Edinburgh based alternative indie rock band The Winter Tradition come with a truly engaging atmospheric rock filled with grand melodies and outstanding vocals. They received a great amount of praise after the release of their debut album Gradients (July 2012) and since then they toured around the whole UK and opened for bands like Hundred Reasons or Enter Shikari. With a sound that naturally fits big arenas and stadiums, The Winter Tradition are clearly heading in the right direction.
In the following interview with Mark (guitar, vocals, programming), find out what’s it been like for the band since the release of Gradients an what they’re up to at the moment.
It’s been nearly a year since your debut album ‘Gradients’ came out. How would you sum up the past 11 months?
It’s been fantastic! Since releasing ‘Gradients’ we have had a lot more radio play, press and bigger show offers. We have been touring lots around the whole of the UK and things don’t seem to be settling down yet!
What has been the most fulfilling experience for you since the release of the album?
That’s a hard one – there have been lots of great moments. I guess one of the highlights was when Kasabian came down to our show in Leicester a couple of weeks ago. They had heard our band online and decided to check us out! I still find it mind blowing to think that people (and sometimes quite famous people) listen and enjoy our music. It’s a great feeling.
You have gained a lot of praise from different radio stations as well as the press. What’s your favourite quote that someone said or wrote about your music?
Yeah – we have had a lot of positive press from huge radio names like Radio 1, BBC Scotland, BBC6 Music and lots more! Haha, well do you remember Eiffel 65? That euro band that sung ‘Blue’ etc? We once woke up to a message on MySpace a couple of years back from them. I think they said we had nice harmonies or something!
How do you work as a band? Can you tell us about your typical music making process?
We are pretty self contained really – we do all the recording back at my studio in Edinburgh. One of us will come up with an initial idea and pitch it to the rest of the band. We’ll then go in to the studio and start recording some demos and work on writing the song in there. We very much record as we write (it won’t be the final version you hear, but gives us a good indication as to how the song sounds and fits together!)
Are there any bands/artists that influenced the music you’re making or inspired you to become a musician in the first place?
We started the band when we were very young – I was only around 13/14. A lot of our inspiration back then came from pop punk bands like Blink 182, Sum 41 etc. Obviously that has changed now, but the band that has stuck with us through the whole way would be Jimmy Eat World. They hold a soft spot in all our hearts!
In the past, you opened for bands such as Hundred Reasons, Enter Shikari and Nine Black Alps. How did it feel to share the same stage with these bands? Did you pick up any music tips or ideas from them?
We’ve played with some great bands in some great venues over the past years. I’m a real technology and gear nerd so I’m always looking at how different bands do this and how they get this sound live etc.
There’s obviously a difference between supporting and headlining slots. What do you think are the pros and cons of both?
Well, headline slots are always amazing fun. It’s a great feeling to know that all the people there are there to see you. We usually try and make our headline shows special and add in some new features to the set. Support slots are very different but equally as good! It gives you a superb opportunity to play to a new (and most of the time bigger) audience!
What’s your favourite part of being on tour and what do you miss the most while being on the road?
We tour quite a lot so we’ve got into the swing of it when we’re away. We’ve just started touring with a new tech and sound team who are the best. Obviously leaving girl friends / family / your own bed behind can become tiring when away for long periods of time!
What’s next for Winter Tradition in terms of touring, recording, etc.?
We are fresh back from a UK tour with a couple of weeks down time. We are currently writing a bunch of new songs, trying them out live and will probably head back into the studio to record them towards the end of the year! We are playing our biggest headline show to date on the 23 Aug at The Liquid Room, Edinburgh as part of the Edinburgh Festival – we can’t wait!