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March 5th, 2016

SXSW Q&A With Wintersleep

A pre-SXSW sit down sesh with indie rock band Wintersleep.

Ryan Gosling. Lululemon. Herschel backpacks. Did we say Ryan Gosling? We love a lot of things about our neighbors to the North, but right now our favorite Canadian concept is indie rock band, Wintersleep. The band, who just released their new album YESTERDAY, will be coming to Austin for a few SXSW sets - one on Rainey and another at Whole Foods. Before they pack up to head our way, we caught up with vocalisit/guitarist Paul Murphy to talk about their new tunes, must-stops for local grub and which boozy sip is known to warm him up before a show...

Your new album - The Great Detachment - just dropped - congrats! Can fans expect a departure from previous discs or a similar vibe?
We learned a lot from working with Dave Fridmann on Hello Hum which I think we took into “The Great Detachment”, but we wanted to incorporate our live aesthetic as much as possible into the recording process and the mixing process, so it has maybe a bit of a warmer energy and perhaps bit more urgent feeling in some ways as a result. Still the same songwriters and a similar enough vibe to our previous work in terms of a general “vibe”. We recorded live to tape for the first time. 

Is there any one lyric or line from the new album that speaks to the theme as a whole? 
“If you could choose the role you would play, it’d be something brave, it’d be something hollered out, echoing for centuries, but life is not imaginary, can you be what you crave, can you be what you hollered out? Can you be somebody?” 

That’s a line from the song Lifting Cure. I think it connects with the theme of detachment throughout the record, trying to overcome your surroundings, habits, illusions and be a part of the world, which is a bit of a thread in the lyrics.   

You've been to Austin before, so please finish this sentence: Austin's music scene is...
Wicked, weird, wild, amphibious. That’s partially a quote from a Buck 65 song but I think it applies.

What's the #1 thing you love about SXSW?
The people of Austin are amazing. There’s a great community needed for something like that to be such a success. I love just walking around and taking it in. Some of the barbecue spots are unreal, and TACO trucks!!

Any David Letterman souvenirs saved from your appearance?
Just the memory of playing and him holding one of our vinyls.

Do you have any specific pre-show superstitions or requirements? 
I don’t. A glass of bourbon is nice every once in a while.

Specifically, what are some of the band's favorite and most quirky "comfort on the road" requirements?
Our bassist Mike Bigelow once ordered a candied ham at Cracker Barrel. We have aptly named him Candy Ham for eternity.

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