INTERVIEW: Winnie Brave

Hi there, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Hello there! Things have been a little busy, but certainly no complaints – all is well.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Moonshine”?

Moonshine was written by Amy (music and lyrics), one morning in February a few years ago.  The song came about rather quickly, and flowed from start to finish in under an hour – it was one of those easy songs that popped out fairly complete and without much effort or toiling.  I wish they could all be that easy.

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

Not necessarily. It was taken from fragments that were plucked from moments here and there. Notes and phrases that had been scrawled in my notebook and on random scraps of paper through the years.

The single comes off your new album Cheap Gin – what’s the story behind the title?

Cheap Gin (alcohol in general) seems to be a running theme with us 😉

Ironically, we are more beer folk then liquor folk but there have been a few occasions where ‘cost effective’ booze has been the go-to while on the road. We also like to spend time perusing liquor stores in the US looking for deals on stuff that is often more expensive or unavailable at home in Alberta. You find yourself with a good bit of free time while on the road so having a hobby helps to keep you busy!

How was the recording and writing process?

The writing of Cheap Gin was a more collaborative effort between us. In the past, I (Amy) would present completed songs and Brad would create drum and bass parts to compliment the piece. This time however many of the songs where built around a drum and bass groove that I would fit lyrics and melodies over. We also incorporated keys and synths for the first time, much effort was spent finding the right sounds and textures to suit the songs. The recording process was rather quick. We had two solid days with Dan Hosh at Catherine North Studios in Hamilton where we laid down the bulk of the tracks. We spent a third day with Tim Vesley at our favourite studio, The Woodshed, in Toronto where we added additional vocals, lap steel and electric guitar.

What role does Hamilton play in your music?

Hamilton is a great city, we venture there quite often to visit family and take in the music scene. “The Hammer” has great spirit and it is on the rise again after some tough economic times. Creative people of all types are flocking to the city making it a hub of activity. When it came time to book the studio, Catherine North was proposed and we checked it out. The main cathedral room provided the perfect acoustics for live drum and vocal tracks. We brought in our favourite Hamilton players (Lauren Campbell and Adam Cannon) and went to work.

What aspect of tour and your personal life did you get to explore with this material?

All of it! The album turned out to be a direct telling of our time touring in 2016. Each song takes us to a time and place around the US and Canada where something struck a chord with us. For example, Moonshine and Spicy Water where influenced by our time in the deep South and the intro to the the album features a snippet of a chat we had with a gentleman near Gulf Shores, Alabama. He was one of many amazing folk we met in that part of the US.

Any plans to hit the road again soon?

Absolutely – we love being on the road. We’re playing regionally in Western Canada until the beginning of January and then we head south (Nevada, California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and Colorado) for a four-month tour. 

What else is happening next in Winnie Brave’s world?

We’re getting settled in to our new home in rural Alberta and exploring the area. It’s nice to finally have a place to call home (that’s not on wheels). Also gearing up for the US winter tour, booking shows and finalizing our route. If any of your readers have suggestions on great places to play – we’d love to hear about them!​

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About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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