30 Seconds: The Winter Olympics

The Winter Olympics are a dance punk indie rock and roll band from London. In their words, they “rock dance parties, and make rock parties dance.”  They’ve been ‘introduced’ by BBC 6 Music’s Tom Robinson and have been making music together since 2002. They spent 30 seconds chatting to M about it all.

How long have you been making music?
Martin (Bowman – our guitarist) and I have been making music with The Winter Olympics for ten long years. Though, in fairness, most of the first eight were an excuse to go to the pub and bicker about bands on a school night. The last two have been proper hard graft.

What inspired your latest album?
Profit and Loss (out on 5 October on Freakscene Records) is all about girls and bands. Not in a Whitesnake way (alright, a bit in a Whitesnake way). It’s about trying not to give up on making music, or on the pursuit of love, even after ten year’s of yawning indifference to your efforts. You know when someone gets voted off one of those singing contests on TV and everyone weeps at the contestant’s ‘journey montage‘ while Coldplay’s Fix You twinkles away in the background? Profit and Loss is The Winter Olympics’ version of that. You should listen to it and picture us sobbing uncontrollably about ‘how hard we’ve worked for this’ while a big screen shows slow motion footage of us lugging amps up stinking stairwells, and trying to find the bass player.

What process do you go through?
Writing, then remembering, then rowing about, and then re-writing songs has always taken us ages. Only recently have we stumbled across a successful formula. We get everyone connected with the band: the players, our producer Paul of Sound, Doug the masterer, some people from the pub and their pets into our practice place and just let them have a good time. The band bang out any bits they’ve got and I try to sing something from my big book of lyrics over the top. If we stumble across something and people start getting excited, that’s the song. If they start chatting among themselves, song’s over. The first album took ten years to make, the next one, probably ten minutes.

How would you describe your sound?
The official line is that we make DIY dance-punk indie rock and roll, which covers a lot of bases. Essentially we’re a no-budget little indie band trying to make massive sounding, big-production pop records.

What would your dream collaboration be?
I think we’d like to see how far you could take our songs if you really had the time and the money. You know, give them the proper ELO treatment. To that end Marty would love us to work with Jeff Lynne. I’d plump for Jeff ‘Mutt’ Lange so we can spend the next six years Def Lepparding up some proper stadium-shagging monster choruses. Either way, we’d like to collaborate with someone called Jeff.

When can we catch you live next?
We’re playing a FREE show at The Wheelbarrow in Camden on Wednesday 30 May to launch our new single I Prefer The Early Stuff. And we’re just putting together the line up for our annual ‘Great Indoors’ festival at the Windmill in Brixton on 11 August. Come on down, we’ll definitely buy you a pint.


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