“You’ll Find Us There” – Songs from 2002

A few weeks ago we released another compilation of early songs called “You’ll Find Us There”. You can find them here:

2002 was an intense year of change for me personally, and for Facing Winter. The first half of the year was much different than the second half.

Dan Perdue’s other band Sleeping At Last was starting to have major success. They got noticed by Billy Corgan and he got them signed to Interscope Records! Understandably, Dan had to step away from Facing Winter. I felt so happy for him, but also it was hard to lose him as a bandmate.

Spoiler: Dan and I are still great friends and he still contributes to Facing Winter <3

In the early part of 2002, Jason Sipe and I were inseparable. We were constantly writing, laughing, recording, and exploring Chicago and the suburbs. Jason recorded the electric guitars on Working Title and Morning Starlight, as well as acoustic guitars on Good Mourning.

Jason’s other band “Matthew” was starting to have a lot of success, and they needed a fill-in bass player for a European tour. I was invited to join them! It was a 12 day tour through 5 different countries. It was an amazing trip for so many reasons. Photo highlights include our session in Paris for Rolling Stone!

After the trip Jason continued having great success with Matthew, and so we weren’t able to hang out as much. But this certainly wasn’t the end of Jason’s contributions to Facing Winter.

Musically, it was whittled down to just me. But I doubled-down on Facing Winter. During the second half of the year I was playing open mics religiously in Chicago and the area. Sometimes 4-5 nights a week. I had a particular partner in crime: Liam Doyle.

Liam hadn’t started playing bass yet, but during this time he was one of my biggest supporters and best friends. We spent SO many nights wandering throughout Chicago and beyond. Even though Liam didn’t contribute musically to these songs, I could not have done it without him by my side.

My favorite song from this compilation is Venture Further. Even all these years later, I can still feel it. And I think it’s a song I may start playing live again soon.

Many of these songs were on an album originally released as “Just Invisible”. Here is the original artwork drawn by Lara Earhart:

The next compilation will be released in November and will include songs from 2003-2005. Stand-by for the exciting debuts of Liam Doyle on Bass and Jeff Goluszka on Drums!

Want to talk more about these songs? Have a question? A comment? Hit us up anytime:

facingwinter at gmail

“Take Shape and Run Away” – Songs from 1999-2001

Hey. This is Justin. I want to share some background and details about Facing Winter’s story. And also some big news!

Today Facing Winter has released a new compilation called “Take Shape and Run Away“. These ancient songs are more than 20 years old! But we’ve added a fresh shine, and all tracks have been remastered.

Longtime friends may recognize favorites like “Lost” and “Will It Be The Last Time” which were performed regularly for many years.

You can find “Take Shape and Run Away” on Spotify, Bandcamp, and YouTube.

This is just the beginning. We’ll be releasing more compilations and albums regularly for the rest of the year. More than 70 songs bout to drop!

“Take Shape and Run Away” contains songs that were written by Justin Birchard and Dan Perdue, with important creative contributions by Ed Bembinster, Jason Sipe, and Jordan Hill.

How did Facing Winter begin?

It was Fall of 1999, Dan and I were 18 years old. We’d been friends since early childhood and had played in several bands together as teenagers. We were both starting to “grow out” of our previous bands, and it was time for something new. Dan came up with the name of the band. I loved it immediately and never looked back.

Heavily inspired by Radiohead, Sunny Day Real Estate, and The Prayer Chain, we wrote three songs: Travail, Blue Cycle, and Breathe Deep. These were recorded at Northern Illinois University in Dekalb by Nick Kettman. If you listen closely, you can hear the noise of the tape looping around the reel. It was a magical recording experience that we both remember fondly. Here’s the original artwork for the album, created by Dustin Lopatka:

These are the photos from our first photoshoot (photographer unknown):

During the year 2000 I wrote three songs that were never officially released: Wait For Spring, Rain Song, and, Tainted Eyes. Maybe you will recognize the riffs in Wait For Spring? This song was later stripped and used to create two new songs. We decided to include these three on the “Early Morning” compilation because they’re an important part of our story.

In 2001 Dan and I recorded and released “EP2” which included three new songs: Lost, Will It Be The Last Time, and 010101. We brought in longtime friend Jordan Hill to play drums on two of the tracks. The songs were recorded on 2″ tape and mixed by Edward Bembinster at 35th Street Studio in Chicago.

EP2 was also the first time we collaborated with Jeff Stogis for art direction. Here is the original insert from EP2:

Facing Winter collaborators in 2001:

After EP2, the band went through a big transition. Dan Perdue’s other band Sleeping At Last got signed by a prominent label, and so we temporarily parted ways for a few years. During the last half of 2001 I kept writing and recording. I partnered with Edward Bembinster, Jordan Hill, and Jason Sipe to record Dichotomy and Evade. Dichotomy is nearly 13 minutes long, it was recorded and engineered by Edward Bembinster.

And now you know the legend of “Take Shape and Run Away”!

Thank you for caring about our music and our story. Please stay tuned for more. The next big release will be 8/31/23 and will include songs recorded in 2002.