Wintersleep touring non-stop

Quite a lot has happened in the world of Montreal-via-Halifax band Wintersleep since the release of their 2007 record Welcome To The Night Sky. In addition to having released a brand new album, New Inheritors, they found themselves performing their own sold-out shows across Canada, scoring slots opening for the likes of Paul McCartney and indie-rock heroes The Hold Steady. Yes, the guys in Wintersleep have certainly come a long way from the Wednesday night shows they used to play here in Moncton at the Paramount Lounge in the early days of their career.

Checking in with The Times & Transcript on their way to a show in Ottawa from Northhampton, Massachusetts, Wintersleep vocalist-guitarist Paul Murphy says the band’s upcoming Canadian tour will be the most extensive they have undertaken in support of New Inheritors. The group is returning to Canada after a series of shows in Europe and the United States, both territories where the band has invested quite a lot of time and energy over the past few years.

“It definitely feels like we are moving forward bit by bit,” Murphy says, referring to his group’s career progression in those territories. “It is not like we have had any kind of crazy huge smash hit success though, we are merely taking it as it comes.

“We have been very lucky to get the opportunities that we have scored so far but we have found that it is even more important to go back and play those same places to help build our audience.”

The songs on Wintersleep’s newest record are certainly darker in comparison to the material on Welcome To The Night Sky. One potential reason for this could be the endless world of touring the band has become so well acquainted with over the past few years. Regardless, spirits between Murphy and his band mates Tim D’eon, Loel Campbell, Mike Bigelow and Jon Samuel are as positive as can be, even as Murphy rattles off the group’s future schedule.

Once their Canadian tour wraps up at the end of November, the group has a little time off for the holidays before they gear up to return to Europe in support of The Hold Steady in the New Year.

But rather than seem exasperated at the lack of being in one place for more than a month at a time, Murphy seems optimistically resigned to the fact that being on the road is a necessary “evil” in today’s world. But it doesn’t mean that he isn’t looking forward to some time off.

“I think once January rolls around and before we head back to Europe, we will get to getting some song ideas put to tape,” he confesses. “After the tour with The Hold Steady wraps up, we don’t have anything on schedule and I am looking forward to that time, even just for a bit.”

Article published in November 5, 2010 edition of the Times & Transcript