Winter is upon us, and if our recent “weather bomb” cyclone has shown us anything, it’s that our winter experiences may vary. Weather gets hyped and sensationalized almost as much as the news these days, and how much we buy into it can effect how we prepare for it. As Owen Meany’s Batting Stance’s Daniel Walker points out in his video for ‘Winter, Wednesdays’, that sometimes things hit a point where you just need to ride it out.
“At the surface, this song is a response to a particularly harsh winter season Atlantic Canada bundled through four years ago. Coincidentally, we experienced massive snow storms solely on Wednesdays. Many news anchors along with water cooler chatter, talked of these consecutive storms as if ‘planned’ by some other-worldly being in what I perceived as an attempt to give meaning to weather, which functions along more chaotic than patterned lines,” says Walker.
“At the time I was reading Kurt Vonnegut’s Cat’s Cradle and one particular quote summarizing the fictitious absurdist religion of Bokonism stuck with me… “Tiger got to hunt, bird got to fly; Man got to sit and wonder ‘why, why, why?’ Tiger got to sleep, bird got to land; Man got to tell himself he understand.”
Ultimately this song details the general trend of humans attempting to inject understanding and subsequently perceived control over things that can not be controlled or understood. So often we attempt to squeeze out meaning or predictability from disorderly events.
In the aftermath of each storm, many Haligonians were livid with the municipality’s slow response clearing the accumulated snow and ice which made walking, let alone driving impossible. Although I usually side with the people on most issues, this finger pointing bothered me as I did not believe there was any sort of preparation the city could have done for the intensity and frequency of these storms. Sometimes, when the weather is bad, our lives cannot operate according to our usual routine. We have to stay inside and that’s all there is to it.
Filming ‘Winter Wednesdays’ at the Arena seemed to thematically complement the song. Melody wise, the song is dark, pacing, and lyrically deals with the subject matter (more light-hearted) of winter storms and their effect on humans. For those who grew up playing hockey, or suffered at sibling’s hockey games/practices, the Arena is synonymous with winter time. The hockey rink closely resembles the harshness of the natural environment after a storm, laden with ice, dumped Zamboni snow, and cold concrete. Even our breathe in the hockey rink is visible from the perennially frigid atmosphere and like being outside on a winter day, we all look forward to leaving the uncomfortable cold of the arena for the relieving warmth of returning home.
The acoustic arrangement of ‘Winter Wednesdays’ relies heavily on the vocal delivery compared to the full band version, and the natural acoustics of an empty hockey rink provided us with some beautiful natural reverb.”