Wintersleep to give Metro a sneak peek at new material

No one can ever accuse indie rockers Wintersleep of not having paid their dues. Not long after forming in 2001, some may recall the band holding down what seemed like a regular Wednesday night slot at former Moncton club The Paramount Lounge. Building their audience one fan at a time, word about the group’s amazing live show spread and before long they were regularly playing to packed houses and not long after that, they found themselves opening for the likes of Paul McCartney, Wolf Parade and The Tragically Hip.

The band, formed in Halifax, now calls Montreal home and it is returning to the Maritimes for a series of shows aimed to introduce audiences to some of its new material, which will be featured on the band’s next record, slated for release later this year.

Wintersleep will be performing at Moncton’s Tide & Boar Gastropub Friday and Saturday nights.

It would be customary for Wintersleep to play a larger venue when they perform in Moncton however Wintersleep vocalist-guitarist Paul Murphy says the decision to play a pair of shows in a smaller setting versus playing one large show was a deliberate decision.

“We haven’t played in a little while and we are scared quite frankly,” Murphy jokes. “We have some new songs that we want to showcase and playing a venue that is a little bit smaller and more intimate lends itself to doing something like that.

“When we play smaller venues, we can interact with the audience better and that way it ends up being easier to know if the audience is clapping because they want to be polite or if they have a real connection to the music.”

With four full-length records to their credit, Wintersleep’s newest release is 2010’s New Inheritors. The group did rather extensive touring behind the record, playing shows throughout Canada, the United States, Europe and the United Kingdom. While Murphy admits that the group was a well-oiled machine by the time they had wrapped up touring behind New Inheritors, he admits that it came at the cost of virtual utter exhaustion.

“I think we have all gotten a little better at knowing limits to impose when it comes to touring,” Murphy says. “We have become well acquainted with the amount of touring we can do and still stay sane. Everyone in the band is a bit more vocal now when it comes to speaking up about things they want to do or don’t want to do.”

Indeed, Wintersleep has come a long way since their Wednesday night slots at the Paramount Lounge. Murphy recalls those shows fondly and goes on to say that the Hub City has always been kind to Wintersleep.

“We have a really great group of fans in Moncton. It is one of the cities where we really felt embraced so playing two nights in Moncton makes sense; it is nice to enjoy the cities we like.”

Article published in January 20, 2012 edition of the Times & Transcript