Interview: Zulu Winter

Larry Day catches up with the very busy Zulu Winter

Posted on Jun 25th, 2012 in Features and Interviews, Zulu Winter, PIAS / By Larry Day
Zulu Winter After only a short spell in the music scene, 2012 sees Zulu Winter explode, with them releasing their popular debut to critical acclaim and joining the bill for countless festivals around the world. Amidst the busy schedule of their big year, Bearded catches up with drummer, Guy Henderson...

Bearded: 2012 has been a big year for you, as many press outlets are tipping you as the ‘next big thing’. Do you feel the pressure of the hype?

Guy: We try not to think about the hype too much, although it is very flattering that lots of people are talking about us. We try to keep our heads on, playing the best live shows we can and writing the best music we can - it's important for us to just focus on that and not read too much of the press out there.

B; Your much-anticipated debut, Language, was released last month. How did the record come into fruition? Were there long nights of meticulous rehearsals or did it just fall into place?

G: We spent around 18 months in a process of writing and recording which had it's high and lows. We all worked a mixture of different day jobs at the time and we'd spend long nights locked up in a window-less studio bashing ideas out. Some of the songs would come into the rehearsal room with a strong direction and some would come entirely out of jams. And then they all went through a long process of playing them together in rehearsal to refine all the parts before further refining in the recording process. It was very useful to work on the album over such a long period of time and to be able to live with the songs. There were lots of tracks that we initially felt were strong but didn't make the final cut given time and given the context of the record as a whole.

B: What’s your take on the response to it?

G: I personally haven't read any reviews... not for any particular reason - I just haven't really got round to it yet! It's still very early days and we'll start to get a better idea of the true response over the course of the summer.

B: Some people have compared you to an early Coldplay or Keane. Do you take it as a compliment?

G: We've been compared to many, many artists over the short 7 or 8 months that we've been out in the public. I would hope that as time goes on people will start to set us apart from any specific references but I guess the press always feel the need to make comparisons with the early stages of a new band. I don't take it as a compliment as such but perhaps it helps to reach a wider audience in some way.

B: You’ve got a fair few festivals on your schedule this summer. Are you excited about touring the circuit with Language under your belt?

G: Definitely... it's looking to be a really exciting summer with lots of really great festivals. We're always working to keep developing our live show and finding ways to keep it fresh and energetic for the audience so it's great to have the opportunity to bring it to so many people across the world. We've always felt that playing live is at the heart of what we do and hopefully with the album out people will be interested to come see us live.

B: Any particular moments you’re looking forward to in the coming months?

G: There's lots of potential highlights on the horizon... I'm personally really looking to Splendour in the Grass out in Byron Bay in Australia. We're playing a huge old Roman Amphitheatre in the south of France with Simple Minds next month which looks astonishing. I think Secret Garden Party, Bestival and Lowlands in Holland will also be some top festivals to be a part of.

B: Do you have any surprises lined up for the festival season?

G: We're in discussion for a little treat at Bestival - but I wouldn't be able to divulge further on that one right now I'm afraid...

B: Is there any new material in the pipeline or are you still focusing on bringing Language to the masses?

We're constantly writing and working new ideas. We have one or two new songs that are very close to completion and we'll hope to start feeding them into the live show later in the year. It's quite possible we'll try to release a little something at the end of the year but it largely depends on how the touring plans develop. We're always keeping the pool of new ideas flowing.

B: What are the plans for Zulu Winter when the festival dust has settled?

At the moment it's very much up in the air but we'll definitely be doing some extensive touring in the Autumn, primarily in the UK and Europe and then further afield as and when.