Emerging band Winona Avenue is made up of brothers Daniel Deputy and David Deputy and is an Artist of the Month. They hail from Indianapolis, Indiana, and describe their music as a mix of synth-pop and alternative rock. They have been producing music since 2019, but just celebrated the release of their first full-length album this month.
Self-titled as Winona Avenue, the album has a message of their Christian faith. It also incorporates other powerful themes representative of their lives. According to Daniel, these ideas include “inspiration, optimism, life, and hope.”
We got a chance to talk to these two musicians and learn more about their musical influences. They also shared the story behind their song “Masterpiece” and what they see on the horizon for the band.
Congrats on your debut full-length album. This has been completed for a while now but is finally available digitally. That must be exciting to get it out there for everyone.
Daniel: Thank you. It’s been very exciting for us. We’ve been releasing songs from the album since we started Winona Avenue in 2019. We put a lot of thought and time into writing and recording these songs, so to finally have the full album available online is a big accomplishment for us. The album includes all our previous singles, as well as four new songs. So far, the feedback has been very positive. We’re looking forward to having the opportunity to perform these songs at our upcoming events.
Listening to your music takes me back to the best days of popular bands Hawk Nelson and Relient K. What are some of your musical influences that speak into your music?
Daniel: You are spot on with our musical influences. Growing up, I didn’t listen to a lot of music until around the sixth grade, when David showed me a band called MxPx. Then I began listening to a lot of punk music.
I remember our dad would research bands for us online and borrow CDs from the library (before Spotify was a thing). I had a friend that sat next to me on the school bus that listened to the same type of music, so we would trade CDs and introduce each other to new bands. This is how I discovered some of my favorite bands like Relient K, Hawk Nelson, Skillet, and Stellar Kart. This type of music is what I grew up on and is still an influence on the music I write today.
David: I agree with Daniel. Pop-punk was the first genre of music that I fell in love with, and it’s been a go-to for me ever since. I listen to a lot of different genres like pop, country, hip-hop, and rock but our pop-punk influence can be heard on this album.
Your band name came from the street you grew up on. It’s a bit cooler than my personal radio dream name, which was Kevin Allamar, named after the street, I grew up on. I think you might inspire a name change for me.
David: Yeah, for those who don’t already know, we are brothers, and we grew up on a street called Winona Drive. Another music production studio was already using the name Winona Drive at the time, so we decided on the band name of Winona Avenue instead. Looking back, I think we prefer Winona Avenue, so it all worked out.
Daniel: We wanted a band name that was original and unique to us as individuals, but that could also offer a deeper meaning. People go down different paths in their lives, and it’s the decisions you make and who you follow that determines where you go.
We believe in following Christ and trusting His guidance in all that we do. If it ever seems like the end of the road or that there’s nowhere left to turn, there’s always an opportunity to begin again.
David and Daniel: The meaning behind the name also aligns with the album artwork. The booklet consists of different roads and paths. We thought this fit well since the album is self-titled, and it goes along with our band being named after a road.
The images in the booklet begin during the nighttime and slowly change to daytime as you flip through the pages. The last page is a sunny day on a beach with a Ferris wheel, to signify that there is light at the end of the road.
What themes are you exploring on the album?
Daniel: Lyrically, the album is uplifting and motivational. We wanted to write an album that would inspire others to make a difference in this world.
The album starts off with “Move This Town,” which is about making an impact on the communities we live in. “Day of Our Lives” has to do with reaching for goals and reflects the belief that nothing is impossible. “Great Escape” encourages the listener to escape his or her comfort zone to positively affect someone else’s life.
Another common theme within the album is hope. “Beautiful Beginning” describes how sudden endings can be looked at as new beginnings, while “Future Me” is about trusting God with what lies ahead. One thing that I love about music is that it can be used to communicate a message, and we wanted the words on our album to be positive, helpful, and relatable.
Talk about the story behind one of the breakout singles, “Masterpiece.”
Daniel: “Masterpiece” was written as a reminder and with the belief that God created all people beautifully and in His image. We’ve been through times in our lives where we didn’t feel good enough, and we know many other people that have felt the same. We think it’s important to remember how much God values every single one of us.
We had a lot of fun incorporating this message into the music video. The video is about a girl who goes through times in her life where she doesn’t feel like she’s enough. When she looks into the mirror at her reflection, she does not see herself clearly. But there is a point in the video when she realizes her worth. She begins seeing an accurate reflection of herself and ends the video showing positivity and confidence.
COVID-19 continues to kick our collective butts, but it’s great to see music making a comeback in safe and secure ways. What lessons from the past year and a half are you taking with you into the future?
David: Yeah, we’re excited about live music returning. I’d say the main thing that I’ve learned over the past year and a half is to stay positive and to make the best of every situation.
One of our favorite things about being in a band is performing live, so it’s been tough not being able to do that lately. But it’s given us an opportunity to learn, grow, and focus on other band-related tasks.
More importantly, it’s provided us with some extra time to spend with friends and family. In fact, I even got married during the pandemic. So, while the last year and a half wasn’t necessarily what we expected or what we were hoping for, I feel like we’ve done everything we can to make the most of it.
What’s next for Winona Avenue?
Daniel: We plan on hitting the road and touring as much as possible. Like David mentioned, we haven’t had much of an opportunity to tour since starting Winona Avenue in 2019. We have a few shows planned for the remainder of 2021 and are hoping to have a very busy schedule for 2022. We also plan to start writing new music, which we haven’t done for a while now. So, we’re really excited about beginning that creative process again.
How can we be praying for you?
David: Winona Avenue is an important part of who we are, and we really enjoy everything about it. But it’s all ultimately meaningless if we aren’t putting God first in everything we do.
Our goal is to share love and hope in the lyrics that we write and with everyone we encounter—both on and off the stage. We would love it if you would pray that God would use us to make a positive impact on people’s lives and to point them to Jesus. That’s what is most important to us and that’s the reason we’re a band.
Kevin McNeese started NRT in 2002 and has worked in the industry since 1999 in one form or another. He has been a fan of Christian music since 1991.
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