Winhara, one of Toronto’s most exciting new bands has been turning heads with their highly energetic live shows and an album of killer tracks entitled 'Hold Back Light Show.' Since the recent release of their debut effort, the band has been featured on CFRB1010's Rock Talk and their song, Please Believe Me, was used in the television show Degrassi: The Next Generation.
The four piece mashes together the best of alternative, pop and electronica in their epic sound and gets references to bands from Muse to Keane to the Arcade Fire.
Winhara dabbled in independent recording but when renowned Toronto producer, Byron Wong (The Crystal Method, The Eurythmics), took them under his wing all the doors were torn off. Byron has pushed Winhara's sound to be bigger, edgier and more synth-driven. The result - an album with strong hooks, pushed by crushing choruses and epic outros.
These songs explode on stage in an extremely dynamic live set where light melodies switch instantly into dark, pounding anthems. The high-energy performance reverberates through synthesizers and distortion and is built on a foundation of tight, energetic drumming.
The members of Winhara - Daniel Sundy, Michael Kent Hammond, Hugh Montgomery and Stephen 'Prevost' Renton - are from a small town. They grew up together, played in bands together throughout high school and attended the same University. During the recording of this official debut album the four moved into a rehearsal loft in Toronto where they write, rehearse and live together. But Winhara took a piece of home with them when they left. The band was formed in their first rehearsal space - a garage on Winhara Rd.
Daniel Sundy: Vocals/Keys
Michael Kent Hammond: Guitar/Vocals
Hugh Montgomery: Bass/Keys
Stephen "Prevost" Renton: Drums
2009- Hold Back Light Show
Rock Talk Interview Transcript
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(Music intro) You’re listening to Rock Talk with Blair Packham and Bob Reid on news talk 1010 CFR...(Music intro)
You’re listening to Rock Talk with Blair Packham and Bob Reid on news talk 1010 CFRB.
BOB REID (HOST): That, Blair, is the sound of Winhara.
BLAIR PACKHAM (HOST): Winhara.
BOB: Yes, and you might think, boy that sounds a little familiar, if perhaps you were watching a recent episode of a major network television program because that track was actually used on there, wasn’t it boys? Well done. Congratulations. Winhara guys in the studio with us, they are Dan Sundy, Kent Hammond, Hugh Montgomery and Stephen Renton.
Band from a small town moves to the big city and starts making noise, Blair. That is the running story line here with these guys.
BLAIR: Okay, okay, so far not that unusual a story because we hear that, you know, a fair bit.
BOB: We do.
BLAIR: But, but these guys sound really good!
BLAIR: That’s the difference, the difference between most bands perhaps.
BOB: Yeah, they’re a very cool operation. They’ve hooked up with Byron Wong who produced your debut CD effort.
DAN: Yeah, we just spent about a year working with him in the studio and he’s got great vision -
BLAIR: He’s fantastic.
DAN: - so it’s been an absolute pleasure to work with him. It was awesome.
BLAIR: He’s got unbelievable ideas and he’s very inventive.
DAN: Exactly. People may know him from working with David Usher, he’s worked a lot with David Usher and various other artists around Toronto.
BLAIR: What small town did you guys come from?
DAN: Bracebridge, Ontario. It’s right in the- smack dab in the middle of Muskoka so about two hours North.
BOB: You’ve moved to town, you guys all grew up together and went to school together moved down here, you’re taking a serious run at music and it strikes me that in not too long you’re playing very cool rooms like The Rivoli and then coming up on this coming Saturday, March the 14th you’re at the Mod Club. That’s, that’s great, how have you managed to put that together?
DAN: Hard work, just harassing as many bookers as you can in the city and just not letting them off the phone and that sort of thing.
But, no, we’ve got a lot of cooperation from some great, great bookers and great people in the city and it’s just all through who you know, through different avenues.
BLAIR: It is who you know, absolutely it’s who you know, but, but you also have to be really good ‘cause people – whoever you know – they’re not going to risk, you know, giving you a night, you know, at their club if you’re not good. They’re not going to do stuff for you. So I’ve heard lots of people lament, “ah man, the music business, it’s all about who you know,” of course it is but you have to be good, you know?
DAN: Well hopefully, yeah.
BLAIR: Well you guys are!
BOB: Yeah, you’ve got it going on. I referenced the TV show. It’s the new Degrassi show is it? They used a snippet of that song?
DAN: Yeah, it’s Degrassi: The Next Generation.
BLAIR: That’s the one with Jean Luc Picard, right? The next generation?
DAN: Yeah, yeah.
BOB: Yeah, that’s the one.
BLAIR: That’s what I thought.
BLAIR: I don’t have a television machine, I only listen to radio.
BOB: Winhara is at the Mod Club this coming Saturday, March the 14th. What are you going to play for us guys?
DAN: We’re going to play a song called ‘Science’ it’s off our disc ‘Hold Back Light Show’ that we just recently finished with Byron Wong and uh, yeah, I hope everyone enjoys it. If they want to check out more stuff they can go to our MySpace which is myspace.com/winhara or straight to our website, ah, winhara.com.
BLAIR: How do you spell Winhara?
DAN: W – I – N – H – A – R – A
BOB: Well done. Here they are live on Rock Talk.
(Unplugged performance of Science)
BOB: Wow! That was different! I mean we get a lot of acoustic, and by nature we’ve got to pare the sound down but that was awesome with the glockenspiel and the drum machine shots and stuff. Very, very cool.
BLAIR: Yeah I love the (vibrates lips) sound. I love that sound, it’s my favourite sound.
BOB: Very creative.
KENT: Steve’s a pro at that sound.
BOB: Well good stuff guys. Best of success to ya and again watch out for Winhara they are at the Mod Club this Saturday, March the 14th go to Winhara W – I – N – H – A – R – A dot com. Thanks again for coming in.
DAN: Thanks so much for having us.
Winhara Excited To See Hometown Crowd
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BRACEBRIDGE - In gearing up for their concert at Rene M. Caisse Memorial Theatre on May 8, the band ...BRACEBRIDGE - In gearing up for their concert at Rene M. Caisse Memorial Theatre on May 8, the band Winhara is thinking about the summer playground they knew growing up.
"Have you got your boat in the water yet?" asked Winhara's lead singer Daniel Sundy, 26, just a few short sentences into this interview.
All members of the band grew up in Bracebridge and attended Bracebridge and Muskoka Lakes Secondary School.
Formed in December 2003, the band is named after their first rehearsal space here - a garage on Winhara Road.
The band comprises lead singer Sundy, Kent Hammond, Hugh Montgomery and Stephen Renton. Band members even attended the same university together at Queen's in Kingston.
They are really looking forward to their appearance tonight at the Rene Caisse.
Sundy recalled some past local appearance, some that occurred a while back and others more recently.
"We played the high school and different public dances, and when we came back later on we played the Concrete Monkey a bunch," he said.
Success has been steady and the band has been moving forward from strength to strength.
It has recorded some projects independently and one track, a song called 'Slow and Steady,' caught the attention of renowned music producer Byron Wong, who has worked with artists such as David Usher, Crystal Method, The Eurythmics and Jimmy Rankin.
In Fall 2007, Winhara recorded their first full-length professional album 'Hold Back Light Show' and with Wong's help, the band's sound became bigger, edgier and more synthesizer-driven.
"It's been a pretty drastic change, actually," said Sundy. "We started off pretty 'ballady' and I guess you could say it was melodic folk rock. When we met Byron ... he saw all these undertones that we never really concentrated on. That's when it changed to more of the synthy/rock sound that you hear now. He opened doors that we would never even have thought to push open."
Sundy said the band has just started writing new songs, but most of their energy over the last year has been spent readying the album for release.
Winhara's had another success recently when at the beginning of 2009, their song 'Please Believe Me' was featured on CTV's Degrassi: The Next Generation.
They continue to hone their chops as a crowd favourite in some of Toronto's best live music venues, including the Mod Club, The Rivoli and the Horseshoe Tavern.
In March, they were featured on Toronto CFRB Radio's popular show Rock Talk.
Between tours, the band lives in a rehearsal loft in Toronto where they write and rehearse together, but sundy said most songs on Hold Back Light Show have to do with experiences he had here in Muskoka.
"Most of those songs are re-recorded from as we were growing up. We amassed songs and we'd pick and choose from the ones that were written while we were still very much living in Muskoka, or at least here for the summers. I'm the main lyric writer and most of the lyrics come directly from an experience that happened in Muskoka."
As a live act, people attending the May 8 concert at Rene Caisse Theatre can expect an energetic set.
Winhara can be found online at www.winhara.com.
Tickets for the 8 p.m. show can be purchased for $15 ($10 for students) at the theatre's box office or by calling 705-645-8400.
Typically 45min to an hour and 15min set.
-Hold Back Light Show
-A Song Full of Regret
-Starting to Find
-Won't Be Missing You
-Slow and Steady
-Please Believe Me
-Precious - By Depeche Mode
-Paint It Black - By The Rolling Stones
There are no upcoming dates at this time.