Despite the dreary weather, Wintersleep has opted out of hibernation and has instead been hitting the road. The band has been touring relentlessly to promote the U.K. release of their third album Welcome to the Night Sky.
Though touring has helped the group gain more exposure and bond, vocalist/guitarist Paul Murphy still feels the pull of home.
"You kind of realize during the shows just how far away you are from home and that you are there with your friends who all grew up in small towns and dreamed all our lives about playing music in these types of situations," he says.
After their 2008 Juno Award for best new group, things have taken off for Wintersleep, both here in Canada and across the Atlantic and Pacific.
"The Juno is something that means something to a journalist in London or in Japan," says Murphy. "People in the music industry take Canadian music really seriously nowadays so a thing like the Junos, that celebrates Canadian music at a bigger industry level, along with some other things like Polaris, is taken more seriously than ever from the music industry in other countries."
Though the band is gaining notoriety, here and beyond, Wintersleep maintains their down-to-earth qualities.
"Every sign of appreciation matters to us, whether it is 12 people at a show in Dallas, or a packed club in Stockholm or London (and hopefully Calgary) or an award on national television," Murphy says. "We have a lot of people to thank."
Despite their success in Canada, the U.K. and Japan, making a name for themselves in the United States is proving to be much trickier.
"We haven't really connected with a label that we want to be on in the U.S.," Murphy says. "I guess we've been lucky to sign with Labwork in Canada and 147 in the U.K., and in Japan. Luck plays a big part in the initial stages. We have met a few really great U.S. people, but yeah, it takes time and you can put as much heart and soul and hard work into it as you want but luck and timing also plays a role."
While Wintersleep has been enjoying various intimate European venues, they are excited to make it back to Canada where they will be going on tour with An Horse. Wintersleep appears to be a bit wary of the Canadian wildlife though. Murphy gave some cautionary words of wisdom on bears.
"[Bears are] cuddly in pictures and might scratch your eyes out if you go near its cubs," he warns. "Don't leave your food in the tent you're sleeping in."