Joff Winks Band

Joff Winks Band

Who is Joff Winks?

This is a really hard question! Joff Winks is me, he is the person who writes the songs and gives them a vocal personality. I can’t really say much more than that.

At what age did you realise you were going to be a musician?

I started playing the guitar really young, around the age of six, but music didn’t start to grab me until I was about twelve. I played other instruments for a time but the guitar was the thing that I kept plugging away at, it would get me so mad sometimes that I’d cry and yet I would always come back to it, over and over, eventually, I became obsessed with it, I’d play it to the point of neglecting a lot of other things.

I think when something like music has such a strong and positive effect you begin to have a good idea that this is what I’ve got to be doing, for the rest of my life. Once that happened I realised that as my life moved from point A (being born) to point B (dying) all I needed to do was try to fill the spaces in between creatively, an idea that is sometimes easier said than done.

What inspired you about kite flying enough to make you want to write a song?

Well, firstly the kind of songs I like by other people tend not to be the love type, so I’m not really interested in writing about the content of my own emotional life. That’s not to say that the writing is devoid of emotion, rather the opposite, it’s just that I don’t know how much creative scope there is in autobiographical writing and I think it can get pretty dull pretty quickly.

Once I had started listening to musicians like Robert Wyatt and Richard Synclair I began to open up to a wider array of possibilities and to feel more comfortable in my writing, for the following two reasons (a) you can sing with your regional accent! It doesn’t have to be a contrived American one and (b) that you can write songs about what you know and have experienced and if this happens to be kite flying, then it’s a song about that.

Secondly, I like to write songs with a narrative, I think Juniper, which is the song with the Kite lyric fits into this category. Usually, I’ll start with a lyric or even just a word that I like the sound of and before long there’s a story unfolding. Juniper, rather than being about Kite flying per se is actually about a boy called Juniper who develops a strange death phobia and consequently an even stranger obsession with his Kite. The kite for him represents an escape from the ground, from the earth and ultimately from his own mortality.

What’s your personal description of your music?

This is probably the hardest question of all to answer. The description of my music is a sum of all the music I have listened to. I would like to say that it is heavily inspired by Steely Dan, Hatfield and the North, Neil Young, Tortoise, Miles Davis, Coltrane and many others but weather it actually sounds like that to other listeners is another thing. If you enjoy The Dan, Flaming Lips, Neil Young and the Rachel’s then I would hope that there is something you could get into on Songs For Days.

When is the album out?

The album is due for release on the 2nd of July digitally via iTunes and preceding this is the first single ‘Cast Adrift’, which will be released on the 25th of June. After this, I’m hoping to move to CD copies later in the year once the initial digital part of the release is completed.

How does your album compare to your two singles?

Well, we have included one of the singles on the album and I think that this track represents where we’ve come from but alongside this, there are much larger works, songs that wouldn’t be possible out of the context of an album. I think the album is still the greatest medium for music to exist on. Single tracks are fine but as a body of work, an album becomes more than the sum of its parts.

I tried to make Songs For Days feel like a story it just appeals to me to sculpt the songs in that way. Sequencing the tracks is a real joy as you get to play around with how the songs segue into each other or the positioning of one song in a certain key against another which compliments it, it’s the final piece of creativity after all the hard work in the recording stage is finally done and it’s something you don’t have much of a chance to do with a single release.

What next?

Next? Well I’ve begun writing a set of new tracks that I hope will form the basis of a new release and alongside this, we will be knuckling down to promote Songs For Days, ultimately I hope this will lead to a first deal with a like-minded label who can help us move on to a much larger scale.

Written by Stephens on

Louise Stephens was a long-term writer for The Mag.

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