Formed in 2012, Scorching Winter is a female-fronted quintet hailing from Melbourne, Australia. With a hard rock based sound which weaves in an array of flavours, Scorching Winter is beginning to lure proper attention beyond their borders. Ahead of their new album Victim, we were excited to have the chance find out more about the band and that upcoming proposition with guitarist Rafael Katigbak. Subsequently exploring the band’s background, heart, and more…
Hello and thanks for taking time out to talk with us.
My pleasure… Thanks for having me.
Can you first introduce the band and give us some background to how you came together?
The band started in 2012 when I got together with Nick (drummer) to jam on a few songs I have written. We liked the way it sounded so we decided to put a band together. The band has gone through a few line-up changes since but we’ve had our current line-up for almost two years now and the chemistry is the best it has ever been.
Have you all been involved in other bands before?
We have all been in other bands and music groups previously but nothing serious. I was in an old school heavy metal band before this and there are a couple of songs I had written in while I was on that band that I carried over to Scorching Winter. Although we sound very different now, my time with that band will always have an effect on my playing and writing.
What inspired the band name?
We wanted a name that is ironic because our music and our artworks are somewhat like that. It is heavy music with melodic female vocals, beautiful and evil, brutal and elegant. It also has a bit of medieval / gothic sound to it which we really liked.
Was there any specific idea behind the forming of the band and also in what you wanted it and your sound to offer?
I am a fan of prog metal. I really like the technicality and the freedom to incorporate different styles of music. I think it is important that the music is first and foremost interesting to the musician playing it. But I also love melodic and catchy vocals which are characteristic to mainstream rock and metal bands. So basically the aim is to make music that is both interesting to play but also fun to sing.
Do the same things still drive the band when it was fresh-faced or have they evolved over time?
Yes. Making music is still the reason we do what we do. We keep it fresh by constantly pushing ourselves to take things further. Our last EP was a big step up from the single before that, and this album is a step above the EP again. There is a consensus within the band that unless it’s something we haven’t done before, we’re not interested in doing it.
Since your early days, how would you say your sound has evolved?
Our earlier works are probably a bit more hard rock / old school metal. As with a lot of musicians, there will be songs that will always be part of our set list and some songs which we’ll probably never play again. Our new album is heavier, darker, more progressive. When we first heard it we thought that this is the sound we’ve always been going for but we’ll probably say that with the next one as well when we change sound again. Haha.
Has it been an organic movement of sound or has the band deliberately set out to try new things?
Several factors affected the evolution of the music. There is the change in line-ups, maturity as a song writer, exposure to new music and just personal development as musicians. But there is also a conscious decision to change the style a bit to challenge ourselves and keep things interesting.
Presumably across the band there is a wide range of inspirations; are there any in particular which have impacted not only on the band’s music but your personal approach and ideas to creating music?
While we all have our different subgenres of metal that we are in to, there are bands that are common favorites such as Metallica, Dream Theater, Iron Maiden.
How does the songwriting work within the band?
Our songs normally start out as instrumentals. I write a song and send a demo out to the other guys who then add their bits to it. The singer then writes the lyrics and vocal melody for it.
Where are the lyrical inspirations generally drawn from?
With our previous songs, the lyrics are based on the singers’ own personal experiences. Although the songs start out as instrumentals, the singer interprets what the song sounds like and relates that to her own personal experiences.
Give us some background to your latest release.
The new album is called Victim and it’s an 8-track concept album. The story is about a girl who is raped and beaten by a group of men but was saved by a demon who gives her powers to get revenge. However, nothing ever comes for free as she would later find out.
The album started out with the story line. It was then divided into different chapters which correspond to each song. The music was then written then the lyrics. While it is a concept album, we also made sure that each song is strong on its own so any of them can be listened to as a single.
Are you a band which goes into the studio with songs pretty much in their final state or prefer to develop them as you record?
Yes. We really like to be sure we are 100% happy with the songs before we book recording time. In saying that, there are still some minor things that you find doesn’t quite work when you get there so you have to make some adjustments.
Tell us about the live side of the band?
I know that the other members love the performing part the most. I personally enjoy the writing part more. Anyway, with regards to our live shows, our set-list is always dynamic. We arrange the songs so we take our audience on a journey from start to finish instead of staying at one level throughout. We like to start with something a bit soft and eerie to get the mood going and then come in loud and heavy to let everyone know this is the start of a rock show. It then goes through different levels throughout the show.
It is not easy for any new band to make an impact regionally let alone nationally and further afield. How was it for Scorching Winter?
Unfortunately, it is not an easy path with no certainty of reward. It is a big commitment financially and on your personal life. We’ve all heard of internationally known bands whose members live below minimum wage, or who lose tens of thousands of dollars on tours. If you really love making music and performing, you will keep doing it regardless. If you’re in it because you have ambitions of fame and fortune, you may need to be realistic about your expectations.
How about the internet and social media, what impact has it had on the band to date?
I think it is very positive. Most of the following we have built are overseas and we haven’t even toured there. It provides you an opportunity to reach people in places you wouldn’t normally get to. I remember the first fan mail we received from overseas, I think it was from Canada, that’s when we thought, this is getting real!
Once again a big thanks for sharing time with us; anything you would like to add or reveal for the readers?
Thanks for having me and please check out our new album Victim which is available for pre-order now through bandcamp. Official release date is on the 29th of October. You will not be sorry.
Pete RingMaster 13/10/2016
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