In the history of heavy rock and roll, the greatest line-up is the three piece power trio. Think of bands from The Groundhogs, to classic Motorhead, from Cream or The Jimi Hendrix Experience, to Sebadoh and Nirvana. There's something about the structure, the economy, the mutual support of that three piece guitar, bass and drums line-up that makes everything possible.
Winters are in that classic rock tradition: an undeniably heavy band but one rooted as much in the pop art tradition of post-mod rock rather than traditional heavy metal.
Formed in London in 2006 as a three piece inspired by 'Syd Barrett era Pink Floyd and Rush,' according to guitarist and founder Paul Fyfe, Winters were snapped up by Rise Above after a few beers with label supreme Lee Dorrian following a particularly good gig. Winters are an amazing live combo, hypnotic and engrossing to watch, excellent musicians without being boring and show-off about it.
Their debut album 'Black Clouds In Twin Galaxies' is an epic voyage of sonic discovery though unlike so many of their contemporaries, they do it in short sharp bursts. The longest track is around six minutes and the average length is around 4 minutes. What also separates Winters from the heavy slow-doom-but-no-tune brigade is the fact they actually write some pretty decent songs.
Winters are definitely not another anonymous sludgier-than-thou funeral doom combo. The problem with most stoner bands – and indeed bands from any underground metal genre – is that their influences tend to be other stoner bands. It's a bit like caged monkeys eating their own faeces.
According to Paul, his songwriting is rooted in an eclectic mix of classic British post-mod pop to bands like Low and singer-songwriters like the late Elliott Smith. One of the biggest influences is the cult British proto-punk band The Creation. Contemporaries of The Kinks, The Small Faces and The Who, they inspired the name of Alan McGee's seminal indie record label in the 1980s as well as providing camp German disco donkeys Boney M with their 1970s hit 'Painter Man'.
'I've always been a big fan of The Creation. The Creation were a very heavy band but in a different way that delivered that kind of classic pop songwriting at the same time,' says Paul.
Sure, Winters do occasionally sound like a heavy sludge band. But the resemblance is only on the surface. In the same way that a shark and a dolphin have evolved similar shapes to swim fast in the ocean, Winters have developed some similarities with label-mates like Electric Wizard. But the DNA of these bands is completely different. For Winters, the sludge is like the background noise from which a much lighter, more melodic strain of rock arises.
And that's the appeal: it's like heavy metal seen from a different perspective or classic British rock and roll with a touch of the Sabbaths.