Liam Gallagher’s hapless post-Oasis outfit Beady Eye split up a few weeks ago. This prompted speculation – from anyone who cared to notice – about an Oasis reunion. It seems fated for this to happen, but there’s just one problem.
The band’s two primary constituents, Liam and his brother Noel, have been engaged in a sibling cold war for more than half a decade.
Given that the intricate relationship between siblings tends to incite plenty of irrational arguments, working together creatively is highly likely to provoke tension. Sydney’s Winters End is composed of brother/sister duo Marissa and Christopher Pinto. Since forming in 2011, it’s been fairly smooth sailing. However, there was some apprehension for the pair prior to working together.
“The band that I was in before Winters End, I’d actually approached my brother and said, ‘Do you want to play the drums?’” Marissa says. “He flat out refused and said, ‘I don’t think we can work together.’ I think he probably regretted his decision, so when that fell apart I said to him, ‘I’d like you to play the drums,’ and he was in.”
After Christopher overcame his reluctance and the pair got stuck into making music, their shared history actually proved beneficial. “Being ’80s children probably has a lot to do with our stylistic influences,” Marissa says. “We both really have a love of the ’80s electronic synth sound. When we formed Winters End, we didn’t have a real clear plan of what we were going to do – we just knew that we wanted the ’80s incorporated in there somewhere.”
Just to make it clear, when Marissa says “’80s electronic music”, she’s not referring to Giorgio Moroder or Paul Hardcastle. Rather, major influences for Winters End include “Divinyls, Stevie Nicks, The Pretenders, Phil Collins, Genesis – all those sorts of bands. We grew up listening to them.”
Phil Collins mightn’t be a particularly fashionable influence, but he excelled at winning over mass audiences, even when his music didn’t match their more self-serious tastes. Channelling sounds from this era has achieved a similar effect for Winters End.
“We used to play at the Annandale Hotel quite a bit when we first formed,” Marissa says. “It was called Screaming Sundays and they’d have all these death metal bands on and then we’d get on with our ’80s electronic sound and we’d still manage to get people interested. It was really quite funny, because we felt so out of place.”
Winters End have just completed their maiden overseas voyage, playing five shows in Toronto during last month’s Canadian Indie Music Week. Here again, the homage to the music of their youth made a strong impression.
“They really seemed to dig the ’80s electro stuff,” Marissa says. “We have a few piano ballads as well that are sort of power ballad/’80s-influenced. But the electronic music was really what they responded to very well.”
It’s not as though Winters End are averse to contemporary music. They’ve recently added guitars to their arsenal, and Marissa explains what instigated this progression. “Similar to Beach House, I actually play a bass pedal with my feet and the guitar at the same time and I sing. Beach House are a massive favourite of mine. They’re probably my favourite band.”
Sydneysiders can preview this latest development when Winters End headline Oxford Art Factory’s Gallery Bar this Thursday evening.
“It’s a big celebration of the fact that we’re back home and we’ve gone on this amazing adventure,” Marissa says. “[It’s a] thank you to all our fans and our friends and family who’ve just supported us so much. It’s going to be a huge bash.”