With only two songs released and British media exploding with proclamations that they’re the 'Next Big Thing', this year’s 'Saviours of British Indie' and 'Destined for Glastonbury's Pyramid Stage', Will Daunt of ZULU WINTER allows ANDY HAZEL a glimpse into the calm before the storm.
In what has to be one of the least ‘rock’ introductions to an NME-hyped act ever, Zulu Winter singer Will Daunt laughingly apologises for doing housework while being interviewed. “Err…I’m rooting around in my fridge and making herbal tea before I go to bed. We’re going to America for three weeks on Monday,” he says calmly “We definitely aren’t foolish enough to set ourselves for this ‘new British hope conquering America’ nonsense. It’s a big place and it’s so exciting to go so early in our careers; we’ve only released two songs,” he says sipping his tea.
“We’re a pretty likeminded, democratic band, so there’s no leader or decision-maker, just five strong-minded people who argue a lot to make a collective decision. Because of the way we’ve gone about things, I don’t feel like we’re part of any scene,” Daunt explains carefully. “We locked ourselves away for a long time and just wrote, we didn’t really come out of or join a London scene or a UK scene. We’ve seen a lot of bands go out and play the songs they’re putting on their records a lot of times, but we didn’t,” which is unusual given the suitability of their widescreen indie rock for a live setting.
Already having drawn hundreds of thousands of views since being uploaded, Zulu Winter’s two songs We Should Be Swimming and Never Leave are also glimpses into their forthcoming album Language, the recording of which was completed in February. The wildly enthusiastic responses from blogs as well as established media outlets aren’t phasing the band at all. “It’s nice, but you can’t listen to it,” says Daunt over further sounds of housework. “Part of the reason we decided to do all the writing first was to avoid the rush that bands find themselves in when that they get a deal then have a month to write the record so everyone panics. [Australian label] Dew Process saw us in rehearsal and off the back of that, they said ‘we believe in you guys’ which was great. It was their suggestion to come over, and the more people we can play to outside of the UK and Europe the better. Apart from anything else, coming to Australia will be a great break from winter. We’re only there for two shows, but we’ll be back for a festival at some point,” he reveals suggestively.
“To a certain extent, the main reasons is because we love playing together and we love music, and to have our music bring all these people around us – these influential people and pacemakers - their saying we’re going to be the next big thing, it’s flattering,” he continues keenly. “There is a certain amount of pressure on us, but if you pay attention to that then you can go wrong.”
What seems inevitable about listening to these two songs is that they’re tailor made for massiveness. Despite the soaring choruses, danceable beats, shimmering guitars and plaintive vocals, Daunt insists that the band are ‘just fans of good pop music with a bit of depth and interest’. He explains further: “We are excited about how we’re doing and it is nice to be getting this sort of hyperbole, but we’ve never had a ‘fuck yeah, we’ve just written a number one!’ moment. We just wrote some songs and obviously I’m the singer and as far as lyrics and core structures and melodies go, I’m contributing more than the other members to that, but we just want to create something we’re all proud of. It would be nice to have people acclaiming the album as being great and worthy of attention from other people, but there was never any aim to headline the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury or any nonsense like that. If journalists want to say that [and they have] then fine, but that’s definitely not coming out of our mouths.”