After writing music together for the last three years, The Winter Passing has great reason to celebrate. The Irish five-piece released their debut LP, A Different Space of Mind, just last week via 6131 Records and FITA Records.
The band includes siblings Rob and Kate Flynn, who trade vocals over melodic punk and emo guitar riffs. While Rob employs his deep, ragged voice, Kate calls on her higher register, making for a stunning sonic contrast. Their vocal disparity seems reminiscent of coed bands like Lemuria and Tigers Jaw, who play music in a similar scene to The Winter Passing.
Behind the brother-sister duo, guitarist Jamie Collison, bassist Neil Kirwan, and drummer John MacMahon bring the band’s sound together in an articulate and cohesive way.
BTR checked in with The Winter Passing to chat about Ireland’s music hub and the band’s plan to tour in support of their latest release. Their first-ever US shows will take place this Halloween when the group will travel to Gainesville, FL to play a slew of shows at The Fest, a multi-day and multi-venue punk festival.
BreakThru Radio (BTR): How did The Winter Passing form?
Rob Flynn (RF): It was around the time of winter 2011. Jamie and I had spoke about doing a band together again so we met up one day to jam some songs in the vein of Weezer. We worked on it for a month or so before recruiting the rest of the guys to form the band. Kate was the last to [join] the band. It was an idea I had kept quiet for some time, and when I pitched the idea to her, she was keen on it. Kate and I worked on music before integrating her into the full band experience.
Everyone was on the same wavelength [when] forming this band. We had all grown up together in the same town playing in bands [and] putting on shows together, so it was a natural thing for us.
BTR: How do you enjoy being in a band with your sister?
RF: I really enjoy it. Kate and I have always been close siblings. Because we live in different Irish cities now, the band is really important for keeping us connected. It’s good because we see each other every week, basically, when we’re busy with The Winter Passing. We’re always doing something band related, so that means [we can] hang out! Sometimes we need to avoid each other, though. Sometimes when we’re on tour, the guys will just know that Kate and I don’t want to talk to each other. [Laughs]
BTR: You just released your debut LP A Different Space of Mind via 6131 Records and FITA Records. Would you mind talking a bit about the writing and recording process for the album?
RF: Yeah! Basically, we had been touring a lot when we started putting these songs for the album together. There was no time frame for the record, which made it easier in the beginning. We had all the music together pretty fast and spent a longer time putting the lyrical content over it.
We tracked it between two studios, one in Ireland and one in England. We learned a lot about music in general while recording this record. We spent some time messing around with tones and settings on amps. Stuff that I personally didn’t know a whole lot about! Jamie and I do some crazy guitar-gear needing these days! To sum up the experience of A Different Space of Mind, we learned so much, both about ourselves personally and as a band sonically.
BTR: You grew up surrounded by a spirited hardcore scene in Dublin. What musicians influenced your passion for music and The Winter Passing’s sound?
RF: We did. We [started] attending local [shows] in the capital when we were 16 and 17 years old. I had never witnessed anything like it before. There was a band called Find a Way who were really popular in the underground punk and hardcore scene years back [as well as] an indie band from Cork called Hooray for Humans. I think those bands really shaped us into everything we became.
On an international level, we listen to a lot of different things, so everybody has something odd to bring to the writing aspect. Bands like The Get Up Kids, Jimmy Eat World, Brand New, Taking Back Sunday, Drive Thru Records’ bands, Chewing on Tinfoil, the Wayne’s World films, and gruff pop-punk bands like Iron Chic, Spraynard, Gnarwolves inspire us loads!
BTR: What can we expect from The Winter Passing in the future? Will the band be making any stops in the US?
RF: We’re going to write another record and take a different approach with the second one! We’re going to play some shows, go on tour, and we will be in America this year which is going to be so sick. Everybody is pumped for the US.