Winter Moods was formed in mid-eighties. Two young musicians, bassist Joseph Rizzo and guitarist Steve Caruana Smith (Serp) were in a band in search for a vocalist. They took on a friend still in his teens, Ivan Grech. They preferred music over everything else in life. They met frequently in a garage in Senglea on cold grey days to put together their own original songs. Thus the mood, thus the name of the band – Winter Moods.
The early years were all about playing in front of a crowd. The local music scene was ripe with activity. Bands came and went, some making more noise than others. Only one band stood the test of time, evolving and adapting itself to the changes in the music scene.
Etienne Robinich joined on keyboards. During the nineties the emergence of new radio stations put an emphasis on airplay. Winter Moods released their first single ‘Sarah’, which was an instant hit with listeners. This song remains one of the band’s most popular tracks to this day. ‘Sarah’ was included in the band’s first CD album released in 1996. Self-titled Winter Moods, the album was reminiscent of the members’ original influences.
Guitarist Melvin Caruana joined the band in 1997. Shortly after, in 2000, the band went on to launch their next CD album, ‘Morning Ale’ which produced hit songs ‘Jamaica’, ‘Ride’ and ‘Everyday Song’ – awarded the best song of all time.
Winter Moods’ third CD album, ‘Butterfly House’ was released in April 2003. It featured the top hit ‘Come To You’, and following on its predecessor’s success, this album reached the top of the local charts within days of its release. Winter Moods’ fourth album ‘Ordinary Men’ combines the band’s musical expertise with new styles. ‘Ordinary Men’ became the band’s best selling album to date, and includes the band’s most famous song ‘Marigold’.
Guitarist Steve Caruana Smith and drummer James Vella parted ways with the band, drummer Karl Fenech joined in 2009.
Winter Moods celebrated their silver anniversary in 2010 with the launch of a new album , ‘Argento’.
Winter Moods etched their name in Maltese music history by performing in front of 10,000 people at The Granaries, Floriana in July 2010. It was the largest ever Maltese crowd to attend a paying concert by a Maltese artist. Winter Moods only superseded their own 2008 record when over 7500 people had turned up for their concert at the Valletta Waterfront.
Through their career, Winter Moods had to opportunity to meet and perform with some of their idols, namely Bryan Adams, Elton John, Roger Hodgson (ex-Supertramp), Bob Geldof, Fish (ex-Marillion), Antonello Venditti, Deep Purple and the SAS Band. The SAS Band was made up of Spike Edney (ex-Queen keyboardist), Paul Young, Fish and Chris Thompson, with whom Ivan also sang ‘Crazy Little Thing Called Love’.
Winter Moods also performed alongside Maroon 5, Enrique Iglesias and Akon in the Isle of MTV Malta Special. In 2007 the band supported the CiaO’Scia concert held in Malta featuring Claudio Baglioni, Gianni Morandi and Riccardo Cocciante. Baglioni sang Winter Moods’ ‘Marigold’ together with the band.
Winter Moods performed at number of music festivals in Europe. In June 2000, the band performed at the Belfort Rock Festival in France, in September 2002 Winter Moods participated at the National Youth Rock Festival in Cyprus. In July 2003 Winter Moods were invited to perform at the Hard Rock Café in Rome. In 2004, following the success in German radio WDR2′s competition – Europa XXL, where Winter Moods placed first amongst 10 bands from Europe, and was invited to perform at the Ring Fest held in Cologne, Germany.
Over the years Winter Moods garnered several awards. The band was voted as the Best Band at six editions of the Malta Music Awards (1997, 2001, 2003, 2007, 2008, 2010). Winter Moods also received the Best Song award for their timeless hit ‘Marigold’ (2007) and ‘My Neverland’ (2010), and the Best Song Writer award for Ivan Grech in 2007 and 2010. In 2008 the band was awarded the Legends Award – the first time such an award was handed out.
During the Bay Music Awards 2004 Winter Moods were awarded the Icon Award for their on going contribution to the Maltese music scene and for the success their countless singles have had on 89.7 Bay. During the Bay Music Awards 2005 the band won best single of the year award for ‘Closer’ and the best single of all time award for ‘Everyday Song’. In 2007 the band garnered a further three BMAs this time for Best Band, Best Song (Marigold) and the Viewers’ Choice.