Winter Brides Interview


Q: How did the band form?

Ellis: A Facebook post. Anthony was the first to get back to me. There were other members, but it’s just two people now.


Q: How did you come up with the name? 

Ellis: I came up with the name. I thought it sounded like a horror film title. I came up with the name actually before I came to university. I thought if I was ever in a band, which I never thought I would be, I’d call it that. 


Q: How would you describe the band’s image? 

Anthony: Honestly just doing our thing.

Ellis: We aren’t trying to be cool or show off. A lot of people call us quirky, which we don’t mind, but it’s more than that.  


Q: Who are your key inspirations? 

Anthony: Neutral Milk Hotel, for sure. When you originally made the post that caught my eye, it said, ‘Likes Neutral Milk Hotel, plays accordion.’ And I thought, ‘Ooh, I've never worked with someone with an accordion before.’ 

Ellis: I'm a huge fan of They Might Be Giants, The Decembrists and Sparks. Anthony likes the bands that inspired those bands.


Q: How does your dynamic shape your songwriting? 

Ellis: Completely 50/50. We do our own thing. We work mostly separately. 

Anthony: Basically, I’ll write a song back home and bring it to him. He’ll then put the accordion to it. We’ve not recorded anything yet, but when it comes to that, if he has an idea, we’ll try it out. It's like we’re individual songwriters. 

Ellis: There is one song we’ve worked on together which I’m very proud of called ‘What Can I Do to Get Close to You?’ I came up with the chord progression and Anthony saved the song by strumming it a certain way and then making a bridge. We saw it as being one of the best songs we’ve done.  


Q: What made you pick up the accordion? 

Ellis: I thought everyone played the guitar, and it's not an instrument for everyone, but I think people will see it and say: ‘Oh, that’s kind of cool’. There's some people that don’t. Some say that we’re just two guys using a backing track.  


Q: What are you guys like outside of the band? 

Ellis: Anthony’s very creative. He has lots of creative pursuits. I like reading and I like railways. Geeky stuff. We are both fans of Doctor Who and sci-fi. We have a song called ‘Science Fiction in My Day’. We both like horror and apocalyptic stuff, which has a lot of influence in our lyrics.  


Q: How do you prepare to perform? 

Anthony: We’ll make sure we are rehearsed well.

Ellis: We try to get the audience in. We have a song called ‘Oh Winter Brides’ which the audience claps along to instead of a backing track.

Anthony: We do try to make sure that no songs will sound the same.  


Q; Do you have one set list? 

Anthony: We currently have one as this is the first time we will perform as this incarnation of the band. Anything prior to this was duo acoustic percussion.  

Ellis: We have many songs coming.

Anthony: Each gig, we will learn things about the set list and try to develop it.  

Ellis: I know Anthony throws songs he doesn’t like away a lot. But I tend to recycle a lot with songs. If there’s something I like, I’ll keep it for a new song. Anthony, however, will have a new song for me to learn all the time. We like working under pressure.

Anthony: It helps when we work together as we both know we have someone relying on us. I need that friction.  


Q: Anthony, you also play in Wallflower Safari. What’s the difference between the two? 

Anthony: So, in Wallflower I only play the bass. I love playing with them, especially live, but I want to write songs. My lyrics don’t fit their genre, so I found a new place to do it. 

Ellis: The Winter Brides have a folky element with the chords. 

Anthony: It is developing more complexly, though. 

Ellis: We’d to do a chord loop then end the song and say it was done. But now it's becoming more complex. Anthony has inspired me to start writing. Originally, I was just the singer and put the lyrics to chords. But Anthony introduced me to the world of music theory. 

Anthony: It is like we’re two separate musicians who help each other out here and there.  


Q: How do you feel about performing live? 

Ellis: I like it. 

Anthony: I’ve been doing it for a while now. Nearly a decade, so for me it's fantastic. I love it.  

Ellis: I haven’t been doing it for that long, but I love to share that rush with someone else. It's amazing. Anthony saved me with that. If I hadn’t met him, I might not still be in uni.  

Anthony: It saved both of us. 

Ellis: It really allowed us to share our creative pursuits with this musical project.  

Anthony: It's like a yin and yang, unlike with a larger band.  


Q: What direction do you want to take the band in? 

Anthony: Anywhere it takes us.  

Ellis: I'd love to do more shows, especially as a main act. Hopefully we'll be able to once we pull in crowds and build a bigger reputation. We have a lot of ideas and it's not something just for fun. It's what we want to do. Full time if we could… I want to introduce playing the keyboard. Anthony plays ukulele so we could work with that.


Read my review of the band here.