The Winter Brave

It starts off as a pretty sweet family story: identical twins Jake and Sam Scarpino (better known as alternative rock duo The Winter Brave) grew up during what PEV considers to be one of the best decades for music –those alternative rock 90s. The two learned their instruments while jamming with each other, and that’s pretty awesome. However, what’s more awesome is when a 90’s alternative icon drops your name during a Reddit AMA – that’s right, Mr. Dave Grohl gave a shout-out to The Winter Brave that has led to a viral response, resulting in over 200,000 plays on the band’s Soundcloud and a #1 position on Bandcamp for their EP,  Metaphorsbecame.

However, we’re here to talk about the new stuff from The Winter Brave, namely their new single, “As You Once Were” off of their upcoming EP, The Hand You Never Seem to Lend. We asked the Scarpino duo to tell us all about it – Jake said, “‘As You Once Were’ is a dirty driving rock song. It started out with the verse riff as I was trying to figure out guitar tones to a different song.

FloorI really like the reverb on a swinging guitar riff, but I wasn’t sure where to go with the chorus. Eventually one day while I was at work, Sam had recorded a chorus for it, which was absolutely perfect. Eventually we began jamming the song as a whole and ended up finishing it out.” Click to to start your get to know you process with The Winter Brave – one listen to “As You Once Were” and you’ll understand exactly why Mr. Grohl is dropping their name (though it might also be because of their kickass stage show). Prepare for the June landing of The Hand You Never Seem to Lend and keep reading – there’s so much more to dive into in all the answers to the XXQs below.

XXQs: The Winter Brave (PEV): How would you describe your sound and what do you feel makes you stand out from others in your genre?

The Winter Brave (TWB): We see ourselves as a Rock/Alternative band. Alternative rock lately seems to have lost some of its edge. Our loud, energetic rock riffs set us apart from the rest of our genre.

PEV: What kind of music were you two into growing up? Do you remember your first concert?

TWB: Being born in the early 90s, we grew up on classic rock and 90s alternative. The first band we really got into was The Beatles (surprise). Coincidently our first concert was Paul McCartney in Boston. It was absolutely mind-blowing for two twelve year olds just getting into music.

PEV: What was it like trying to break into the music scene in your hometown, when you first started out as a band? What was your first show like together as a band?

TWB: This band began when we were in middle school. Our first show was a battle of the bands in downtown Pittsburgh, PA. We were 14 years old and we SUCKED. But by that time, we wrote all original music and we had a blast playing it in front of people.

PEV: What can fans expect from a live The Winter Brave show?

TWB: We have always taken pride in our live energy. We’re loud and energetic and the audience always is moving.

PEV: What is the first thing that comes to mind when you step on stage?

TWB: Whenever we get on stage, we’re always pumped, ready to kick ass and play as loud as possible.

The Winter Brave1610893_765555166827817_814207990462269232_nPEV: How has playing in The Winter Brave been different from working with other artists or projects in the past?

TWB: We’re identical twins and we learned our instruments by jamming with each other. We’ve hit a really cool point where when jamming, we’ll know where one of us is going with an idea as its happening.

PEV: What is the underlying inspiration for your music? Where do you get your best ideas for songs?

TWB: All of our songs are very collaborative. I don’t think there’s one song of ours that didn’t start with one of us and then go to the other. Being able to bounce ideas off of each other always improves what we could write by ourselves.

PEV: Thinking back to when you first started out, do you ever look back on your career and think about your earlier days and how you’ve arrived where you are today?

TWB: Thanks to Myspace and our dream of being huge rock stars at 13, we have plenty of awful songs recorded that will constantly remind us that we have grown as musicians and songwriters. It’s really fun to look back and listen to songs from when you were just getting a handle on writing.

PEV: What’s one thing we’d be surprised to hear about the members of The Winter Brave?

Jake Scarpino (JS): Although our music is loud, distorted and energetic, my favorite contemporary band is an acoustic folk band called Good Old War.

The Winter Brave Press Photo 1 (1)Sam Scarpino (SS): Despite being the drummer of the band, I see myself more as a bass player because it was the first instrument I learned. The only reason I play drums is because when we started the band (as a trio), we had two bass players and no drummer.

PEV:  What can fans expect from your new single “As You Once Were” from your forthcoming EP, The Hand You Never Seem to Lend? Tell us about the writing process behind this work.
JS: “As You Once Were” is a dirty driving rock song. It started out with the verse riff as I was trying to figure out guitar tones to a different song. I really like the reverb on a swinging guitar riff, but I wasn’t sure where to go with the chorus. Eventually one day while I was at work, Sam had recorded a chorus for it, which was absolutely perfect. Eventually we began jamming the song as a whole and ended up finishing it out.

PEV: What is the feeling you get after a song or album is complete and you can sit back and listen to it in full?

TWB: It is really one of the most satisfying feelings you can have. Hearing your hard work from writing to polishing come together is something really special.

PEV: What would you say is the biggest challenge for musicians trying to make a name for themselves these days?

TWB: There’s a ton of awesome music anywhere you look. So if you aren’t doing 100% of what you need to be doing, you won’t be noticed. Since there’s so many ways to get music nowadays, you really have to look at everything as a new opportunity to make fans.

PEV: With all your traveling, is there one area you wish you could travel around and play that you have not yet?

TWB: We still have not made it to the west coast and we’d love to play out there.

PEV: How have all your friends and family reacted to your career? What’s it like when you get to play in your hometown?

TWB: Everyone has been supportive which we are extremely lucky for. Playing at home is fun because it’s a great excuse to visit friends.

PEV: What can we find each of you doing in your spare time, aside from playing/writing music?

TWB: We take racquet sports very seriously. Tennis/badminton/racquetball are some of our favorites.

PEV: Name one present and past artist or group that would be your dream collaboration. Why?

JS: I’d be lying if for past I wouldn’t say any of The Beatles. They just could not do wrong and I’d love to just sit in and observe their writing process. For present I think that the guys of Mutemath and Local Natives would be a ton of fun to jam with. They both have such a unique and full sound and I’d love to be a part of it.

SS: To avoid saying the same thing as Jake, I’d love to collaborate with Elvis Costello. That guy literally never turns off his songwriting machine. I love his music and he’s someone who always is collaborating with other artists. As far as present artists, I’m in love with Grizzly Bear. Any member from that band would be a dream to work with. They’ve described their songwriting process as collaborative among themselves so I feel like they’d be willing and able to do pretty much anything.

PEV: Is there an up and coming band or artist you think we should all be looking out for now?

TWB: A really great band out of Columbus, Ohio is Captain Kidd. They have an awesome dancy indie vibe that is wicked catchy and fun to listen to.

PEV: If playing music wasn’t your life (or life’s goal), what do you think each of you would be doing for a career?

TWB: We’d be in college studying something stupid or less fun.

PEV: So, what is next for The Winter Brave?

TWB: We’re excited to be releasing our EP in June; it’s definitely the best work we’ve ever put out. After that we’ll continue to write and record more songs. We hope to hit the road again soon and continue to play around!

For more information, click to


Comments are closed.