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Sydney's Winter People are our Feature Artist this week. Check out their toe tapping folk on triple j Unearthed and Unearthed on Digital Radio.
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Interview: 9 April 2012
Tell us about your music. How did you develop your sound?
We are obsessional by nature and have gone through a great many musical infatuations in the course of our lives. From the lyric-as-centrepiece song's of Bob Dylan & Leonard Cohen, the carnival black-on-black of Tom Waits, the ringing close-harmonies of Appalachian mountain songs, the geometric / architectural forms of Beethoven & Mozart, the flighty romanticism in Schubert & Chopin, a touch of the fiery virtuosity in Paganini & Rachmaninov, the ethereal landscapes in Sigur Ros, the storm- fronts and thunder-rolls in The National, the iron-guts and foot-stomping in Lead Belly, the structural precision in Radiohead, the quizzical panoramic visions in Woody Guthrie, the long-form dynamics in Post-Rockers like Godspeed You Black Emperor and Mogwai --- like an adolescent ipod playlist, the list of our infatuation-phases goes on and on. But through the course of these many obsessions, like any traveller worth their walking boots, we picked up and retained a little bit of each one. Our songs tend to reflect this mish-mash eclecticism: a combination of traditional forms couched in a modern palette of subject, instrumentation, orchestration. We are beggars, borrowers and thieves.
What's a Winter People live show like?
Like a duel between a nightingale and an angle grinder. At time only voices and guitar, other times its saw and smash and bedlam, most often at turns in the same song.
Tell us about the music and people in the Sydney music community that inspire you?
We are inspired by anyone, in Sydney or elsewhere, who has the determination and where-with-all to expend all the energy, blood-sweat-bone-and-tears to craft something as close to perfection as it can be, something they can be proud of. Its inspiring to see people sticking to their craft, through the years of their music reaching no further than the well-meaning ears of friends and family. However, if we must single out a Sydney musical name it would probably be WIM - those guys are dedication personified and its paying rightful dividends for them.
What’s the best advice you’ve been given and who was it from?
We read a book of Tom Wait's interviews and his advice, in regard to the unpredictable nature of the creative process, was (paraphrasing here): "If it rains, better be sure you've got enough pots and pans to catch it all". We carry notebooks at all times, so as not to let things escape down the rabbit- hole and off into oblivion.
What’s coming up for you in 2012?
We are pretty chuffed to be touring the East Coast with Gossling later this month. We're also soon releasing a digital EP of our single "Gallons" along with a few other tracks, and later in the year, our debut album will be released (a.ka. - Winter People's collective creative spawn that has been gestating far too long now).
Australian music is…?
Australian music is well positioned, by nature of its geography, for the betterment of its artistry. We are an island nation of considerable expanse, a fair few hours flight from most anywhere. So while we have access to the musical-cultural cross-pollination that the internet has made possible, we're still strangely isolated and insulated down here in Van Dieman's Land. This is not a negative, on the contrary, it gives Australian musicians a competitive poetic edge. We think solitude, of a kind, is a prerequisite for creativity.
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