Jud Haynes of the light/heavy East Coast supergroup Wintersleep is bringing the band to his hometown and celebrating the holiday with two shows at Club One. Elling Lien caught up with him by phone.
So what have you guys been up to recently? I know this summer you hit the festival circuit. But this fall…?
We just did another cross-Canada tour. Only a couple weeks ago we played Vancouver and Victoria and all that. It was our fifth cross-Canada tour.
Yeah, it’s rough. We’ve all aged like ten years.
The typical question here is “What went wrong on the tour?”
You know what? On this tour, four out of five of us were sick. First time it’s ever happened. Usually we start out on the road and everybody’s healthy and we always have a really great time. It’s just such a fun experience because the tour is there – obviously you’re playing shows – but you’re also traveling to places and you see friends and family and that’s always fantastic.
On this tour four out of the five band members had the flu. We were playing shows with fevers. We were on stage and people probably thought we were just really givin’ ‘er. But no, we were actually running 102 and everybody was sweating like a dog onstage, not because we’re the best band or anything like that… We’re not the most energetic, crazy band. We were all just running fevers.
Everybody pulled it together and played the shows quite well I think. I don’t even think audiences really picked up on it. Paul was the only one on the microphone doing the talking, and he never ever explained it. Sometimes we were so sick onstage I felt like we almost should have said something about it, but he wouldn’t. He didn’t ever bring up the fact that we were sick.
You’re just naturally that sweaty and weird.
Yeah, yeah. We’re just naturally this sweaty onstage. We’re just sweaty, sweaty guys. [laugh]
Did the fever affect your performance?
I just found that we had to concentrate a lot more… But honestly, it really blew my mind. Paul [Murphy, the lead singer], for example, was so sick. He was just coughing and coughing all day long and had a bad runny nose, fever… and then he’d get up on stage and get behind the microphone. His voice all day long would sound nasally, but then he would step behind the microphone and instantly, that voice we’ve all come to know would just roar through the mic. We were all just like “Nice! I don’t know where that came from, but I’m glad you saved it for now.”
But the great part is, now, of course, we roll in and everybody gets better. Now that we don’t have any shows for like a week, everybody’s feeling great.
So we should be back up to full fighting force when we get back to Newfoundland. I have a feeling the shows over there will be the best ones of the whole tour.
How has the media been treating you guys?
Really well. They always have, and I don’t know why. From day one.
It must be an East Coast thing. I think people love to support the East Coast. Even in reviews – we’ve never been ripped apart in any reviews or anything like that.
It’s been a pretty easy band to be in, actually. All of us have been in other bands, and I have to say this one is definitely the easiest I’ve ever been in. Even on the music industry side. In all honestly, yeah, we tour a lot, but other than touring we don’t really put much effort in. It’s not like we’re big business tycoons or anything like that. We don’t really put that much into getting the band ahead. We just write songs and get out to play them as much as possible.
But right from day one there’s just been a lot of support around the band, and things have progressed for us quite quickly compared to most bands. It just seems to be a big fluke, and I’m totally fine with that. I’m totally okay with a little bit of luck once in a lifetime.
Wintersleep will play at Club One Saturday, December 29 with Gazeebow Unit (!) and Trailer Camp opening. An all ages show, also at Club One, will happen on December 30, with Hey Rosetta!