WintergreenView in iTunes
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While it's true that in its first year, when it was in hardly any homes, MTV would occasionally give late-night airplay to an unsigned band's cheesy homemade video (comic rockers Blotto were the only band to gain a deal as a result), music video has traditionally been very resistant to bands coming from outside the established channels. Even OK Go, who finally broke through with their brilliant D.I.Y. clips for their singles "A Million Ways" and "Here It Goes Again," were signed to EMI at the time. However, with the democratization of video made possible by YouTube, home computers with decent video-editing software suites and the continuing drop in the price of digital video cameras, it's no longer impossible for an unsigned band to make a big splash with a clever video. Witness Wintergreen. An unsigned power pop band from Los Angeles comprised of lead singer and rhythm guitarist Drew Mottinger, lead guitarist Trevor Sherwood, bassist Jared Anderson, and drummer Todd Ramsey, Wintergreen released their five-song debut, Extended Play, on the tiny indie Mt. Fuji Records to little notice in late 2005. However, several months later, an extremely clever video for the song "When I Wake Up" -- based on the semi-true urban legend that thousands of unsold copies of Atari's flop ET game cartridge were buried in a landfill outside Alamagordo, NM -- appeared on Wintergreen's MySpace page and YouTube. Several hundred thousand viewings later, Wintergreen was a bona fide buzz band, completing their debut full-length with producer Niko Bolas. ~ Stewart Mason