With a style made up of 90’s emo, folk and rock, Irish indie punk band, The Winter Passing showcase a style that has been likened to Tigers Jaw, with the brother-sister combo of Rob and Kate Flynn providing charming vocal melodies throughout their recent four-track demo EP.
Influenced by The Replacements, Weezer and The Gaslight Anthem, the Tipperary-based quintet have quickly been making a name for themselves locally in there early days, and the coming months will see the band moving on to better things as they have shows lined up with Into It. Over It. and PJ Bond, as well as two split EP’s in the works.
With an appreciative, honest EP already in their arsenal, Already Heard caught up with vocalist and guitarist Rob Flynn to find out more The Winter Passing.
Already Heard: Could you introduce yourself and your role in The Winter Passing?
The Winter Passing: Hey I’m Rob Flynn, I play guitar and do some of the vocals in The Winter Passing.
Already Heard: How would you describe your sound and are there any bands you would compare yourselves to?
TWP: I think it’s just punk music in general with a few other things added to the mix like Folk, 90’s Emo and Rock I guess. I don’t know if we sound directly like any one band but I’d like to think we have parts and things that sound like Osker, The Replacements, Weezer and The Gaslight Anthem to name a few.
Already Heard: Can you tell us how the band came together?
TWP: I just really wanted to start a new band with my best friends again, so one morning when I was on a tea break at work, I text Col (Jamie Collison – guitarist) and told him we were starting a new band, he was down with the idea so we met up a few days later and wrote some songs. John (Macmahon – drums) and Neil (Kirwan – bass) joined a week or two later and we started jamming in my shed on weekends. I asked Kate (Flynn) to sing and play Organ in the band around Christmas time. And here we are now.
Already Heard: I understand the band includes members of Anderson Mesa and Time Spent. What experience from those bands has been brought to The Winter Passing?
TWP: Well four of us were in Anderson Mesa together so we were use to playing music together, when we talked about doing this band, we decided to do a couple of things differently from the beginning with the band, things that we messed around with in AM, the whole band experience this time around seems to run a lot smoother. Personally I have become a better musician from being in Time Spent, working with a new bunch of lads helped me with song writing and the general idea of being in bands. &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;a href=“http://thewinterpassingsongs.bandcamp.com/album/the-winter-passing-demo” data-mce-href=“http://thewinterpassingsongs.bandcamp.com/album/the-winter-passing-demo”&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;The Winter Passing Demo by The Winter Passing&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/a&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;
Already Heard: You recently released a free demo. Why should new fans give the demo a listen?
TWP: We worked hard on the songs, I think everyone in the band is really proud of the songs also, it’d be cool for people to back us. And it’s not everyday you hear a punk band singing about Tipperary and rural/suburban Ireland
Already Heard: What influenced the demo lyrically?
TWP: There is a couple of things that influenced the lyrics. I moved to America for two months almost two years ago now and while I was there and when I got home, I had a lot of lyrics and words wrote down, most of the lyrics on the demo stem from that period in my life. ‘Crooks’ is about coming home and wishing I wasn’t home. Feels like ‘Yesterday’ is about missing a girl, ‘Nowhere Still’ is about being unsure of where I am in life and ‘Excuses, Kid’ is about friendship.
Already Heard: You’re playing shows with Into It. Over It. And PJ Bond in the coming months. How would you describe a normal Winter Passing show?
TWP: A typical TWP show is much like a toned down Rammstein show really!! No I’m joking, it’s pretty much just 5 friends singing songs about being bummed out, it’s nothing major, we’re just trying to give it our all.
Already Heard: How do you plan to follow up the demo release? I understand you’re planning two split releases with Indian Taker and Forrest?
TWP: Yeah, we’re recording some acoustic songs in the coming weeks for a split with Indian Taker for California, it’s going to be 3 songs each from both bands, we’re doing two new songs and a cover as are Indian Taker. Check them out, they’re great.
Then we’re putting out a split with our friends in Forrest who are incredible. That should be out in early June and we’re planning a release weekender with some Irish and UK dates, which I can’t wait for. We just want to keep writing music, playing shows and tour. Hopefully more people listen to us too!
Already Heard: These split releases are going to be released on cassette. Are you fan of the cassette format and do you think it’s a format that is making a revival?
TWP: Yeah I love cassette, there’s something so legit for me about retro music formats like tapes and records. Nobody really wants to pay for music anymore so it’s more about the novelty in buying a cassette than anything else, they’re cooler than CD’s. They’re also cheap to make and to buy so it works out best for everyone involved.
I recently started a record label with my friends Ian (Kelly – Starters/Time Spent) and Sean (Reid – Time Spent) and we plan on putting out our first few releases on cassette as it’s cheap, and we can help more bands out in the process you know?
I got a new boom box only the other day and listened to Oasis ‘Definitely Maybe’ on tape with my mate Joe, it was great, it felt like we got trapped in 1996! Cassettes rule anyway.
Already Heard: How would describe the current Irish music scene?
TWP: It’s alright, it’s been better. I don’t know much about the indie scene and genres like that but the punk scene is still going strong. It’s mostly confined to the cities (Dublin, Galway, Cork etc), I guess people don’t have the money to come out to shows on a regular basis anymore, which sucks but there is still incredible shows happening every month. I know it’ll pick up again soon, it’s a hard time for everyone with the current financial crisis in Ireland.
Already Heard: With bands like Starters, Time Spent and Driveway, it seems to be an area that is becoming well-known, especially overseas. Would you agree?
TWP: Yeah, Starters are definitely turning heads around the world which is great because I love those lads and they write incredible music, as do Driveway. I love seeing my friends bands doing good and being able to tour and have people acknowledge what they’re doing.
Already Heard: Are there any bands from the area you would recommend?
TWP: Yeah there is, check out all of these, you won’t be disappointed. Frustration, Crows, Boardwalk, Loose Nut, Bang Bros, Stick Around, Morning Lights, Chewing on Tinfoil, Starters, Driveway and Nibiru. There’s so many good Irish bands though and not enough of them get the attention they deserve so check out all of them and you’ll find links to other bands that I forgot to mention.
Already Heard: Do you have any final words to close the interview?
TWP: Thanks to Sean for taking the time to ask me these questions. It’s always cool to see people getting involved. Shout outs to GWB Records, Starters, Driveway, Loose Cannons and Flea Kiely. Listen to Forrest.
‘The Winter Passing Demo’ by The Winter Passing is available to stream and download on Bandcamp.
The Winter Passing will be releasing two split EP’s with Indian Taker and Forrest later this year on Guys With Beards Records.
Words by Sean Reid