THIS is the fourth generation of Windings, Steve Ryan laughs, seated in a city centre coffee house, phone on table, awaiting updates on the band’s tour van which has unfortunately decided to be cantankerous as Windings first tour in eons beckons.
The departure of sticksman Aaron Mulhall from the third incarnation of Windings has led to this latest reshuffle, the addition of the vastly experienced Brian Meaney (once of Roper) to the band completing the latest line-up, which began life with three gigs in a hectic weekend just gone, including a sold out support slot to Kurt Vile in Whelan’s on Sunday night.
Booker and prominent music supremo Leagues O’Toole took to Twitter to laud Windings new material as “really good” after Sunday’s gig and Steve is clearly excited to have both a settled line-up and new material to spur the band onward and upward.
A quick fact sheet for those who might have been living under a rock and don’t know who this super-group, made up of Limerick rock royalty, is: Windings was formed by Steve and long time collaborator Liam Marley and became more focused when Steve’s former band, Giveamanakick, amicably split, over the past three(ish) years adding Pa O’Brien (Last Days of Death Country), Mike Gavin (Supermodel Twins) and now Meaney to the ranks, while others have been and gone (Mulhall).
Phew. Ryan laughs, as he tends to do, at the notion of the fourth coming of the band, who released the superb It’s Never Night in 2010, essentially the first “proper” Windings release.
“This is the fourth generation - Windings 4G,” he laughs, sneaking a look at that pesky phone beside him, willing it to ring.
“We are all from musical heritage acts in Limerick,” he continues with a grin, tongue firmly lodged in cheek. “Brian slotted in seamlessly, he really did, which was great. He is raring to go and is excited about it - as excited as us, which is great, because we are highly excitable! It is really working out so far, we have written a fair bit of new stuff in preparation for the album and are dying to play it live, which we are doing this weekend.. These are our first gigs, a debut so, I guess.”
The tour is to mark the release of the new double A-sided 7” single from Windings on local label Out On A Limb Records. Boasting two tracks that are basically polar opposites, one part paranoid cowbell boppin’ rant, and the other, an existential lament complete with kids’ choir, they are The Space I Occupy and The Hassle and the first Windings release since last year’s Embury Greenway.
“The songs are flip sides of each other, both physically and sonically. They are very different songs, written and performed by the same people,” says Steve.
“They encapsulate what all of us think Windings is, which is everything! We are everything to all men! Rather, we are genre specific in that we are indie or alternative or whatever people want call us, but we play the music that we like to hear and we enjoy to play, but as a once famous guitarist from the Smashing Pumpkins once said, ‘just because it is fun to play, doesn’t mean it is fun for the audience’, so you have to keep that in mind as well. We do have a critical ear - maybe too much sometimes.”
The songs are a precursor to an upcoming home town gig in Bourke’s for their Thursday series, which will be followed by a trip to Toronto for gigs at Canadian Music Week and then onward to Montreal and Hotel2Tango studios to record with Efrim Menuck, who has worked with Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Irish band Halves, among many others. In order to finance this recording, Windings have started an online Fundit campaign which has promoted a huge reaction, one that stops Steve in his tracks.
“We have been overwhelmed with the support, we didn’t expect it to take off as quickly as it has,” he says.
“It does sound like a cap in hand thing, but recording is difficult and it is expensive and yet we love it and we won’t stop doing it.
“We had to rethink the whole process, as most bands have, of making music, recording it, and then the next step. If the music business worked under the constraints of any other business, it wouldn’t exist - if we were a small company we would have been brought to court many years ago, we would have gone under. Instead, this allows us to go direct to the people who would like to hear Windings music and you can pay in advance for the album, but you will be the first people to get it. This allows us to record an album and give it straight to the people who want to hear it,” he adds.
Windings play Bourke’s Bar on March 1. The Space I Occupy/The Hassle is out now.