Preston Pisellini (guitars/vocals) and Mark Winkler (keyboards/vocals) began their collaboration as childhood friends in the Chicago, Illinois suburb of Elmhurst penning 'Leroy', a semi-autobiographical musical about a stowaway rat that becomes the Emperor of Rome. The collaboration continued in the formation of several bands at the Univeristy of Illinois where the two attended and eventually led to the creation of The Webstirs with the release of their first album, Smirk (1996), a nod to the then unreleased Beach Boys legendary album Smile. Smirk was followed by two full lengths, Rocket to the Moon (1996) and Radio Racket (2000) And the 7" Gallaudet/Liberty Camp on Chicago's Ginger Records.
After the release of Radio Racket, The Webstirs, then featuring Ed Schaller (Twiggy) and Russ Horvath (Sarge) went on to pursue other projects. But Pisellini and Winkler continued their collaboration and began creating demos for songs that would eventually lead to the creation of their fourth album, So Long.
So Long (2009), featured songs crafted over several years by two long-time collaborating songwriters and energized by a new rhythm section. Imbued with the rich harmonies and pop sensibilities of Rocket to the Moon and Radio Racket it was at once a continuation of their previous work and the embarkation on a new direction.
Now You've Really Done It (2015) is the band's fifth album and is again recorded and produced by longtime collaborator Matt Allison (Lawrence Arms, Split Single, Alkaline Trio). The new album reflects a maturing of the band’s quirky pop style.
Still catchy and upbeat, the songs explore some darker territory than previous albums. Chasing the Sound, the album closer, is a tribute to Chicago music scene fixture—and the band’s longtime soundman—Gary Rogers, who passed away in 2009.Chasing the Sound