MoPOP's Content Marketing Manager.