Tuesday, May 25, 2010

INTERVIEW : Paul Murphy of Wintersleep talks New Inheritors and relentless touring

Having won a Juno for New Group of the Year and being hand picked by Paul McCartney as an opening act are just a few of the distinctions that Halifax, Nova Scotia's hottest exports Wintersleep have under their belt. Although they may be best known for that dang catchy song "Weighty Ghost," Wintersleep has churned out three previous albums' worth of their eerie and unsettling brand of indie rock. Their fourth album New Inheritors is now available every way you like your music in Canada, the U.S. and Europe.

Similarly, you can follow them in every way you like your online music stalking. Here they are on Facebook, TwitterLast.FM and Myspace. Loel Campbell, the drummer, also maintains a relatively prolific blog on the site.

I caught lead singer and guitarist Paul Murphy (also of Postdata) in the middle of their European tour where he answered some questions regarding touring and the newly released album New Inheritors.

Brenda: The new album is named “New Inheritors.” What’s the significance of the idea of inheritance to the album?
Paul: The title quotes Nathanial Hawthorne's "The New Adam & Eve," the full quote that was used in the song being 'new inheritors of earth." I initially just liked the juxtaposition of a word like new and the idea of inheritance, and the formal tag of a word like inheritance applied to something natural, the earth. We inherit things in whatever condition they come in and have a job to preserve these things, to live with them or despite them, and also have the power to fuck up.. The idea that there are things that exist before us and will outlive us and have a pretty immense impact.. The idea of inheritance and entitlement, property and ownership, but also the responsibility that these things come with or should come with but sometimes don't. To be clear, it isn't a concept record on the idea of inheritance, there are other ideas floating around there too!

B: There are a couple of songs on the upcoming album that evoke the imagery of death (black, mausoleum, blood, decay, etc). Was it a conscious decision to make a dark album thematically?
P: I don't think I've ever really consciously set out to make the lyrics dark or light.. There is a space that you pull the melody from, that you hear and that you work with. It is something that just hits you or occurs... Definitely don't sit in my room trying to think of the darkest possible thing I can say before writing a song!

B: How do you think the band and your sound have evolved since Welcome to the Night Sky [the previous album]?
P: Well, we have a new bass player in the lovely and talented Michael Bigelow and Mr. Jon Samuel on the keys; both played a big role on this record. That coupled with the immense amount of touring we've been up to since the WTTNS release, playing in different countries, writing during sound checks, having to really block off time and get shit done when we could certainly contributed... [It's] something we've never really had to do before and which was really difficult but somehow liberating, and in the end, seemed to be really crucial to the feel of this record.

B: Describe briefly the experience of crossing into another artistic realm in collaborating with Graeme Patterson to create the album artwork.
P: We have always been really adamant about the artwork for our records being unique and created by artists that we love and are friends with. We also like the idea of art work being inspired as directly by the music and lyrics as possible-- we send around lyrics and loose themes and early cuts from the record, that sort of stuff, hoping that something unique and special comes out. Graeme has been someone we've admired for such a long time, just someone with such a unique, great style. He seemed to have a good sense of what we wanted but also completely surprised us and amazed us in the end too, if that makes any sense at all.

B: Wintersleep has recently passed through Vancouver and played several shows at the Olympics. What was that experience like? Did you guys get a chance to enjoy the sights and sounds?
P: It was pretty great. Real nice energy in the city... and free shows, can't beat it..! I really like the feel of those sorts of shows. We were so busy every day just setting up and playing that we did not get a chance to see anything. Actually, we were 30,000 feet in the air when Crosby got the game winning goal for the men's hockey portion. That was a nice moment actually; on the plane, the captain announced it over the speakers as soon as he got word.

B: Wintersleep has garnered a reputation for being a really hard working band. Have you had a chance to rest in between promoting the last album and this one?
P: No.

B: Looking at your tour dates, the band is touring quite extensively through Europe and the US. When can we expect a Canadian tour for New Inheritors?
P: In the Fall... Gonna be pretty extensive! :)

They're going on a thorough U.S. tour but sprinkled in between are some Canadian festival dates. Here they are below:

26 May 2010 21:00
Mod Club Toronto, Ontario, CA
4 Jun 2010 20:00
First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia Philadelphia, Pennsylvan, US
5 Jun 2010 20:00
Great Scott Allston, Massachuse, US
6 Jun 2010 20:30
Iron Horse Music Hall Northampton, Massachuse, US
8 Jun 2010 20:00
Lincoln Hall Chicago, Illinois, US
9 Jun 2010 20:00
7th Street Entry Minneapolis, Minnesota, US
12 Jun 2010 21:00
High Dive Seattle Seattle, Washington, US
13 Jun 2010 21:00
Doug Fir Lounge Portland, Oregon, US
15 Jun 2010 20:00
The Independent San Francisco, California, US
16 Jun 2010 21:00
Detroit Bar Costa Mesa, California, US
17 Jun 2010 20:00
Troubadour Los Angeles, California, US
18 Jun 2010 20:00
Sail Inn Tempe, Arizona , US
19 Jun 2010 20:00
Corazon Santa Fe, New Mexico, US
21 Jun 2010 20:00
Mohawk Austin, Texas , US
23 Jun 2010 20:00
Bottle Tree Birmingham, Alabama , US
24 Jun 2010 20:30
Earl East Atlanta, Georgia , US
27 Jun 2010 20:30
Bowery Ballroom New York, New York, US
28 Aug 2010 18:30
Molson Canadian Amphitheatre Toronto, Ontario , CA
4 Sep 2010 16:00
Northlands Grounds - SONiC BOOM Festival Edmonton, Alberta , CA