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- Posted on Mar 6th 2010 9:30AM by Evan Minsker
Why did you want to start Winter Gloves?
First, I recorded three songs by myself in my apartment. It was not really a solo project, but just a project to get the songs out there. But I was having so much fun with Vince [Chalifour], who helped me mix the record, [that] we decided to start the band. I wanted three other guys who I could communicate my ideas with, and everything happened super quickly after that.
Where does the name Winter Gloves come from?
This is the question we don't really like [laughs]. When I moved to Montreal, I was working in a mountain equipment store, where I was racking gloves all day long. I was looking for a band name at the same time, so I was reading all day, "Winter gloves, winter gloves, winter gloves." So I guess it just got to me [laughs] And I'm always telling myself, "OK, I'm making music, I'm writing songs and I have the chance to play them around and go on tour and record albums, so I don't want to go back to racking gloves anymore."
How would you describe the Winter Gloves sound?
We've got gritty synths, [and] we've got big bass synths that go over the song. It's kind of hypnotizing, in a way, and dancey. The drums are always bouncy. We try to be very melodic, but at the same time, we don't want to do dance music. It's dancey, high energy music, I guess.
What are some of your influences?
I'm a big fan of Spoon. Our album doesn't sound like Spoon at all because we're a keyboard band and they're a guitar band, but the melodies are really inspiring. I'm a big fan of LCD Soundsystem, as well. The four of us listen to all different music. I know that Patrick [Sayers] these days is really into, you know, Dave Grohl's new band?
Them Crooked Vultures?
Yeah, exactly! He's really into that band. It's not really my cup of tea. I like it because I love Dave Grohl, but it's not really my kind of band. I'm just listening to the new Spoon record a lot.
Do you have any guilty pleasures that you really like?
It's not really a guilty pleasure, but I absolutely like Michael Jackson. You know, on a few albums there are a couple songs, like 'The Girl Is Mine' or something like that, where you like it but it's so cheesy that sometimes it's like a guilty pleasure. It's a strange feeling.
Do you have any crazy tour stories?
One of the best things that happened -- well, it's not the best, but it's impressive -- but when we played the Hillside Festival at Guelph in Ontario, we were playing the big tent, and just before our set, the tent was struck by lightning. You can see the video on YouTube. But it looked like a bunch of people were panicking because of that, so that was a weird and exciting moment at the same time. The show after that was really good, though.
What's your biggest vice?
I'm really too involved with the guys' personal lives, and I really always want to ... I don't know how to explain that. It's too complicated.
Do you mean that you're always trying to talk to them about their problems?
Yeah, maybe I'm a little too much in their shadows trying to fix everything. They call me "Grandpa" sometimes because I'm always there to ask questions, like, "Did you remember that you have to do that and this and that?" I'm like the mother of the band sometimes. Sometimes it's good, but sometimes you have to get back a little bit because it's not always welcome.
"Grandpa" isn't a bad nickname. There are much worse nicknames out there.
Yeah, and it's also because I go to sleep early and I wake up early. That's another thing.
What's in your festival survival kit?
We have a cooler in the van. When you tour the Midwest, you don't get any good food. On the road, you have the truck stops and the Cracker Barrel, so you really have to bring a cooler and do groceries. Otherwise, you do two months eating on the road, [and] it's really, really bad. So a cooler, a football, a frisbee, a skip-rope. We're trying to keep the fitness, you know?
Beatles or Stones?
Personally, I love the Beatles. I think Pat, the drummer, would pick the Rolling Stones, for sure. I would be the good guy. He would be the bad guy. He's the party guy and I go to sleep early.
Evan Minsker is a contributor from Seed.com. Learn how you can contribute here.