By Kris Ketonen
Fifteen years, six albums, and several very popular singles in, the members of Wintersleep are finding themselves facing a unique—though not entirely unwelcome—challenge. “It’s really hard to pick a setlist now,” says guitarist/keyboardist Tim D’eon. “We try to play something from each album. There’s definitely certain songs that haven’t left our setlist since we first started playing them, like say ‘Weighty Ghost’ or ‘Archaeologists’—I mean, those two always seem to be in the set. But there are definitely a couple other ones that have stuck around over the years.”
And, of course, there’s a need to balance some of those familiar, popular back-catalogue tracks with some tunes from the band’s latest release, The Great Detachment. “We’ve been playing quite a few new tunes at each of the shows,” D’eon says. “People seem to be really into the new stuff live.”
The four years between the March release of The Great Detachment and Hello Hum— Wintersleep’s previous album, which came out in 2012—marked the longest break between albums the band has yet taken. There were a couple of reasons for that, D’eon says, the first being that while their latest album was coming together, Wintersleep, which also includes members Paul Murphy, Loel Campbell, Scott Remila, and Jon Samuel, was between record labels (they’ve since joined Dine Alone Records). The second, D’eon says, was much simpler.
“We kinda wanted to spend some extra time on it. The writing process was pretty cool, because we had probably […] over 25 songs, and that’s a lot for us going into a record,” D’eon says. “When we went into the studio, we were doing a lot of live takes… We’d try a couple of different tunes, and whichever ones seemed to be gelling the best, that’s how we sorted out which ones were were going to do.”
Wintersleep recently wrapped up a wide-ranging European tour, and the band will be embarking on a Canadian tour later this month, with a stop at Crocks in Thunder Bay on November 27. For more information, visit wintersleep.com.