Skappleton is the Midwest’s annual ska festival; the largest and longest running show of its kind. Held late every Spring near Appleton, Wisconsin, the festival has drawn such national and world famous names like The Skatalites, The Toasters, Bomb The Music Industry, Deal’s Gone Bad, and Mustard Plug, the latter of who will be headlining this year’s show. In addition, the event has recruited dozens of local acts to play; from the longtime-running acts like Something To Do (Milwaukee) to the newer bands in the scene such as Crazy 88.
Dying Scene really spoke with Kenny Dinkis, who has helped run the event for some years and sings and plays guitar in the band Something To Do.
DS: What are, in your opinion, the best bands ever to come through Skappleton?
DS: How long have you been working for Skappleton? What inspired you to start working for the event?
KD: I started working with Skappleton in 2002. I actually just offered to help out with the festival. I was in a band and hoped I could get my band a chance to play in
future years. Since I had previous experience with booking bands, and knew the Wisconsin ska scene, I worked as a booking consultant for the Lawrence University committee that booked Skappleton for the next several years. I took a year off of helping with Skappleton in 2007. They ended up having some problems that year that cost the University a lot of money. The next year, Lawrence decided not to host Skappleton two weeks before the 2008 show in light of the expenses the year before. I worked with the guys from Car Full of Midgets (CFOM) to move Skappleton to Tanners in Kimberly, WI and the show went on that year. I’ve been running Skappleton with the the help of the CFOM guys ever since.
To read the rest of the interview, click here.
DS: Is ska really dead? If so, who killed it?
KD: Ska is not dead. Ska happens all the time. Dave from Mustard Plug books the Ska is Dead Tour and hundreds of people show up to every date across the country. Hundreds of people come out to Skappleton every year. Just this past weekend I played to a packed house at the Triple Rock in Minneapolis with Deals Gone Bad, the Prizefighters and (my band) Something To Do. Ska has been around since the 1950’s, it’s still here today, it is cyclical and goes through degrees of popularity, but it is not dead.
DS: Are we headed for a ska revival? A fourth wave, if you will?
KD: I expect that a ska revival to the degree of the mid-1990’s will happen again but I don’t know when or where. I don’t think there will be waves in the future since the other waves seem to be geographically centered and we’re a global society now thanks to “the internet”. I guess the influences of modern ska are very diverse so I’m not sure if another wave would happen in terms of style, but I’m sure anything is possible. Maybe polka ska will be the next wave…bring both styles back to the height of popularity.
DS: Any closing comments?
KD: For any ska fan that hasn’t been to Skappleton…come out and skank at the longest-running annual ska music festival in the country (since 1993).
Skappleton 2011 is taking place on June 5th. For more info and a full-lineup, click here.