Welcome to the latest Q & A in which we meet Lost Winter, a 3-piece that formed around 18 months ago, and led by by Richard Westwood, who in his own words, was “a bored guitarist living in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire”. By spring 2013 he had been joined by the powerful vocalist Charlotte Francis of the Leeds based band Rhythm Aire. Completing the line-up, playing bass guitar, is Richard Flynn, an old friend of Richard’s, and member of the band Glass Harbours.
Their aim is to release four EPs, one for each season of the year, the third of which – Spring – came out in April, while they have already featured in New Tunes #20 and #29, but what have Stephen King, Wayne’s World, waistlines, and a Tandoori Chicken Mossolom got to do with anything… and who are Ozzy & Brian?
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~ Describe your music for those who may not have come across it?
That’s the hardest question of all! We’re fans of different artists and bands and some of these influences find their way in to our music. Charlotte is a classically trained musician with a strong jazz, soul and blues influence. Flynn comes from an electronica, hardcore and metal background whilst I’m really in to artists like Tim Hecker, Forest Swords, Peals and James Blake. So I guess you could say our sound is….. emotive indie pop? Or something like that!
~ What was the idea behind the release of a specific number of EPs, and the seasonal characteristic behind them?
To be honest, the idea evolved as the project evolved. I had so much fun writing “Winter” it seemed pointless to call it a day after releasing one EP. The next step involved working out how long it would take to write a new set, save the cash and source the artwork for another recording. Inevitably the answer led to our “Summer” EP and the idea grew from there really.
The DIY approach to making music is also something that’s also totally integral to Lost Winter and the way we release and promote our songs and I hope this is something we never have to compromise.
~ When is the fourth EP due?
With any luck ‘Autumn’ should see the light off day by mid-October with a single preceding it in August or September. We wanted to write a record that had elements of all the other Lost Winter EPs (the big vocal tracks, interludes, instrumentals & samples) with songs that still pushed us forward as a band. So expect to hear Charlotte’s amazing vocals alongside more chilled out post rock instrumental tracks! I’m really confident that ‘Autumn’ will be our best EP yet.
~ And after that?
I don’t really know what we’re going to do! We’ll probably see how we feel in the New Year and take it from there. But it won’t be the end of Lost Winter, that’s for sure.
~ Have you performed many of your songs live yet?
Not yet, but never say never!
~ As and when you do get to perform live, which famous person would you love to drive the tour bus?
(Charlotte) Johnny Cash. I wish I’d seen him live, and I’d love to be driving along to a gig singing along to “Ring of Fire” or “A Boy Named Sue”, or if in a more sombre mood, I absolutely love his cover of “Hurt”. I cry every time I hear it, and have when I sing it too – although on second thoughts maybe we wouldn’t want to get to a gig all teary (not sure Richard and Flynn would cry though – I’m just overly emotional)!!
(Rich) I’d go with Johnny Cash too.
(Flynn) – Oooh, right! I’m thinking someone like John Lennon or Paul McCartney. Can I have both? To be in the presence of such song writing geniuses, who could also rock with the best of them, would be amazing!
~ Are there any other new local bands to you that we should be investigating?
(Rich) I’ve never met Fraser McGowan from Caught In The Wake Forever, but his new LP, “My Family Goes On Without Me” is my favourite record of the year by a mile. It’s a stunning album.
~ Which famous song by another artist would you love to have written yourself.
(Charlotte) Hmm. Where do I start?! I’m going to go for Etta James, “At Last”.
(Rich) “Washer” by Slint. Slint are playing Leeds in August, which is a dream come true for me.
(Flynn) I would say ‘Mogwai Fear Satan’ by Mogwai! It’s one of those tracks that really hits you, especially live. If not that, then any Beatles track!
~ What do you all do to relax away from music?
(Charlotte) Music is my relaxation, mostly! Although I do like to meet up with friends in a good bar in Leeds, or to watch a good film with Scott (husband), Ozzy and Brian (our two amazing cats)!
(Rich) A Stephen King book usually does the trick.
(Flynn) Spending time with the family, but with a house full of girls (as I’m sure Rich will agree) isn’t really relaxing though! Rugby League for me, coaching and playing takes up a lot of my spare time.
~ To Rich – what’s the best thing about Charlotte and Flynn?
Charlotte is a great laugh and an amazing improviser in the studio. You never know what you’re going to hear next, but you know it’ll be amazing. Artistically, it’s a really exciting process to be around.
Flynn, our bass player, is probably the best musician I know. He can adopt his bass playing to suit any genre without losing his own individual style.
~ To Charlotte/Flynn – what’s the worst thing about Rich?
(Charlotte) Erm – his accent?! Only joking! Can’t really think of anything to be honest! We’ve always got on really well, there’s nothing that annoys me about him! I’d say he’s very much a perfectionist when it comes to song writing and the post production, and the tiniest thing he hears that’ s not quite right means he’ll head back into the studio until he’s happy (which can mean hours and hours of his own time spent getting it perfect). But that’s probably a good thing – no, it definitely is.
(Rich) I’d agree with that!
~ Favourite takeaway?
(Charlotte) Chinese. Salt and pepper chicken wings to start followed by a special chow mein or a special foo yung. Lovely (although not for the waistline!!)
(Flynn) I have to agree with Charlotte, Chinese all the way!
(Rich) Curry – Tandoori Chicken Mossolom.
~ Favourite film?
(Charlotte) I have so many films that I love! “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” is up there, “Requiem for a Dream”, “Pan’s Labyrinth”, “and Amelie” – I could go on… One more. “Stepbrothers”. It’s just so silly.
(Rich) ‘Breadcrumb Trails’ or ‘Some Kind of Monster’.
(Flynn) – Couple of faves, Waynes World and High Fidelity (even though the books are better).