Entertainment
courtesy Sonic Entertainment

Wintersleep soars across the night sky

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Sometimes you just want to stop and smell the roses, despite the cold weather. Wintersleep--Halifax, Nova Scotia's hardest-working band--haven't even had a chance at a moment's reprieve, despite their breaks from touring in 2006. The band is famous for their work ethic, touring for nearly nine months straight in 2005 to support their untitled LP, then having two of the six members play in the ridiculously named Holy Fuck, all the while working with their music label-cum-collective Dependent Music. In short, the boys work their asses off in an attempt to ensure their music is heard. But with the release of their newest LP, Welcome to the Night Sky, the band has attempted to ratchet down their excessive touring--for now.

"In the past year we haven't been as full-on with touring with Wintersleep, but we have side projects that keep us busy too, like Holy Fuck and Contrived," explains drummer Loel Campbell. "This tour is just over a month and a half and then we'll take a break for the holidays. We have this new record out, so we want to get it to as many people as possible and it's only achieved by touring, so we are prepared for another long haul."

Despite the constraints that touring has on their ability to go into the studio and record, Wintersleep are always in the process of making music.

"We are working on new things all the time, but leading up to the recording of the new record we were on tour a lot of the time," says Campbell. "We had a lot of new ideas kicking around. We would just play the new stuff we were working on live and break them in that way. That way, some made the record and some didn't."

Despite taking less time with Wintersleep proper in the past two years to work on recording the album than playing with their side projects, the members of the band don't downplay the joy that playing as Wintersleep brings.

"Myself and Mike [Bigelow, bass guitarist in Wintersleep] play with Holy Fuck," says Campbell. "We just find it more rewarding, though, when we're playing with Wintersleep. It has a bigger scope and a lot more time is invested in writing the songs. Holy Fuck is great and special, but it's a bit limited."

The bands couldn't sound any more different. Holy Fuck is known for their improvisational sets and pounding beats with wild jungle rhythms--a stark contrast to Wintersleep's moody, deliriously dark and morose pop. Each band has their strengths and weaknesses according to Campbell.

"Holy Fuck doesn't rehearse and it's basically improvised," says Campbell. "With Wintersleep, we write together in a room. The music and ideas shape each other, and we keep working and revising. We put a lot more thought into Wintersleep. Holy Fuck is based on a moment, which is special, whereas Wintersleep is more crafted."

Wintersleep are now on the road, attempting to play their way to the young hearts and minds of audiences everywhere. It's fitting that their new tour takes place in the beginning months of winter: nothing warms up the soul than beautiful pop music and Wintersleep always provides plenty of fuel.

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