Published Jun 28, 2012Passion for any line of work can wane and flag after a decade driving the same tracks. But having outlived tour exhaustion, departed members and creative slumber, Wintersleep reignited for their fifth album, the recently released Hello Hum, drummer/guitarist Loel Campbell tells Exclaim!
The Halifax indie vets released the record, their first material since 2010's New Inheritors, earlier this month, and it represented something of a zenith, commercial and creative, for the Juno-winning five-piece. Released on EMI-owned Capitol Records after a much-needed break from touring, Campbell explains that taking their time working with Dave Fridmann (Mercury Rev, Flaming Lips), along with regular producer Tony Doogan, allowed the newly revived quintet the freedom they needed.
"We had all the time in the world to really go for it and try everything, and see what stuck," Campbell explains. "At [Fridmann's Tarbox Road] studio there's an endless amount of gadgets. On the first song, the hooting and the hawing at the start is [singer] Paul [Murphy] into a blow horn with a kazoo. Weird things like that, weird combinations."
Musically renewed, Hello Hum is watermarked by an "ultimate freedom to create unique, quirky sounds." The intent is clear from the off, with opener "Hum" setting out its stall with a dual-pronged assault of warped melody and widescreen experimentation.
"Sometimes you stumble into songs and you don't know where they came from," Campbell says. "But that one, there's no real origin for it. If there was to be a flag for the record -- something that represents the essence and collaborative nature of the band -- ["Hum"] would be it."
He adds: "And the title of the record, Hello Hum, was basically looking at where the band is now -- the path that our voice is at thus far."
Promotion for the completed record peaked with a listening party on the band's website, featuring a healthy mix of core fans and, as Campbell says, "people logged in as members of Metallica." But asked whether the major-backed wave of interest denotes any palpable sense of anticipation within the band, Campbell hesitated to get ahead of himself.
"It was pretty goofy really. It was funny. Like a chatroom, revitalizing the chatroom of the internet. We're kind of unaware of any sort of buzz. We try to focus on the tour right now. Hopefully people dig it. But I don't know if it's gonna be buzz-worthy or not."
Stay tuned for more from Exclaim!'s interview from Wintersleep and check out all the band's upcoming tour dates here.