SCORCHING WINTER (from l-r): Natalie Bellio (keyboards), Rafael Katigbak (guitar), Tina Papadimitriou (vocals), Glenn Treasure (bass), Nick James (drums)
INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN
Scorching Winter are a female-fronted hard rock band from the Australian city of Melbourne.
Since forming four years ago, they have had their compositions played on radio stations around the world and have gained an ever-expanding global fanbase.
Their debut EP ‘Peripheral’ was released last year to rave reviews, and they have been hard at work in the studio putting together their forthcoming album ‘Victim’.
I chatted to guitarist Rafael Katigbak about what to expect, as well as their success so far.
How did the band get together?
RAFAEL KATIGBAK (GUITAR): The band started in 2012 when I got together with Nick to jam on a few songs I had written.
We liked the way it sounded, so we decided to put a band together.
The band has gone through a few line-up changes since but we’ve had our current line-up for almost two years now and the chemistry is the best it has ever been.
How did the name Scorching Winter come about?
We wanted a name that is ironic because our music and our artworks are somewhat like that.
It is heavy music with melodic female vocals, beautiful and evil, brutal and elegant, and it also has a bit of medieval / gothic sound to it which we really liked.
To somebody discovering your music for the first time, how would you describe it to them?
As a one line response, our music is hard rock/heavy metal with melodic female vocals.
I can’t tell you what exact genre we play though, we’ve been called prog, symphonic metal, old school metal, etc.
I think we’re unique in that I can’t really name a band that sounds exactly like us. We have been compared to Evanescence and Lacuna Coil for obvious reasons but I think everyone will agree that the music is totally different.
What are the band’s musical influences?
We all love metal so there are bands like Dream Theater, Metallica and Iron Maiden who are a common influence among us.
Individually however, each one has a more specific genre /style that they are in to.
Tina is into shock rock and theatrical groups like Theatres des Vampires, Marilyn Manson and Slipknot, so she brings a certain theatre to our music.
Glenn is a totally committed prog man so mostly Rush, Ayreon, and Yes.
Nick listens to a wide variety of music but is mostly an old school rock/metal fan so bands like Megadeth and Iron Maiden, and I like epic sounding bands like Dream Theater and Kamelot.
Natalie is different because she is a classical pianist / musician, so most of her influences we have never heard of. However, she is still a metalhead and is into Opeth, DT and Tool.
What’s your approach to songwriting?
Our songs normally start out as instrumentals. I write a song and send a demo out to the other guys who then add their bits to it. The singer then writes the lyrics and vocal melody for it.
Where does the inspiration come from for the band’s lyrics?
With our previous releases, the singer normally wrote songs about personal experiences but on this upcoming album, we started out with a main storyline, the music was written around that storyline and subsequently, the lyrics.
What’s the experience for the band playing live?
Our setlist is quite dynamic. We arrange the songs so we take our audience on a journey from start to finish instead of staying at one level throughout.
We like to start with something a bit soft and eerie to get the mood going and then we come in loud and heavy to let everyone know this is the start of a rock show.
It then goes through different levels throughout the show.
What have you got lined up in the near future?
We are about to release an album so our main focus is on that and getting it out there.
In the near future, we really want to better engage with all of our fans across the globe, so we expect to do more things online like videos, online gigs etc.
You just said there that you have an album coming out soon. How was the process of recording it, from initial idea to completion?
The writing process was very different on this album. As the main composer for the band, I used to just write songs whenever inspiration hit me.
With this project, I first came up with the storyline, then divided that into chapters and then wrote the music for each chapter, and Tina then wrote the lyrics for the songs.
As a result, I think the songs are a lot more cohesive and flow better from one song to the next.
The recording was also a little different, this time we were a lot more prepared as musicians and we had a clearer vision of what we wanted the record to sound like.
We also worked with engineer Troy McCosker of Pony Music for the first time. He is the audio ninja and what he can do in the studio is simply mind blowing.
What is the long-term aim for the band?
We have a little bucket list of things we want to achieve with our musical career and we are just ticking things off one by one.
We’re not looking for world domination, we just want to make music and perform it to as many people as we can.
SCORCHING WINTER’S NEW ALBUM ‘VICTIM’ IS AVAILABLE TO PRE-ORDER NOW FROM THE BAND’S OFFICIAL BANDCAMP PAGE www.scorchingwinter.bandcamp.com