Interview with The Winter Codes

Introduce yourself (yourselves) and your hidden talent!

We are The Winter Codes. We are Barney Murray and David Walshe who live in Ireland and our sound could maybe be described as The Undertones meets Dexys Midnight meets The Pogues. Barney was the founder of Trad/Punk outfit Blood Or Whiskey which he left in 2002. Having left the band Barney continued to write songs and now this is his first full album in over twenty years. David Walshe’s brother ( and identical twin ) Paul Walshe was in Blood Or Whiskey and left it shortly after Barney did. 

Paul passed away some time ago but Barney and David kept on working on the songs and over a long period managed to record a full album which is due for release at the start of August. It’s different to the Blood Or Whiskey stuff in that it is a lot less punk influenced and is more trad/pop. The first single from the album was Too Sly To Die and the second single is Troublesome Girl which will be released along with the album in August.

Troublesome Girl is different from other tracks on the album in that the lead vocal is sung by our friend, the folk singer Lisa Loughrey who really transformed it and made it her own.

Do you prefer performing live or recording, and why?

(Barney) I much prefer recording music to play live any day. I did a lot of touring when I was in Blood Or Whiskey and it was hard going a lot of the time. I don’t remember being very elated at the end of a gig, I was just relieved that things had gone well.

The Winter Codes have never played a live gig and  I have no intention of doing so in the future. The problems with playing live is that you are at the mercy of the local soundperson. If they are good then the gig might go well but if not the whole night is ruined. In a studio, you have almost complete control and that’s the way I like it. I’m done with gigging

Who are your main musical influences and why?

(Barney ) I think that Bob Dylan would be an influence in that the sheer brilliance of his songwriting is in a class of it’s own. When Dylan is good it’s great. I have to say that Richard Thompson would give Dylan a run for his money. Not only does he write great songs but he is one of the best guitarists in the world and also has a great voice. Other influences would be The Undertones due to them having the catchiest choruses. We are also influenced by traditional Irish ballads that we learned in school and elsewhere.

What’s in store for you for the rest of the year?

(Barney) For the rest of the year, we just want to get the album out there to as many people as we can. We had planned the release of the album over two years ago but covid got in the way of all that. We are hoping to eventually make some more videos to go with the songs. We are really excited about the album. It took a while longer than we thought but it came out the way we wanted it to in the end. 

Tell MoggBlog viewers about your latest release! What’s the inspiration behind that?

(Barney ) The name of our upcoming album is Set The Darkness Reeling which is taken from a line in the song Troublesome Girl. The album stems from when Paul used to call to see me after we both left Blood Or Whiskey. He would come down and we would trash out the songs into fairly basic recording devices. When Paul passed away we were able to use some of his playing on tracks for the album due to a really great sound engineer so he is still part of the music . I think Paul was on our minds when we were recording and mixing the album. He was a huge inspiration and we wanted to get it right in his memory. I think we did. 

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