Written by: Annette - Lover of Ohio's Local Music Scene!!!
Can I say "DAMN!" ... "WOW!" ... "AMAZING!" ... "HOT AS HELL!" ??? Or, I could go on but, what I can't do is find enough expressive phrases to sum up the Winters Bane show at Crossroads Concert Club on February 3, 2007! I'd been so waiting the return of Winters Bane and, well ... they did NOT let me down! Sure, there was the fun poking at the "Jeff, Jeff, Jeff and Lou" thing but, as soon as they took the stage, there were NO jokes! SERIOUS metal screamed from each member! Lou St. Paul plays a mean-riffed guitar and his stage presence is one to behold, putting him up there with - in my opinion - some of the great guitarists out there! Having a chance to chat with "Doc" - Jeffrey Welch, was very cool. He's a fun guy who plays his bass to kill and you can see and hear his lust / love for playing in everything he does on stage and every note he plunks. "J.C." - Jeff Curenton sits back and does his thing on the drums. He's perfect for what Winters Bane needs in the way he meshes the guitar and bass together with dynamic percussion leaving the lead vocals land perfectly. And, knowing him personally, and having a few words with him before he went on stage - Jeff "Z" Sheeler - could in NO WAY convince me that he was actually nervous a little. Pft! He's one of the most amazing vocalists I've heard. I'm not afraid to say it either! He knows I'm one of his biggest fans! Jeff captured all vocal styles of Winters Bane from beginning through now and this was important to faithful fans who lined the crowd! Truly though, their show was pure energy from beginning to end! It was a great night for Winters Bane to come back to Akron and lay down the metal that we've been craving! And, if I were you, I would for SURE, be looking for more from them in the future! This past Saturday's show was ONLY the beginning!!!!!
And, of course, like I do, I had the pleasure of chatting with Lou St. Paul about Winters Bane and recapping on some old Winters Bane stuff and digging into the new line up and just getting a feel for where they're heading. So ... check it out!!!!
ANNETTE: Well, first let's introduce the band: Tell us who makes up the new line up of Winters Bane? Who are they and, where'd you get 'em?
The new line is:
Jeff ďZĒ Sheeler Ė Lead Vocals
Lou St. Paul - Guitars
Jeffrey Welch Ė Bass / Vocals
Jeff Curenton Ė Drums
These guys with the exception of Jeff C., who has been in Winters Bane before, have been floating around the local music scene and have all known each other indirectly but have never had a chance to work together. The timing worked out perfectly for us to all reform the band locally, and Iím very pleased how itís come together.
ANNETTE: Now, pardon the expression, but, it's "WILD" that three of your members are named "Jeff". What is the deal with that? Was that like a private joke thing??
LOU: Anyone who knows me would tell you how busy I am. So, part of the preReq for auditions was that you had to have the same name as my bassist. That way, I just have to say one name, and they all look at me. Who ever Iím looking at will respond. Itís all very psychologicalÖlol. Oddly enough it just worked out that way. I guess it was a very popular name in the 60ís.
ANNETTE: Tell us who the main musical influences are behind the music from Winters Bane. Are they pretty much the same bands and musicians for all of the members?
LOU: My main influences are a wide spectrum of music, but as far as the heavy side, it would be: Savatage, Megadeth, King Diamond and Sanctuary. To a certain degree we all have come from the same kind of musical background, like melodic, heavy, riff-oriented metal.
ANNETTE: I gave some of it a listen and, am intrigued by the first Winters Bane released disk - "Heart of a Killer". This is obviously a concept piece. But, what I'd like to know is, who wrote this concept? Where does "Judge Cohagen" come from?
LOU: I wrote the music and most of the concept. I didnít write the Lyrics to HOAK. It was penned by our first singer B.C. Richards. There were a couple of things added by Tim just to finish up, but the concept was already there. The actual Character doesnít Exist, but I can say this much, at the time my experiences and moral views reflected the characters in the story.
ANNETTE: Are there plans in the future to do another concept album? Or, actually, what are the plans for any upcoming recordings?
LOU: Yes, the next Winters Bane album will be a concept. I have already penned the concept and we will begin recording it this summer for Metal Heaven Records.
ANNETTE: Is there a particular favorite Winter's Bane disk that you would suggest to new listeners that would give them the best feel for the music and hook them as fans forever?
LOU: I think for any listener, they should start with the latest disk and work their way back. I think artistís progress or at least they should. So I would recommend ďRedivivusĒ, because thatís representative of what we are doing now.
ANNETTE: How do you think the newest line-up of Winters Bane will be received by the faithful fans?
LOU: I think they will love the new lineup, we have three singers in the band (not including me) and we can reproduce all the harmony stuff off of RED and HOAK. Jeff Z sings both Tim and Alex (former Winters Bane vocalists) very very well, and Jeff W. adds depth and a new dimension to our live show.
ANNETTE: How looking forward are you to the home town show on February 3, 2007 at Crossroads in Akron?
LOU: Ah kind of, itís only AkronÖ lol J Seriously, Itís our home town and our home venue that helped make us who we are today. Iím very excited to play for the fans who have followed us for so long and our new fans who have never seen us.
ANNETE: Will Winters Bane be hitting the road anytime soon? Or, better yet, are there any plans for touring?
LOU: Our first priority is recording with the new line up. We wanted to tour to support Redivivus but geography didnít allow us with Alex and Mark living in Europe. We are in a much better position to fulfill a lot of our expectations for touring in the future.
ANNETTE: This question is from Cindy in Akron who emailed me and wanted to know this: Do you still talk to the "Scream Machine" himself, Tim Owens
LOU: Occasionally, we still have band business from the first album.
ANNETTE: Finally, can you list the next few show dates and where Ohioans can get out to see the awesome metal power of Winter's Bane live?
LOU: Feb 17th at the Jigsaw for a WJCU benefit concert in Cleveland. More to come very soon.