Over the course of five studio records, Nova Scotian natives Wintersleep has quietly become one of Canada’s acclaimed indie rock bands. Since forming in 2002, the group has travelled the world, performing with top-tier acts including Paul McCartney and Pearl Jam, while also netting themselves a Juno Award for New Group of the Year.
The band makes their long-awaited return to Metro Moncton this Saturday night, performing at the Tide & Boar Ballroom in Downtown Moncton.
With a sixth studio record complete, but a release date for the album still pending, Wintersleep guitarist Tim D’eon says the Montreal-based group is looking forward to their imminent return to both the Maritimes as well as to the live stage.
“The upcoming run of shows through the Maritimes will be our first live performances in probably a year,” D’eon says. “It’s been nice to enjoy some time off over the last little while; I think this has been the longest span of time that we’ve off had since 2005. I think it’s also safe to say that we are itching to get back to playing live.”
Given their well-documented history of being road warriors, “time off” and Wintersleep aren’t words normally found within the same paragraph. By their own account, the group had been happily ensconced in a recording and touring cycle for their last few efforts. It was only after the promotional cycle for their 2012 album Hello Hum had wrapped up that the band stopped to catch their breath.
With the arrival of a baby born to Wintersleep vocalist-guitarist Paul Murphy, life priorities for the band shifted somewhat over the course of the last two years. It gave the band pause for thought that taking their time to make their upcoming record might prove to be the best option for all concerned.
“We realized pretty early on that we just wanted to take our time with the making of this new record. Once we finished promoting Hello Hum, we paused to catch our breath, as we began making that record almost as soon as we had wrapped up touring [2010’s] New Inheritors.”
Wintersleep’s upcoming record saw the band reunite with longtime producer Tony Doogan (Mogwai, Belle & Sebastian) who has had a hand in the band’s last few studio efforts.
Asked if the group had been eyeballing any other producers in effort to shake things up, D’eon says the group had considered bringing in someone new to help craft their sixth album, but ultimately decided that Doogan was the best choice.
“Aside from the fact we have become really good friends with Tony, we honestly feel as though he knows how to get the best out of us when it comes to recording. He can coax performances out of the band that always manage to surprise us. There is a comfort in returning to work with him, but it isn’t something that is making us complacent by any means either.”
Among the other reasons cited for the three-year span between album releases, D’eon shares that the group is currently seeking a label or company with whom they can work to release their upcoming album.
He says that the group entertained releasing the album independently, but given their typically hectic schedule of shows and promotional appearances, they also realized the value and importance of having the right label, publicity and management team working in tandem with them.
“We could release the record independently, but decided that trying to align ourselves with a company with international reach is important to us as well. We want to get our music into as many people’s hands as possible,” D’eon says.
When: Saturday Sept. 12, 8 p.m.
Where: Tide & Boar Ballroom, 700 Main St., Moncton
Tickets are $25.60 plus service charge. Advance tickets are available online at tideandboar.com/music