Carol Bowditch talks to Will Daunt of Zulu Winter in the midst of their hectic touring schedule:
Zulu Winter are sardined in the back of a van, whizzing about the streets of London after playing a gig. They are in high spirits, as the show had gone well, and they are humbled that “people had actually come to see us.” How sweet. Vocalist Will takes a few moments out to have a chat to me about their upcoming shows:
So you’re heading to Australia for the Splendour in the Grass festival, have you been before?
I have actually, when I was 18. I did the whole thing of travelling up the East Coast and yeah, got very drunk and didn’t really see anything of importance, ha.
Will you get any time off to have a look around this time?
Well we are only there for like nine days. I think we are just literally playing gigs. We will probably just do what I did last time, which was see the inside of bars. Yeah, it’s going to be amazing, we cannot wait. It’s a very weird thing for us to come to Australia cause we're so far away and you know, like, it’s really, really exciting, we’re really stoked.
So you guys met when you were kids and then you went off to college. What brought you back together to make music?
I think that we just really needed to do it because we kind of just messed around in bands. When we turned a certain age, we thought if we are going to make a record, then we should make a record, and that’s what we did... We really wanted to make an album, and we really wanted to do it properly.
I read somewhere that you were in a Sex Pistols tribute band?
Hahaha, that was our guitarist and keyboardist. They called themselves “The Next Pistols”, which is, you know, a genius title.
Your debut album, Language, has just been released. What were your musical influences for the new record?
We all love bands like Portishead, Caribou and other stuff, but actually, we’re all into quite different things. Our drummer is into electronic, dance. I’m more into like pop, more song-based stuff, it has to have some sort of sentiment.
What’s your favourite track off the new record?
I kind of waiver between two, I’m a big fan of the last song (People That You Must Remember), just because we had that song for a long time and it started out as this big rock anthem and we didn’t really feel comfortable with how it was sounding, and I didn’t really have faith in it. Then our guitarist, took the song by the balls and had a vision for it, and it turned into this very relaxed, spooky song and I just really love it.
The other song, Worlds That I Wield, just appeared. We were playing one day and it just turned up, which is a lovely way to make a song.
I like the video for the new song We Should Be Swimming. Can you tell me a little about how you created it?
It is inspired by a woman called Loie Fuller, she did this thing called the “Serpentine Dance”, we wanted to use that and make something quite different... It was filmed in Scotland in mid Winter, which is unbelievably cold. The dancers actually had it much worse than us, wearing leotards in this, like, freezing bog, up to their ankles in freezing water, ha.
So what should we expect from your live show?
People kind of expect that us to be like a “dance act”, it’s actually got a bit more subtlety to it than that. We’re quite moody and down, and I hope that it’s slightly unsettling, in a way as well.
Some of the songs are about some stuff that is not that pretty. So it’s quite nice to have a slightly darker show as well. We’re definitely not a metal band, ha, but there is darkness to it. Also, no encores, unless people actually want an encore cause there’s nothing worse than a rehearsed encore!
Zulu Winter are playing heaps of shows across the UK, Europe and Australia over the next couple of months. Check their tour dates on Facebook. Especially exciting are their dates in Melbourne and Sydney (24th & 25th July), as they are playing on an epically awesome bill alongside Howler and Friends.