Winston Giles: We are all lovers
We are all lovers. Born from intense episodes of spent passion, we become lovers when the object of our desire inspires our complete devotion. Australian electronic artist, songwriter and musician Winston Giles neatly captures this journey of grande passion in his deepest affair to date, his newly completed album Lovers.
Accomplished on many levels but remaining relatively unfamiliar to the dance world, Winston grew up in Australia’s cultural mecca of Melbourne, cutting his musical teeth on UK arthouse rock like David Bowie, Sex Pistols, The Cure and Velvet Underground. The sounds of prominent guitars, thick keys and resolute drumming served as the basis for Winston’s musical vision, with his musical training as a teenager on guitar and piano providing the base for his musicianship. It has been his heart and his vision however that’s kept music tied to his side as his ultimate mistress. “I have always been inspired by music and musicians,” Winston establishes. “I’ve also found great artists and the lives that they lead, intriguing. But creating and writing music has always been an outlet for me to translate and express myself and my life experiences. It became a passion really early on in my life. Music pumps my blood and really effects me.”
Winston first took to the music world with his punk rock band Floor 13 at age eighteen. “Getting on stage and performing was such a rush I became addicted to it.” Radio exposure in Australia led to Floor 13 touring and recording across the States. After eight years, Winston returned to Australia, very much grown up and endowed with an understanding of how it all worked. The Australian dance scene of the late 1990s would capture Winston’s musical ears, with the sounds of trance, big beat, house and electro snaring his ears. This led to the formation of Atari Baby, a project that would incorporate the talents of many DJs and producers contributing towards a dark sound dominated by Winston’s signature guitars and dynamic vocals, with an ample sexual undertones to the lyrics. “I have always loved rock music. I only really discovered dance music in my late 20s when I started clubbing and getting into dance culture. I love rock and dance the same, but they are very different, and for different reasons.”
Driven as always by the chameleon nature of his ‘mistress’, Winston continued his quest in uncovering the mystique behind music. 2004 saw a relationship struck up with producer CJ Dolan leading to an innovation in his sound – The Winston Giles Orchestra. With Winston on guitars, vocals, piano, beats and samples playing alongside trumpeter, flugel and keys player Dorian West, tWinston Giles Orchestra also featured interactive artists such as freestyle dancers and acrobats and elaborate audio visuals. Known for its unique and delicate fusion of ambient dance, psytrance and rock with live instrumental music, Australia’s Impress Magazine naming WGO as one of the ‘50 Bands To See Before You Die’. Albums Soundtracks for Sunrise followed by Magnificent Beautiful Day were well received with much praise on their quality.
Travelling around the world with WGO, Winston reflects, “I got really inspired by new sounds. I knew that I wanted a new sound and the sound that I wanted to go for. I was listening to a lot of bands from New York such as LCD Sound System and also a lot of David Bowie and obscure eighties stuff.” Winston’s latest project would cross borders, being worked and reworked in four studios in Melbourne and then the Gold Coast with the skills of CJ Dolan, Derek K, Todd Watson and Don Nadi added to the mix. The result was Lovers.
When asked exactly what the release of Lovers meant to Winston, he is thoughtful in his response. “Lovers means a lot to me in many different ways. I spent more time on this album than any other album that I have done and it took a long time to make. I wanted an authentic feel to it. I got the sound I wanted too so that is satisfying. I also wrote a lot of material and went with the theme that had developed with the songs. I realised that the best songs were the ones where I had written about those relationships. It really made sense and had identity and felt like a complete piece. Lovers gave me a real outlet to work with while difficult things were going on in my life.” Acknowledging it as a diverse album with an underground disco and indie feel always surrounded by ‘driven beats’, Winston is rather proud of the results from his latest grande passion.
“It consumes your entire life,” Winston acknowledges. “There are lots of acoustic and electric guitars, as well as lap steel, bass and keyboards on the album,” Winston points out. As with any affair, Winston also found he was not the only one involved in the album to possess strong feelings for Lovers. “The album really took on the right direction with Don Nadi,” Winston acknowledges. “I was so vibed because he really understood the sound I wanted and had so much music and perfect references. He knew that Lovers was a big deal to me and that I had a message and a lot to get out. We argued a lot – but that just became part of it. He really became very passionate about the album and that was just awesome.”
With successful launches already behind him in Sydney and Melbourne, Winston is now looking forward to the launch of Lovers at Gold Coast nightspot Elsewhere on Friday November 14. “I have been completely blown away by the response. The launches have been so much fun. People are digging it which is very cool. I like that they are seeing it as an album with a theme and that they are relating to it.” Sure to be a huge night also featuring the talents of Audun and Don Nadi on the decks, Winston promises the launch of Lovers will be “a rockin party at one of the best clubs in Australia. Elsewhere really is a wicked club,” he affirms, “and the people there are supportive of their local scene. We will play the album and a bunch of re-mixes as well as a lot of tracks that inspired and influenced the album. It’s going to be rockin!”
Winston Giles launches of Lovers this Friday November 14th at.Elsewhere.