Winterbourne have returned with the release of their brand new single Better, the first offering from their forthcoming debut new album. Better is a new direction for long-time friends and collaborators James Draper and Jordan Brady. The song weaves rollicking guitars with pop sensibilities, as the lyrics rip apart cultural pressures around bettering yourself,something worsened by social media. James and Jordan go in to further detail about their new single with Hi Fi Way: The Pop Chronicles.
You must be proud as punch with your new single Better?
We sure are! It’s the first song from our debut album, so we wanted it to be one that we knew we really loved (we love them all, obviously…). But this one was the first song we wrote for the album and it kinda sums up a lot of what we love about music in one song. Not everything, but close.
Was it a tough decision to head in a new direction?
We’ve never done any decision making when it comes to our music really, we just write and record whatever comes out and it always goes through the song filter in our brains, which is what makes it Winterbourne . And we honestly haven’t headed in that much of a new direction, at least from our perspective. It’s easy to listen to our first EP from 2014 which had a more acoustic focus, and then listen to this song and say ‘well this isn’t the same!’ But four years have gone by, and four years before THAT we were called Meltdown and we sounded like an ACDC cover band (still heaps catchy songs obviously). So it’s been a really linear sonic journey to this point for us. This album is what Winterbourne was always going to sound like, the thread of Winterbourne songwriting is there as much as it ever has been and I think it’ll all make a lot of sense when the record comes out.
What influenced those thoughts?
I think I ruined this question…sorry! Haha I guess we are all always being influenced by new things though. Part of the inspiration lyrically for a lot of our music, in particular Better but also the whole album, seems to come from the actual idea of making something ‘new’. It’s like, everybody wants to make the latest and coolest sound and be the next big thing, ourselves included sometimes, when I just don’t think that’s the point. It’s just music, all you can do is offer a little insight into what’s in your head and that’s all we’ll ever do guess. It’s always tempting to just make something completely different, because it’s exciting and interesting creatively. But we haven’t done that, we spent a long time getting the songs to a place that feels new but also feels like Winterbourne.
What was your first reaction to playing Better back for the first time?
There were so many first time listens for this song, it’s been through a few phases. But I remember in the early days when it all came together for the first time thinking ‘yep, proud of that’.
How is the rest of the album shaping up?
It’s all finished and ready to go! We’re so proud of it. It’s got to the point where I’ve kinda ruined it for myself by listening to it a lot so I’m gonna give it a break for a while. We’re releasing another single in the near future.
Has this tested you creatively?
More so than anything we’ve made so far. It’s been nearly two years in the making. We were very conscious with this record to actually say something with our music, not that we haven’t done that before, but we’ve been doing this a while now and we’ve never poured so much into a set of songs.
What is the story behind Better?
Better was written nearly two years ago, not long after our last EP. I think I had that piano part and the verse melody and then Jordan came over and played the chorus hook on the electric guitar. It was at a time when I was hell bent on having a 6 pack and just improving a bunch of things in my life. So lyrically it comes from that place of constant self-assessment, and the realisation that that’s probably not the way to go about life. Aaaaand also a bunch of other stuff.
Do you enjoy being involved in the production of the film clip?
YES. We’ve always loved coming up with ideas and we love film. Any chance to be involved in creating something that we can put our touch on always gets us going. Even though in this case our touch was to make it considerably and intentionally worse. I think that’s what we do with a lot of things though…
Will Winterbourne be busy over the summer with touring?
We’ll head out on a headline tour once the record is out. We want to be able to present a full sound and make it the best show we’ve ever done, so that’ll be early next year!
What is the next challenge for Winterbourne?
Touring these new songs. We’ve been in the writing and recording process for so long now and we’re itching to get out and play and make a show that is undeniably amazing. We wanna travel the world playing our music, so we’ll start here in Australia and then go about taking over the rest of the world.
Interview by Rob Lyon