Entertainment

Flying by the seat of their pants

Practice makes perfect -- Wintersleep masters the art of writing on the road

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Touring is usually thought of as the most gruelling part of a musician's career, but for Wintersleep touring is an integral part of their livelihood. Mike Bigelow, Loel Campbell, Tim D'eon, Paul Murphy and Jon Samuel have all conditioned and trained for a marathon of touring that started in 2007. These Nova Scotia natives are some of the hardest working musicians in the business. From traveling all over the world to playing in a pool hall in Grand Prairie, for these professionals it all boils down to just another day of simply getting to do what they love.

"You definitely need to tour if you are going to play music," says frontman Paul Murphy. "The length of time you actually need to be touring is fairly taxing. It is one of those things that is not necessarily an evil, because it is pretty amazing to be doing what you want to be doing."

After their hit "Weighty Ghost" from the album Welcome to the Night Sky -- for which they won a New Group of the Year Juno award in 2008 -- they worked hard to not become a one-hit wonder. Their latest album, New Inheritors, is an evolution of their sound, not a replica of the blueprint that already worked.

"We just take it song-by-song. If something is interesting to us, we will pursue it. You probably wouldn't make something as good as the first single if you were thinking that hard about it," says Murphy. "We are more about writing a unified album than we are about writing a single."

Despite continuously touring, they're also writing new material during every spare moment. New Inheritors, was written while touring for Welcome to the Night Sky.

"You find the time where it is to write music. We don't have the luxury of taking a year off to make an album. Writing is really important to us, it is the reason we are playing music," he says.

Creating a new sound while playing their old stuff is a true testament to their talent, but Paul insists that it's fairly easy for them to be artists and produce even amongst the chaos of a tour. What one can expect from this is a more raw musical experience.

"This record has a more flushed-out instrumental sound. It's more true to what you would hear if you came to see us live," Murphy continues. "Every record is indicative of where you are at as a live band. With more touring experience behind us it brings a live energy to this record that was not the same as in previous records."

Although some shake at the thought of all the hard work this Canadian band has had to endure, there is no rest this season for Wintersleep.

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