For almost a decade (give or take a few years), Michael Knowles (lead vocals, guitar and piano), Peter B. McGrath (bass and vocals) and Grant Cuddy (drums and percussion) have shared their unique sound with the masses. Merging indie-rock with alt-rock and some punk undertones, WinterGreen is an impassion genre-defying trio. We speak with the group about their new album Framed, future plans and much more!
OSR: What is the backstory to your album Framed?
WinterGreen: It’s our fourth album. We only completed the third album just over a year ago, but we got super-productive in lockdown and ended up with about 16 new songs. There was very little to do during the pandemic – no rehearsals and all gigs were off – so we had to get the songs recorded.
OSR: What was the writing and recording process like?
WinterGreen: VERY different. We’ve had to do everything at home individually and remote from each other due to lockdown and travel restrictions. We’ve previously been a rehearsal-focused group, working on our song ideas together in the practice room, developing them as a band, then recording them with a live set-up as the foundations. This album, however, involved us recording all our bits at home individually and sending them in to the producer, Peter EJ Lee, for him to put it all together. He’s done a fine job.
OSR: If you could change one thing about Framed what would it be?
WinterGreen: We wouldn’t. We’re massively pleased with it, really proud of the finished album. We’re fanatical about quality – the cover, the song titles, the lyrics, the songs. Everything about the record must be perfect for us and we’ve achieved that. Now for the next one!
OSR: Which is your favourite track off Framed and why that track?
WinterGreen: It changes from week to week! ‘Different Times’ sounds glorious building from a bit of acoustic poetry to a fully orchestral crescendo. ‘Beautiful’ was written off the back of a warped drum track – something that wouldn’t have happened without lockdown, messing around at home with our software…a really satisfying result. ‘Green Fields’ and ‘Liquid Gold’ are bangers! Guitar-tastic dancing anthems. Most of the songs have a real groove to them, plus there’s a couple of acoustic numbers which are gorgeous.
OSR: What about your least favourite track?
WinterGreen: Not applicable! We love them all!
OSR: What do you hope people take from Framed?
WinterGreen: We just hope they enjoy listening to it. Put it on, listen to it in 1-12 order from start to finish, headphones… just relax & enjoy the sounds. Let it take you to the places it took us. Oh and tell your friends, families, your enemies… tell everybody to listen!
OSR: Do you have any advice for emerging acts?
WinterGreen: Just believe in yourselves and your songs, don’t let anyone put you off or put you down. Do it YOUR way, but ALWAYS learn. Always try to evolve and learn new ways of doing it. Get yourselves one or two close confidants who, whilst not IN the band, will listen to you, understand you, and tell you what they can hear in your music.
OSR: What do you think is the best way to discover new music, particularly in today’s climate?
WinterGreen: Trawl the internet and listen to radio shows, read blogs, follow links on Twitter… there’s a MASSIVE network of music enthusiasts out there making music, writing about music and recording it. Once the gigs are back on, get out there and support live bands.
OSR: Do you have any future plans?
WinterGreen: Get back in the rehearsal studio, practise like hell for a few weeks, then get out there doing some gigs. We took a year off gigging then, when we were ready to go back to it, the pandemic hit us so it’s now TWO YEARS since we performed live! We cannot wait! After that… album number FIVE!
Do you have a message for our readers?
WinterGreen: Yeah. Keep the faith, keep your dreams alive. Love life, love music and give us a listen!