On September 18, Irish indie punks The Winter Passing will release their debut LP, A Different Space of Mind. We got a chance to catch up with Rob Flynn from the band to talk about the record, and what it was like to grow up as part of the Irish DIY scene.
NT: Let’s start with your album, A Different Space of Mind. You’ve previously mentioned that the album is about “saving yourself from yourself and the realization of the world around you.” Are you comfortable with discussing that theme a bit more?
RF: Yeah, in a nutshell that’s what A Different Space of Mind is. The record is a collection of journals that were written over a number of years through the ages of 19-23 years old put together over a period of a little over one year. I write things down a lot, almost every day and I know Kate does too but I was very specific about what I wanted to talk about in each song that Jamie (guitar in TWP) and I wrote the music to. It’s a record about the coming of age, the transition from adolescence into adulthood. The feelings, opinions, ideas and conceptions of the world around me and the people/experiences Kate and I have met along the way. The album touches on dark times throughout I feel. In every song there’s a particular experience we are referring to. But never without that glimmer of hope in every scenario that overcomes the sadness, your means to carry on. Take from it, whatever you want!
NT: The Winter Passing has sprung up as part of the Irish DIY scene. Can you tell us outsiders a bit about that and how/if your city has affected your own song writing?
RF: Well it’s not our city as we’re from a town in Tipperary but Dublin and the Irish DIY music scene is one of the most important things to be noted in this band’s existence.
RF: I started going to local shows in Dublin when I was like 16, I use to spend every penny I had on a bus to Dublin and my entry to the show on a regular basis. I first discovered the hardcore scene in Dublin where shows used to go on in a venue called The Tap. I feel like at the age that I was and the mind frame I had then, it changed my life forever. It changed my mentally and outlook on everything. So with the writing of this album, none of this would have ever been written without the fact that myself and all the rest of TWP attended these local shows in Dublin over the years. It was a story, it still is a story! If you weren’t there you didn’t experience it but it inspired us to play music! Ireland has some really sick bands and some incredible gigs happen here, we’re very proud to come from this place. It has 100% affected the writing of the music!
NT: Your band is fronted by Rob and Kate (Flynn), who are of course brother and sister. You guys been playing together for quite a long time. Was it hard for the other members to come in and gel in a similar way? To find that same chemistry?
RF: Yeah yeah, Kate and I have been singing and playing music together our whole lives basically. We’ve been in bands with Jamie, John & Neil since we were like 12/14 too though. There was only a handful of musicians in our hometown, we used to put on shows in a community hall. Me, Kate & Neil had a band and Jamie and John had a band. (Jamie and John’s band were the cool older band when we were in school!). A couple of years later Jamie and I started playing music together and we’ve been doing it together ever since. He couldn’t do it without me and I certainly couldn’t do it without him! When we started The Winter Passing, it was super comfortable for us all to start doing it.
NT: There’s a certain emotional intensity to the album’s lyrics, even among the ballads like “Fruits of Gloom.” But on my first few listens, the accompanying musicianship brings a bit of levity and gives the album an overall cathartic effect. Does your music serve that purpose to you personally as well?
RF: Yeah I guess so! If you’re going to write a song you might as well say something meaningful and real you know? I listen to a lot of music across a wide variety of genres, I take inspiration from so many things that sound nothing like the genres our band has been labelled under. It’s like we wanna write soft ambient songs but just love overdrive and rocking out!!
NT: The video you recently released for “Daisy” has a dramatic concept to it with Rob and Kate playing different “roles.” Do you explore conceptual ideas like characters in your music because you are using two different vocalists, or is it usually two voices telling the same story?
RF: It’s two voices telling the same story for the most part. Our friend Seanie Cahill who shot it came up with the idea for the video! Daisy is a song about the loss of me and my girlfriend Michelle’s dog. Her name was Daisy.
NT: What are five records you are enjoying right now?
Best Friends – Hot. Reckless. Totally Insane
The Wonder Years – No Closer to Heaven
Curren$y- Pilot Talk
Chewing on Tinfoil – Marrowbone Lane
Bully – Feels Like