Scorching Winter is a female-fronted five-piece hard rock band based in Melbourne, Australia . Their changing sound focuses on instrumentation and composition, with a dark tone that takes listeners on a satisfyingly unexpected journey. Vocalist, Tina Papadimitriou and guitarist, Rafael Katigbak took the time to answer my questions. We spoke about dream collaborations, playing shows and favourite apps.
Where did the band name come from?
Rafael Katigbak: We wanted something that was representative of the music and imagery we wanted to portray the band in. Heavy guitars with melodic vocals, Evil but beautiful. It also has a medieval / gothic feel to it which remind us of a different era full of mystery and darkness but at the same time honour and beauty were much valued.
How did you all get together?
Rafael: Nick(drummer) and I started the band back in 2012. We used to work in the same company and we just got together to jam on a few songs I have written. The other guys we found through the local online music community.
What inspired you to become musicians?
Tina Papadimitriou: For me it was a way to express myself. Whether I was sad, angry, happy or sad I would always sing and write lyrics. My dad was actually meant to become a Greek singer but gave it up to move to Australia and start a family. So dad inspires me every day. He’s got an awesome voice.
Was that what you always wanted to do?
Tina: It was either theatre or music, so yes. But I chose music because I always loved writing poetry, still do, which helps me write my lyrics. I’ve always loved the arts.
What song would you recommend to someone who hasn’t heard your music before?
Rafael: ‘My Gift, My Curse’ from our new album is probably one I am most proud of. From our previous album, The Shining and Aggression are usual fan favourites.
What artists influence you as a band? Who do you admire?
Tina: As a band we have common influences like Metallica, Iron Maiden, Dream Theater. As for me Jonathan Davis from KoRn and Marilyn Manson are two of my favourite. I strongly admire their work. Not only am I a huge fan of their music but their live shows really give you something to remember. There’s also a band called Theatre Des Vampire’s from Italy who are incredible and really bring a theatrical taste to the stage. Which I’m a huge fan of.
Is there anyone you’d like to collaborate with?
Tina: There are so many, but I would definitely have to say the one and only Marilyn Manson. I’m sure the others would give you a different answer though.
Rafael: My lifelong dream would be to collaborate with a full orchestra. I want to write a full 2.5 hour show specifically for that project.
My Mum insists that in every interview I ask; what apps do you have on your phone and which one is your favourite?
Tina: What an interesting question. I have so many apps which I hardly use, but I love my mystery games and match 3 ones. They’re so addictive! And of course, Facebook and Instagram. Gotta stay in touch with the fans 😃
Can we expect to see you playing shows in the UK anytime soon?
Rafael: Would definitely love to play in the UK. We’ll see how the album is received there during this promotion period and decide whether it is feasible.
Do you have any pre-show rituals?
Rafael: Just my finger warm-up exercises. I use a combination of different ones I found online from Joe Satriani, John Petrucci and Steve Morse. Cause that’s what guitar nerds do.
Tina: Not really. It actually depends on the show and on my mood. But usually I like to be in a quiet place with our keyboardist Natalie and pray we won’t make any mistakes . . . And that I don’t trip over in my ridiculously high boots, you know the usual 😃👌 I do however like to get a bowl of boiling water and just breathe in all the steam. It really helps clear my vocal chords.
What would you like to achieve through your music?
Rafael: We are working through a bucket list of things we want to achieve as artists. When it’s all over, we will look back on it and assess it not on how big or small we got but by how much we were able to do the things we wanted to do.
To you, what is the most important part of a song?
Rafael: I used to think the Chorus was the most important until I was exposed to prog music. Some of the Rush songs don’t even have a proper chorus but they’re still awesome songs. So I think there is no single part that is more important than another. You have to make sure you engage the listener from start to finish.
What do you think is the easiest and hardest part of a song to write?
Rafael: The bridge is normally the last piece I write for the song because it’s pretty much the part that has to be different from the rest. It’s short and it has to be super interesting. Because of that it becomes one of the most special parts in the song. And it feels like a little treat when you play it because you only play it once in the song.
If you’re buying music, how would you do so: CD, vinyl or digital?
Tina: Definitely CD! I love supporting a band /artist either way but I love buying the CDs and looking at all the artwork, photos and lyrics. I have quite the collection.
What is the most challenging song to play live?
Rafael: For me, the songs that are most difficult to play are not necessarily the technical ones but the ones which require me to change sounds, effects, pickups very quickly. That’s why from our previous songs, ‘Leap’ is always challenging to play for me. In this new album, there are so many of these that I haven’t quite figured out how I’m gonna play them live yet.
What’s your earliest musical memory?
Tina: That would have to be in school when I joined the choir in Elwood Primary. We would perform almost everywhere. I was a soprano so I had mostly all eyes on me every time. My music teacher Mrs. Smith always said I had a strong voice, even back then. She would tell me to work hard and I would get far. I wish she could see me now!
What’s your fondest musical memory?
Tina: The first performance I had with Scorching Winter. It was so exciting for me. It wasn’t anything major, but it was one of my fondest. As soon as I got up on that stage with them for the first time I just knew I wanted to keep doing this with them forever.
What advice would you give to aspiring musicians?
Tina: Never give up! And don’t look at becoming a musician only for the fame and money. Do it because it’s your passion, your dream. It’s way more rewarding that way. Find your unique style and give it your all. Whether it’s on your own or in a band. Some people will support you, others will laugh at you and put you down…Use that and create something amazing! Then we’ll see who will be the one laughing 😉
Rafael: Also, I think people have a highly romanticized idea of what it’s like in the music industry. But in reality, a lot of what you have to do has nothing to do with the music. In as much as you don’t want to treat it as a business, you really need to do all the right things and make the right decisions. Just boring stuff that requires a lot of homework. I don’t want to discourage people but just wanted to give them the heads up.
Have you ever met an idol and freaked out about it?
Tina: Yes! I had met James “Munky” Shaffer from KoRn on their “Bitch we have a problem” tour in 2007. We had met online on MySpace (back in the days when it was cool). I was invited to go backstage with some friends and got to meet the band. I remember being on the stage and singing every single song word for word. Unfortunately, I only got to see my idol Jonathan Davis for 2 seconds, but meeting and hanging out with the lead guitarist was an absolute honour. He’s an incredible musician.
What would be your dream tour?
Rafael: It would be awesome to be part of a metal festival like the BIG 4 or Gigantour.
Where would you be, ideally, in 5 years?
Tina: Hopefully still with Scorching Winter, and touring all over the world.
I fell in love with their sound from the first listen, it was a refreshing change and their unique sound have made these guys a group I’m really interested in following. Follow them on social media to hear all the latest news about live shows and new music:
Facebook: Scorching Winter
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